God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Holy Spirit, Open My Mind To The Possibilities Around Me

Appearance of Jesus Christ to Mary Magdalena
by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov

In speaking of physical health, all doctors agree on one point – exercise is a “must”. “Use your heart or lose it.”  All my life I have kept active, my favorite activity being golf.  When I was assigned to Our Lady of The Snows on Chicago’s Southside, I would walk around Midway airport – a four mile trip – for my exercise.  When I retired, I rented a condominium in a three story complex at 99th & South Pulaski.  So accustomed to meeting my need for exercise, I became sad and frustrated because weather conditions kept me far from my usual level of activity.  It would be too cold or too hot, too snowy or too rainy, or sometimes just too inconvenient to go down three floors to street level.  I was beginning to feel sluggish and tired.

Then a thought came to me: what about the corridor just outside my door? It was long enough, about 50 yards, heavily air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter.  And so I began my daily walks for about 30 minutes at a time.  My level of good health returned quickly.  I was actually thrilled at this discovery of how to get my walking in right outside my front door!

The same holds true for the health of our soul. Spiritual leaders tell of the absolute necessity of making Jesus, the Great Prophet from Nazareth, the center of our life.  We are to focus the spotlight of our love and attention on this Gentle Person of the Gospels.  All other persons stand in the dark.  Here we see the Savior offering us His Love and Friendship.  We need but say “Yes” and He will come, capture our hearts and draw us under His spell of goodness and righteousness.  We follow up this “Yes” with a daily sharing of the happenings of our life with Jesus.

In this brief message, we can see how to improve our interior life by accepting the Lord’s invitation to be His loving friend. In my opening story, I allowed everyday circumstances of life to keep me from my daily exercise.  Luckily I overcame these minor distractions before my health deteriorated too much.  And after starting my routine, I saw how simple it really was to find and make the time for exercise.

We can easily allow the conditions of life to make us deaf and blind to the circumstances that are darkening our souls, and then miss the chance of a life time to renew it; too much work to do, too many responsibilities, or the old time favorite – “I’m just not the praying type.” Jesus’ invitation is open to all people of all ages.  Don’t put off your acceptance of this wonderful soul and life saving change.  Thrill at the simplicity of carrying it out. 

Jesus stands before us . . . “Why are you making Me an alabaster statue, a thing with no hearing, no sight, and no understanding? I am fully alive!  I am alert to all the goings on in your life!  Share your life with Me, and I will share eternal life with you!”   Don’t be sad and frustrated like I was because of my lack of exercise – it was always available to me, right outside my front door.  Jesus too, is always there, always available!  Rejoice!

Fr. George McKenna

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 8 Comments

Come Alive!

Unc John

My brother John stands at the top of the hilly road I wrote about in this message. In the background is the Church of Bethany. The tomb of Lazarus is very close to this scene.

Several years ago, in the Holy Land, I was walking across the top of the Mount of Olives on my way to Bethany where Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived in the time of Jesus. Behind me, to the west, lay the Holy city, Jerusalem, all aglow in the early morning sunlight.  Rain had fallen that night, making the downward path a slippery one to walk on.

Suddenly my feet flew from under me, and I landed flat on my back on the wet clay road. My pants had clay clinging all over them.  As I sat there, catching my breath, I imagined a voice saying to me, “Arise George from you bed of clay!  Come to life!  Stand up and be renewed!  Throw off your ways of death!

Just ahead of me, a few hundred yards away at the foot of the hill, stood the tomb of Lazarus at Bethany. Here Jesus had called out to the dead man, “Come forth Lazarus!”  With clay covering his funeral wrappings, the same kind I had on my pants, Lazarus did as Jesus commanded him and took his place in the house of his sisters.

What a coincidence, I thought to myself. I wouldn’t be able to remove the clay from my pants for the rest of my stay in the Holy City of Jerusalem.  In the days that followed, that clay reminded me of my own mortality and the short time left to me in this life.  “Thank You Lord, for this spill on the Mount of Olives, O blessed fall!  I must make something of my life before I return to the clay of the grave!”

I have written in the past of my many my trips. Early in my journeys I would bring a heavy bag as well as a carry-on valise.  This big bag caused me much exhaustion and frustration.  I learned to simplify my life by bringing one pair of pants, one pair of shoes and a few washable items.  The result was that I could use a smaller bag that I could lift with two fingers.  My travels took on new excitement and enjoyment – even if that one pair of pants was covered in clay.

Perhaps we are toting too much baggage as we move through these days of life; too much anger, resentment, finger pointing, anxieties and fears. These make up the wrappings of death, acting as barriers between us and God.  Simplify your journey of life.  Come Alive!

Fr. George McKenna

September 23, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | 3 Comments