Room for Jesus

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May 6, 2023 was a significant life marker for me. it was the 50th anniversary of my First Holy Communion. (And yes, that makes makes me feel old!) I remember the solemnity of the long procession from our classrooms where we gathered before Mass to the church. It seemed we would never get in. It took forever in the mind of this second grader. I don't remember much about the Mass, what music we sang, or even remember where my parents were sitting. (We were seated in front as a class.) I remember receiving my First Communion from the pastor, which was by intinction back in those times. I do remember part of the homily given, probably because the priest said it repeatedly. I paraphrase, "Did you prepare a room for Jesus?" Back then, I didn't know what those words could mean other than knowing that as I received communion that Jesus would dwell in me. As years passed that questions became clearer. Now I ask myself, do I make room for Jesus? Do I make room for him in my day, my life? 

Let us all ask ourselves, "Did I prepare a room for Jesus?" And, if Jesus has that dwelling place in my heart, how am I doing at letting him change that heart? The Eucharist gives us the ability to change and the strength to fulfill the mission of Christ.  Let us ask ourselves, "Do I recognize the strength  I receive from the Eucharist?" 

Posted by Paul Burzynski

We Belong to One Another

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I recently spent a week at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for some annual checkups I need. And while I had previously been led by the Holy Spirit to use my waiting time (which is a lot) for prayer for those I love, this time the Holy Spirit filled me with a deep urge to pray for the people around me—for all those who had sat or would sit in the chair I was sitting in, for all those who would use that MRI machine today, for all those who would visit that medical building or that gift shop, etc. In that act of praying for those I saw and those I didn’t see, I was filled with a deep sense of unity, of oneness, of participation in something beyond me that extends to the entire human community.

Today is Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate and commemorate our belief in the God who is One God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And while the theological implications of that are many and complicated, the simplest way to understand what it means to believe in the Trinity is to say: we belong to one another. We are not merely individuals existing in the world, but we exist in a system, a community of life and love. Just as I was one person at Mayo that week, I existed in a system of all patients. And as a participant in that system, God called me to share His light and love to those around me through prayer. To carry the burdens of others through prayer. To celebrate their joys through prayer. To walk with them and shelter them through prayer. Even without them knowing.

Just as Jesus is always in communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit, so too we are always in communion with every other member of the human race. We belong to one another. We are not in this alone. May our celebration of the Trinity today lead us to greater unity with those around us.


Unconditional Love

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I like dogs but was not a dog person. The best dogs were those of the neighbors because they went home. My wife and I had a dog for 21 hours . . . a story for another day. Five years ago, my wife and our son brought Bella home. While not completely surprised, I wasn’t totally on board. After a breaking in period, she became part of the family.

While living with us, the garage door going up signaled her to run to the window, so excited to see those she loves. She visits now. The other day she was already in the house when I came home. There she was in the window, and then at the back door, so excited, wagging not only her tail but her entire body. Pet me, love me, let me take your struggles away. I am here for you. Unconditional love.

If you leave to go to the store, she runs to the window. Where are you going, when will you be back? I will be here. . . waiting for you. Even if gone for 5 minutes, the whole thing plays out again. Don’t you know you are my world?

It is that way with God. Every day, He anxiously waits for us to come home or to talk with Him. I imagine how genuinely excited He is to see us, to hear us, to help us, to love us. Can you hear His voice saying, “Love me, let me take away your struggles. I am here for you. I love you. You are mine.” Unconditional love.

Do you hear Him saying, “Where are you? When will you be back to My Home . . . to me? When will you call on me? I am yours. I will be here . . . waiting for you.” If you do hear these words, it is time to change a habit. Start by talking with Him each day. You will be forever changed.

Are you excited to see or talk to Him? He has given us everything we have. He gave us His Son. He is our true reason for being. Love Him, place yourself in His hands. Give him your unconditional love.

Posted by Michael Ricci

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