Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM
The link to Bishop Caggiano's Statement on Abuse Crisis is posted below. Join us for the Rosary Rally of Prayer for the Conversion of America on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at Noon on the lawn.

10/30/16 Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 153

 

  • When the Hubble space telescope was finally repaired and working properly… NASA pointed it into an area of space that appeared to be completely desolate, and to their amazement – They discovered thousands of new galaxies
  • We all tend to want to put God in a box… To limit God to what we can comprehend… But when we do so, we do both God and ourselves a great disservice
  • We’re dealing with the Creator of the Universe… Who is magnificent beyond imagination…
  • From our first reading today we hear: “Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.  But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook people's sins that they may repent…”
  • When we focus our attention solely on the things of this world… It’s very easy to become depressed, distressed, disillusioned, and distraught
  • The attractions and concerns of this world can often distract us from the magnificence of our Creator…
  • Only God can answer the hard questions of life, only God can give us hope, and only God can provide lasting meaning to life, and fill the voids that exist in each of our hearts…
  • If we can take some time to slow down and lift our heads to look around us at the magnificence of God’s creation, and the miracle of life in all its forms – The words from our first reading will begin to resonate within us

 

  • Again from our first reading: “For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.  And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?”
  • Did we ever consider that God may have a better opinion of us than we have of ourselves?
  • We’re often our most severe critic…
  • But God sees through all of our faults and weaknesses to who we really are deep inside
  • We’re each beloved daughters and sons of this same Creator…
  • We’re each held in being from moment to moment each day by this same God..
  • This is a reality more real than anything that we can touch, smell, hear or see
  • Each of our lives are both fragile and precious in His sight…
  • Why then do we often take them for granted?
  • Why do we often fail to notice the beauty all around us?
  • Why do we often live as if this is all there is?
  • We can literally drown our Spirit in the trivialities of the human condition…
  • Pettiness… gossip… judging others… focusing on all that’s wrong with the world, and all that’s wrong with ourselves…
  • I have often said that we become what we consume
  • The media that we expose ourselves to can have a profound effect upon us… Either a positive one or a negative one…
  • The answer is not to divorce ourselves from the realities of this imperfect world inhabited by imperfect human beings…
  • The answer; lies in focusing regularly upon this magnificent Creator Who knows each of us by name
  • This magnificent Creator Who loved us enough to send us His Son to teach us how to live fuller more meaningful lives…
  • This magnificent Creator Who surrounded us with beauty beyond compare
  • If we don’t force ourselves to slow down and smell the roses from time to time… Something in life invariably will
  • How often do we overcomplicate our lives?
  • Busyness is often the real enemy of our Spiritual journey...
  • We’re all headed into one of the busiest seasons of the year…
  • Our lives are filled with so many activities, that we barely have time to breathe...
  • Our choices today are overwhelming, both in consumer products as well as in activities available to us...
  • The one choice however, which is not so obvious, and which is seldom exercised is the choice to stop...
  • The choice to gather our thoughts in peace and quiet...
  • The choice that Jesus exercised often in His ministry...
  • Why are we so afraid to just stop from time to time?...

 

  • Zacchaeus is a wonderful example of someone who realizes that life is passing him by, and that there’s been something, (or perhaps Someone), missing in His life…
  • The Gospel tells us that Zacchaeus… “was seeking to see who Jesus was;
    but he could not see Him because of the crowd
    …”
  • Perhaps the same is true for us at times…
  • What’s crowding Jesus out of our lives?
  • What’s blocking us from realizing how Blessed we already are?
  • What’s preventing us from seeing the Beauty of our Creator in all of the turning leaves of every hue and color right now?
  • What’s holding us back from living a more peace-filled, meaningful life?
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well.
  • Until we can begin to appreciate the magnificence, and the magnitude, and the mystery of our God... We’ll remain stuck in the quagmire of hatred, and envy, and selfishness that our world often perpetuates...
  • Until we can get beyond focusing upon our own little world and begin to appreciate that our God… and our world… and our livesare much bigger and more meaningful than we ever imagined... Nothing will ever change...
    • We’ll continue to form “camps” which exclude others...
    • We’ll continue to wage war...
    • And we’ll continue to neglect the message that the Christ came to bring us…
  • Only God can help us find meaning and purpose in life…
  • Zacchaeus took action… He did what was necessary to help Him see Jesus more clearly…
  • But when we decide to take action - There’s a fine line between following God and leading God… 
  • It's often difficult to know when to wait and when to act in life… 
  • To further confound us, opportunities are often disguised as challenges and set backs... 
  • And that’s where prayer comes in
  • We’re called to do the best we can right where we find ourselves in life… to pray for God’s Grace… and to be alert for signs showing us the way… Knowing that a new door will appear when God feels we’re ready to walk through it… 
  • It takes great faith to wait on the Lord, and great courage to act on the opportunities that He gives us, as Zacchaeus did… But for most of us… the waiting is usually the hardest part...  
  • From today’s Gospel: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
  • We all get lost from time to time on the journey of life as did Zacchaeus… But the Creator of the Universe is always there… Calling to us in a beautiful sunsetAppealing to us in the voice of a childShowing us in a flash of insight where we may have strayed off course
  • We’re asked to try to see the big picture of life… We’re called to try to appreciate that our Creator is both magnificent, and intimate
  • Our God and our lives are so much more than we can imagine

 

  • Paula D’Arcy writes: “The mind cannot fathom God. Only the heart.  We are each only a player in a drama greater than anyone but God can conceive… The question is how we will play that role – and whether or not we’ll become increasingly aware that there is a new way to be here.  (That) it’s possible to live from a deeper awareness and to know ourselves as part of something much greater than our individual story.” (Waking Up to This Day; Pg. 105)

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