Sorry about yesterday, I was on the road and believe it or not was on the job site by 5 AM – hence no post.
A shout out to Vianney varsity baseball as yesterday they won the Missouri High School State title, defeating Blue Springs 8-2.
Today is going to be a bunch of short clips from yesterday’s and today’s readings for you to spend time thinking about. One quick aside – did you see the other day where the Pope implored people to spend just two minutes thinking about the Gospel reading each day. Someone forward the Holy Father this blog – that way he can check your names off his list :).
The end of all things is at hand.
Therefore be serious and sober-minded
so that you will be able to pray.
How many times have we heard “the end is coming”; “repent and believe in the Gospel”; “death will come as a thief in the night”? Jesus taught us that we do not know the hour, only God knows, but are you prepared for that moment? Have you asked “what must I do to prepare”? Read the next line from Peter…
Above all, let your love for one another be intense,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another
as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God;
whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies,
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Love covers a multitude of sins. (You are about to experience the mind of Jerry Dorhauer. Every time I hear LOVE, my mind wanders back to the Princess Bride, where the Bishop proclaims…”Ahh Wuv, twue wuv…”.) Love one another as Christ has loved you…probably heard that before too. Look at what Peter implores us to do next though – each one of us has a gift and this gift can not, should not, be used for our personal gain only. Because our gift is from the Lord, it must be used in His service. Can you sing – join the Choir or cantor at Mass. Can you read? Become a lector. Can you bend over and pick up trash? ALL gifts – no matter how small, no matter how great, can and should be used for the greater glory of God. Whoever preaches, whoever serves, whoever breathes may it all be for the greater glory of God; in all things we do, Praise God.
Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you,
as if something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
The line that strikes me in this clip is..”But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ…” Who would have thought to use rejoice and sufferings in the same sentence? Driving home from Manhattan yesterday, I was streaming a broadcast on EWTN and the topic was about the attitude towards death in our Society today. How many times in this era have you heard someone say they want to die with dignity? I have never really understood what this meant. Even some of the most devout Christians I know (and I’m thinking of my parents) have stated they don’t want any extreme measures done to keep them alive and right or wrong on my part, I’m thinking – is that for your benefit or God’s. Christ’s greatest gift to us was His willingness to die without dignity – to die in accordance with God’s plan. Christ showed us the human side of that suffering where He implored God to “let this cup pass Me by” but in the same breath offered up “not My will but Yours be done.” I believe that is what Peter is imploring us to do – follow the example given by Christ. Be willing to suffer for the Lord. Be willing, if need be, to die without “dignity”. Do not rejoice in what this world can offer you, for this world is not everlasting. Be diligent and live for what God’s kingdom can offer you – eternal life, joy without ceasing and a front seat when Christ’s glory is revealed.
I enjoyed reading the Psalm from yesterday – it is one that used on Christmas Day to proclaim the meaning of Christ’s birth…when I read this, I can hear the Choir singing, the organ playing and a trumpet in the background…all that in the quiet of my bedroom.
R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
I can tell you that I do not want to be the fig tree Jesus went up to in yesterday’s Gospel…
The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it…
Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
In the Gospel, the line early in the morning doesn’t immediately follow “And his disciples heard it.” So as I was reading this, my thought was what the heck happens to the fig tree after a comment like that? St. Mark, the author of that Gospel, kind of left me hanging (no pun intended).
So, the question is – is my fruit, are my figs, in season? Are they ready for Christ to pick and satisfy His hunger? Or will Christ leave me hungry and state “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”. Will He leave me to wither and die? Going back to our first reading – how dignified is that death but to wither and serve no purpose? In all we do, we must do for Christ, we must have our trees pruned and producing good fruit so that when He comes, He is able to find figs a plenty on our tree.
Just a couple of more thoughts. I love how today’s first reading from Jude carry’s on the theme of being ready for Christ and doing everything for Christ…
Beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand
by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God
and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life.
On those who waver, have mercy;
save others by snatching them out of the fire;
on others have mercy with fear,
abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.
OK, last thought and it comes from today’s Gospel. Do not the Scribes and Pharisee’s remind you of our modern day politicians? How many times do you just want to scream when watching a debate or a news conference – JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION! That is the exact thought I had today in reading today’s Gospel…
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
I can just hear them discussing what they think the results of the “polls” would be if they responded with either “heavenly origin” or “human origin”. It seems that the results looked bad either way, so why take a stance, just reply “We do not know”. Well, thinking about that a little more, at least they were humble enough to say “We do not know.” A politician today would simply change the subject and spend 15 minutes talking about something that has nothing to do with the question asked.
Well, I apologize. Today was supposed to short quips and thoughts. I’ve rambled on enough for one morning. Today does mark a milestone though. This is my 100th post on this blog. Yea me.
Do something great for our Lord today.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid.
Jesus, I trust in You.