Thursday, January 19, 2017

One Big Crowd

"Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them."  Hebrews 7:25

"Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him."  Mark 3:8-10

Original - Jean D. Dortch
Today we find people coming from far away places to touch Jesus and to listen to Him speak about God. Everything about both readings this morning remind me of my visit to see Pope John Paul II while backpacking through Europe after college. Fr. Thoni had told us to get to the Vatican early and stand our ground at the barricades. When we arrived, there was no one. Nothing. Crickets. As time passed people began to trickle toward us as if we knew what we were doing. An hour before the Pope-mobile was to arrive, the square was packed with people pushing to get to the front. By the time the Pope was driven around to our side, people were passing their children up to us to get Pope John Paul II to touch them. The entire moment was surreal. When he reached down and took my hand, I understood from that touch what all the hoopla was about and I knew I had been touched by one whom God had sent. The crowd had come from far away places and in order for the Pope not to be crushed, there were barricades and a glassed-in vehicle. Everyone in the crowd that day wanted to touch him, not because he could cure, but because we knew that before us was a man who truly would intercede for us to God. We knew that the man before us was sincere when he said he would pray for our healing, for our needs, for our children and our parents, for us. The entire pressing crowd knew that his words were guided by the Spirit and through his touch we knew that he was sent to make a difference.
Jesus was sent to save us. He was sent to intercede for us to God. He was sent to heal us and to deeply touch our lives. Despite the crowds, the difficulties, the pressing of others in this world not to believe, we are called to go to Him and allow Him to save us. Be a part of the incredible crowd of believers and arrive early. He will intercede and your life will be changed forever.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Healing Touch

"Do not touch anything in this store." "Hands in your pockets. I mean it." "No. No. Don't touch." Seems we are constantly on our children about keeping their hands to themselves, especially in certain stores where if they break something, it becomes ours. Touching can lead to ownership. Simple.

Today as Fr. Mark read the Gospel about Jesus healing the leper and referred to yesterday's reading of the healing of Simon's mother-in-law, he commented on the importance of Jesus' touch. He could have just said the words and they would have been healed but instead He touched them. My mind immediately went to the idea of telling my children a million times not to touch things that did not belong to them. But these people, people everywhere, kept coming to Jesus because they wanted to belong to Him. Jesus owned up to the power to heal the sick and the lost and they bought into all He had to offer. Who wouldn't?

Many times I have thought before giving money to a street person, "If I give it to him, he will expect it every time I see him." If I touch him now, he's mine. I've bought into his misery and his need. Well, so what! So what if I have to give him a little something every time I see him. Maybe it's time for me to get my hands out of my pockets and touch someone. I certainly cannot heal with these hands but God can work through them some other way. We're all so worried about breaking something. Well, it's already broken so let's work together to fix it. Let's touch someone today and maybe tomorrow and who knows, maybe all week. Let's not worry about what others think and start making a difference. Let's buy into these Gospel messages and own up to our beliefs. It's not easy. People we touch may rely on us again and again. And then again, that may be just the ticket we need.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Year of W's

With my oldest daughter's wedding quickly approaching, I have decided to make the year 2017 a year of W'S.
Wake - each day happy, healthy and ready
Word - read and pray the word of God daily
Write - blog, journal, manuscript
Walk - a little every day
Water - 8 glasses a day
Work - physical, mental, spiritual
Website - new, improved, personal and bookstore
Wife - be a better partner
Win - be an example of positive thinking
Wise - read, study, learn something new every day
Wait - work on patience
Wonder - allow myself to be a child at heart
Wander - roam, travel, journey
Want - stay hungry for something better
Waste - nothing
Watch - be aware of others, be open
Whole - be complete, all God's intention, full potential
Wedding - March 4th, incredibly special, cannot wait to share their day, gaining a son

I know I will extend this list as the months pass but for now, I am focused on these W's. What about you? Any W's for your year or any other resolutions? Thank the good Lord that every day is a new day and a fresh start. Happy 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Make Resolutions, Set Goals for 2017

Why do we make New Year Resolutions? What good are they when 9 years out of 10 we end up with a fail?  Do we set impossible goals? Are we unrealistic?

All of these are good questions and are the very reasons why many have canned the idea of making New Year Resolutions but I would like to get back to the idea of pushing ourselves to be better, to do more, to set goals that make us stretch ourselves. I would like for us to challenge ourselves each day to do something outside our comfort zone. If we fail today, we have 364 more days to pursue our goals. Each day is a new start and each day is a possibility to succeed.

Make those resolutions. Set Goals. Do your best every day and if you come up short, instead of tossing the year, start again tomorrow. Review your day and see where things went wrong. That in itself is a good habit. If you feel you've set goals that are impossible, reset those goals and when you reach them, push yourself harder. There are no rules but if we do not set some kind of resolutions, we'll remain stagnant, we'll never expand our potential, we'll never grow.

Whether we want a better mind or body or soul, whether we want to read more, workout more or pray more, if we do not set goals, we have nothing to achieve. So go ahead. Make your lists. Do your best each day. Try. And if you fall short, remember, tomorrow is another day. Another chance. A gift from God. Go for it. Happy New Year from our family to yours!