Friday, September 22, 2017

The root of all evil!

"For the love of money is the root of all evil, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the path and have pierced themselves with many pains."
1 Timothy 6:10

Is it Providence this reading should fall on a pay day? I think so. Reading this today, I wondered how those teaching the "prosperity" gospel can sell it? It seems pretty clear here that we are not supposed to sell our souls to be materially rich.  But it goes beyond just pointing our judging fingers at those who sure look like they're doing it wrong! What in my own life do I chase after more than I seek God? What do I spend more time doing than spending time with God? I consider all living things to be infused with God, so spending time alone in nature or with other people, working, laughing, sharing, celebrating is time with God to me. I probably spend too much time mindlessly transfixed in front of either a computer or TV, so that is one thing to consider. And where will today's paycheck go? Will it bring life to others as well as myself and my old dog who loves his rawhide treats? It is one thing to read these wise scripture passages but how do they transform our everyday lives? They certainly should! That is a question to be pondered this autumn weekend, Friends!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

God is working!

"Bring us back, O God; let your face shine forth..."
Psalm 80:4

Recently, I was called upon to find a phone that an elderly gentleman could use. I took over one that I thought would do the trick, crawled around in the ancient corners of the netherworld to get it hooked up and, lo and behold, it didn't work. I tried all I knew to do, with interested bystanders "helping" me to the point of distraction. In terrible frustration, I took it back to my office to study it in peace. I was so disappointed in myself, not for my inability to get the phone to work, but in my irritation with the people and situation. I made arrangements to go back the next day, armed with the tweaked phone and, more importantly, a tweaked attitude. I prayed all the way there for God to help me; again, not just hooking up the phone, but to love the people. That was ultimately what I was called to do, what I was there for. The phone was just the excuse.  Well, the next day, the situation was exactly the same--the same cobwebs were in the corners, the people were still "helping" and the phone still didn't work. The difference was, as I drove away, I knew God had helped me. I was so different than the day before. I was able to love better.  Today, as we go about our Windy Wednesday, let's think about how God works in our lives.  The phone may still not work. But God is working feverishly in our hearts! Love, heidi

Monday, September 18, 2017

Seven times?

"Peter approached Jesus and asked him, 'Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?'"
Matthew 18:21

I wonder if Peter was thinking that forgiving someone seven times was plenty? Or a lot? Was Peter thinking himself magnanimous going for seven? If so, Jesus blew him out of the water when he replied that, no, you must forgive seventy-seven times! I remember reading that when we humans forgive, it is always through grace given to us. It isn't so much our own doing, but a gift of grace that we receive from God that allows us to forgive. I totally believe that, since forgiveness seems so often out of reach for me. And we can and should pray for the gift of a universal forgiveness just for the way things are. Fr. Richard Rohr says that the Spirit within us gives us a desire and a longing for reconciliation and forgiveness (Daily Meditation, 8/28/17). That's the only true way we can move forward in our lives--to let go of the hope for a better past. So, today. as we breathe in the wee bit of fall in the air, let's pray for the grace we need to let go of anything we need to forgive, including within ourselves. Maybe we can picture a gust of wind blowing it away...love, heidi

Friday, September 15, 2017

Another mother...

"'Woman, behold your son'. Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother.'"
John 19:26-27

What does it mean to us that Jesus "gave" us his own mother as he was dying on the cross? I thought about what my mother did for me; I thought about what I try to do for my now-adult kids. My mom was my cheerleader, my second biggest fan (my dad was my Number One fan). But my mom was there for me until it was time for me to be there for her. My mother was a confidant, I could tell her anything and she would try to understand my point of view, while pointing out that there may be another way to look at it. She was a practical guide for me growing up, and later her advice was invaluable. She loved me as no one else possibly could, as the person who nourished my tiny self in her own body, under her own heart. This gift of mother is one Jesus gives us from the cross, too. Another mother, who cheers us on, nourishes us, sits with us when we need her and comforts us when we're struggling. No one can ever love us quite like our mother can, so the gift of another mother is a treasure...and we have that in our mother, Mary. This weekend, let's pause and thank Jesus for this beautiful gift of sharing his mother with us.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Woe to...us?

"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry..."
Luke 6:24-25

Deacon Mac from Bronco Catholic had an inspiring, if a bit blistering, homily this past Sunday and I will post the link to it below if you would like to be challenged by the Gospel. Why would we want to be challenged by the Gospel? Aren't we supposed to go to church, pay our tithe and walk out of church feeling good about ourselves? I think not. Living the Gospel is way different than just reading, listening or even believing in it. If just saying we are Christian, and listening to the Gospel on Sunday was enough, we'd be all set. We seem to be able to do that much. But it's not enough. Woe to us, if we think it is. Jesus challenges us to go beyond ourselves and live for others, love others, care for others. THAT is the Gospel. In the verse shortly after this one, Jesus says, "Love your enemies." (v. 27). If that doesn't challenge us then we aren't reading it correctly. Or maybe we are just reading it and not trying to live it. These are challenging times, calling for challenging messages. How can we follow Jesus and actually live the Gospel? Especially since we are the rich and the well-fed? Love, heidi
Deacon Mac's Homily