A few years ago, my wife Stephanie and I took a group of our parish teens on a summer mission trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. We were blessed to spend the week working with an organization called Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly. This is a group that works with elderly people who have lost ties with family, have no family at all, and face the reality of simply being alone. Read More
On the Inside; On the Outside
On Wednesday, I whipped up a batch of homemade Sweet Corn and Crab Soup for dinner. There’s nothing like a good pot of soup on a cold, winter evening. So I went grocery shopping last weekend to make sure that I had all of the needed ingredients to prepare the feast. I’m always amazed at the number of ingredients needed to make a pot of homemade soup. And it can be anything from meat, fish, various vegetables, and usually several spices. Then you have to do all of the necessary chopping and mixing. So the question to ask: is it soup yet? Well, not quite. You need to have the soup simmer for a period of time. Once these steps have been completed, you can finally partake in your creation (and hopefully it turned out well). Read More
Back when our three sons were younger, we used to go camping on our family vacations. And I can recall that some of the best trips we ever had were when we camped in the mountains. There’s something about the fresh mountain air and the fabulous views that really make you feel awake and alive.
I remember one summer night when we were sitting around the campfire. I was lying on the ground looking up at the night sky. I had never seen so many stars in my entire life. As far as the eye could see, I saw what appeared to be millions upon millions of stars twinkling brightly. As I was gazing upward, I found myself opening my eyes as wide as possible so that I could see as much of the sky at once. I just didn’t want to miss any part of that magnificent light show. Even after a long day and mile-upon-mile of hiking trails, sleep was the last thing on my mind.
“Stay awake!” Jesus says. “For you don’t know on which day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24: 42-51)We need to be attentive and constantly alert so that we can see God in the world. This can’t be just a casual observance, but something that needs to be integrated into our very being. It can be so easy to be lulled to sleep by the familiar, the comfortable, and the mundane. It can be so easy to fall into auto-pilot mode and do what we always do; to walk around like zombies following our daily rituals and patterns, completely missing what’s right in front of our face. But today and every day, we are called to be alert and to find those things that challenge us and make us feel alive in our faith. For when we are not awake, we are not fully alive.
Let us always make a conscious effort to see the light of God that is right in front of us, all around us, and within us. And let us strive to keep our eyes wide open so that we can witness the immeasurable love that God has for each one of us. Believe me – that in itself is worth staying awake for.
What kind of foundation are we building on? In today’s gospel (Matthew 7:21-29), Jesus wasn’t talking about building an actual house, but about building a life – a life that is meaningful – a life worth living. We could certainly apply this teaching to marriages and families too.
When we’re building a life, we want it to be a life that we can look back on at the end of it without any regrets. When we’re building a family, we want that family to be stable, strong, and full of joy and love. If we want to build a life or a household that will last, that will stand, that will make a difference; we first need to understand what Jesus means when he talks about storms. Read More
Over the past week, I have been watching my father’s old 8mm home movies. This was a project that was started months before his passing, where he was cleaning out his basement and wanted to get rid of all these old reels of film. Being the video buff that I am, I said that I would take it and capture on video all of the important parts so we had it as a memory of the past. So for months, this stuff sat here in my “things to do” pile. Well, I’m finally getting to it, Dad! Read More
With the holidays upon us, my wife and I are blessed to have all three of our boys home from college. It’s been a wonderful experience to have all of them home together for the first time in a long time. Not only is it precious time to spend together as a family, but we get to witness first-hand how they are growing and maturing right in front of our eyes. It is a very good thing to be a part of one, big happy family! Read More
Family is a wonderful blessing! (Archie Bunker may not agree with me on this, but it is the honest truth!) Spending time with all of them around the holidays was truly a special event. However, when you talk about family, especially if you are referring to overall size, my family is dwarfed by my wife’s family. In other words, my family is very small, while hers is very big. Read More
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I slowly recover from my turkey hangover from celebrating two Thanksgiving feasts, I am able to take a few minutes to reflect upon this wonderful weekend.
This was a weekend filled with family. I had the opportunity to spend this holiday with both sides of the family: my side and my wife’s side. Although some people dread the holidays because of family, I actually look forward to spending time with both sides of the family. Read More
This week, my wife Stephanie and I advanced one step closer to having an empty house. Some may say that this was a traumatic week for us. With one son already away at college, we took another son and moved him into college mid week. We take the remaining son to college this weekend. It’s hard to believe that our boys are off to college when it wasn’t that long ago that we were there ourselves.
It’s June, and everything is green. We’re into the growing season, and so everywhere you look you see signs of green growth. And speaking of growth, with today being Father’s Day, I can’t help but to reflect on how my three sons have grown so quickly over the years. Read More