Friday, August 5, 2022

Trust In God Allows Faith To Grow So We Can Spread Jesus’ Gospel Teachings

 


On the last Saturday of July I received a card from the wife of a man I have known for 61 years.  After four and half years of suffering from stage four colon cancer he passed. Joe, not his real name, was one of my oldest friends and we considered each other as brothers because neither of us had siblings.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Seek The Things That Are Eternal! Grow Rich In The Sight Of The Lord!


Being a dedicated Catholic Christian challenges us to make difficult choices that cause pain in so many areas of our life.  
Our Gospel and readings today definitely pits our faith in God against a world that denies His very existence.  And yet, without that world, we often are unable to survive in some of the very basic areas of providing a livelihood.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Prayer! Communications & Perseverance To Be One With God In All Our Needs!


Someone once asked me how does one know if they have a good prayer life? 
I said, “When it is answered, whether you know it or not.”

I have come to the conclusion that prayer is a life-long process that evolves over time.  None of us awakens one day and says okay I finally figured out this prayer thing.  It is more a time of questioning and trying to ascertain how we should pray to God.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Hospitality! Seeking And Recognizing Divine Presence In Others!


One of the traits I have noticed about people, myself included, is that we have a curious nature that seeks to learn about the world around us; especially as it relates to others.  Initially, it is about looking for things in common.  If we find enough we like about someone, we begin to recognize differences by accident or on purpose.  When we have satisfied our curiosity, we make a decision to continue in relationship with someone or to go elsewhere.

Friday, July 8, 2022

“Who Is My Neighbor?” The One Who Treats A Person With Mercy. Go And Do Likewise!


In mid1975 I was hired by a national wholesale nursery company as a regional salesman to represent them in the new territory of southern California and Nevada and all of Arizona.  In addition, I would continue to handle their firm’s public relations.  I closed my public relations/advertising agency and my wife and I sold our home and moved our family of four children under the age of seven from the Chicago area to Southern California.

Friday, July 1, 2022

As Christians, We Are To Bring Peace Reach Out To Others So All Can Become One


About every five years or so there is a knock at our front door usually by two young men each nicely dressed in a white shirt, tie, dark colored pants and suspenders.  They always have smile on their face, some pamphlets in their hands and sometimes a bible.  They introduce themselves by name and tell us they are from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday, June 24, 2022

God’s Call To Be His Disciple Requires Our Commitment To Never Look Back!


Scripture can seem confusing at times. 
In our readings and the Gospel today we are told not to look back.  And, yet, throughout the New Testament we receive references to the Hebrew Scriptures to help us better understand what we are called to do.  That is why the Church is blessed with bible scholars who are able to interpret what was written in various foreign languages to clarify our journey to everlasting life.

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Body And Blood Of Christ Feast Calls Us As A Community To Commit Ourselves Fully As Jesus Did For Us


In my earliest stage of life I used to watch people as they approached the sanctuary to receive communion or seek a blessing during Mass. 
Most were devout in their approach, receipt and returning to their pews.  Once in a while someone seemed to do it because everyone else was because it was part of the crowd flow.  What was more interesting to witness was how people left the church; especially those who received Eucharist.  It was as if the significance of what just happened a few minutes prior got lost in translation.

Friday, June 10, 2022

The Most Holy Trinity! A Perfect Mystery At The Center Of Christian Faith And Life!


As a baptized believer in the Catholic faith my parents and godparents made a promise on my behalf as a child that I will love God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength and all that God has created as Jesus loves us.  My Confirmation followed up with that by my personal attestation that I will, with the help of the Holy Spirit, continue in that belief and work to bring those in need into the Church. 

Friday, June 3, 2022

As The Holy Spirit Communicates The Teachings Of Jesus It Allows Us To Keep Our Promise Of Sharing His Gospel Message


About a decade ago, my wife and I along with six members of our family were vacationing in northern Italy to be followed by a week of visiting Croatia, Greece and Turkey. 
Most of our overseas trips are usually to one area in which the same language is spoken when visiting different countries.  Though our tour guides would all speak English for our side trips, we would be exposed to several languages we did not know.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Christ’s Ascension Provides A New Beginning For Us To Continue His Work On Earth


All things, good or bad, come to an end in some way, shape or form.  When it happens, we usually have mixed emotions depending on our part in it and our expectations.  That is how the Apostles felt at the end of Christ’s ministry on earth.  All of them started out doing something unrelated to becoming future Church leaders who will expand a faith belief for the world.  We know from Scripture that in their three years with Jesus prior to His demise as a human they wanted to follow in Jesus footsteps.  Following His death, resurrection and visit with them, many initially returned to their former life because they were confused in their future.  After spending an additional 40 days with Jesus ending with His Ascension, they reverted back to the desire of spiritual involvement.

Friday, May 20, 2022

God Sends the Holy Spirit So We Can Understand and Practice Jesus’ Message of Love Clearly


(SUBSCRIBERS AND READERS)

Please forgive the lateness in receiving this weekly blog for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.  After being infected with a Covid-19 strain for eight days, I was unable to meet my deadline.  Though it is late, I hope you will still receive something that will give you a personal insight into your relationship with the Lord.  Thank you for your understanding.

God created us as unique beings with a free-will to decide how we should live our lives; according to the ways of the Lord or in ways that satisfy our wants and needs as we believe is necessary.  In sorting this out, we come into numerous conflicts with different interpretations that cause disagreements as we try to articulate our faith in a changing world.  Our Gospel today offers a road of calm and peace in which despite differences, we can find a common ground toward understanding in which to receive the indwelling of Christ’s love in our hearts by keeping His Word through the help of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Love One Another As Jesus Loves Us!


For those who have access to social media, television or the written media, you know that many societies throughout the world are self-centered in their approach to life.  Wealth, Power and Fame are the main catalyst on one side and being downtrodden by multiple circumstances is another.  It almost seems hopeless that we will ever live in a society that not only offers equality, but practices it in all we think, say and do.  That being the case, how can we ever love one another as Jesus loves us?

Friday, May 6, 2022

“The Shepherd Calls His Own Sheep By Name…”


Have you been called by God?  Have you responded?  If so, what are you doing about it?  If not, why not?

Friday, April 29, 2022

“Come, Have Breakfast.”


The invitation almost seems comical in light of what has happened: Jesus, the Messiah, Only-Begotten Son of God, is crucified, dies, is buried and raised from the dead so our sins can be forgiven and we would have life everlasting.  
Seven of the Apostles, who fished all night and caught nothing, are invited to eat with the Risen Christ on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee.  A lost night becomes a new day!

Friday, April 22, 2022

“My Lord And My God”! “Blessed, Happy Are Those Who Have Not Seen And Yet Believe”!


As an affirmation of my faith, I say in silence as the priest raises the consecrated Precious Body after the words of Transubstantiation:

‘My Lord and my God!  Help me to be one with You in all that I am and do in thought, word and deed, and in faith, hope and love.  Help me, an unworthy servant, to be worthy.’

Friday, April 15, 2022

EASTER! Promise Of Everlasting Life Fulfilled!


Easter, especially the Triduum, is a continuous historical and spiritual reminder to Christian believers of the greatest love story that ever happened in our reality nearly 2000 years ago.  Without it, a massive amount of those would have no connection with God except at creation and at the end of one’s life for judgment.  The years in between would be aimless based on one’s free-will decisions that may or may not lead to a relationship with God.  The Blessed Trinity in their infinite wisdom provides a plan for each of us that circumvent what could have been a tragedy for all: A world without a Christian God who created us out of and for love.     

Friday, April 8, 2022

Jesus Christ Is Lord For Those Who Believe And For Those Who Need To!


It always amazes me in reading the Gospel at the Procession on Palm Sunday and in celebrating Holy Week how in the space of five days the people’s sentiment for Jesus goes from praise and joy to false accusations, a mock trial, physical torture and to death by crucifixion. 
Unfortunately, it does not surprise me.  Man’s cruelty to humans seems to be an expectation accepted by most as to how one treats another based on frustration to selfishness being denied.  I can hear people saying:

Friday, April 1, 2022

Do Not Judge Those Who Sin So God Will Not Condemn Us Who Also Are Sinners

 


Periodically, my wife accuses me of selective listening; especially when it concerns a point she is trying to make about something that I choose not to hear.  My usual excuse for not hearing her, if I am still asked to respond, is that my tinnitus is so loud I couldn’t quite make out what she said.  In my defense, that is often true, but it doesn’t excuse me from not responding in some fashion.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Which Path Will I Choose To Practice My Faith?


One of the most well-known Gospels is written by Saint Luke entitled: “
The Prodigal Son.”  It’s a great story of God’s love for His people as portrayed by a loving father who tries his best to provide his two sons with everything he can offer; whether they live with him in resentment or leave him and return because the pain of being separated is too difficult to bear.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

God Is A God Of Second Chances For Those Willing To Repent


None of us are perfect as we are all sinners.  Given that scenario, how do we stand a chance of being rewarded the promise of eternal life with the unpredictability of obstacles in our life such as diseases, violence and natural disasters in addition to our own culpability?

Friday, March 11, 2022

Transfiguration Means We Need To Believe God’s Truth Of His Love For Us!



If you haven’t figured it out yet, God is very patient with those who practice their faith.  The Chosen Race of Jews of the Hebrew Scriptures who either witnessed or were taught about what God did to release them from slavery took 40 years of wandering in the desert before fully accepting His love for them.  It has been 2000 years plus since Jesus walked the earth and Catholics are still questioning the teachings of Jesus and His plan for our salvation based upon a recent survey indicating only 31 percent of believers accepts that the bread and wine is transubstantiated into His body and blood and not just a symbol.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Lead Us Not Into Temptation But Deliver Us From Evil



Every human since the beginning of time has been tempted, whether in his or her faith or in something not related to a faith.  What is important about this rests on each individual’s response to the temptation.  Did he or she act upon it for self-gratification, or was it squashed for a better action that would improve the life of not only the one tempted but others who may have been affected.

Friday, February 25, 2022

We Need To Know Ourself Before We Criticize Another. Use Our Heart To Speak God’s Love.

An adage I often use when people ask about me is: “What you see, is what you get.”  I say this not to be glib, cocky or without thought.  I want to honestly reflect the true me as much as possible with whatever positive and negative aspects I portray.  I know I am not perfect and have many faults.  With this attitude, I hope that people will see I mean well in all my relationships and I can continue to learn how I need to honor the other person’s self-worth. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Hate The Sin, Not The Sinner, So We Can Love Our Enemies And Pray For Our Persecutors!


Monsignor Owen P. Jinks, deceased pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in La Mirada, California, when preaching on St. Luke’s Gospel from today, would say: “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” 
He did so because he understood we all have people who come into our lives who we either don’t like or who cause us problems.  So, instead of focusing on the person, it would lead us to look at what happened and possibly why we found it difficult to love someone we believed was our enemy or at least caused us to be upset or angry.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Volunteering To Help Those In Need Confirms Our Trust Of Faith In God

My main purpose for writing my weekly blog is to help all those who read it to find the purpose for which God created them and in turn to use the God-given gifts and talents they possess to fulfill that purpose.  Our Gospel and readings for this Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time call us to do just that.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Created By God’s Love For A Specific Purpose, We Are To Find The Reason For Our Creation And Use It To Bring The Gospel Message To All

 


Last week I was invited by the principal of our parish school to be one of two speakers at an assembly on vocations.  A former teacher, Mr. M, and husband of the current eighth grade teacher gave a PowerPoint presentation about vocations focusing on life’s goals, purpose and the call from the perspective of God’s influence in our lives.  My part was an extemporaneous offering dedicated to my call from God on why I was called to become a deacon and accepted.

Friday, January 28, 2022

God’s Call For Us To Love Brings Hardship And Clarity To Our Lives


Last Sunday’s Gospel about the Messiah coming ended with Jesus proclaiming: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  Today’s Gospel continuation has the listeners upset because they don’t have the faith to accept their kinsman and neighbor to be that Savior of the world.

Friday, January 21, 2022

It Takes Great Courage And Strength To Accept Fulfillment Of Our Faith


Biblical writings from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament are filled with countless stories about believers who found it difficult to practice their faith according to the various covenants God offered. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Jesus Revealed As God’s Son By The Magi, At His Baptism And Miracle At Cana Forms A Spiritual Connection In Growing Our Faith


Today marks the last of three Epiphanies in which Jesus was revealed as the Messiah, Son of God and Divine in 2022. 
The solemnity of the Epiphany on January 2nd had the Magi from a foreign land confirm they had found the Shepherd of Israel, King of the Jews.  On January 9, following Jesus’ Baptism by his cousin, St. John the Baptist, God the Father spoke from heaven telling all in earshot that He was His Son.  And now, at the wedding celebration in Cana, Jesus turns water into wine as His first miracle which the first four Apostles witnessed and helped them to believe in His divinity.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Jesus’ Baptism Is A Sign For Us To Be In Faithful Service To God And His Creation Throughout Our Life


In my 16-1/2 years as a deacon at two Catholic churches in the Diocese of Orange, California, I have baptized nearly 1,000 children under the age of seven years old, including one granddaughter and one great granddaughter.  For me, it is the most joyous, communal Sacrament for three reasons: