theROCK

The Need to See Some Skin

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There is this delightful story about a four year old child who awoke one night frightened by a dream. She could not fall back asleep, and her mind convinced her that there in the darkness of her room, lay in waiting, an assortment of monsters and ghosts.

Alone, she ran to her parent’s bedroom. Her mother calmed her down and taking her by the hand, led her back to her own room. Her mother put on the light to dispel the demons and reassured her child with these words, “You needn’t be afraid, you are not alone here. God is in the room with you.”

The girl replied “I know that God is here, but I need someone in this room who has some skin!”

This is what the apostle Thomas is, in essence, asking of the resurrected Jesus. He’s saying,” I need to see some skin.” This is the best explanation for our whole experience with Jesus, since his announcement to Mary by the angel Gabriel - until this moment.

This Easter is unlike any I have ever had. How about you? I long to celebrate with someone who has some skin. Maybe this Easter we can celebrate knowing Jesus came in the flesh, died, and then rose again. He sits at the right hand of the Father and is with us here on earth. We have been accustomed to our relationship with Jesus without some skin, and today, I ask you to unite with our entire St. Dominic Catholic Parish family…unite in love. Unite in the power of God’s love.

I ask you to close your eyes and think about being with people you enjoy, family, friends…Now open your eyes. How do you feel when you think about spending time with them? Now close your eyes again and think about stuff you have. Now think about spending time with the stuff…How does that make you feel? Which of the two feelings would you like to experience more often? That’s the power of God’s love.

This Lenten season, you were to tame your desires for stuff, to strengthen your will against things you thought you needed. This at-home experience is showing us what we really need, and to see the power of God’s love, the same love which raised Jesus from the dead…for us. To see again with new eyes. To see with the eyes of Jesus. His eyes see the value in relationships.

Have a blessed Easter. Until we can see each other in the flesh.

Enduring our Cross

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How are you all doing out there? Me? Well, words do not exist for what I am feeling. I simply can’t put a finger on just the right adjective. I guess the closest would be brokenhearted. My cup gets filled by the kids and the teachers. Their worlds of instruction and learning are going on, persevering in their studies, undoubtedly doing amazing and wonderful things, and I can’t see nor hear them. I did not sign up to be a principal of a virtual school. I need people. I need kids. I need the Knights!

Last week, I was talking about how this experience is supposed to be teaching us something. I am learning a lot about myself as a child of God and as a servant to His people. I have always known that I am not perfect, but I am learning how truly imperfect I am. Therefore, I am making a change to my Lenten sacrifice for the remainder of the season and into the Triduum. This is all a level of suffering that is helping me to identify with my Lord and His Blessed Mother.

Mary, my mother, your heart desires to alleviate suffering. Help me first to offer my suffering to the Lord so I may find peace from what afflicts me. Then help me see the suffering of others and give me the desire to alleviate that suffering just as you desire to alleviate it yourself. Amen (A Heart Like Mary’s: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does, p. 107)

Each of us are carrying a cross right now, it is our job to recognize  that and be empathetic toward it. I am working to be vigilant for how God is moving among us so that I don't lose sight of Him. Places I would usually find Him are gone or hidden from me. I am left looking for it in the words that come across my screen or through my family. One must be vigilant toward looking for it to see it. A Knight is vigilant. God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! Good will come from all of this. Good is occurring.

In times of trial, it is imperative that we strive to find hope and bring hope. As an Easter people, this is what our faith depends on. Hope. Hope is trusting in God’s loving plan with our hearts set on the goal of heaven. To lose hope is to lose God. Don’t lose hope.

Courage and Confidence

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When the angel Gabriel came to Mary and asked her to be the mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the angel told Mary not to be afraid. Can you find strength in those words when you need to be courageous? At this time? I certainly can. If Mary can be confident in her “yes” to all the scary things that were about to happen to her then certainly I can be courageous in what is happening to me. This, too, shall pass.

I see every tragedy as a call to action. There is something we are to learn from this moment that we find ourselves in. I am certain everyone will learn something different based on where you are in life. Some of us will learn the value of family. Others may learn the value of patience. Others may learn not to take things for granted. I hope all of us learn how important God is in our lives. That may be the bigger lesson. I am learning a lot. Are you? 

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