Special Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom’s out there.
Ya’ll make the world go round. Ya’ll are a big reason we are all here! Thanks for saying “Yes.” We are enjoying the life we received from you!
A Special Special Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom--Anna Lee! I love you so much.
I am who I am because You are who You are.....
sorry I can’t handle taking all of the blame!!! Hahahahaha
Also, a special Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom’s Mom--Ernestine Ruth Griffin--and my nephew’s Mother-- my sister Courtney Ann Lewis! Love ya’ll both very much and am proud to have your blood coursing through my veins.
Here is a shot of the three generations of Mothers in my life! Does it get anymore beautiful???
Today, reminds me of a question St. Paul asked me either this year, “What do you have that you have not received?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). As we pause today and celebrate our Mothers, we contemplate a mesmerizing reality--Mom never asked me if I wanted to be born???!!!!
Yet here we are?! Our Mothers (in collaboration with our Fathers and God) brought us into this world. They did not have to do this. But they did. And here we are. We did not request our lives...for we did not exist...except for the Mind of God alone. And here we are. They did not have to care for us, raise us, or love us. But they did. And here we are.
More than perhaps any other person in our lives, our Mothers remind us that we are a GIFT. Our lives are a GIFT. Freely given...and freely received. It is easy to forget this...but this is the fundamental character of our lives--we are utterly GIFTS.
I think this is something we can never be reminded of enough. Only by keeping this fact (That we mysteriously entered into existence as a GIFT) can we possibly begin to understand something else St. Paul tells us-- “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Life is a Gift. This maxim always remains true. However, at times this is easier to believe....to live than others. When things seem to go our way, we comfortably assent to this “Theory of the Gift.” But when struggles come...deaths...sicknesses...break ups...failures....etc....it is so easy to give up on this Truth.
This is why I think Christ’s life is so compelling. God Himself entered into the drama of human living. He lived life to its fullest--the most intense joys and the deepest sorrows. He suffered greatly and died the most painful death imaginable. But death does not have the last word!
Having conquered the powers of Hell and Death itself, Christ is soon again amongst his disciples saying “Peace be with You!” His words seem to arouse within them their deepest identity---GIFTS. This changes everything. Encountering Christ is always, at once, an encounter with our deepest selves---everything we were made for...everything we long for---SELFLESS LOVE. And the results are clear. Just contemplate the last verses of Luke’s Gospel:
“They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.” (24:52-3)
So, let’s really rejoice today for the Gift of our Lives! Let’s really rejoice for the Gift of our Mothers. Let’s take some time today and let the Mystery of our very existence wash over us for awhile. Take some time and consider some of our deepest joys and too our greatest sufferings. In both, may we take on the challenge of finding the GIFT. For as we have reflected....ALL of life is a Gift. Thus, its every small detail must in SOME WAY be painted with this color.
Peace be with you!
Yesterday Chuck graduated from the University of Alabama!
Congratulations Chuck! I am so proud of you. Let’s take a look and see how far she has come through the years.
Chuck on the Left. Me doing the sweet split in the Middle. Courtney humiliating herself on the Right. hahahhahahahahahaha
Chuck is not eating the sandwich
Astounding isn’t it!
Yesterday as well was the first round of the Clericus Cup Playoffs. We played against a College named Sedes Sapientia which is an international seminary boasting players largely from Africa and South America. Our hard work and commitment really payed off as we rolled through our first round game 3-0!!!!
My sister Courtney and her husband Jeremy are getting pretty savvy with YouTube as they try to immortalize the first months of their son Connor’s life. This week they were able to catch a couple of his “Firsts” which I thought ya’ll might like to check out.
[Please excusing the strange noises and attempts at verbal communication that Courtney (and most all Mothers) feels compelled to make on behalf of her still-not-yet-verbal baby]
Catholics Come Home
Sometime last week a guy named Tom Peterson came and spoke to our Seminary about a ministry he started in the United States which has really taken off over the past several years. Having been raised Catholic, Tom like most Catholics today, stopped really practicing his faith. He had a very successful career in advertising and was plugging right along. Some friends convinced him to go on a retreat and he had a powerful conversion experience. He shortly thereafter felt called to start a ministry reaching out to people like himself using his expertise in advertising.
Whether you are Catholic or not, I think it is really worth your time to check the Ministry’s website. It has some great information about Catholicism. Most notably, this ministry has produced some really moving videos. I think the ones entitled “Epic” and “Movie” are the most compelling. Check them out.
NEXT SUNDAY’S GOSPEL:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.
(or depending on your Parish....)
Seventh Sunday in Easter
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for them,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”