Sunday Morning in New York Musings

Good morning from Averill Park, New York. We are up visiting family and enjoying the heat here. I am usually dressed in sweats, but their weather has been rivaling that of Florida, so I feel right at home. The only difference here is no one has central air conditioning, but the nights have been cooler and sleeping not so bad.

Attended Mass at a small church in Averill Park called St. Henry, Fr. Provost the parish priest. It always amazes me when away from home how wonderful it is to be able to go to church and know exactly what is going to happen. Yes, the music may be different and there may be some small slight changes in the liturgy, but because we are a universal church no matter where we wander it always feels like coming home. Factor in that this has been going on and growing for the past 2000 years and I find that simply awesome!

The gospel today was one of my favorite, the Good Samaritan and Father did a good job with his homily. It must be hard to come up with something new and different when talking about the same old gospel readings, but Fr. Provost had his own personal twist for the tried and true “we are to love all people even though we all struggle with doing so”. For those of you who are country music fans you may be familiar with a song titled something along the lines of “I will Pray for You”…the lyrics go something along the lines of praying that your brakes may fail, praying that a flower pot will fall off the window ledge and hit you on the head. Father did say we should not pray like that – he got most of us chuckling. Got me thinking…maybe because of being in New York and hearing that gospel reading I couldn’t help but picture an obviously dressed Muslim individual lying hurt and bleeding on a New York City sidewalk days after 9/11. Would anyone have stopped to help? Would I have stopped to help? Would anyone today stop to help? That’s what Jesus was talking about in his parable. The Samaritan and the good Jews who walked on by were mortal enemies, we are not talking just dislike here. However, one good Jewish man looked beyond their differences and did what was right in the sight of God. He stepped way out of his comfort zone. So did Jesus every day , conversing and eating with sinners, tax collectors, the town harlot, always doing what was right in the sight of God. In the end that’s all that will matter, not what other men may think, just what our God and Savior will think of our daily actions while here on earth being Jesus to our own little world.

Fr. Provost also read these Beatitudes for Carers…enjoy:

Blessed are those who care and who are not afraid to show it –
they will let people know they are loved.

Blessed are those who are gentle and patient-
they will help people to grow as the sun helps
the buds to open and blossom.
Blessed are those who have the ability to listen –
they will lighten many a burden.

Blessed are those who know how and when to let go –
they will have the joy of seeing people find themselves.

Blessed are those who, when nothing can be done or said,
do not walk away,
but remain to provide a comforting and supportive presence –
they will help the sufferer to bear the unbearable.

Blessed are those who recognize their own need to receive,
and who receive with graciousness –
they will be able to give all the better.

Blessed are you who give without hope of return –
you will give people an experience of God.

May you have a great week and I pray that we have our eyes open for the Samaritans along our way. May God bless you and keep you.

Marci

Sunday Morning Missionary Musings

Enjoyed the musings of a visiting missionary priest from Jamaica, representing MOP (Missionaries of the Poor). Perfect Sunday, it tied in so well with the readings this weekend-the sending out of the seventy two (Luke 10:1-12,17-20). I was surprised to hear his story about a Bishop in a larger city who turned he and his accompanying group away-told them there was nowhere for them to stay-they knocked the dust from their sandals and moved on. They ended up at a monastery with some Poor Clares who took them in and provided for their needs for a week. We Catholics are not all on the same page!

Can I imagine stepping out of my comfort zone with nothing but the clothes on my back, trusting the good Lord to take care of my every need? Heading out into unknown territory taking the gospel message to people I don’t know? I have a difficult time carrying the message to those near and dear to me. I have been spurned by my own family and friends, laughed at and ridiculed. Sometimes it is easier to just stay quiet and not rock the boat when discussions occur. But then my conscience begins to nag, what would Jesus do, what would he say? I struggle with remaining calm and clear-headed, how did Jesus do that? Perhaps I need to pray more…I would like to talk one-on-one with Peter or Paul…what’s the secret to successful evangelization?

I believe that my mission is to trust in the Lord, pray to know his will for me and then to leave myself behind, go out and be Christ to my little world. OK, Jesus, I’m opening the door, be with me…

Blessings,
Marci