Thursday, February 28, 2013

Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus

Thank you Pope Benedict XVI for your leadership and wisdom over the last eight years! Your words will endure for years to come. You said yes to the Lord to serve as Pope at the age of 78. You have served the Lord your entire life and will continue to do so until you are called home. Well done, good and faithful servant!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Commandments of the Lord

"Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch. Simon said in reply, Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets. When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing."  -Luke 5:3-6

Each of us is on a journey. The Gospel reading above shows us that Christ desires to be part of that journey. We all need good teachers to help us maneuver through the waters of life. Everyone knows those waters can be very calm at one moment and the very next can toss you about filling you with fear that you might just go overboard. Not one person figures life out overnight nor maneuvers through life unscathed. However, what the Gospel says to us is that Christ who is our teacher and savior calls out to us along the journey. Christ's desire to be one with us in the boat and to lead us to the eternal dwelling place. Christ's call and desire never waver despite where we may be along the journey. The question is do we choose to listen or even desire to be reached?

For us to reach our eternal destination and to experience meaning along the way we must be willing to listen and do as we are commanded. The commandments that our God gives to us and the commands Christ call us to live are not meant to be overbearing and unreachable, rather, the commandments are meant to free us, deliver us and help us to experience abundant blessings in our lives.

The temptation for most is to desire to do it "my way". We stop being students and only see commandments as rules that are an imposition upon our personal freedoms and independence. At times our stubbornness causes us to get lost, which then makes it more difficult to find our way back.

Peter in the Gospel above tells the Lord that he and the others have worked hard doing it their way with little results. After expressing frustration, Peter finally responds to Christ's command. It was only then that Peter in giving over to obedience at the command of Christ lowers his nets. And when he had done this he immedidately caught a great number of fish.

Christ wants to be part of the journey and will call out to us to hear his commands. Commands that are not meant to burden but to truly free and nourish us abundantly. We must not sail away from the Lord nor close ourselves off from his commands. We must have faith and trust that the Lord has a plan for each of us. A plan that undoubtedly will have its share of waves nevertheless a journey full of blessings and meaning. He will be part of the journey at every moment. In the calming everyday moments of our lives as well as the stormy uncertain ones. Whether in the calm or the storm, we must be willing to listen to the commands of the Lord by casting out our pride and lowering our nets of humility into the deep where Christ has abundant blessings awaiting both you and me!