Archive for the ‘33rd Sunday’ Category

Make Sure To Keep Yourself In The Love Of God Today; The Rest Will Take Care Of Itself 11-19-2017

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Introduction:
I have a wonderful memory growing up in a small valley town. I spent a
lot of time around the church; a lot of priests would visit our home for
dinner (mom a great cook). I remember a lesson I learned when the
topic of the end of time came up. A wise priest gave me good advice;
“Make sure to keep yourself in the love of God today – the rest will take
care of itself.
I believe there are three things we can do something about today;
1. How loving are our thoughts—right now in our life?
2. How loving are our words—right now in our life?
3. How loving are our actions—right now in our life?
First: our thoughts. How judgmental are we in our thoughts about
other people? Do we tend to pass judgment on them—judgment that is
often unkind and unfair?
There’s a Peanuts cartoon that shows Charlie Brown and
Linus standing side by side. Charlie is looking at a drawing of a
man that Linus has just made.
Charlie says to Linus, “I see you’ve drawn the man with his
hands behind his back. That shows you are insecure.
Linus replies, “I didn’t put his hands behind his back because
I am insecure. I did it because I can’t draw hands.”
That story makes us ask ourselves, “Do we tend to read into
situations? Do we tend to judge others recklessly, as Charlie did Linus
in that cartoon?
That brings us to our second point: our words or speech. Do we
use our speech to talk about the faults of others? Do we use it to gossip
about other people?
Perhaps you’ve heard the story about three church leaders – a
Catholic, a Protestant, and a Jew, all from the same town. They
decided to make a retreat together. In the course of their retreat,
they shared with each other one of their most embarrassing
shortcomings.
The Catholic priest said, “I must tell you both that I’ve been
gambling lately.”
The Jewish rabbi said, “And I must tell you both that I’ve
been gambling a lot lately.”
Finally, the Protestant minister said, “I must tell you both
that I can’t keep a thing to myself. I am an incurable gossip.”
That story makes us ask ourselves, “Do we use our speech to
gossip about others?”
That brings us to our third point: our actions.
Some years ago, nine physically handicapped people
successfully climbed Mt. Rainier in Washington State. One of the
climbers had an artificial leg. Another climber was an epileptic.
Two others were deaf, and five were blind.
In spite of the handicaps, the nine people negotiated the
14,000-foot mountain together, up and down, without accident.
When asked about the amazing feat, one of the blind
members of the party said simple, “We got a lot of help from one
another.”
That story makes us ask ourselves, “How much are we helping one
another in our mutual efforts to climb the mountain that leads to God
and heaven?
How prepared are we to meet Jesus at the end of the world?
How prepared are we to meet Him, right now, in just three areas of
our life?
First: our thoughts. Do we judge other people recklessly?
Second: our words. Do we talk about other people unkindly?
And finally: our actions. Do we turn our back on other
people’s needs?
If we aren’t doing too well in these areas now, what makes us think
we will do better in the future?
Let’s close with a prayer:
Lord, give us a mind that will think thoughts that are kind and fair.
Give us lips that will speak words that are true and charitable.
Give us hands that will do deeds that are modeled after the ones
you did for people in your own lifetime.
“Make sure to keep yourself in the love of God today—and the rest will take care of itself”.

Count On It 11-13-2016

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

One night in 1983, over 100 million television viewers saw the movie The Day After. Filmed in Lawrence, Kansas, it portrayed what that city would be like after a nuclear attack.
Just before the film began, a warning flashed on the screen, saying, “Because of graphic portrayal of nuclear war, this film may be unsuitable for children. Parental discretion is advised.”
The warning was well given. For during the next 128 minutes, the movie showed shocking scenes of death and destruction. The script, too, was shocking and disturbing. It made us realize that the possibility of a nuclear attack was greater than we had ever imagined.
The words and images of today’s gospel are reminiscent of the words and images of that film.
Jesus portrays for us, graphically, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. For Jews, the destruction of these two things was equivalent to the end of the world.
Precisely for this reason, the Church uses this gospel passage as one of its readings for the end of the liturgical year. It wants us to reflect on the end of the world.
It wants us to reflect on that moment when the world, as we know it, will pass away.
It wants us to ask ourselves, “How prepared will we be for that moment when it comes?”
A few stories to help us reflect…
John was a building contractor for a construction company. His specialty was large luxury homes.
To increase his income, John routinely cheated on the materials that went into the homes. He was so clever at concealing these shortcuts that he joked to a close friend that even he couldn’t detect his own shortcuts.
Sometimes his cheating reached such a proportion that the homeowners were in fairly serious danger because of the under constructed electrical systems and the like.
The building contractor’s shortcuts were especially dangerous in the final home he built. Even he worried about some of the things he did in that home.
You can imagine his utter consternation, therefore, when the company gave the contractor this home as a retirement gift. It would be the home in which he and his wife would spend the rest of their years.
How is this story a parable of life? What corners are we cutting in our life, figuring nobody will be the wiser for it? Speak to God about the shortcuts in our life.
In April 1987, Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was returning by plane to his home in Dallas. Suddenly he began to sweat and have difficulty breathing. The thought flashed into his mind: “I’m having a heart attack!” He summoned a flight attendant and was given oxygen. When the plane landed, he was rushed to a hospital.
Later, Mantle told an Associated Press correspondent about a dream he had while he was in the hospital.
“I dreamed I died and went to heaven. Saint Peter greeted me. I said, ‘I’m Mickey Mantle.’ He said, ‘Really? Come in, God wants to see you.’
“I went to see God, and he said, ‘We can’t keep you here because of the way you acted. But do me a favor and sign six dozen baseballs.’”
When the humor of Mantle’s dream subsides, truth emerges: No one will escape God’s judgment, and no one will get VIP treatment in that judgment.
What frightens us most about standing before God in judgment? Speak to God about this fear, and ask God how we can overcome it.
I would like to close with these few words, think of them when you start worrying too much about anything. Especially about when the end of the world might happen.
If God were to drop us a postcard today, I think he might write, “My dear sons and daughters I love you in Jesus more than you can ever know. Through the human nature of my son I share all of your life with you – even the sickness and failure and pain, even the final cross and the knowledge of death. Not all, or even many, of the crosses you will put up with in life are of my making. Believe me, I grieve over them just as much as you do. But in the midst of it all, I will be there. I will be there with you. I will be there for you. And a relationship will be forged between us that earth and time and heaven and hell will never be able to break. I love you. True, bad things are bound to happen – but never the worst. I will always have you, and you will always have me. Count on it!”