Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category

Impossible 12-18-2016

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

In a lot of homes I’m sure there are certain words we do not allow to be used; vulgar words, bad words.
I was in a home where the mom had an allergy to the word “Hate.” It could be as simple as, “I hate spinach,” or more serious as, “I hate my teacher.” This word would bring a lengthy dissertation about how unhealthy that word was.
There is a word I believe God doesn’t care for. It’s not a swear or a vulgar word; it is an everyday word that people misuse terribly. The word is “IMPOSSIBLE.”
Yesterday we said,
1. It’s impossible for people to fly.
2. It’s impossible to make boats that travel underwater.
3. It’s impossible for someone to walk on the moon.
4. It’s impossible for the Berlin wall to come down.
5. It’s impossible for Russia and the US to ever be friends.
6. It’s impossible for the Red Sox to win the World Series.
Today we say:
1. It’s impossible for the Jews and the Arabs to make peace.
2. It’s impossible to get rid of gang violence.
3. It’s impossible for California to absorb all these new immigrants.
4. It’s impossible to find a cure for AIDS.
5. It’s impossible to create a society where no one goes without basic food and shelter.
6. It’s impossible for Father Ron to lose weight.

God scorns that word and the attitude behind that word, God who alone is wise.
A person might say:
1. It’s impossible for me to get over my grief and move on, especially during the holidays.
2. It’s impossible for me to deal with my addictions.
3. It’s impossible for me to temper my self destructive vice.
4. It’s impossible for me to make peace and develop as a healthy human being.
But today these voices who shout the word “Impossible” are contradicted by an angel flying down from heaven, and the old post menopausal lady swelling with life, and the teenage Virgin Mary with the word of God resting in her womb. These three join together to say: “If it is the will of God, then it’s possible–nothing is impossible with God. Let us remember! Let us Believe!

Make Time To Laugh 12-11-2016

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Many of you have seen the show TV Bloopers, they are hilarious. I have read about newspaper bloopers, how one word can change so much. I would like to share with you some parish bulletin bloopers. I think they are great!
Don’t let worry kill you – Let the Church help.
Thursday Night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
The service will close with “Little Drops of Water.” The cantor will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

I started my homily this week with these because I have experienced so many people stressed, anxious, grumpy, mostly over getting ready for Christmas. This Sunday (formerly called Guadete Sunday – Rejoice) with its pink candle reminds us that no matter how dark it might be in our lives, that no matter how anxious or grumpy we might feel, for whatever reason, no matter how depressing the world situation might be – the light, the joy of God will never leave us. We need to hold on to this Good News and we need to rejoice today. We need to smile – we need to laugh – right in the face of hard times. Maybe this will help:
The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what happened to her in Church one Sunday…
“I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling.
“Finally his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a littler theater off Broadway said, ‘Stop that Grinning! You’re in Church!’ With that, she gave him a belt and, as the tears rolled down his cheek, she added, ‘That’s better,’ and returned to her prayers. We sing, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’ while our faces reflect the sadness of one who has just buried a rich Aunt who left everything to her pregnant hamster.
“Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if your not, than you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about My God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us. I wanted to tell him he is an understanding God. One who understands little children who turn around and smile in church, and even curious little children who rummage through their mothers’ handbags. I wanted to tell that little child that I too have taken a few lumps for daring to smile in an otherwise solemn religious setting.
“By tradition, I suppose, one wears Faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman sitting next to the only sign of hope – the only miracle – left in our civilization. If that child couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?”
Let me close with this: There is an organization of business people who donate their time visiting hospitals – especially children’s hospitals. They go to these hospitals as working “Clowns” – here is a portion of their special prayer:
“Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me grow so big that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that I am a clown, that my work is to cheer people up, make them happy, and make them laugh. And in my final moment, may I hear you whisper, ‘When you made my people smile, you made me smile!’”
Finally, when you are going over your gift list, don’t forget these gifts:
1. The gift of laughter
2. The gift of a smile
3. The gift of joy brought on by a phone call, card, or a short visit
4. A sense of healthy humor
5. Giving a gift to ourselves – not to take ourselves too seriously.
With that in mind, what do you get when you cross a praying mantis with a termite? – A bug that says grace before it eats your house.
Thank you. (REJOICE)

Watch, Listen, & Believe 12-4-2016

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

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.