Behold, our Lord shall come with power; he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.

My dad had many one-liners he would say repeatedly when we were growing up.  He was so broke, he couldn’t afford the down payment on a free meal.  He would yell at a pitcher while watching a ball game on TV – “That clown couldn’t hit the ocean standing on the beach!” or “That guy couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn 10 foot in front of him!”.  My Grandma Hilbert had a favorite – she was going to slap us to sleep and then slap us for sleeping.  But I think the one my Dad used quite often that most appropriate for today is that he was blind in one eye and couldn’t see out of the other.

I believe we are all blind at some point in our life; some of us may never truly see what is important.  Two men in our Gospel this morning were blind.  But not blind enough that they didn’t recognize Who it was that could truly heal them…

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out,
“Son of David, have pity on us!”
When he entered the house,
the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
“Do you believe that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
Then he touched their eyes and said,
“Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
And their eyes were opened.
Jesus warned them sternly,
“See that no one knows about this.”
But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

So what is it that you are blind too?  What is it that you truly need to ask the Lord when crying out “Son of David, have pity on me; Son of God, here my plea”?  And are you prepared to reply when asked do you truly believe that He can do this?  Yes, Lord.  Yes, Lord.  Yes, Lord.

Do something great for our Lord today…ask Him for that healing you need.  Ask him to cure you’re blindness; your cancer; your vices; whatever it is that keeps you from fully loving yourself, your neighbor and your Savior.  Be ready to say YES LORD and then let Jesus say…“Let it be done for you according to your faith.”

Happy feast of St. Nicholas.  Did you remember to put your shoe out?  My family didn’t so St. Nick had to improvise – Mary, only one of those is for you – Ruth gets the second.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.  Jesus, I have faith in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

 

 

Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock.

Today will be rather simple but if you play your cards right, rather profound.  Every year at advent Fr. Siefert gives the people of St. Mary Magdalen an early Christmas present.  It’s called the Little Blue Book and offers simple reflections everyday for the season of Advent through Christmas.  At the end of each reflection is the phrase…spend some quiet time with the Lord.  

Do something great for our Lord today – spent some quiet time with Him.  10 minutes, 15 minutes – whatever time you can carve into your schedule.  Just sit there and let him guide your thoughts.  It will not be time wasted. Trust me.  Strike that – TRUST HIM.  And one last thing – tomorrow is the feast of St. Nicholas – don’t forget to put your shoe out!

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

 

Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

Today is December 4th, 2019.  Just think about that.  Where did the year go?  The first two decades of a new millennia?  Time flies.  Or does it?  As a child, I remember thinking quite vividly will this day, this hour, this stupid history class, ever end?  Time dragged as a child.  Or did it?  Time is what we make of it.  A second can’t last longer than a second and a day can’t last longer than 24 hours.  It’s how we spend that time that either makes it seem fast or slow.  Do we live in anticipation of things to come?  Do we live like everything has a deadline and we are frantic to stay ahead of it?  That is part of what my Advent goal is this year.  I want to live in the moment and try to make the best of each moment that I have.  Good or bad, I want to savor each and every experience in my life and offer thanks to God for allowing me to live that experience.

Advent should teach us three things.  Christ lived in the Past; Christ is present among us  now and Christ is the Hope of our future when He returns and brings the faithful to His kingdom.  Time is the same thing.  Time is past, it is present and it is future.  I have memories to enjoy the good and learn from the bad in my past.  I have hope for my future.  I am living in the present and need to make the most of that time right now.  I must learn to marry Christ with my time, making Him my Past, my Present and my Future.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

Do something great for our Lord today…remember a great moment from your past, set a goal for the future, but more importantly Praise our God for the moment you are living in right now.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.

Do you think a message was trying to be sent to us through the responsorial psalms since the 24th of November?  Don’t remember them all?  Here is a quick synopsis:

11-24: Let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord.

11-25: Glory and Praise Forever!

11-26: Give Glory and Eternal Praise to Him!

11-27: Give Glory and Eternal Praise to Him!

11-28: Give Glory and Eternal Praise to Him!  OR  I will praise Your name forever Lord!

11-29: Give Glory and Eternal Praise to Him!

11-30: The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them just OR Your words, Lord, are Spirit and Life.

12-1: Let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord.

12-2: Let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord.

Because of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.

I can’t say for certain Holy Mother Church was trying to get a point across, but my gosh, they’ve driven home the theme for the past several days.  Praise God constantly and you too shall go rejoicing to the House of the Lord.  Isn’t that what life is about?  Live your life, live every moment in praise of the God who formed you, who made you in His image and likeness.  Live that life of praise and rejoice in the House of the Lord for eternity.  Rejoice, again I say Rejoice.

So, as we start this Advent season, what is it you would like to work on these next four weeks to prepare for the coming of Christ?  Today’s Gospel teaches us about true faith.  It teaches us that through faith we don’t have to have God “physically” present in order for us to be saved.  Are any of us worthy of God’s healing powers?  The answer to that can be summed up in one word – Yes!  We are all worthy – but do we all possess the faith of the Centurion?  Think about that.  In Bishop Barren’s reflection this morning, he makes the following point and poses the following question…

That centurion had a passion for the impossible. And that’s why Jesus says to him, in some of the highest praise you’ll find in the Gospel: “In no one in Israel have I found such faith.”

Reflect: What would you like Jesus to “only say the word” for and it will be done? Have you asked him with the faith of the centurion?

Think about that question – what is it you need to have Jesus “only say the word” for in your life?

Do something great for our Lord today – praise Him in all that you do; then with the faith of the centurion, ask Him to “only say the word”…

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Great news to start the day!  The words, the works of Christ, a Man of Peace, a Man of Love – will never pass away.  As this week comes to a conclusion and we finish up the Solemnity of Jesus Christ our Lord, King of the Universe, I simply want to continue with what I started the week with…joining in with the angels and saints and offering words to praise our King.  It’s been a great week of visiting family, friends – sharing memories of old and experiencing times that will be the topic of future conversations.  I love this week that starts with the Solemnity of Christ the King, celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends in thanks for all the blessings the Lord gives us each and every day of our lives and now, at the conclusion of this week and starting next week, we prepare for another great occasion – celebrating the birth of our Savior.

So we before we begin our 4 week “retreat” in preparation for the coming of our Lord, let’s offer more praise to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit…

R.(59b) Give glory and eternal praise to Him.
“Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him.
“Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him.
“Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him.
“All you winds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him.
“Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him.
“Cold and chill, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him.

R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!
“Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!
“Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!”
“You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!
“Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!
“You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!
“All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!
“All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to Him!

Do something great for the Lord today – rake those leaves and thank Him for the wonderful world we all live in.  Wash, dry and fold the laundry and offer thanks for roof above your head.  Clean the bathroom and thank God you don’t have to use an outhouse and a corncob anymore.  Praise God for all the little things you’re able to do today.  And when the sun sets and you get ready to go to bed – thank God for the day you had.  Have a great and blessed day – thanks be to God.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

And now, bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth; Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will!

Are you a glass is half empty or half full person?  As you give thanks today with family and friends, give this question some thought before you sit down to eat with everyone.  And as you give this question thought and whatever answer you come up with, give this comment some thought too.  Christ is neither a half empty or half full kinda of guy.  Christ is all in and so can we.  We Catholics have a great tradition in our faith.  We refer to it as the source and summit of everything we do.  We call this our Eucharist.  Ever wonder what the meaning of Eucharist is?  I did, and did a quick search and found this article written by Scott Richert; here is a little snip-it of it…

The Eucharist is another name for Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. The term comes from the Greek by way of Latin. It means “thanksgiving.” It often refers to the consecration of the body and blood of Christ or its representation through bread and wine.

It means Thanksgiving – a rather appropriate meaning for today.  Back to my point.  In our Eucharist, we as Catholics hear the word of God professed in what we refer to as the Liturgy of the Word and then we participate in partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ in our Liturgy of the Eucharist.  It is in the second part that I’ve come to believe that Christ is neither a half empty or half full glass Man.  His glass is always full; His cup is always overflowing.  It is a gift He gave us at the Last Supper and since that gift was bestowed on us, we have been drinking from this Cup that never empties.  I will always be thankful for this gift from Christ and I too, will always try to be a FULL glass kinda of man.  I will always give thanks to God for the life he has blessed me with.  Taking from the first chapter of Job…

He said, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,and naked shall I go back there.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!”

Whatever life brings me, whatever challenges I face, whatever joys I share, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord, both now and forever.  Jesus cleansed 10 lepers in our Gospel reading this morning, only 1 of which came back to Him to praise and thank Him.  I do not want to be like the 9 who were healed but did not give thanks to  God for the healing.  I want to be like the Gentile, who knew it was a great gift to be cleansed and gave the proper thanks to the Creator of that gift ; to the Creator of all gifts; to the Creator of ALL.  Professing that faith, professing that God is the giver of all good gifts, today’s responsorial psalm truly comes to life…

R. (see 1)  I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

And in as much as I give thanks for my blessings, I also give thanks to the people God has enriched my life with…my beautiful wife Sarah, Grace, Chris, Aiden, Logan, Audrey, Jerome Jr., Megan, Jerome III, baby Dorhauer coming to us in February,  Cecilia, Garrett, Richard, Megan, Mary, Ruth, Paul, Tony, Halie, Teresa (who is now dating Presley), my mother Judy, my mother-in-law Bernice, Janice’, Brett (and family), John, Mimi (and family), Jeff, Diana (and family), Jim, Bitzy (and family), Joe, Laura (and family), Jay, Cheri (and family), Jackie, Jim (and cousins), Jerry (and Shawn), Uncle Bob, Anne, Peter (and family), Joel (and family), Paul (and family), Tom, Kelly (and family), Kristen, Marc (and family)…I’m getting typer’s cramp!!!  All of my friends, coworkers, electricians…I wish for all of you a blessed day.  I pray that all of you see your glass is as full as mine and take the time to give thanks to our generous God who made it that way.  Last bit of thought that I offer you all today comes from our second reading this morning…

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

And one last bit of prayer for the Soul’s who have passed from our lives…my father Jack and his parents and sister; my father-in-law Ignatius; my sister-in-law Karin; John Snyder, Jim Schmidt, Tiffany Lentz.  May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful, rest in peace.

Do something great for our Lord today – and everyday.  Give thanks to Him; praise Him.  Drink from His cup that never empties and always, always satisfies.  Praise His name forever, your King and your God.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

 

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. This whole week (especially if you don’t live in the States), our readings come from Daniel.  In years past I never would have given it much thought, but now that I have come to try and understand why we have the readings we do at any given time throughout the Liturgical Year, reading all week from Daniel only makes sense after having celebrated the Solemnity of Jesus Christ our Lord, King of the Universe on Sunday.  The reading today talks about a vision of how the kingdom’s of this world will be broken and blown off like chaff in the wind; it is the Kingdom established by God and God alone that will prevail and Jesus is the King of that Kingdom.  Hit the link here and read the introduction to the book of Daniel.

Not only are our first readings taken from Daniel all week – so are our responsorial psalms.  In reading them, they are much more beautiful that anything I can post, so I am going to use them for you to reflect on for each day of this week.  Not only do they teach us to give proper praise to our Lord and King Jesus Christ, but I find them fitting to use in preparation for our Thanksgiving feast coming on Thursday.  Here is yesterday and today’s psalm for you to reflect on…

November 25th:

R.(52b) Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your Kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!

November 26th:

R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“You heavens, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Do something great for our Lord today – and everyday – Give glory and eternal praise to Him.  It is through Him we are created; it is through Him we live; it is through Him we die; it is through Him we receive eternal life.  It bears repeating…Give glory and eternal praise to Him.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you, man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.