Archive for the ‘2nd Sunday’ Category

The Desert & the Mountain 2-25-2018

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

This Sunday’s gospel and last Sunday’s gospel speak to us about two geographical spots: the desert and the mountain.
We need to stand in both spots during Lent, the desert and the mountain.
In the desert, we encounter the devil, we face our guilt and the evil that abounds in our world. The Christian life is impossible without the desert.
But it is also impossible without the mountain top where we can breathe fresh air and see everything in a new light. It is good for us to be on the mountain, where we can see and listen to God in a new way.
Let me share with you a true desert/mountain top story.
They had just moved into their new house in a residential section of Syracuse, New York. That morning, Mom left early to take her teenage son to work. She backed out of the garage and pressed the remote to bring down the door. “What’s THAT?” the teenager cried out as the door closed. She turned around and faced the door. There, in foot-high, hot pink letters, someone had spray painted: KKK. DIE NIGGER.
They sat there stunned. She called her husband, who was out of town on business. “Honey, you have to report this.”
The sheriff came over immediately. He was surprised at how calm she was. “You should be taking this more seriously,” the sheriff advised.
“I take it very seriously,” she told the sheriff. “But I’m not going to get hysterical, and I’m not going to be afraid.”
While her teenage son understood the hate behind the words, the two younger children did not. “Why did someone write this on our house? What does it mean? Whoever did this doesn’t even know us! How can they be so mean?”
Torn between anger and sadness, she wished she could shield her young sons from prejudice forever. But she knew she couldn’t. “We mustn’t return the hate. It’s not up to us to judge them. We’re called to love others despite them. Whoever did this wants us to be upset. Well, we’re not going to be. We’re going to pray for them so that maybe they’ll come to know God too.”
Not five minutes later, a newspaper reporter came with a photographer. Then a television crew arrived. They were mystified as she told them what she told her boys: “I don’t hold anything against whoever did this. God teaches us to forgive.”
The family’s new neighbors started to stop by to offer their support and express their anger and regret at what had happened. Someone brought flowers, another brought a cake. Not only were they meeting their new neighbors, but they were hugging them.
Later in the afternoon, a young man and woman arrived in work clothes and carrying paint, soap and buckets. “We heard about what happened here,” they said. “Is it okay if we help clean things up?”
Before long, everyone was involved in the project. Buckets were filled with soapy water, sandpaper was applied – and as the hate-filled words were washed away, a spirit of community and friendship blossomed in their place.
The power of the Good News- Our God is greater than any evil we can imagine. Before long everyone was involved in the project.

Watch, Listen, & Believe 12-10-2017

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Let me to take you on a little journey to a Big, Busy, Shopping
Mall. Let me introduce to you someone.
He caused quite a commotion among the shoppers at the mall.
Many dismissed him as annoying nut. He was dressed in a tattered
flannel shirt and jeans. No one knew where he spent the night, but he
was seen rummaging around the dumpsters for scraps of food from
Orange Julius and McDonald’s. Every day he could be found by the
beautifully lighted fountain near the mall’s food court. Despite his
ragged appearance and that slightly “off” look in his eyes, there was a
kindness and sincerity about him that drew people to him.
He would ask them why they would spend so much money for
Christmas, why they would allow themselves to become so obsessed and
stressed out over this tinseled holiday. “We like our Christmas with a lot
of sugar, don’t we?” he would tease. But Christmas is about hope and
love, he said – and that can be a struggle. Give gifts of kindness and
compassion to each other. Seek forgiveness from family and friends
who may be lost to you. Let the spirit of the Christ Child embrace every
season of the year, not just December.
Those who listened would nod in agreement as he spoke – even as
they tightened their grips on their shopping bags. Some were moved to
quit shopping and go home to be with their families, others would go off
and buy an extra toy or piece of clothing for charity; a few would even
be moved to escape to a church or chapel for quiet prayer.
Sometimes he would rail against the insipid music and the gaudy
decorations. When the mall Santa would walk by, he would make fun of
him, asking the embarrassed Santa pointed questions about the real
Christmas story.
Soon, though, the storeowners had had enough of his distractions.
The mall managers had security escort him from the premises.
He wasn’t really hurting anyone, they realized.
But he had to go, they said.
He was ruining everyone’s Christmas.
“He Had to Go”. John the Baptists 2016. They come in all ages,
sizes, shapes, colors, sexes and backgrounds. What do they do? They
tease, they challenge, they poke us, and they point us to Jesus. To Jesus’
way of life.
Pray with me today, Advent 2016, that we will not be blind to the
John the Baptists that come into our daily lives. Believe me – they will
come. Watch, Listen, and Believe.

The Desert & the Mountain 3-12-2017

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

This Sunday’s gospel and next Sunday’s gospel speak to us about two geographical spots: the desert and the mountain.
We need to stand in both spots during Lent, the desert and the mountain.
In the desert, we encounter the devil, we face our guilt and the evil that abounds in our world. The Christian life is impossible without the desert.
But it is also impossible without the mountain top where we can breathe fresh air and see everything in a new light. It is good for us to be on the mountain, where we can see and listen to God in a new way.
Let me share with you a true desert/mountain top story.
They had just moved into their new house in a residential section of Syracuse, New York. That morning, Mom left early to take her teenage son to work. She backed out of the garage and pressed the remote to bring down the door. “What’s THAT?” the teenager cried out as the door closed. She turned around and faced the door. There, in foot-high, hot pink letters, someone had spray painted: KKK. DIE NIGGER.
They sat there stunned. She called her husband, who was out of town on business. “Honey, you have to report this.”
The sheriff came over immediately. He was surprised at how calm she was. “You should be taking this more seriously,” the sheriff advised.
“I take it very seriously,” she told the sheriff. “But I’m not going to get hysterical, and I’m not going to be afraid.”
While her teenage son understood the hate behind the words, the two younger children did not. “Why did someone write this on our house? What does it mean? Whoever did this doesn’t even know us! How can they be so mean?”
Torn between anger and sadness, she wished she could shield her young sons from prejudice forever. But she knew she couldn’t. “We mustn’t return the hate. It’s not up to us to judge them. We’re called to love others despite them. Whoever did this wants us to be upset. Well, we’re not going to be. We’re going to pray for them so that maybe they’ll come to know God too.”
Not five minutes later, a newspaper reporter came with a photographer. Then a television crew arrived. They were mystified as she told them what she told her boys: “I don’t hold anything against whoever did this. God teaches us to forgive.”
The family’s new neighbors started to stop by to offer their support and express their anger and regret at what had happened. Someone brought flowers, another brought a cake. Not only were they meeting their new neighbors, but they were hugging them.
Later in the afternoon, a young man and woman arrived in work clothes and carrying paint, soap and buckets. “We heard about what happened here,” they said. “Is it okay if we help clean things up?”
Before long, everyone was involved in the project. Buckets were filled with soapy water, sandpaper was applied – and as the hate-filled words were washed away, a spirit of community and friendship blossomed in their place.
The power of the Good News- Our God is greater than any evil we can imagine. Before long everyone was involved in the project.