Saturday, January 28, 2017

How to truly be HAPPY....

The Beatitudes…

If we were going to define what will make us happy… many would think… “If only I had more wealth or riches… then I would be happy.”   For others it would be about being satisfied or successful.  Perhaps if I weren't sick or suffering we could be happy... But Our Lord turns this all around in the Beatitudes.  

Our Lord is seeking for each of us to be truly happy… blessed.  This is the fruit of the Beatitudes for those who can accept it.  The beatitudes bring us into the blessings of God and the desire for Him to bless us in our life with His peace and joy which only comes from living a life based in Him and the way of life He proposes for us as His children.  

Our Lady and St. Joseph, if we were to look at the their life, what was it based upon?  Was it riches or power?  Being successful or having riches?  Turning away from sufferings when it came? No… their hearts were set on the Kingdom of God.  Letting go or riches and seeking the blessings of serving God and others.   

There is riches… true treasure to be found when we dig deeper.  The same is true in the spiritual life.  We need to dig deeper than the here and now of pleasure and seek the deeper peace that comes from this new way of life Christ lays out for us as His disciples…

Blessed are the poor in spirit… for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn… over sin and the loss of God and Heaven… that is true mourning… to look at the Cross and realize what we have done by preferring darkness over the Light of God.  The Blessed Virgin Mary truly mourned and teaches us how to mourn as well… to seek to be blessed and truly happy by turning away from the things which offend God and wound our relationships with one another.

To hunger and thirst not for the next meal or sumptuous desert… but hunger and thirst for a deeper life with God and to desire to lead others to Him.

To be merciful as God is to us… to share this blessedness even with our enemies and to pray for them.

To realize we are blessed when we are persecuted and insulted for living a life with God… for this happened to God’s only Son because He acknowledged God as His Father and that He belonged to God.  This is the happiness of those who are not afraid to stand with God and to be acknowledged before others that we follow Him.  

Yes, Our Lord turns the world's understanding of happiness upside down.  And He desires for each of us to embrace this new way of life so that we can truly be happy… to be blessed by having a life with Him.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great Light...

· Isaiah: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow of death a light has shone…” 
· You have made their gladness greater; you have made their joy increase… they rejoice in your presence
It sure sounds like the world we are living in today... “A people that have walked in darkness... a land of gloom” We need the Light of God... to seek His Face.
Resp…“The Lord is my light and my help”
· There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life… to behold His Temple
· It Seems like this world doesn’t want to hear about sin anymore like it doesn’t exist. Many of those who used to frequent the Sacrament of Confession have stopped or just come occasionally. I just heard this past week of a parish where there was no confessions for several years… not one person came. Jesus does desire for us to have increased joy and greater gladness but it comes with His message… “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
· There is no light if we are not willing to look at the darkness that we have allowed into our lives and expose to His Light. This is the only way to get rid of sin and darkness is by shining on it with the Light of Christ.
· Our Lord wants us to recognize that we are His Temple… His dwelling place and, just like we were preparing for Him at Advent and Christmas, we must prepare a fit place for Him within our souls…
If Our Lord was going to come to your home… how would we prepare? I would like to clean every room… even the bathrooms… to make it fit for Him.
· I remember being with the Sisters of Charity in Toronto, Canada and they were speaking about when Mother Theresa would come for visits… there was one time where she came for a visit and they were preparing for her to come. Cleaning everything and making it proper for her… The first place she went to see wasn’t the chapel… she went to look at the bathroom… And her reply was this, 
“Someone loves Jesus very much”… She wanted to see how they prepared not for her coming… but for His. He comes to us through the stranger, the people we meet… He comes to us in the Eucharist… But how do we prepare for His coming to visit us?
· But how do I do this in my soul when He comes to me with His True Presence in the Eucharist? The same must be true. This is why the Sacrament of Reconciliation /Confession is a preparation and integral to receiving the Holy Eucharist… to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.
As we move forward in ordinary time, let us set our hearts on the Kingdom of God that lies within…. And remember to repent… to behold the dwelling place of the Lord that lies within you…“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow of death a light has shone…”