Archive for January, 2016

Calls

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Good day after two days that started out stormy and ended up beautiful. Yesterday began so foggy we couldn’t see the lake and I couldn’t see the traffic light at 48th street as I drove to 8am Saturday daily Mass. The day that dawned foggy and chilly became gorgeous, sunny and warm. Go figure. After squalling rains and street flooding, Mother Nature tried to “make up” and we enjoyed a warm sunny afternoon and were able to get some outside cleanup done and drive to Fort Lauderdale for a submarine veterans meeting. This morning started the same. Heavy winds and rain all done by 830 am and warm enough to hang laundry at noon.

When making New Years resolutions, this year, inspired by the witness of our brother-friend Charlie Paparelli, I pledged not to make any “plans” like “I will serve here, I will do this for others,” rather I will wait for God to put the needy in front of me. And when we make a pledge like that… we better be ready! Like not being worried that horrible weather will ruin our day… Just go on with being kind and joyful. God will arrange. In the last few days in church readings, we have read about two tax collectors whom Jesus called. Zacchaeus who was a tax collector was so short that he got up into a tree to see Jesus. I think he might have said he wanted to “see this guy who is going to restore the Kingdom of David and set things right. Anyway, he heals the sick and gives sight to the blind.” But what does Jesus do? Jesus called Zacchaeus and said, “I must stay at your house.” Yikes! can you imagine a call like that? And we haven’t planned for that! And the only thing Jesus did was sit and eat and BE a Presence in the tax collector’s house with a Presence both compelling and beautiful and full of love. No swords, no pension plans. Just, “Come.” The other call, to Levi, was pretty much the same. Tax collectors earned a lot of money and Levi just got a finger pointed his way, “Come.” Gulp. In the Saturday morning homily, our priest started with a question, “What if I asked you to give up your day job. Give up high salary and come serve here at the church. As you know, we can’t pay too much as we have debt and have to take care of the poor”. “Come”. Another Big Gulp. Well, I thought, I don’t have a job, but this applies to me too for when he calls he means, come now, give up all the old sin (now a days we don’t like to talk about sin….) OK give up the uncharitable ways. Give up the meanness. Give up the gossip. Open your heart to goodness, kind thoughts, to calling the Name of Jesus and believing he is the Son of God. Another unpopular thing to do today. Humble ourselves in a very material and “politically proper” world. A worldly world. The open heart of Jesus calls hearts. Once we follow, and it is often at great cost because we might get ridiculed and lose some worldly esteem, we can’t go back. Enjoy God’s beauty this amazing day. God bless you.

Happy New Year, 3 Kings, Undecorating, Planning

Monday, January 4th, 2016

How fast it all winds down! I felt the end coming as early as the day after Christmas. The day after Christmas, everything suddenly comes to a grinding halt and even the parties on the lake seemed to quiet down. Of course those parties got noisy again for New Years Eve. But there is a slowing down now… We are undecorating. We decorated and puts up tons of lights to celebrate the season of Christmas and we had a pre Christmas dinner party, house guest cousin Carol from Ohio, New Years Eve Party, and last night friends Peter and Karen who couldn’t come to any Christmas events as they were travelling to be with their kids. We did lots of pontooning at night as even the pontoon boat is decorated with Christmas lights that we might leave on the boat… NOW is the awful undecorating with me whining and complaining and the many empty bins being slowly filled with Santas, candles, trees, deer, toys, and many Nativities and lots of angels and animals. Carol is decorating boxes that they put things in as “memory boxes” for the ill and those who lost babies at the hospital. Chuck and I are packing away Christmas. He just realized he has to take down the lights. I know why old people get caregivers…. I could use a caregiver about now. Friend Charlie Paparelli asked what resolutions we are making? Are we changing focus? Are we in transition? Absent quiet time, I have tried to write answers to this perplexing year beginning planning… What is God’s will for me? Am I doing what God wants? Do I really know God? Who do I think Jesus is? I wrote that I am his servant, and like a child Eli, I say, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” But what is that? How does one serve? Saint John wrote in his first letter: “We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: We should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us.” (3:22) Jesus said, “Love God and Love one another.” That is paraphrasing I know… Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, American Saint, said, “Do what we are supposed to do, do it where we are; do the will of God, in the manner God wills, because he wills it.” WOW. how easy this all is isn’t it? No? That’s because we’re not listening. Do not limit God’s desire for us and his mercy for us! In these days when the light shining from that star is still brightest, listen and sit still. Know you are doing God’s will when you sit still and listen…. that is what he desires. Doing God’s will gives peace. Peace be with you. God bless you.