“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Welcome as we continue our journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.

What have we been focused on for so many weeks? It is simply this, living God’s great generosity. Jesus taught us to live this way and calls us to accept responsibility for generosity and follow through.

Last Sunday the message shifted to reflection; how well we are living up to Jesus’ call. We were asked to stop and think and figure out the gaps. Where have we lost sight of our responsibility?

It is an important reflection to undertake especially as we approach the end of the Church year and face up to consequences, Jesus’ return.

Jesus’s parable today is about those consequences. Fail to live the gospel life, think things are just good enough, neglect the practice of persistent generosity, reject the notion of turning, what the Greek’s called metanoia, a deep inner affect wherein one is spiritually converted, and we find ourselves locked out.

Today’s words of accountability are hard to hear for many in the world where the way always seems easy, broad, and well paved. For many, the notions of preparation, responsibility, and consequences no longer bear any significance. 

Don’t study or do well on your tests, pass anyway. Neglect kindness and generosity and replace it with cruelty, bullying, and meanness and you’re a hero. Hate and you have a huge following. Exploit your body and God’s way of love and you have fans. This and so many other ways the world closes one off from any accountability.

Consider this, groups, and organizations as diverse as CAP, Scouting, 4H, FFA, and organizations like our YMSofR and ANS, as well as Church itself all have trouble attracting members because members have to agree to accountability. One must accept responsibility for doing something.

God paints a vision for us. Accept wisdom – meaning understanding and acceptance of what God wants and be blessed. Wisdom tells us that there will be accountability for the way we live. The psalmist tells us that hungering for God’s way brings great favor.

Let us then be wise and stay awake, preparing with responsibility and accepting God’s way to accountability.

Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Advent

Don’t look in there… What are they hiding in there away?

St. Paul is writing to the Church at Rome. He tells them:

…the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations

Children wonder, especially at this time of the year, what might be hidden in the closet or basement; perhaps under mom and dad’s bed. We are like children, children of faith. Paul is speaking to us. He’s letting us know that nothing is hidden. God has revealed everything to us. What was once a mystery is now plain. Everything became plain in the life of Jesus.

God isn’t into mystery, or spooky miracles, or suddenly appearing saints. What He is about is clearly understood – He is about relationships founded in deep love, generosity, caring, and the deep desire that we, His people, live in community with Him and each other.

Rather than searching the closets or the basement, let’s search our hearts for the plain meaning in the Gospels. Jesus’ coming has given us all we need to know.

Armed with His gospel of love and community we join in His holy mission – making His Father’s message available to all people.

The miracle is this – there are no secrets – Jesus has opened heaven’s store of dignity and love for all people. He really loves us. Knowing that, we can say with Paul:

to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever.

Reflection for the Solemnity of Brotherly Love

Is not life full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life
is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.

What makes a person a good artist, a good sculptor, or a good musician? Practice. What makes a good person? Practice. Love is not a thing of enthusiastic emotion. It is a rich, strong, vigorous expression of the whole Christian character — the Christ-like nature in its fullest development. And the constituents of this great character are only to be built up by ceaseless practice.