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Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Fatal Attraction

William Blake’s, Wise and Foolish Virgins
Via Wikipedia
Sunday’s Gospel is the parable of the 10 Virgins

Fifty eight years ago, in 1959, I made my first Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. I traveled with three priests friends, all who stayed active in the Priesthood their entire lives. For 49 years, I continued my pilgrimages – 27 times I visited the City that Jesus loved and cried over throughout my life. My last visit was in 2008.

Why did I return so often? Many asked me that question – family members concerned many times about my safety.   Call it the fatal attraction! Please don’t confuse this with the 1987 movie by the same name (I never saw it), but the expression, in my case, fits perfectly: Fatal Attraction.

The Person of Jesus of Nazareth has captured my heart as no created thing has! “Fatal” means deadly and leading to death. My attraction to Him is fatal, that is, bringing death to any desires I have for worldly things, such as accumulation of wealth, possessions, fame or pleasure. So, I traveled to Jerusalem because Jesus had a special love for this Holy City, a place where He preached often and where He eventually died. I always went to learn more about the God-Man.

By spending time praying in the many holy places, like the Garden of Gethsemane, the Way of the Cross, and the Place of the Crucifixion, I put fuel on the fire of my attraction to Christ. The words he preached in the Old City still seem to hang in the quiet of the sweet pure air. Jerusalem, the City of Peace, drew me to itself much as a magnet attracts metal. There I listened for His Words!

As in the lives of all humans, sorrows, disappointments and sicknesses have dotted my life; but always underneath these challenges, I experienced a wonderful happiness and peace. Why was this? I felt this ever present attraction to the Savior and His promise to be with me always!

How does all the above concern the reader? Sunday’s readings speak of wisdom, and at the end of the Gospel, Jesus encourages us, “stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” The season of Advent is only three weeks away. We will hear more of this message – to seek and be ready for the coming of Our Lord. Be confident that our friendship with the Prince of Peace can capture our hearts and sweep aside all worldly desires.   In prayer, we can find a delight in sharing with Our Friend our everyday life with its joys, its setbacks and its successes.

Half-hearted devotion to the Lord lacks enthusiasm. It is a joyless experience; one that can make a person put aside Jesus of Nazareth as easily as yesterday’s newspaper. Do everything we can to know, love and serve This Person of Christ.

Fr. George McKenna

November 11, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 4 Comments

Lift Up Your Heart

View of the crescent moon through the top of the earth’s atmosphere. Picture via Nasa Earth Observatory

Allow me to share one enjoyable flying experience with you. Sometimes, at ground level, the weather takes a nasty turn – rain, fog, all darkness and gloom, even in daytime. Then, one steps aboard a jet plane, quickly leaves the ground behind and climbs for a time through heavy, dark gray cloud cover. Suddenly the plane breaks out into the bright cheerful sunlight. I never grew tired of experiencing this breakthrough to light on those dismal days.

We can apply this experience to life. Oftentimes we find ourselves enshrouded in gloom and dark happenings: sickness, unemployment, hurt feelings, failure at work or marriage, fears about the unknown days ahead of life. Everywhere we look we see nothing but discouraging and depressing backdrops in life. We want to throw up our hands in despair and say, “Is this what life is about?”

Would it not help to realize that above all this darkness and distress, the bright warmth of God’s Love is always present? God, Love Itself, never ceases to direct His Peace, Joy and Hope into the hearts of us, his people.  Climb in spirit on the wings of prayer and soar above these dismal surroundings; bask in the Love always streaming from the Heart of our Great God. If we wish his inspiration and courage, they are ours for the asking. Life is worth living, no matter what the circumstances are at ground level.

Remember, above the clouds the heavens sparkle with beauty, cheerfulness and warmth from horizon to horizon. Lift up your heart!

Fr. George McKenna

October 2, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , | 2 Comments