Archive for January, 2022

Love Never Passes 1-30-2022

Sunday, January 30th, 2022

The story goes that one time a very prominent person in California
died. He stood before the beautiful gates of heaven, hoping to get in, but
a large angel stood at the gate and would not let him pass. “To get in,”
said the angel, “you must show that you accomplished something
significant, something really important in your life on earth.”
The man breathed a sigh of relief, because he had accomplished
many things. “Well,” he said, “I feel I accomplished a lot. For one
thing, I went to school and got excellent grades. After high school I
went to the university on a scholarship, and all the teachers admired my
work. I ended up graduating with highest honors, and writing a book.”
“That’s nice,” said the angel, “but I’m talking about a significant
accomplishment. One that doesn’t pass away with time.”
The man was a little shaken, but not really frightened. He had
done many other things. “Well, while I was in college, I played soccer.
I was probably the best player that school ever had. I got to play in the
Olympics and our team all won gold medals.” “That’s nice,” said the angel, “but I need to know if you
accomplished anything significant in you life – something that doesn’t
pass away with time.”
The man began to perspire a little bit. “Well, holy angel,” he said,
“I was blessed with good looks. I was very handsome, and had my pick
of all the women in the world. Finally I ended up marrying a movie star.
All the magazines and newspapers reported how beautiful our wedding
ceremony was.
The angel tried to hide a little yawn. “How nice,” the angel said,
“but did you do anything in life that was really important – something
that wouldn’t pass?”
The man was now getting frightened. “Well,” he said, “after I was
done with school, I started my own engineering and construction
company. We built great bridges. We built mighty freeways. We built
tall sky-scrapers. I made millions of dollars and lived in a palace. They
even named a town after me.” The angel shrugged. “I’m very sorry,” the angel replied. “All
those things you’ve mentioned are nice, and perhaps even interesting…
but they’re not important. They’re not what you need to get into heaven.
They all pass away.”
And then the man remembered the reading form St. Paul, that we
had today. Faith, hope and especially love, never pass away. And he
looked back at his life, and it all seemed so different now. All those
accomplishments he had thought were so important now seemed not so
important. He felt confused and ashamed. “Well,” he said, “once, a
long time ago, I gave an apple to a young girl who had nothing to eat.”
“At last!” The angel smiled, “something really significant. You
wasted most of your life, but thank God you didn’t waste all of it! You
did accomplished one important thing. Enter the kingdom of God!
Brothers and sisters, let’s not waste our time and energy on earth,
but let’s devote ourselves to doing things that last.
Remember, love never passes away

Are We Ready to Let God Empower Us? 1-23-2022

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

In a book called, If I Were in Charge of the World and Other
Worries, the reader is invited to see the world through the eyes of a five
or six year old little boy.
If I were in charge of the world, he says: “I’d cancel oatmeal! I’d
cancel allergy shots! I’d cancel Monday mornings.”
If I were in charge of the world, he says: “There’d be brighter
night lights, healthier hamsters and basketball baskets forty-eight inches
If I were in charge of the world, “you wouldn’t have lonely, you
wouldn’t have bedtimes, or ‘Don’t punch your sister!’ You wouldn’t
even have sisters.”
If I were in charge of the world, a chocolate sundae with whipped
cream and nuts would be a vegetable, and a person who sometimes
forgot to brush, and sometimes forgot to flush would still be in charge of
the world!
Question: What would you do if you were in charge of the world? Jesus gives His answer in today’s Gospel lesson. Luke tells us that
Jesus, “With the power of the Spirit in Him,” went into the synagogue,
as He usually did on the Sabbath Day, and read this passage from the
Old Testament Book of Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for He has anointed me. He has sent me to bring
Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favor!”
What do we proclaim to this world – we who call ourselves
Catholic Christians? What do we proclaim with our words – with how
we live our everyday lives.
I have people all the time say, what a sorry state our world is in
My response:
We can’t put the blame on Christ and Christianity. We have to
blame ourselves in part, especially if we are merely card-carrying Christians – that is, Christians who claim to believe in Christ, but are uncommitted to his causes.
G.K. Chesterton was right when he said: “Christianity has not
been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
So it is not enough to be moved emotionally by Christ’s inaugural
speech today; we have to do something about it. We have to seek out
the oppressed and outcasts and support their quest for justice. We have
to reach out to the unwanted and unloved and reaffirm their dignity. We
have to listen to the cries of the wounded and poor and lift them up with
If we don’t believe in Christ’s causes, then we shouldn’t stand up
and recite the Creed. But if we do believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, and if
we believe in committing ourselves to him, then we should stand up with
conviction and courage and proclaim the Creed! Then go live it as best
we can.
I close with this image –
A boy and girl returned to the girl’s home after their first date.
Standing at the front door, the boy asked, nervously, “May I kiss you?” No reply. Again he asked, “Can I kiss you?” No reply. A third time, “Can I kiss you?” Still no reply. “Are you deaf?” said the boy. “Are
you paralyzed? The girl replied.
Are we ready to let God empower us to do what we need to do to
be one of God’s servants today or as the young girl asked, are we

If You Love Enough 1-16-2022

Friday, January 14th, 2022

I had the privilege to be part of some weekends called Engaged
Encounters. On these weekends two married couples would share a great
deal about their married life with about thirty engaged couples. I listened
and learned a lot from these married couples. I was impressed with how
hard they worked at staying married.
On this weekend when we read about the marriage feast at Cana, I
would like to share with you two brief stories about two married couples
that also really touched me.
She fought bravely and valiantly, he always at her side. But after
eight years, cancer took her life. After the funeral, he was cleaning out
the drawer near her bed and found a piece of paper she had written. It
was a sort of love note. It looked a little like a schoolgirl’s daydream
note about the boy in the next row. Except that this note was written by
the mother of seven children, a woman who had been battling for her life
until the end. It was also a wonderful prescription for holding a marriage
together. This is how her note to her husband began. Loved. Cared. Worried. Helped me when I was sick. Forgave me a lot of things. Stood
by me. Always complimentary. Provided everything I ever needed.
Warmth. Humor. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Always there when I
needed you. And the last thing she wrote sums up all the other. Good
friend. He folded the paper and placed it in his wallet. Sometime later he
was talking to a friend about her. He showed him the paper. The friend,
a much younger man, was deeply moved by the note. The friend asked,
“How do you stick by someone through 38 years of marriage, let alone
the sickness too?” “How do I know I’d have what it takes to stand by a
wife if she got sick?” And he replied simply and quietly. “You will.” “If
you love enough, you will.”
A strong self-reliant ranch owner, who did not very often express
his emotions outwardly, had to rush his wife to the hospital. A ruptured
appendix. The ensuing operation was successful, but the woman’s’
condition deteriorated. Despite the blood transfusions and intensive care,
she continued to lose strength. The doctors were puzzled because by all
medical standards she should have been recovering. They finally were convinced of the reason for her deterioration. She was not trying to get well. The surgeon, an old family friend, went to her and said. “I would
think you would want to be strong for John.” She replied weakly. “John
is so strong he doesn’t need anybody.” When the doctor told the husband
what she had said, he immediately went into his wife’s room, took her
hand in his and said. “You’ve got to get well!” Without opening her eyes,
she asked, “Why?” He said, “because I need you.” The nurse who was
monitoring the blood transfusion said she noticed an immediate change
in the pulse beat and the blood pressure. Then the patient opened her
eyes and said, “John, that’s the first time you ever said that to me.” Two
weeks later she was home. The doctor commenting on the case said it
wasn’t the blood transfusion, but what went with it that made the
difference between life and death for that woman.
In closing, I would like to ask any married couple present here to
stand. I would like to thank you for the hard work you put into your
Sacrament of Marriage and I would like to offer you a special prayer of
Blessing for you both. God, you have called woman and man to become
“one flesh.” What a great sign of your love for us. Send your spirit, O
God, upon those today who passionately proclaim their love for each other. May they always remember that the energy and power source of
their relationship lies in fidelity and commitment to you. May they
inspire all of us to pledge ourselves more deeply to our own promises,
and our own vows to live in love. May these two lovers dance to the
music of Christ. Amen.