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The Edge of Our Seats

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There are moments in life that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Maybe it’s a baseball game where there are runners on base and a hit can win the game, or double overtime in a basketball game with seconds on the clock when a 3 point shot goes up. Perhaps these moments hit a little closer to home—like watching your child swimming or running in a meet,  neck and neck with another athlete. Whatever the results are, we want to remember and recount them with others afterwards.

When was the last time something in your faith life kept you on the edge of your seat? Recently, I experienced several "edge of your seat" faith moments.

My daughter and I were blessed to be present at the ordination of two men, Father Stephen Buting and Father Nicholas Baumgardner. I also witnessed children eagerly walking to the sanctuary for a blessing before heading off to Children’s Liturgy the Word and spent time in the nursery with some of our littlest and most “active” parishioners. Finally, I was present for the Mass of Thanksgiving for Father Nick at his home parish and received a blessing from him! These are all moving experiences for me—watching people answer God’s call to seek, know and become Christ.

Be watchful and aware of the faith moments in your life that keep you on the edge of your seat. God is present all around us. Are we as eager to share those edge of our seat moments as quickly and enthusiastically as those of our everyday lives?

A New Commandment

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Mandatum Novum—a new commandment.

This gospel passage, “I give you a new commandment, ” is one of my favorites.  The passage follows Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet on the night before Jesus died. Jesus, no doubt full of anguish, because he knew he was about to be betrayed and of his impending passion, gives them his last words of advice before taking up the cross. With all of the “stuff” our Lord has going on, he still has his mission to fulfill. Within moments, Judas will betray him. In a few short hours, Peter will deny him—not once, but three times! Yet, the Lord shows us yet another example of humility by washing feet.

We all have a mission to fulfill, and we all have “stuff” going on in our lives. The reading and re-reading of this passage gives me cause to think of how I am responding to everyday events in my life. Today is a good day for all of us to evaluate how the Lord’s new commandment is relevant in our lives.

Lord, grant us your humility, that even in our daily trials, to see the opportunities to wash the feet of our brothers and sisters. Let your Mandatum Novum be our Novus Via Vitae—new way of life.

Whispers in the Heart

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Mothers hold a very special place in our hearts and in world.

To say that my maternal mother, Jeanette, was a blessing is an understatement. My mom lived and carried herself as a role model of faith. She helped me to understand what a true disciple is. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized the sacrifices she made, and how faith was the constant in her life which sustained her. It was my grandparents who taught her about the works of mercy—what it means to care for those in need.

My mom learned that when you felt that you were at the end of your rope there is always hope. My mom was a widow at the age of 42 with 8 children to raise. I never felt that I lacked anything. I learned of her struggles and how the Lord came through for her in so many desperate times from the stories she shared later. Even now in heaven, she still is helping me and directing my path. I would say, “I love you mom,” and her response was always, “I love you more.” At times, I miss hearing that out loud but it still whispers in my heart.

As I have grown in my faith life, I have come to form a greater relationship with Mary, our Blessed Mother. She is a go-to person for me to ask for her intercession. She is a great example to me of how to be a humble servant. She shows me how to respond to God with great obedience to His plan. 

A third mother is St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta. In all aspects of her life she was a generous dispenser of divine mercy. Through her defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded, she modeled true discipleship. She is and always will be a model of holiness. 

Jesus, thank you for all the mothers you have placed in my life.  

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