My day started out in its usual fashion yesterday…me feeling like I was running behind and needing to catch up at work, so I left the house around 5:30 or so and headed into the office without having posted on my blog. I didn’t realize the significance of the date until my watched buzzed me – my brother Jim sent a group text wishing my late father a happy birthday. Until my watch buzzed, I had completely forgotten that it was September 10 – my fathers birth date. A wave of guilt washed over me for a couple of reasons. First – I couldn’t believe I had not remembered that date; second, because I forgot my day was booked and I wasn’t able to make it to the cemetery and say a prayer for him. I was just bit off the rest of the day.
I woke up this morning, with the intention of posting a blog about my Dad and realized its now 6 AM and I have to be at my first meeting at 6:30 AM. So I am going to leave you with Bp. Barron’s reflection this morning and I will follow up this post with another one after work tonight – I’ll take a 5 hour energy to make sure I power through the day and have the energy to do this. More to come…
Bp. Barron’s reflection…
Friends, our Gospel for today is Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, less well-known than Matthew’s but actually punchier, more to the point. It all hinges on detachment, that decisively important spiritual attitude—apatheia in the Greek fathers, indifferencia in Ignatius of Loyola. Spiritual detachment means that I am unattached to worldly values that become a substitute for the ultimate good of God.
How bluntly Luke’s account puts things! Look at Luke’s first beatitude, a model for the rest: “Blessed are you poor; the reign of God is yours.” What if we translated this as, “How lucky you are if you are not addicted to material things.” When we place material things in the center of our concerns, we find ourselves caught in an addictive pattern.
Because material goods don’t satisfy the hunger in my soul, I convince myself that I need more of them to gain contentment. So I strive and work to get more nice things—cars, homes, TVs, clothes—and then I find that those don’t satisfy me. So I strive and strive, and the rhythm continues.
Therefore, how lucky I would be if I were poor, unattached to material goods, finally indifferent to them.
I am back and wanted to expand a little on my thoughts concerning the reading and my parents. Today’s Gospel was Luke’s rendition of the Beatitudes. A line from Bp. Barron’s reflection caught my eye this morning…“How lucky you are if you are not addicted to material things.” When I read this statement my thoughts immediately went to my parents. My parents did everything they could to provide a safe and happy home for me and my 6 other siblings. Growing up my Dad worked 2 jobs, 6 days a week and there was many a week that the only time we saw Dad during the week was for breakfast in the morning before school. My mother stayed home and maintained order in the house for many years before heading back out into the work force to help supplement the family income. My parents didn’t work so they could have a big house, a big tv, vacations on the beach, new cars. My parents dedicated everything they did for us children. We didn’t always wear new clothes, but every Easter we managed to get something nice to wear on Easter Sunday. My parents made a big deal of our birthdays, giving us gifts, our choice of dinner that night (still would choose my Swiss Steak or Pork Chops with Cream of Mushroom soup). We had a full tree of gifts at Christmas and a stocking full of peanuts, fruit and candy, Easter Sunday always had a basket of candy and eggs to find. We were educated in private schools through high school, played soccer. I had piano lessons that my parents paid for until my senior year in high school. We went to Mass every Sunday and every Holy Day, regular confessions. I could go on from here, but my point is that my parents were the best example of the Beatitudes in my life. I think my siblings would support me in this claim. My parents were a great example of hard work, discipline and love of family. I know they were great parents because I look at my wife and children, I look at my siblings spouses and their children and I see how blessed we all are because of the example my parents showed us growing up. We don’t seek the lime light, we don’t seek fame or glory (it just comes naturally to us – 😉 ). What we seek is the same thing our parents sought – to provide for the families that God blessed each of us with.
So, as I conclude this post, I want to say Happy Birthday Dad. A day late yes, but not a dollar short. Thanks to your example and Mom’s, I have a beautiful that I’m blessed to be able to provide for too. I love you Dad; I love you Mom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
Do something great for our Lord today – love your family with all your heart, with all your strength and with all you being, just as God loves each of us.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.