So, how many have taken down the Christmas lights and moved on to “ordinary” time? Not this guy, not yet. This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany AND then the following Sunday is the Baptism of our Lord AND then the Church goes back to “ordinary” time. So it’s still Christmas in our house and yes, we will have our two trees up, we still have our outside lights burning and we still have Christmas music playing – both at home and at Church. I started back to work, but I’m still up later than usual celebrating the holidays.
Wednesday night was our last night with my daughter Cecilia and her husband Garrett. We were able to enjoy there being with us from Dec. 22 until yesterday morning. Sad to see them go but man I need some sleep…
Last night, we enjoyed an evening out with Fr. Siefert at Kreis’ steakhouse. I had never had dinner there before but knew what I was going to get before I stepped in the doors. The waiter asked if we had any questions and I told him the same thing and he just simply asked “How do you like your prime rib?”. We sat down at the table with Fr. around 6ish and didn’t leave the restaurant until close to 9 PM. Needless to say, we had a great night out with a great priest. Even with the key lime pie for dessert AND forgetting to take my diabetes meds, my blood sugar checked in at 123 this morning. So it is possible to have a nice meal and not over due it.
I’m excited about today because I get to see my daughter play basketball again for the first time in about a month. Because of all the commitments Sarah and I had for Advent/Christmas and my finals at school, I haven’t been able to see her games. That will change tonight as I will be there to do what I love most…watching a child of mine play a sport.
Enough about me, what message is God sending us today? In the first reading from John’s letter, we are basically being told that a spade is a spade, those who do good are from God and those who choose sin are from the devil…
Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
No one who is begotten by God commits sin,
because God’s seed remains in him;
he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother.
I don’t think the message here is that we all belong to the devil because we were all born with original sin. We are all sinners. BUT, we are all given the opportunity for redemption by choosing to confess those sins and realize that without God, we are destined for Hell. To play on the Lutheran prayer before meals…God is good, God is great, let us thank Him for our salvation…Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
This responsorial psalm is so true. Take some time to think about your past experiences. Where there times you didn’t rely on God’s saving power? What were those times like? No, where there times you gave yourself and your control for God to guide you? What was that like?
I can honestly tell you that I made a decision long ago to let God have control of my life. What I’m going to say here is not meant to be braggadocios but to tell you the joy and the blessings that have filled my life is lived for His great glory not mine. He has blessed me with a beautiful, loving wife, eight beautiful children, four beautiful “in-laws” and 4 grandchildren. I love my vocation in life – marriage, and I also love the method by which I fund that vocation – working as a project manager for Bell Electrical and by being a music director (with the help of my wife). The list goes on from here, but it is only through God that I’ve been able to accomplish any of that. How do I know that? Because my faithful duty to daily prayer, my faithful duty to my Catholic faith, my faithful duty to reading the Word of the Lord allows my mind and my thoughts to be focused on God’s loving embrace with me. Let me stress this again, I would be nothing without God. I would be a man wallowing in sin and destined for a life of destitution. Don’t get me wrong, my life is not without trials and tribulations, I am not a perfect man but a sinner. I have argued many time with my wife, with my children and yes, with my God. But I’ve always been able to find my way back to being a man of God, a man of Prayer and I hope a “window” through which all who look at me can see through me to the strength, the power, the lighted path that is what makes me who I am…God.
Do something great for our Lord today – commit your life to that of righteousness and avoid being one who belongs to the devil.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
PS…you can still participate in the 30 days of prayer to battle Cancer. Send a text (as seen in the picture above) or go to this web address: