Friday March 23, 2018

When ’65 became 53…what the heck does that mean?  On this date in 1965, the most beautiful soul in the world was born – my wife Sarah.  I was less than 6 months old at the time and had no clue that my life was changed forever on that day.  Thank you God, thank you Bernice (and Ignatius) and thank you Sarah.  Happy Birthday.

A couple of corrections from yesterday’s post.  First, it wasn’t Wednesday the 22nd – it was Thursday.  Second, David Starzyk ended radiation treatments yesterday not chemotherapy.  Again, please keep David and his family in your prayers as he begins his chemotherapy soon.

The whole inspiration in starting this post is that a number of my friends are struggling with their faith.  I was hoping to find a way to reach them – daily – to offer insights on what it is that I find inspirational with the hopes of not just getting them back into Mass on Sunday, but to make them active with their faith and pray life.  As I read through all of my “sites” (that I follow) this morning, they all ring of the same message I am trying to pass on through this blog.

Today’s passage from the Little Black Book tells us that Jesus, while on the Cross, cries out in a loud voice “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”.  The writer of this devotional went on to point out that the literal meaning of the Greek word “cries” is actual “screams”…Jesus SCREAMS out to God “why have you forsaken me”.  It is the author’s next comment that ties all of this into the point of this blog.  He states that Jesus learned well from the Psalms not to hide his feelings when he prays.  We can all take a cue from that.  There are times when the best way to pray is to tell God how we honestly feel, pour out our hearts.  God can take it.  If you know someone who is angry with God and feels that God has forsaken them, please forward this site onto them.  For all those reading who are “angry” with God at the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, whatever the situation is, please be honest with God and pour out your feelings to Him.  He can take it.

Along that line, read  our Psalm  for the day.

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

And He fell, and He fell and…and He fell.  Today’s Station of the Cross – our ninth – Christ falls for the third time.  I ask that when you read this to pay particular attention to the prayer:

Jesus, give us eyes of faith. Allow us to see light where there appears only darkness, and life where we can only sense death. When our energy flags, inspire in us the confidence to get up, and continue our journey toward home.  

Give us eyes of faith…to see light where only darkness appears.  Isn’t that the struggle we all face.  Trying to find that light at the end of the tunnel (and praying it isn’t an oncoming train).  Christ was beaten, scourged, spat upon, fell under the weight of the cross three times and still managed to get up and head on toward His certain death.  Why?  Why would anyone do this?  Because He knew the reward waiting for Him on the other side.  He knew whatever pain, whatever anguish, whatever darkness He was looking at here and now, was nothing compared to the joy and happiness that His Father would give Him – for eternity.  We are not Jesus BUT we are HEIRS TO THE KINGDOM.  Look at the passage Jesus gives us from today’s Gospel…

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘? 
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” 

Why should I believe?  Jesus then makes this comment to the Jews…

“If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

If you have fallen, get up – if you fall again, get up.  Believe.  Believe in the good works of the Lord.  Cry – no SCREAM – out to God your prayers.  Find that light in the darkness.

Again, this weekend is Palm Sunday and then Holy Week.  Make that commitment to clear your calendar next week and participate in all that the Church is offering to you.  God’s will, not mine, be done.  Be not afraid.  Jesus, I trust in you.

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