The Good Shepherd bears wounds from dying for his sheep. His sheep bear the same wounds. This unconditional loving becomes the cornerstone of our lives, and enables us to avoid dead-ends of selfishness. Follow the wounded shepherd. (26 Apr 2015)
1. Daily Prayer (thumb)
2. Sunday Mass (pointer finger)
3. Confession (middle finger)
4. Community (ring finger)
5. Keep Growing (pinky finger)
God was speaking to the people, but only Samuel was willing to listen and respond. The Gospel shows us how a disciple of Jesus should respond: Remain with the Teacher and Bring others to Him. ”Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” (18 Jan 2014)
The Temple is a place of encounter where God meets his people. They sacrifice and he blesses them. Church is also a place of encounter. So is your heart. Cast the clutter out of your heart to make room for God. (9 Nov 2014)
I recently returned from a great men’s retreat. Like most retreats, the participants went home on a “spiritual high.” But this retreat emphasized followup before sending us out. They suggested meeting weekly with a small group and going through a short accountability list: Piety, Study, and Action. The idea is simple but brilliant. Here’s how it works.
The cross was an instrument of torture and oppression. But Jesus has turned it into a sign of God’s great love. Love conquers all. How can we turn our burdens into crosses? By carrying them with love, just like Jesus did. The path of Jesus is hard, but it’s worth it.
Our expectations can get us into trouble when they aren’t realistic. Peter has expectations for the Messiah but they don’t match God’s plans. Too often we expect life to be free of struggles. God gives us struggles because he wants us to love more deeply, live more courageously, and to become better people. When you follow Jesus, your life will not be easy, but it will be worth it.
The pagan city of Caesarea Philippi forms the dramatic backdrop to Peter’s confession. As Peter discovers who Jesus is, Jesus also reveals Peter’s identity. Only God knows who you truly are and all the amazing gifts He has given you. Be open to Jesus revealing yourself to you. Ask Him, “Lord, who do You say that I am?”
Jesus made the disciples sail into a storm. But Peter keeps his eyes on Jesus and he can walk on water. Elijah keeps his ears open for God and he can weather any storm. We can practice this by looking people in the eyes and trying to notice their eye color. Keeping our eyes on Jesus helps put everything in perspective. Keep listening for the voice of God you will hear: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
I like to ask couples, “When did you know your spouse was the One?” Finding the right person is like a buried treasure or the perfect pearl; they are worth any price, any sacrifice. The Church is the field. Jesus is the treasure. And the pearl of great price is you. His love is worth any price, any sacrifice. So when did you know that Jesus was the One?