Wednesday, May 30, 2018

To Become What We Receive

Image result for image for holy eucharist

Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. It seems to me that this should be a huge wonderful celebration in our Catholic community, given that our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is one of the few theological realities that distinguishes us from our Christian sisters and brothers. Yet, very often we take the sacredness of the Eucharist for granted don’t we?

Every Sunday, or even, every day if we choose, we have the opportunity to come together in prayer and worship. Along with one another we hear Scripture proclaimed, we pray for the needs of our world, we come to the altar to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. We ‘Go in peace, to love and serve the world”.

We are supposed to become what we receive, aren’t we? Once we share in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are we not invited to be his hands and feet in our world? Aren’t we supposed to be changed to our very core by the mystery of the Eucharist? Shouldn’t we be better people after Mass then when we began?

Do we allow the Eucharist to change us? Do we want to let Jesus transform us to be more like Him or, is that too overwhelming a thought to grasp? May our prayer today for each other be that we have the courage to want to be more like Jesus. As we leave Church, let us take to heart the mandate to love and serve the world, as Jesus asks us to.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pruning? Ouch!

Image result for google images of pruning plants

I've been thinking a lot about pruning this week. Probably because at least twice if not three times I've had the opportunity to pray with the "I am the Vine You are the Branches" scripture passage.  At first I got caught up in all the usual thoughts, didn't seem to move my heart anywhere in particular. Soon I realized that pruning isn't really about removing the dead useless branches as much as it is having the wisdom to remove healthy growth, so the plant can grow fuller and more healthier. God knows I can't keep a plant alive to save my life. I have no idea how to prune anything.  But God must be pruning me all the time. Apparently it's not a choice between good and bad, but rather a choice between good and better! So the question I'm pondering is, do I have the courage to trust that God knows what God is doing in my life? How much do I really trust God anyway?

I can look back on my life's journey and see all the ways God has led me from one place to the next. And in each of those moments, there really was a letting go of something that had made me happy, for the possibility of greater ministry, more work for the kingdom in a new place. It truly was a choice for something I didn't even know could be 'better'! What a "sneaky" God we have. Bringing us to more joyful moments we couldn't even imagine.

So here at St Francis de Sales we prepare now to celebrate baptisms, communions, confirmation, and a pretty significant anniversary for our pastor. I'll throw in my niece's college graduation for good measure! Oh, and another niece performing at Carnegie's gonna be a busy month.  And for all the blessings that will be shared in all these beautiful moments, I am most grateful.

These are the joyful moments I'll hold on to on those less than perfect days when my mom doesn't seem to recognize me, when I find myself in a ridiculous argument with someone close to me, or when a day is just too sad to move through. Maybe these are the moments of pruning that I need to endure in order to blossom better in the days to come.

I want to believe I trust God enough to let him prune me as he sees fit. I'm not sure that's true, but it's what I've been praying all week long, so, maybe...I'm getting there bit by bit. Hope you are too!