Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sacrifice is the currency of love

   How much are you willing to sacrifice for others?  It is directly linked to how much you love them.  We know that “God is love.” – [1 John 4:8]   Jesus is God in the flesh.  His sacrifice for us was His suffering and death.  Of course, this sacrifice is the purest manifestation of love.  Being perfect Himself, He did not need to sacrifice for us, but His unending love for us compelled Him to.  This is why His suffering and death is called His Passion.
   We are called to love God and to love one another, so we are called to sacrifice.  Sacrifice our time, talents, and treasure.  These have been given to us, but God wants to see what we will do with them.  Do we love what we have been given or do we love the giver?  Giving them back or paying them forward is what God is hoping from us.
   Who do we love the most?  Do we sacrifice for them or expect them to sacrifice for us?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

God is All-In on You!

    God, the eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all seeing being that holds everything into existence, is all-in on each one of us.  Though we fail, He does not pull back our existence.  He does not take away His love for us.  No!  “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” – [Romans 5:8]
    If there ever was a time for Him to pull away from us, it would be after we sin.  But that is not what God did.  God decided that we did not know how much He loves us and wanted to show us.  So, God became one of His creation.  “though [Jesus] was in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” – [Phillipians 2:6-7]
    Becoming human for God can be compared to humans becoming an ant.  But He not only lowered Himself to our level, but He then went on to die for us lowly ants.  But to go further, He wanted to be with us always.  Not only that, but also He wanted to be united to us body and soul.  To do this, He gave us the Eucharist, His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
    There is no bounds to what one will do for love.  Jesus is proof of that.  God is all-in on us.  Are we all-in on God?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our power does not come from who we know, but how we know Him.

   If you know about Jesus, but do not know Him personally, Jesus may say to you, “I never knew you.” – [Matthew 7:23]   I may know about calculus, but unless I am personally acquainted with it (most notably through classes), it does me no good.
    Jesus wants to be our best friend.  Someone that we can count on.  Someone who will always be there even when we do not perceive Him to be there.  It is hardest to know who is there when you are crying and unable to see.  Surely, our hearts work in the same way.  It is hard to perceive Jesus’ presence in our hearts precisely when they are breaking.
    Jesus is God and to be able to call God our best Friend, our Brother, our Redeemer, and our God is almost too much to comprehend.  The One who put the planets into motion and created the stars and sun loves us so much that He wants to be our best Friend.  Talk about having a Friend in High Places!  The saints know this well, but do we?
    Jesus can have an infinite amount of best friends, since He is limitless.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Are you prepared?

    Whenever we embark on an important undertaking, we should prepare ourselves.  The more involved the undertaking, the more prepared we should be.  If you go on vacation for one week, you would prepare more than a one day vacation.  And so it is for us as we prepare for Lent.
    Lent is a 40 day journey.  Jesus journeyed through the desert for 40 days before He began His public ministry.  He was preparing.  So, what are we preparing for in Lent?  We are preparing ourselves for Heaven.  Any other purpose is rather trivial.  Now, we are not going to die at the end of Lent, but we are being called to perfect ourselves on our larger journey towards Heaven.
    Lent is a beautiful time to renew ourselves.  We have put off many important things and now we are being called back.  Life is our larger journey and Lent is our yearly wakeup call that our journey is towards Heaven.  When we realize our destination, it is easier for us to see what is helping us and hindering us on reaching our destination.
    Take time to prepare for Lent.  It will make Lent more meaningful.  It will make life more meaningful.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Will you be my Valentine? – God

    God wants nothing more than to love you and to be loved by you.  If you are like me, that did not sink in.  Read slowly, God wants nothing more than to love you and to be loved by you.  The infinite, all-powerful God that created the universe and everything in it wants to be in a relationship of love with you.  You are kindof a big deal.
    “The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”  This is a quote from the movie, Moulin Rouge.  It rings with stunny truth.  God is love and God is also a family, so God is a family of love!
    And how is the truest of loves lived out?  By giving of oneself completely and receiving the other completely, who is giving themself completely.  Jesus gives Himself completely to us at Mass in the Eucharist.  Indeed, He gave Himself completely to us in His Passion.  Will you give yourself completely in return?

    I loved you before time came to be.  Please be my Valentine. – God

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What is your greatest obstacle?

    As Christians, we are to constantly be striving for perfection.  Though, we are all sinners; God’s grace is available to us, if we will only cooperate.  As sinners, our cooperation, though, takes a lot of work.  We fall into sinful habits.  Some habits are plain sinful while others just get in our way in our journey with God.
    We can all easily discern our greatest obstacle.  Just take a moment with your eyes closed and ask God what it is.  Now, the evil one will tell you how this obstacle is really not that bad, but remember that you just asked God and He told you.  He loves you and wants the best you.
    Now that we are this far, we either know what to do about our obstacle or we need to pray for guidance, but knowing the obstacle as an obstacle is sometimes that largest part of the battle.  The evil one tries to twist good things until they are no longer good.   Food is good, but too much is a bad thing.
    Of course, we are coming up on Lent.  Studies tell us that it takes about 7 weeks to learn a new habit and Lent is about 7 weeks.  Amazing how God knew beforehand.  Then again, He did create our very being.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Our Vocation is Our Way to Love God

    Our vocation is unique to us.  While God calls may call us to the same vocation, we are all unique and live out our vocations in ways as unique as we have been created.  Our vocation comes from God and it is before God that we commit to them.  So, living out of vocation is our unique way to love God.
    Many time, we think of love as a commodity.  If you give some to your spouse, you have less to give to your children, or even God.  How very far from the truth this is?  Love is not a commodity.  The more that you give, the more you receive.  If God is Love [1 John 4:8] and God is infinite, than love must be infinite as well.  The only one putting confines around love are ourselves.
    God is in our vocation, since it is His calling and we commit to this calling before God.  So, by loving those within our vocation, we are bringing love to God.  If we detest our vocation or those within it, we are detesting God.  God is love and knows all, so how can we tell God that our vocation was wrong?  Doing so separates us from God.
    Most of us are married and during a Catholic wedding, the couple seals their bond in the name of the Trinity.  “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – [Matthew 18:20]  So, we have Jesus in our midst when we are gathered with our spouse.  Amazing!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Today is the Feast Day of St. Agatha

    Little is known about St Agatha.  She was martyred in 251 during the persecution of Emperor Decius.  She is a virgin-martyr.  Legend tells us that she was arrested, tortured, and sent to a house of prostitution.  Her virginity was preserved and ultimately martyred.
    The martyrs of the early Church should be of great comfort to us.  They knew that being a Christian meant that their life was on the line, yet they loved Jesus and knew that only He could bring them to eternal life.  This life is so short, so why not invest is something that will never be lost?
    The early martyrs knew this.  I have heard it said that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of faith.  Indeed, the confidence in which the early martyrs faced death seemed to inspire others.  Many were converted because of these early martyrs.  They were willing to give their life for Jesus.
    Surely, we live in a country and time that martyrdom is forgotten.  We store up investments in things other than Jesus.  Yes, taking care of the ones that God has given us responsibility for is good, but what do we do for ourselves?  Retirement plans are nice, but the ultimate retirement plan awaits.  Are we investing?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How Important Are You to God?

    We are tempted to think of ourselves as unimportant to God.  Our thoughts are directed to thinking that God has so many to love, surely I am not that important.  “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – [Matthew 10:29-31]  Our importance is shown not only in our primacy over the sparrows, but also in that all of the hairs on our head are counted!
    St. Augustine, a doctor of the Church from the 4th century, once wrote, “If you were the only person on earth, Christ would have still suffered and died for you.”  Indeed, this shows our importance to God.  Jesus suffered and died for each of us.  He did it once and for all, but He would have done it just once for you.
    This seems to echo what Jesus has done for us.  He has given Himself completely to us.  Not only 2000 years ago, but at every Mass.  He holds nothing back.  Dying on the cross, He gave us His mother.  After His death, He poured forth the last drops of His blood for us when He was pierced.  His great Passion began at the Last Supper, where He gave His body and blood as food.  Every Mass we participate in Jesus’ complete self-giving.  He held nothing back to show us how important each one of us is to Him.
    Surely, each of us individually can think of ourselves as God’s favorite.  He is infinite and thus He has no limits on how many favorites He can have and how much that He can love us.