Actions Speak Louder Than Words

03/19/2016

I take a ton of comfort knowing St. Joseph was a stepfather, too.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I measure up in any way, shape, or form. But I do look to him as an example.

Today, March 19, is the Feast of St. Joseph. It’s a Solemnity in the Catholic Church. As a day of solemnity, we’re excused from our Lenten observances so we can celebrate him.

Here’s what I have to say about the feast and the life of St. Joseph.

 

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday. I will also explore other matters of faith and also health and fitness to keep us fit for the journey. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.

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Your Annoying Little Brother

07/09/2015

“Dad! They’re mocking you behind your back.”

“I’m Dad’s favorite.”

Wouldn’t you like to slug him?

Maybe you didn’t have a little brother. Maybe you had a little sister like this. Or maybe it wasn’t a sibling, but a friend. Or an acquaintance.  Maybe it was a co-worker who was this annoying.

Whoever, I’ll bet you’ve had personal experience with somebody in your life who annoyed you to the point of… oh, maybe wanting to strangle them.

Or just… witness some minor mishap befall them. Just to see them squirm a little.

That’s okay. That’s human nature.

It’s not right. It’s a fault. It’s a sin we need to confess.

But we’re human. We have thoughts like these.

Have you ever read or listened to the Genesis account of Joseph — yeah, the Technicolor Dreamcoat guy; that Joseph — and thought of him like that?

We’re reading the Genesis account of Joseph and his brothers this week at Daily Mass. Father Mitch Pacwa described Joseph like this yesterday during his homily on EWTN.

I had never heard that description before.

So what do we do with a person like Joseph? That annoying person in your life?

It’s really simple.

Jesus spells it out for us in the Gospels. But there’s a more recent admonition from him.

When He appeared to Sister Maria Faustina, Jesus told her — told us — that He demands from us deeds of mercy toward our neighbors.

That’s it. That simple.

He said:

“I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.

“I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third — by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.”

   –   Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (paragraph 742), Marian Press, 2009

So what do we do with all of this?

Next time we have these very human thoughts, maybe we think twice.

Make no mistake. We will have those thoughts. We are human. What matters is what we do with them.

That’s it.

It’s that simple.

And that challenging.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention, beginning Friday, April 17, 2015, is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating. And for not posting a meditation daily.

 

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Who Does He Think He Is Anyway?

05/01/2015

“I thought I knew you.”

Anyone ever said that to you? The cliche is usually one lover tearfully muttering those words to their partner, just before the breakup.

The people of Nazareth thought they knew who Jesus was, too (today’s Gospel for the optional Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Matthew 13:54-58).

“This kid is the carpenter’s son. Who does he think he is?” This man, Jesus, certainly didn’t have the background or the authority to teach in their synagogue.

Who really was this Jesus? Who really was their God?

Read today’s Reading for Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 13:26-33).

Notice the power, confidence, and force with which Paul speaks of Jesus, of God, of the kingdom.

“But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people. We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.” – Acts 13:30-33

Why? Something happened to Paul to make him convert. Something happened to the disciples to make them so bold. What was it?

“My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are  God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent. – Acts 13:26

The “word of salvation” was delivered directly to the Apostles. Through the walls of a closed room. And to Paul, then Saul, through a blinding flash of light. And they were convicted in an instant.

Paul and the disciples tirelessly sought to deliver the good news of salvation to the Jewish people. The Truth was made known to them through their conversion experiences. And so they preached. Tirelessly, maybe even desperately?

Why?

Paul continued

“The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him, and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets that are read sabbath after sabbath.” – Acts 13:27

It’s the Jews, the Chosen People, who condemned Jesus to death. Just as the scriptures predicted.

Who do we think we are?

Marley lies on his death bed.
Ebenezer: Well, Jacob! Have they seen to you properly? Last rites and such? 
Marley nods 
Ebenezer: There’s nothing i can do? 
Marley nods again 
Ebenezer: Oh? What, particularly? 
Marley: (rasping) While… there’s still time… 
Ebenezer: Time? Time for what? 
Marley: (rasping) Wrong… we were wrong. 
Ebenezer: Wrong? Well, we can’t be right all the time , can we? Nobody’s perfect. You mustn’t reproach yourself, Jacob. We’ve been no worse than the next man, or no better if it comes to that. 
Marley: (rasping) Save… yourself. 
Ebenezer: Save myself? Save myself from what? 
Marley breathes his last
Ebenezer: Speak!  …
Ebenezer pauses as he realizes Marley is dead.

 – from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

The literary reference here is in NO WAY a comparison. But it came to mind…

If you think of it, it’s really true. We save ourselves.

Or we don’t.

But…

God is truth. Also love. Mercy. Power. Strength…

It’s the Last Supper. Jesus has just told them He is going to suffer after being handed over and die. Jesus speaks (today’s Gospel for Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter).

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.”

Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:1-6

Jesus told St. Faustina that even if the most hardened sinner prays the Chaplet of Divine Mercy once, they will receive great graces. They will be enveloped in God’s Divine Mercy.

Do you think you are beyond God’s mercy? Do you wish you could do something to help someone that may need God’s mercy? Pray the Chaplet.

Once.

The more you pray the Chaplet, the more you will discover just who He really is.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention, beginning Friday, April 17, 2015, is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.

 

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