Top 5 Moments at Mass

Everyone has a favorite scene in their beloved movies or a catchy line in their favorite song. But what about your weekend faith pilgrimage – doesn’t that deserve a top 5 list of its own? I think so as well, so let’s see if the Gloria or the creed or the homily break into the top 5 best moments in Mass. And what comes out as the pinnacle? Is it the donuts and social time afterward? My boy would vote for that.

So,  here we go – my personal favorites for the five best moments in the Mass.

Number 5 – The Sign of Peace.

I’ll call myself out on this one. I like seeing my friends and acquaintances at Mass. It’s a double bonus if they are sitting close enough to shake hands with during the sign of peace. It is also a nice chance to show my kids some extra affection.

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Want to Meet God? There’s an App for That

The parables Jesus has been teaching with the last few weeks in the Gospel have been some of my favorite stories. He takes a complex situation and represents it in a way people today can understand. He teaches us about the world, what is important in life and what to avoid. What if we had a new parable that addressed what we and our children face today, in our high-tech, secular society?

Striving for the kingdom of heaven can be likened modern life. There was a man living a good life, full of blessings of all kinds: a trustworthy wife, loving children, nice career, good property and friends he could count on. As he grew older he still loved these blessings but he also became enamored with a work tool his boss gave him, a smart phone. At first, he used the phone only for calling co-workers and customers during work hours. He still focused on his family and the right priorities. But soon he began to use it for evening calls and an occasional important dinner-time email to a customer. He wasn’t talking to his kids as much during dinner. But the biggest surprise came next.

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Even a Hero Can Use a Little Help


When my oldest child was just five, she would say cute things. The kind of things your kid says that makes you both laugh and hug them. She still says cute things now and again, but with grown up ideas. They all grow up at some point, but they still remember when they were looking for a hero.

Back in 2003, right after turning 5 years old, my daughter unintentionally got me started on a new hobby. Writing down her cute sayings.

According to the dates in my log, this was the first: “I’m going to be the Hero of the day!” she exclaimed. Then, quietly added, “Lift me up so I can be the hero.”

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God Provides Wisdom to Many People Through Advice & Aid Parenting Program

About 8 years ago I witnessed the graduation of a young woman from a program that changed her life, brought joy to her family, and put her in a position to successfully raise her daughter – something she once considered impossible.  Ellie was not expecting to get pregnant, but after learning she was she took positive steps and joined Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers’ program for parenting education known as Bridges.

Advice & Aid is the only pregnancy center in Johnson County and the advocates there helped Ellie (not her real name) learn about and sort through her options when she was scared and had nobody else on her side. She learned accurate information about abortion, adoption, and parenting at that first visit. As one of the volunteers that works with the young women and men in the Bridges program, I got a chance to know many wonderful people who courageously chose life for their baby. Ellie and her daughter Avery were two of the regulars at Bridges. Ellie was so trusting, she asked me (the only guy in the room) to hold two-month-old Avery while she shopped in Patti’s Closet for diapers and clothes donated by our friends in the community. That quickly became the routine for her and before long, Avery was my pal. She was a sweetheart with the cutest smile. Continue reading “God Provides Wisdom to Many People Through Advice & Aid Parenting Program”

Easter Sunrise – Two Roman Soldiers Encounter Eternity

As the tremors from the earthquake subsided, Cassius looked toward Golgotha in the distance. People were panicked, moving down the path quickly. Dark clouds boiled over the hills and over all of Jerusalem.  Behind him, he could hear screams coming from inside the walls of the city. It was chaos. One of many Roman soldiers ordered to watch for trouble as another radical was crucified, Cassius could not believe how dark it had become.  It was as if the earthquake had thrown sand into the air and blotted out the sun. Sand was everywhere, pelting him – driven by the wind. He wondered what could be happening on that hill as the man the Jews called Jesus was being crucified. Continue reading “Easter Sunrise – Two Roman Soldiers Encounter Eternity”