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God Bless.


Joseph’s thoughts

Now that Advent is upon us, I am reminded of one of the most interesting, thoughtful quotes I have ever henativity-storyard in a movie.  It is from the Nativity Story (2006).

In one scene, Mary and Joesph are on their way to Bethlehem.  Mary is very pregnant, and she and Joseph are mixing silence with wonder.

At one point, Joseph says “I wonder if I will even be able to teach [Jesus] anything.”

Simple enough quote right?

I think its brilliant.  All my life I took for granted that Mary and Joseph knew everything that was going on.  But this quote made me really ponder that.  What if they weren’t quite sure what to expect (which is likely!).  After all they knew they were giving birth to our Saviour.  But what did that mean?  Was he to look like a human baby or something more God-like?    We have the luxury of knowing that he was to be just like us in appearance.  But they didn’t know that yet!  They probably didn’t know if he would be all-knowing.  Nor did they know the extent of pain and suffering that he would go through for us.

So it would be perfectly logical for any nervous father-to-be to wonder what he could pass onto his son, let alone one that was to be the Earthly father of our Lord.   Odds are he really did wonder if there was anything he could teach his Son.

I don’t know about you, but I love movies or books that help me paint pictures of what life was like in Jesus’ time.  The Nativity Story, and Joseph’s quote in particular,  really gave me some thoughts to ponder.

God Bless.

Thankful for what?

House values are dropping.  The stock market is plummeting.  Companies are going bankrupt.  Retail sales are way down.  Unemployment is rising.

So what exactly are we supposed to be thankful for this week?thanksgiving

I’ll give you two things.

The first is something I know I take for granted.  The freedom to worship as I wish without persecution.  The ability to proudly show I am a Catholic without looking over my shoulder.  The comfort to know that no one will try and burn down my church this week.  If you want some perspective, Google Orissa, India and read about all the terrible things that are happening to Christians there.

The second is God’s love.  We should all be thankful that He will always love us, and always forgive us.  Could you imagine how depressing life would be if God didn’t love us?  If we knew there was no hope of life everlasting with him in Paradise?  Then we would truly have nothing.

There are, of course, many many things that I am thankful for.  I certainly wont list all of them here, but I did want to list these two that I sometimes take for granted.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

God Bless.

Today’s Gospel (Matthew 25:31-46) sure comes at the perfect time doesn’t it?shepherd

Matthew details how Jesus painted a picture of judgement day for his disciples.  The Son will separate the good (sheep) from the bad (goats), calling the good to Paradise, and casting the bad to eternal fire.   The criteria, of course, will be how well each person treated the least of God’s people.

This is nothing new to most practicing Catholics – we’ve been taught this our whole lives.  But how often do we practice it?

I just read an article yesterday that said that volunteering and donations peak in the U.S. during the period of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is certainly true  for me.  But while it is wonderful that we are reaching out to our fellow brothers and sisters during the holidays, what does that mean for the rest of the year?

Suddenly I feel like the kid that is bad 11 months out of the year, but suddenly turns into a perfect angel in December when he knows Santa is making his list.

So as I enter 2009, I am going to make an extra effort to reach out and help the least of God’s people each and every month.

After all, I want to be one of those sheep!

God Bless.

Today’s Gospel reading, Matthew 25:14-28, always causes me to pause and think about what I am doing to further God’s kingdom here on earth.  Parable of Talents

The reading recounts Jesus’ parable of the talents (a form of money in those days).  A man gave his servants talents to watch over while he is traveling.  One servant received 5 talents, another 2 and the last 1.  When the man returned, the servants that received 5 talents and 2 talents returned 10 talents and 4 talents to him, respectively.  They had traded and doubled the money.  The last servant buried his one talent in the ground, and thus, returned just the one.

The master lauded the first two and invited him to share in his happiness, and reprimanded the third – sending him outside “where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth”.

The meaning of this parable is very clear to me.  God has given us all a variety of talents (and I don’t mean the money kind).  Some of us have many talents (like the servant who received 5) and some of us have less.  But quantity is not the issue here.  Its clear from the parable that both the servant who received 5 and the servant who received 2 were invited to share in their master’s happiness (Heaven) because they did good things with what they were given.  In contrast, the last servant was sent away (Hell), not because he started with only 1 talent, but because he did nothing with it.

Every time I hear this parable I ask myself if I am doing enough with the talents God gave me.  And each time, I strive to do more than I am currently doing.

What are you doing with your talents?

God Bless.

Just came across these “Christian one-liners” over at InsideCatholicsmile

Some are cute with a lesson behind them, like “Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect you couldn’t belong”.  Some give us pause, such as “Don’t put a question mark where God put a period”.  And some are just funny, like “The Good Lord did not create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close”.

Check out Irene’s post for the rest of the list.

God Bless.


Song: You Reign

Group: Mercy Me

Selected Verse:

Even before there was a drop in the ocean, even before there was a star in the sky, even before the world was put in motion, You were on your throne, You were on your throne.