Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal, Quebec

Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal, Quebec

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Soften Your Heart

If your heart is still hardened to someone who has offended you and you are harboring animosity and a grudge, then how can you present a softened and humble heart to the Lord asking Him to forgive you for the offenses you've committed. Before confessing your sins and asking forgiveness, first forgive those who have offended you. Then your heart will be softened and you can humbly petition the Lord.  He will not turn you down (read psalm 51).

Something to reflect on.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wonder Why

Have you ever wondered why people do good things for others, even for those they do not know?  Why do people give money to needy causes? Why do they express care and concern for others who are suffering and needing assistance?  Why the outpourings of concern for the children of total strangers dying from cancer? Why do people send money and clothing and medicines to people half-way around the world when they hear of earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis that just devastated entire communities?

Why do we humans even care about anything other than ourselves? 

Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' can not explain it.  Darwin's 'origin of species' can not explain it; after all what other animals show charity and concern to strangers within their own species? Neither can 'chance' as the primary force behind the 'big bang' explain it. So what can explain this phenomenon?

Only the goodness of God that He imbued in humanity can explain it.  Even when evil, hatred, prejudice, selfishness, greed are all around, still we see examples of how people turn to help others others in need.  It's the kingdom of God that is within us that shows forth.

Something to think about.




Monday, November 11, 2013

The Good Shepherd

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is calling to his lost sheep. He wants all to come back into His flock. He wants to pick up each lost sheep, one by one, and carry each one on his shoulder.  It's not because the lost sheep deserve His concern and embrace, it's because Jesus loves each of them and wants to hold them close so He can give them His mercy and forgiveness. 

Something to reflect on.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saved by Grace

We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, who expects us to live our lives righteously by loving God with all our hearts, minds and bodies, and by loving those close to us and others.  Righteous living necessitates that we turn away from selfishness, pride in ourselves, giving in to our passions in order to satisfy our physical desires, and judging others as unworthy of love and respect because we view them as less righteous than we are.  And at its core, righteous living requires us to be humble before God and acknowledge that we are still sinners and need His mercy no matter how many good works and acts of contrition we do.  It is God who has saved us, not we ourselves. 

Something to reflect on. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Righteous Life

Imagine for a second that trying to live a righteous life were a sports game and you were a player on the team and God was the head coach.  Let's call the game "Righteous Life". What do you think he'd be saying to you as one of his players on the team before a game?  This is what I think he'd be telling me, anyway.  "Listen up, I want you to go out there and give it everything you have. You'll make mistakes and trip yourself up for sure. But, don't give up. Keep working at it. I want you to play your heart out."

That's what he is asking of us in our lives.  He wants us to live righteously by faith, with hope and in love of Him and those near us. He wants us to play our hearts out during the game. And remember it's not because we're so good and so righteous that we are on the team.  It's because of God's mercy and grace, that He called us to be players. 

Something to reflect on.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What's It All About

Quoting the line, 'what's it all about?', made famous in the movie Alfie produced almost 50 years ago is a question for our age. In today's society we are bombarded daily by media and industry with slogans and products to make us stronger, fitter, more beautiful, younger, sexier, smarter, healthier.  We take an inventory of ourselves and see that we are inadequate; we become envious of others who have the traits advertised and promoted and we buy the products. It's no wonder then that we have become excessively enamored with ourselves and self-indulgent as a people and society.  Our culture's answer to the question 'what's it all about' is "ME".  We live in a ME-driven culture. When it's all about ME, then little room is left for others, especially the others who are close to us.  Just count the tallies of abortions, divorces, cohabitations, broken homes, unwed births and single-parent families. All are on the rise. All are about ME.

In the face of this ME onslaught, the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes in direct contradiction.  Jesus said that there are two great commandments: to love God with all one's heart, mind, and soul; to love others as one loves oneself.  As you see the ME is in third place in Jesus order of priorities.  In today's jargon, if the question 'what's it all about' were posed to Jesus, He would answer this way: 'It's about putting God first, others second and you third. Full stop.'

Something to reflect on.

Monday, September 2, 2013

ON THE EDGE

As we wait for world leaders to debate the recent events in the Middle East (i.e. Syrian civil war) we who profess faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus should be getting down on our knees and asking for God's grace and forgiveness.  We have arrived at this point because we chose our own ways and pursued our own selfish interests while dismissing God and ignoring His directions. Regardless of one's political party affiliation, or one's nationality, now is the time to pray.  Because if we rely only on our human capacity to assess, judge, decide and act, then I am afraid the outcomes will be destructive beyond our comprehending capacities. 

In my living memory only the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973 posed as great an existential threat to this world as the current crisis in the Middle East.  I'd like to think that the prayers of 'the faithful' then helped avert catastrophe. I hope that the same can be said about this crisis.

Oh Father God, forgive our sins and our hateful pride. We repent and want to do better, but we need your help to change our ways. Guide our leaders to make the decisions that follow your plan and will for your creation. Amen