theROCK

More Than a Feeling

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As a Catholic revert, it often breaks my heart to watch people take the Eucharist so lightly. About 4 years ago, when I still considered myself a non-denominational Christian, I attended an adoration night with my new Catholic friend. I had grown up Catholic, and I was even part of Life Teen in high school, so I was familiar with adoration. I never felt like I actually felt or experienced Jesus though, so, I concluded it couldn’t be true. At this point, I thought whatever denomination you were didn’t really matter, as long as you love Jesus and show that to others.

So, at this adoration night 4 years ago, I remember when the priest brought Jesus around. I thought to myself, “I’ll give this one more chance.” The priest brought the small host in the monstrance over. I looked at Jesus and he looked at me. I still didn’t feel or experience anything spectacular.

In the coming months, I dove head first into Catholic theology, Church history, and studied the Scriptures deeper than I ever had before. I couldn’t figure out what Jesus meant by, “this is my body, this is my blood.” Was he really serious? As I learned things I had never known before, I couldn’t deny the true Presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. It was real. He was really, truly, present. For so many years, I had been wrong. All because I couldn’t “experience” Him there.

So often in my life, I have let my feelings guide my faith. I have learned that faith is far more than a feeling, although sometimes I do experience feelings. Faith also takes understanding, learning, and knowledge. Jesus does not ask us to blindly follow him. I realized encountering Jesus is a gift, not something to be strived after. I had a heart posture of, “Prove that you’re real,” instead of “Jesus, show me who you are and how much you love me.” Now I have a confidence and assurance that my Savior is present, whether or not I can feel him there.

Something is Happening

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Every Pentecost Sunday the most compelling of the three readings for me is Acts 2:1-11 These slow-to-get-it, doubtful and frightened Apostles received the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire and became Courageous. Something Happened.

The Apostles had one native language when they left the upper room to speak to the crowds, who were from many nations with different languages, but everyone who heard the Apostles understood each word that was proclaimed.
Something Happened.

Lately in America, doesn’t it feel like we’re speaking a foreign language to more and more of our neighbors?   Doesn’t it feel like in the era of more diverse ways to communicate,  our communication with each other is breaking down and failing?

Changing definitions for generations-old established words and totally invented new words are leading to divisions. People talk while simultaneously scrolling social media,  which means that attention is divided and this leads to misunderstandings.  Our families, neighborhoods, communities, country lost the ability to talk civilly with those we don’t agree with. We all can name people in our lives who no longer speak to each other, and we are increasingly divided. Something Happened

We could spend hours dissecting and theorizing the “why’s.” We could point to politics, social issues, media, and technology. Pointing fingers and straining to pinpoint the exact event or time that it fell apart and place blame is a waste.

This is not that complicated. America is no longer a Christendom. And we Christians often stay silent rather than proclaim Christ’s message of repentance, redemption, forgiveness, and love.

The antidote to Anger and Hate is Forgiveness and Love. Jesus proved this as He died for our sins on the cross. We who are followers of Christ must speak as we are able and trust that the Holy Spirit will give us the words that allow others to hear. We who are followers of Christ , when faced with a debate about some divisive topic, must talk about Christ and proclaim His message. It begins with talking with those closest to us.  We must find courage to Cross the Great Divide. (“Cross” reference intended).

What happened in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost was a miracle; born of the Holy Spirit to bring the Resurrection and Truth of Jesus Christ to the world.

Come Holy Spirit. Give us all the Courage to Make Something Happen.

 

Something Happened

main image

Every Pentecost Sunday the most compelling of the three readings for me is Acts 2:1-11. These slow-to-get-it, doubtful, and frightened Apostles received the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire and became Courageous. Something Happened.

The Apostles had one native language when they left the upper room to speak to the crowds who were from many nations with different languages, but everyone who heard the Apostles understood each word that was proclaimed.
Something Happened.

Lately in America, doesn’t it feel like we’re speaking a foreign language to more and more of our neighbors?   Doesn’t it feel like in the era of more diverse ways to communicate, our communication with each other is breaking down and failing?

Changing definitions for generations-old established words and totally invented new words are leading to divisions. People talk while simultaneously scrolling social media,  which means that attention is divided and leads to misunderstandings.  Our families, neighborhoods, communities, and country has lost the ability to talk civilly with those we don’t agree with. We can all name people in our lives who no longer speak to each other, and we are increasingly divided.

We could spend hours dissecting and theorizing the “why’s.” We could point to politics, social issues, media, and technology. Pointing fingers and straining to pinpoint the exact event or time that it fell apart and place blame is a waste.

This is not that complicated. America is no longer a Christendom. And we Christians often stay silent rather than proclaim Christ’s message of repentance, redemption, forgiveness, and love.

The antidote to Anger and Hate is Forgiveness and Love. Jesus proved this as He died for our sins on the cross. We who are followers of Christ must speak as we are able and trust that the Holy Spirit will give us the words that allow others to hear. We who are followers of Christ, when faced with a debate about some divisive topic, must talk about Christ and proclaim His message. It begins with talking with those closest to us.  We must find courage to Cross the Great Divide. (“Cross” reference intended).

What happened in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost was a miracle; born of the Holy Spirit to bring the Resurrection and Truth of Jesus Christ to the world.

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