Five years ago I wrote this first post on JOYAlive.net. Celebrate a half decade of blogging with me!
The ceremony was awesome with the crowd cheering loudly and stomping their feet from different areas of the gym as each of the 410 high school graduates received their diploma. All the expected components were there: the teachers with their colorful regalia, the solemn processional, the hero speeches, appreciation of teachers and parents, tears, hat tossing and enthusiastic parents as their kids went wild.
This class chose the motto: “The world is not coming to an end, we are taking over.” As the best class in the world, they would rule that world because they can do anything they want. They are urged to always have a goal in life. Continue reading
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As a convert, close spiritual relationships with my Catholic sisters-in-the-Lord are among God’s most treasured and healing gifts.
One Catholic sister-in-the-Lord, is dying of brain cancer. She’s the Grateful-for-Adversity Grandmother I wrote about last year. I went to visit her across town when she first was diagnosed and, after many tests, accepted it was terminal. We spent four hours together, talking, praying, singing and watching a little Catholic TV together. Mostly we just sat on her bed together and loved one another in the presence of the Lord. Continue reading
Acts 2:1-11; Ps 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-22.
Now we come to the conclusion of our Easter Season. We remembered the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. We conclude with the Father and Jesus setting his closest companions with boldness and courage to go forth into all the world to bring the Good News of salvation to all.
We can learn more about the Holy Spirit and his part in bringing God’s work forward. Jesus taught us the major work of the Holy Spirit at the Last Supper in the 5 texts I gave you last week. He is the Spirit of God’s truth. He instructs and reminds us what Jesus told us; and points to Jesus‘ ongoing work. The Holy Spirit shows us what sin, justice and condemnation are. And, if we are following his lead, guides us to all truth and to the future and heaven. Continue reading
What are your spiritual gifts? Has the Holy Spirit ever surprised you with the grace to serve in a way you never imagined? Or taken your natural talent and empowered you to use it to honor God?
For me, writing was always about personal fulfillment, if not fame. The Holy Spirit transformed my desires, helping me surrender that natural talent to the Lord. My inherited talent became a charism dedicated to building up the Body of Christ for the glory of God. The charism of writing “empowers a Christian to be a channel of God’s creativity by using words to create works of truth and beauty that reflect the fullness of human experience and bring glory to God.” A magnificent mission! Continue reading
“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit,” promises St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:7.
I was born with the natural gift of writing. The Holy Spirit expanded that writing talent into a charism he uses to glorify God.
Just as he did for me, the Holy Spirit will hover over you and develop your charism, if you ask. He will inspire you to use your natural talent for God’s glory. He will surround you with love. You’ll find yourself in a Holy Spirit sandwich.
I didn’t always know this. Often the Holy Spirit needs to remind me how this synergism transforms my gift into a holy instrument. When I am alert to the Holy Spirit, he sometimes prompts me with a theme from Scripture, a homily, book or Internet link. He reminds me of a struggle, problem, victory, or healing story. Half the time the prompt comes first; half the time the example.
Acts 1:12-14; Ps 27:1, 4, 7-8; 1 Peter 4:13-16; John 17:1-11a OR Ascension: Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47:2-3, 6-9; Ephesians 1:17-23. Option 2: Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:19-22; Matthew 28:16-20
Most states in our country transferred the Ascension from last Thursday to this Sunday except six states. Since these reflections are for an international audience on JoyAlive.net, I shall confine my reflections to the Ascension.
The readings for this Solemnity, in the three-year cycles, are the same except the gospel. This year A is from St. Matthew’s gospel. He does relate the Ascension story. Matthew combines the Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost in the Easter Sunday experience. In Matthew, Jesus did not appear to anyone after Easter Sunday until the end of the last chapter in Galilee, when Jesus gave the authority to teach and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 28:18b-20. Continue reading