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.


Take a Step Toward Sainthood

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Sometimes when I hear stories of the Saints, especially those who have stories of heroic martyrdoms, I can feel discouraged, because I wonder how on earth I could ever live a life of that much virtue or a life of holiness that I could courageously die for my faith or suffer through chronic pain or emotional sufferings without complaining.  

Recently, a friend started to tell me the story of one of her favorite Saints, St. Cecilia, who was a second century martyr, and I was prepared to be overwhelmingly discouraged by her story. However, instead of telling the whole story, this friend shared with me one moment of the story that she had been meditating on. Because it was just one moment of the story, I found myself saying, “I can imitate that virtue in her! That one thing is not too hard for me today!” 

Sometimes prayer feels overwhelming too; there are so many hurting people in our lives, Scripture can be confusing, or maybe we don’t know where to start with the Lord.  

Today, the Lord’s invitation to Peter and Andrew is simple: “Come after me.” He doesn’t expect them to have it all figured out. He just invites them to take a step as they begin to follow him. St. Cecilia, when asked her name as she stood on trial for her faith, was able to respond: “my name is Cecilia, but my more beautiful name is that of Christian.” She probably did not have the courage to say those words on her first day of following the Lord, but little by little as she took one step at a time, she came to know the Lord and the great gift of her faith. Don’t be afraid to take one or two steps this week. The Lord is good and just wants to love you!  


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?