God hears the cry of the poor…in the New Year of 2012!
After Jesus was baptized and was driven into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil, he entered the synagogue of his hometown. He stood up to read the Scriptures and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He sent me to proclaim liberty to captives,
recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
Happy New Year! Next Sunday is the Feast of Epiphany, a celebration of Light in the World and in our minds. The time between Christmas and Easter is a time to understand the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus came to bring Good News to the poor. God loves the poor. After the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ during the darkest days of the year, the days will get longer and lighter for the next six months. Hopefully, our minds will likewise get more enlightened.
It amazes me how much money and energy is spent on football and playoffs. As soon as a team (and city) wins a Super Bowl, we immediately strive for another. One is not good enough. We don’t take the time to really enjoy our accomplishments. Our moods and emotions are determined on whether our team wins or loses. Don’t get me wrong, sports and entertainment are good for us, but addiction is not.
How many things of this world are we truly addicted to? Computers and the Internet are wonderful inventions, but now we keep pushing the limits. How often would we prefer to “text” someone, rather than speak to them? Then there are the times we are driving and being absorbed in talking on a cell phone or worse, texting, is truly a serious problem. We get so absorbed and distracted that we would put another person’s life at risk for that immediate gratification of responding to the mad dash of fingers on a tiny phone.
Of course as I say this, I convict myself. It is so easy for me to put off the work I need to be doing while I surf the web or Facebook for unreasonable lengths of time. There are so many “conveniences” and gadgets that take me away from prayer and simple silence that truly are food for our souls. Now that seems to be the problem. Our souls are starving to death. We don’t watch or attend just one football game a week, we keep feeding our eyes with the game that would feel empty if we didn’t have replay.
I hate to break this to many of you, but real life doesn’t have replay. Our sins are not overruled on the field. The only remedy for a bad play…is forgiveness from God. Let us ask ourselves: “How much time and energy have we expended to relieving the cry of the poor?”
If we truly desire to live in Heaven for all eternity, we need to follow the example of Jesus. We must detach and love the poor. Be creative. I suggest beginning with silence, taking a walk, singing and journaling. I will end with my journal entry from December 29th this past week.
To kneel before a poor person’s baby, born in the most unfortunate circumstances…
That’s what Christmas is for us.
Good morning Jesus, I thank God for another year of You!. And yet, you are God!
Here I sit, just an hour before celebrating Eucharist at St. John’s in my own town.
The year is almost over,
the growing darkness has ceased
as we begin to realize that we are on our way home.
As we walk with You, we can’t help but notice the blood dripping from your body.
Your heart is pierced.
Your hands and feet are still pierced and bleeding profusely.
You didn’t just die from asphyxiation,
You died from your blood pouring out from your body.
You were being embalmed while you still were living
And some how You managed those seven last gifted words:
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
“Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Is it possible that the thief realized there was no life from you? To watch those last moments before you died must have been excruciating. And then those moments between the death of Jesus and his own death must have been beyond terror. Involuntarily they stood beside you at the cross. “Jesus told me that today I would be with him in Paradise…what joy!”
“Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”
“I am Jesus’ brother!”
Jesus, we have the same mother and father!
We are brothers!
Joseph is my father too!
My God and Your God, my Father and your Father!
…for the Poor, the lonely, the oppressed and the rejected.
Jesus thirsts for you and me…o my!
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
I trust you Jesus. In God we must trust!
“It is finished.”
Mass is ended. God in Peace.
The Mass never ends, we take it with us.
Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.
Have a most wonderful New Week in 2012!
Love, joy, peace,
Father Ron Moses +