Monday, January 29, 2018

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, thank you for your work and desire to make us healthy and full of life in body, heart, and mind. May we always use our health to serve you and all our brothers and sisters. We seek your mercy and kindness for our times we have been self-absorbed and failed to care for the needs of others. Please show your compassion to all of those on our sick list, especially my sister, Judi, and Marge's friend Jill. And, always, we commend those who have gone before us and trust in your love and mercy. We ask all of this in Jesus name. 

Companion EventsBirthdays: Mary Ellen (Lay) Olsen (1/29), Colleen (Weed) Galdys (1/30), Vicki Schnitzer (1/31), John Kane (2/1), Mike DePriest (2/1).  Ed Luckett (2/2), Ben Vager (2/3).  In memoriam: Fr. Gerald E Sheeds (1/30/2013).

Keeping In-touch: We enjoyed watching our favorite tennis professional, Roger Federer, win the Australian Open and his 20th Grand Slam Tournament. We submitted our passports for renewal and look forward to our trip to Europe. And some of our SCC Community Members walked through my first "Breathing Underwater" presentation. We simply delight in living our charmed lives.

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: Jesus cured Peter's mother-in-law, then she, immediately, began to serve Jesus and his friends. Too often when I have been "cured" by my disease of body, mind or spirit, I simply enjoy my regained health and fail to show my gratitude much less immediately turn to others and serve them.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, cast out all the unclean spirits in us or among us that seek to take us away from your love and mercy. Help us to acknowledge your glory among us and lead others to the fullness of life that you offer. Forgive us for the times we have chosen to seek pleasure or comfort in false prophesy that is set before us, or by avoiding responding to the good you offer. Thank you for all the gifts we have received, help us to use all of these to help build your kingdom. Please care for all who suffer physical, emotional, or spiritual challenges, especially those on our "renewed health" list. Welcome all who have gone before us into your guiding light. We ask all of this in Jesus name. 

Companion EventsBirthdays: Gayle Schroeder (1/17; missed last week), Molly (Cole) Komon (1/23), James L Green (1/24), Michael Sheeran, SJ (1/24). Anniversary: Greg & Diane Blanchard (1/25/'76). In memoriam: Paul Pitzen (1/26/2008), Wally Shultz (1/27/2014).

Keeping In-touch: We  finally received some measurable snowfall. It looks and feels like winter now. Otherwise we've had a normal week... old man poker, a little tennis, yoga, and walks in the neighborhood.

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: Once I received a phone call and heard a desperate request to help a young man "with the devil in his head." I responded the best I could, not knowing much about devils (I had studied psychology, philosophy, and religious studies...before that, math and chemistry.). I listened to the young man's story. We prayed together. And I experienced the comforting power of Our Lord. I still don't know much about devils, but I will never forget the experience, and I will always open myself to the power of Jesus in my life.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, you call us to help build your kingdom. May we praise you with our lips and with our lives. Please forgive all our sins. We can not express the gratitude in our hearts for your awesome mercy. Thank you for all the life you give us. Grant us all we need to live full lives and bring you glory. Lovingly touch all who are burdened with physical or emotional pain, especially those on our lists and those who we promised to pray for. Welcome all those who have preceded us in death. We ask all this in Jesus name. 

Companion EventsBirthdays: Larry Gates (1/14), Mary (Dean) Norton (1/15), Martin Munoz (1/19)In memoriam: Baby Elizabeth Lay (1/17/1993), Lina Kilday (1/19/1958), Charlie Shelton SJ (1/20/2014).

Keeping In-touch: We enjoyed an ordinary week: played some tennis & pickleball and worked on our healthy-eating and exercise. Some winter weather has arrived. We're planning our summer trips. 

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: Two points struck me in our Gospel for this Sunday. First, Jesus calls all of us to join in the building of God's kingdom. Anything (our nets) that keeps us from living in God's grace and pointing to God's love and mercy should be dropped. And, secondly, the phrase "This is the time of fulfillment" challenges me to live in the present. It challenges me to experience God's presence in our lives now.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, we desire to stay with you. Like your first followers, we want to know where you live. Help us, like Eli, to listen and respond, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." We will hear you and praise you.
Forgive us for our failures to listen and to act on your will that is the best direction for us on our journey. We need your help to forgive those who ignore us or shut us out.
We trust you will send us all that we need. We call to you to care for all those on our prayer lists and to welcome all who have gone before us to your kingdom to experience you in all your glory.

Companion EventsBirthdays: Jack Parise (1/7), Cullen Stevens (1/11)In memoriam: Joseph Himpleman (1/7/1960).

Keeping In-touch: My thumb is healing and I'm experiencing some wonders of God's gracious healing power! We have taken down the Christmas lawn display and the outdoor lights. We continue to work on putting away our indoor decorations. We have so much gratitude for a wonderful Advent and Christmas Season. The blog post preceding this one provides an account of one of our grace-filled experiences.
We hope all our companions have been so blessed.

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: Jesus' followers asked where he was staying and they stayed with him. We have been given no description of a mansion or of a hut and I guess that it doesn't matter! 
So where does Jesus stay today? One of my companions writes, "I hope we can know when we look in a mirror!" 
Let's not spend our time and effort seeking the Lord only in the beautiful chapels and cathedrals, let's find him in one another and in the wonderful Creation we enjoy. Let us find him in our sorrows as well as our joys.
Thank you for breaking bread with me (companionship) and helping me to know the Lord.

"The rest of the story..."

I remember Paul Harvey broadcasting, "The rest of the story" and provide little know facts about a well known person or event. If you enjoyed the "Christmas Opportunity" blog post, you will, most likely enjoy this The Rest of the Story...

 The rest of the "Christmas Opportunity Story..."

Marge and I settled into the evening (1/2/2018) and began to flip channels between two of our favorite, Jesuit basketball games.
The doorbell rang, I opened the door, a gentleman greeted me with a card and said, “I’m a commuter who drives by your home each evening and want to thank you for your lighted nativity display.”

I replied, “Well, God bless you!” and he walked back to his car.

I returned to my easy-chair and handed the envelope to my Bride and told her of the quick exchange. Marge opened the envelope and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, read this!
I am a commuter on the road just north of your home. I have driven by your house many times on my way home from work. And I want to thank you for your Nativity display. It brightens my day every time. No matter how bad a day I might have at work your Nativity display reminds me a new of the great hope we have in our Savior! Thank you so much. I’m sure I am not alone in this sentiment. I’m also enclosing $20 to help w/ the electric bill.
Thanks again,
A Blessed Commuter! ☺

This choked-me-up, big-time! “I wish I could share this card with Pa.”
Marge commented, “I’m sure he knows.”

I bet we rarely know how many people we touch just by doing what we do. Hopefully I’m making more impact with the love I have and share, and not so often when I’m “a grumpy old man.”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Epiphany of the Lord

My Companions, pray with me:
Lord, help us to recognize you when you come to visit us. Accept our gifts, the gift of our love for you and all your creation. Forgive us when we fail to notice you or find your spirit in others. Thank you for the gift of your life and love. Please shower your glory on all our petitions for renewed health and for all our loved ones living and dead.

Companion EventsBirthdays: Thomas Nale (12/31), Alan Kobza (1/1), Sue Ross (1/1) Anniversary: Whitney & Mitch Ross (12/31), DeAnna Pierce & Bob Weed (1/2), . In memoriam: Helen (Kilday) Low  (1/2/1975).

Keeping In-touch: Well, the year began with a challenge for me: I sliced a chunk off my right thumb as I cut-up potatoes for breakfast yesterday. It makes me think of how wimpy I am, especially compared to my Lord's passion and death. Our Iowa Kids returned home safely and we continue to enjoy the California Little Ones as we anticipate a New Year of love, joy, and laughter.  

The Readings: The Epiphany of the Lord

Some Commentary for prayer or study: The Sunday Website

My comments and an invitation for your comments: I sometimes wonder what the Lord tries to tell me in my dreams as I reflect on the magi from the east being warned in a dream not to return to Herod. Herod wanted to kill "the ruler who will shepherd God's people." What warnings should I be hearing? Who, in my world, wants to snuff-out the life and love of God?