Thursday, January 28, 2016

Flinging Seeds - Yesterday's Gospel for Today

"Hear this! A sower went out to sow." 
Mark 4:1
First and foremost, we have to love that Jesus is speaking to a crowd so large that he has to get into a boat and push out from the shore in order to teach the entire group. And, he starts with the word "Hear". We have listened to this parable many times throughout the years but today, we are asked to truly "hear" the message. Fr. Mark spoke to a large crowd himself because the mass included the school children and he taught about the seeds in our lives. He taught about the seeds of goodness and of kindness and of mercy. He described the sower as a man "flinging seeds" all over the place. A man not too worried at the moment of where the seed landed but more concerned with covering a large territory. It was easy to imagine. A man with a large bag flung across his shoulder, continually reaching, spilling, flinging seed everywhere, lightening his own load as he walked, as he delivered, as he spread...the word. The thought was offered that we too should fling seed...the word. There are, oftentimes, crowds around us; some with lives not too stable, (on rocky ground), some living merely on the surface, (with no roots), and some fully nourished (open to receive). Jesus challenges us to keep flinging the seed. We are not to judge the condition of the receiver. We are asked to do the task, to complete the mission, to "hear" and to "go and do the same". Do we fling seeds not worrying about the outcome, or consequence? Do we "hear"? Do we "sow"? And from time to time, do we push away from the shore so as to get a clearer perspective, from all that is pressing in on us?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What He Sees

"Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart." Samuel 16

The New Year turns many of us into organizational wild people. All we can think about is what we can do to clean up and clean out and start anew. At the bookstore, we have been cleaning and moving things around and making the store better so our customers can get a fresh look at new, exciting product. But, this morning's reading reminds me that what the Lord really cares about is the heart of the store. We can work to make the store more organized and beautiful but what are we doing for those who walk through those doors? Where is the heart? Are we truly loving our customers and do they know we care? Do we take time to listen?
I think God speaks to everyone today whether as we work inside or outside the home. The organization of our homes and our businesses may make us feel good about the way things look but what makes God feel good about us is what's in our hearts. So relax. Focus on the love. Even the smallest of businesses and the poorest of families and the weakest of all can please the Lord everyday.
What about you? Are you on to the heart of the matter for the New Year?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Who Are You?

While reviewing some ideas from a book about author platform, I came across a very essential question that needs to be answered. Who are you? A good question for all of us to ask ourselves I think.

Now let's face it, it would make our parents proud if we would be so humble as to answer as Pope Francis and admit, "I am a sinner." That answer got rave reviews.

And, within the next couple of days of reading this question, I heard in Scripture the same question posed to John the Baptist. "Who are you?" Now wouldn't anyone be amazing who could give the same answer as John did and be as honest as him? "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.'" Wouldn't it be awesome if we could say honestly that all we do and say to one another, prepares us to properly greet Christ? That our lives have been filled with bringing others to Christ and Christ to others. That answer also got rave reviews.

Me. I'm still contemplating. I'd like to be one seen as humble and honest. I'd like to be thought of as one who leads others to Christ and Christ to others. I'd like to prepare a path that leads the way. I'd like to say that I must decrease and He must increase.

me. i'm just too full of myself. i need to stay in the sand (desert) a little longer and figure it all out.

Who are you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Three Kings

"They departed for their country by another way." The deacon stressed this sentence Sunday and I have been my visits with Jesus lead me to choose another way? Do the gifts that I leave through prayer and by spending time with Him help me to receive all I need to change my life path? These Three Kings, their visit, their gifts, the change in their path choice, has got me thinking!

Monday, January 4, 2016

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Feast Day - From the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, MD

"In the mountains of Emmitsburg, MD, about five hundred yards from Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary, Mary waits at the Grotto for those seeking peace, seeking a place for quiet prayer and reflection, seeking comfort. Drawn by "a light in the mountain," Father John Dubois, a priest from France, founded the natural grotto formed from the water flowing off the mountain through the base of a huge oak tree."
"St. Elizabeth Ann Seton came to the mountain in 1809 and often taught and ate meals at the grotto. Today, as children wander around the stone walls, we can envision Mother Seton and her sisters who would "ramble for a time around the grotto" and "amuse themselves until time for Vespers and Benediction." excerpt from "Visiting Mary: Her U.S. Shrines and Their Graces"

If you have ever visited this or any other Shrines, please share your experience so others will gain interest in visiting some of the beautiful Shrines we have in honor of Jesus and Mary and the Saints.