Sunday Morning Treasured Musings

August 8, 2010 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”
Luke 12:32-48
Another one of my favorite Gospel readings…it’s so important for us to be ready at any moment and to be properly prepared. Earthly treasures will do us no good in heaven, they won’t even help us get there.

So, three things happened this weekend, God is speaking loudly to me about all this stuff in my life. First, there was a yard sale, what was left of my mother’s belongings were laid out on blankets in her front yard. She had moved to an apartment, a smaller space to keep up with and a lot less drama in her life. However, when you move from a two story, four bedroom home that you have lived in for forty years, you find you have accumulated lots of stuff! She took the things that have meaning for her, some things were given away to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, but the remaining stuff was put out for yard sale. It’s such a final action, it was sad to see her things out there for the world to pick through and then discard as junk. Today’s reading has helped to put it all into perspective, it was and is just earthly stuff and not one of those things makes a difference in the larger scheme of life. Holding on to them would not have insured her a spot in heaven. It’s who she is and what she does and has done in her lifetime that will get her a seat at the heavenly banquet. I just hope she can sit and let someone else wait on her for a change…
The second thing that happened is really not as in your face, but it still amazes me how God ties everything together. After helping at the yard sale I arrive home to find my husband watching on HGTV a program about selling your house. This woman goes around to people who have been trying to unsuccessfully sell their homes and shows them little tricks to improve their odds. What was the biggest advice she gave to each and every one of those homeowners? Declutter! Keep your spaces clean! I look around me and I see clutter, lots of clutter. I didn’t always have all this, I had a time in my life when I was down to one bedroom worth of “stuff”. The things I had were mostly necessities, a bed, dresser, books I was reading and using, just enough clothing for my needs. Funny thing is, I was closer to God then at any other time in my life. I didn’t have a TV, a computer, a cell phone…yet I survived. I was cleaned out, I had no clutter, inside or out. Things changed and I have been blessed with another home-filled with stuff! It happened slowly and steadily, but it happened. Now I look around and I know I am being asked once again to declutter, to come back to that clean space.

Finally, the third thing that was given to me was the following by Deacon Jerry Martinez of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, he was writing about today’s reading as well for a Stewardship newsletter. Very interesting indeed…

The trash we put on the curb to be discarded reveals much about who we are and what we do in life. It contains the packaging of the products that we treasure. It reveals where our hearts are. What is in our trash?
Is it packaging from the latest electronic games, the best type of athletic equipment, the current fashion in clothes (no matter how revealing), the appliances with the most features, containers that held gourmet foods,too many empty liquor bottles and beer cans, and the shredded documents of the fortune we are trying to amass? There are some people whose hearts are not revealed by their trash. They have no trash. Sadly, they have nothing to throw away. They do not have sufficient food and they have very little clothing. We would do well to remember these words of Jesus, “Much will be required of the person who has much, and still more of the person entrusted with more.” When we bring our trash to the curb we should ask, “How much treasure have I been entrusted with? What does this trash reveal about my heart?”

Have a great week…happy cleaning!
May God bless you and keep you,
Marci

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

Ascension Sunday Morning Musings

I apologize for missing the last couple of Sundays, I have been ill, but am feeling much better now.

We have a visiting lay evangelist with us this week at St. Peter who actually spoke at Mass during the homily and will be with us for a mission on Pentecost Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings at 7 PM in the church.

Before Fr. Tom introduced him, he spoke a bit about coming home and what that is like for him.  He went home to be with his mom on Mother’s Day this year.  His opening statement was, “Home is where mom is.”  That is so very true, no matter where your mom lives, that place is home because mom makes it so.  That spoke volumes to me especially with everything going on in my personal life with my mom right now.  Please keep us in your prayers, it is a stressful time, but I do believe in the power of God’s good graces and I know this time will pass.

What I really want to talk about this morning though, is another thought that came into my mind after thinking about Fr. Tom’s words and the Ascension of Our Lord.  Jesus must have had quite the homecoming!  How exciting it must have been for him, he had been away so long, 33 years!  The celebration must have been breathtaking.  Yet, it must have been bittersweet as well, leaving his good friends and family, those who had followed him, and especially his mother.  Even though he knew he would be seeing them all again, still, the human side of him must have had just a bit of an ache knowing he was leaving them all behind, and the divine side knowing they would  suffer in his name.

Our own homecoming will be wonderful, marvelous, joyful beyond anything we can imagine.  Even though the world appears to be falling apart at the seams and things look hopeless, keep your sights on the end prize, keep your eyes on heaven.  Our own precious Lord awaits us there! Nothing beats the feeling of coming home.

May God bless you and keep you this week.  Amen

Marci