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How to Find Sheep

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." ~ Matthew 28:19  The Parable of the Lost Sheep is recorded in two different Gospel accounts; Matthew (18:10-14) and Luke (15:1-7). The central story of the shepherd leaving ninety-nine and searching for only one stray is the familiar common denominator, but the contexts which surround this story in each Gospel are very different and help us to learn different aspects about caring for those who are lost.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is teaching his disciples lessons about leadership, sin and how they should approach dealing with tough issues that arise in their ministry. It is for these reasons biblical scholars often call the eighteenth chapter of Matthew the “discourse on the church” or the “ecclesiastical discourse” (The Navarre Bible Standard Edition: Saint Matthew’s Gospel, 126). Jesus begins the parable saying, “See that you do not de…

We All Lose

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world. ~ John 16:33 As human beings we are constantly competing to win or gain something. Whether it is a game, a job, a new possession or relationship we are continuously attempting to reach a goal whatever it may be for us at any particular moment in our lives. Competition is good, having goals are important but losing often strengthens our will and our resolve.

Some losses are greater than others, watching your favorite sports team lose year-after-year pales in comparison to losing your job. Some loss we have no control over and other kinds of loss we had influence in the circumstances and situations that contributed to the outcome. Either way, losing doesn’t feel very good, because we have been created to be champions and conquerors, following in the footsteps of Jesus. Christ promises us in the Book of Revelation, “I will give the victor the right…

Summer Signs and Wonders

Then Mordecai said: ‘This is the Work of God. I recall the dream I had about these very things and not a single detail has been unfulfilled.” ~ EST F:1 Over this past month, July 2017, I have witnessed many different aspects of the God interacting with His people. As a Youth Minister, I walked with a group of teenagers on a six-day mission trip to Kewaskum, WI and served the elderly suffering from loneliness in a nursing home, spending time and listening to the wisdom of their life experiences; all their joys and sufferings. In our work with the elderly I felt like I was on a spiritual seesaw. As we alleviated the pain of loneliness, we lifted them up, and they in turn lifted us up by pouring out a treasure of wisdom into our souls. It was a profound Christ-centered exchange for all of us involved.

Returning from the mission I had the opportunity to travel Pittsburgh for the Golden Jubilee Anniversary Celebration of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Thousands of Catholics, and even…

The Heart of Jesus: A Prayer

God’s Heart has many qualities, and it was fully revealed to us through the incarnation of Jesus. The Heart of Christ is the Heart of God. Let us take a moment to reflect upon the qualities of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Infant Heart of Jesus, Innocent and Pure, Sanctify Us.
Childhood Heart of Jesus, Attentive and Obedient, Listen to Us.
Baptized Heart of Jesus, Righteous and Beloved, Prepare Us.
Tempted Heart of Jesus, Fortified and Steadfast, Strengthen Us.
Professed Heart of Jesus, Wise and Compassionate, Guide Us.
Miraculous Heart of Jesus, Powerful and Healing, Cure Us.
Betrayed Heart of Jesus, Abandoned and Alone, Support Us.
Scourged Heart of Jesus, Wounded and Scarred, Perfect Us.
Crucified Heart of Jesus, Exhausted and Dying, Redeem Us.
Risen Heart of Jesus, Restored and Living, Renew Us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pray For Us.

Amen

Click the player below to hear a song composed by Jeff Jones of Sunknight Music based upon this prayer.

Mary Poppins and The Mighty Wind

“Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:14
As Bert, the beloved chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, feels the winds change in the opening scene of the movie he chants; “Winds in the east, there's a mist comin' in, like somethin' is brewin' and 'bout to begin. Can't put me finger on what lies in store, but I feel what's to happen all happened before.” He alludes to the arrival of the world’s most famous nanny - who soon floats onto the doorstep of the Bank’s home to animate the lives of Jane and Michael and answer the plea of their father George for a qualified and diligent caretaker.

Her unexpected arrival is a pleasant surprise to almost everyone involved. She solves problems with a touch of magic and routinely suspends the laws of reality, to provide those whom she comes in contact with a reality check. Her iconic bag is filled with a unique combination of advocacy, orderliness and spontaneity. With the…

May, We Celebrate

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. ~ Philippians 4:4
I think the month of May was given to us by God for celebrations. Star Wars fans begin the month wishing well to one another, saying “May the fourth be with you.” Mexicans celebrate a victory in their struggle for independence a day later on Cinco de Mayo. A few weeks later we celebrate Mother’s Day. Finally, on the month’s last Monday we memorialize all those who have died defending the United States of America. That is just the societal celebrations, we haven’t mentioned high school and college graduations and proms or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation. It goes without saying there are many reasons to celebrate this month.

As the weather gets warmer, these events and occasions give us reason to gather with family and friends to share in some silliness like Star Wars day, give thanks to our mothers for blessing us with the gift of life, celebrate the accomplishments of loved ones and honor those w…

Pete Sampras Mad at His Neighbors vs. Easter

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; in Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church; He is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, that in everything He might be pre-eminent  ~ Colossians 1:15-18 It was an early spring Friday afternoon, my little brother and I got off the school bus and walked the familiar two blocks home. As we approached our house we could hear the sound of chainsaws and soon noticed a crew of so-called “landscaping professionals” just about finishing the removal of our neighbor's apple tree. While the roots of this particular tree were definitively on our neighbor's property, the branches hung over a fence by our vegetable garden providing some shade and blocked the view to an ugl…