Demand Jesus

Recently at Mass our 9 year-old daughter gave me some pretty powerful insight into what God the Father expects out of me.  As we were walking down the steps from the balcony seating area with the choir in full swing, our daughter tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, “That sure is a demanding song.”

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Attracted to Holiness

In 1926, Dr. James Allan penned “One Solitary Life,” a short story – a poem of sorts – which describes the life of a seemingly ordinary man who didn’t do anything that we would consider fame-worthy.  He grew up in an obscure village and entered the carpenter trade, working with his hands until he was 30.  Upon his death, he had no possessions and was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb.  Yet, “nineteen centuries have come and gone and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that have ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.”

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To all the other Mice and Men

The 18th century poet Robert Burns famously wrote in “To a Mouse”;

“But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!”

This poem would later be the inspiration for a novel more of us may be familiar with, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. A quote the regular readers of this blog may be more familiar with, “If you’re ever looking for a joke to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” This is not necessarily a “feel good” blog post, but is meant for those who find themselves wandering in their own metaphorical wilderness.

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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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Over the Top

Image result for WWI over the top

A saying which found its way into English vocabulary during World War One, “over the top” describes the situation where unfortunate infantrymen were to leave their trenches and charge into no man’s land in an attempt to gain ground. No man’s land was the area between two opposing trench lines and is aptly called so due to the low survival rates of those who entered into it. As deadly as no man’s land was, it is estimated that around one-third of all casualties in World War One occurred in the trenches themselves be it from; disease, biological weapons or combat. What was supposedly the safest place for a soldier, statistically was one of the most dangerous places to be.

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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”