God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

The Right Words At The Right Time

The Church of the Beatitudes – Via Wikipedia

The Church of the Beatitudes – Via Wikipedia

Years ago, a friend gave me the book “The Right Words at the Right Time” as a Christmas present.  Marlo Thomas, daughter of Danny Thomas, the comedian, asked 120 famous and near famous people of our time this question, “What words spoken to you changed the direction of your life?”  All proceeds of the book go to the benefit of St. Jude Hospital for Children, founded by her father in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tom Brokow, the TV journalist, wrote this about himself, “in High School, I was a go-getter and a top student.  Then, at the University of South Dakota, I pursued the easy going life – just getting by in my studies.  I spent most of my time on my social life.  My girlfriend, Meredith, told me, ‘get lost.  You have no focus in life.’   One day, in my second year, the Dean of Political Science Department, a highly regarded scholar, said to me, ‘Tom, I have some advice for you – leave the university immediately.  When you have stopped pursing the dream of wine, women and song, come back to me.  Maybe I can help you.’”

The words shocked Tom as no words ever did before.  He left the university and after one year returned, a changed man.  He went on to become a famous TV journalist and even married Meredith.

We can apply the theme of this thought provoking book to our own lives.  When the angel Gabriel came to Mary and proclaimed, “you shall conceive and bear a Son and give Him the name Jesus”, they were the most historic words ever said.  “Jesus” means Savior, Messiah.  A Savior was to come to earth, in human form, to save us from our weaknesses.

The realization may strike us that for a long time we have been facing the struggles of life on our own powers and doing poorly.  We have a Savior, at the present day, human like ourselves, the Friendliest Person we will ever meet.  This Jesus can enrich our lives as never before by putting in our hearts a yearning for His Ideals.  He speaks of them in today’s Gospel, in the Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are they who mourn, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are they who hunger for righteousness, Blessed are the merciful, Blessed are the clean of heart, Blessed are the peacemakers, Blessed are those who believe in me, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

The right words, at the right time; these sacred words of the Gospel could change the direction of our lives.  Turn daily to Him in prayer for His Love and Friendship are endless.


Fr. George Mc Kenna

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Emmanuel – God Is With Us

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this photograph of a moonrise over the western United States.  A reminder that God continues to provide us light in our dark world.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took this photograph of a moonrise over the western United States. A reminder that God continues to provide us light in our dark world.

In my first year in Major Seminary, at the age of 18, I experienced homesickness, difficult to describe. Away from home and family for the first time, far out in the countryside in Mundelein, I felt terrible emptiness and loneliness of spirit. This went on for some weeks. I wrote a letter to my mother saying that I was coming home – a letter I never mailed. My father had died two years previously. Even though I lived in ideal conditions, I couldn’t smile or laugh; tears were always close to my eyes. I went through the daily schedule like a robot, with no interest or enthusiasm.

The words of Isaiah the Prophet . . . “Emmanuel, God with us” . . . saved me from giving up my hopes for the priesthood. I said to myself, “God is here with me. I must search and find Him!” So, in our Chapel, I stood before Christ and persevered day after day in pouring out to Him the miseries of my heart. The words of my prayers tasted like dust in my mouth. Gradually, the darkness lifted and a peace rushed into my heart. My worst bout with low spirits ever, came to an end.

Some of our readers are experiencing the same loneliness, even though they may live in a loving atmosphere of family and friends. Their zest for living has left them. All their feelings of love and caring have dried up. Perhaps, someone has written a letter, as I did, announcing the end of a marriage because the future looks too bleak to go on. In a household, a long term sickness of a family member has almost exhausted the strength and spirit of the caretakers. “How long can I continue to live like this”, these worn out people say.

This weekend, in our first reading, Isaiah again brings us inspiring words, “Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.”   Last month, we celebrated a Child coming from Heaven to share life with us! Emmanuel, God is with us! In these sessions of unhappiness and bewilderment, when all appears lost, I encourage our readers to follow my strategy – search for the Lord and let Him know the darkness of your spirit. Perhaps we can barely get the words of prayer out of our mouths, so choked up are our emotions – but persevere!

No matter where I am, a smile comes to me when I hear the song “Let There Be Peace On Earth”, the theme song for all peace groups across the world. Jill Jackson formed the words for this piece, and her husband, Sy Miller, the music. Failure in her career and a broken marriage, she had seen the darkness. She is known to have said she wrote this song after experiencing “life-saving joy of God’s peace and unconditional love.” She made a resounding comeback because of Emmanuel!


Fr. George Mc Kenna

January 22, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 4 Comments