Someone in the crowed said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, “What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?” And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”
But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”
St. Luke: 12:13-21
What Matters to God?
The key to the parable is learning “being rich in what matters to God.”
If we are driven to saving up for retirement while avoiding the term, ‘paying it forward’, the parable could apply. If I am so anxious about my kids’ college education that I fall short of the biblical tithe, the parable could apply. If I cut-off family and friends who have hurt me, bury the bitterness or resentment away and ignore the problem to live and exist in a fragile peace… Jesus may be reaching out to me in this parable today. Our desire for fame, legacy, pictures, larger iclouds, praise or respect could all be part of our trying to tear down our barns for larger barns and storage.
Jesus became poor and yet remained abundantly rich. This matters to God.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit matter to God: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, reverence, courage and a wonder/awe in the presence of God.
Jesus says you will know them by their rich fruit. This fruit matters to God:
It matters to God that each of us here bears abundant fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, self-control, and faithfulness.
Saving up for retirement is a wise thing to do, but not very wise if we neglect the poor, the oppressed and the grieving. Is it possible that God has given us the opportunity to produce very large harvests so that we can be instruments of God’s generosity, not our own?
If you received an unexpected and large inheritance, what would God want tyou to do? What would matter to God?
Would the voice of your desires be louder than the whisper of God?
How would you rationalize quitting your job?
How would you invest that money to share your joy with Jesus in the poor?
What matters to God?
Jesus inherited God’s abundant richness, but he cashed it all in for YOU and ME?
That alone mattered to God.
What matters to God is what matters to Jesus, his beloved Son.
We matter to Jesus.
Therefore, We matter to God.
Let us go out of this church with Jesus within us. Let us in our generosity; leave the security of Heaven in Church, and bring about Heaven on Earth.
Let us grow rich in our Love for One Another.
It does matter to God that we spend time with Him. It matters that we share our ups and downs, grief and joys, frustrations and resentments, need for security and fears. God cares… a lot.
In God We Trust is on our money.
What if we trust and share our money thinking about what matters to God…
Now that is what matters to God.
The Big Island of Hawaii ~ 5:21 pm~ Jan 21,2004
I am sitting in a crater
It is starting to get dark
I am all alone
Volcanic rock, singed grass
Rosary in hand
I am being contemplated by Yahweh!?
I am so insignificant
but love raises me up
a friend of Jesus
Alone, really alone
Where sounds are quite distinct
I can really hear the sound of silence
eerie yet gentle
Kindness, gentleness, generosity,
Patience, peace, faithfulness,
Self-control, joy, and love
This is quite awesome.
I love you God!
As a child rests in his mother’s arms even so my soul
Ron Moses, trust in the Beloved
both now and forever
In God you Trust!
wow and ooh and o my!
Ron Moses +
The Following Night ~ 8 pm
I’m exhausted physically, spiritually and emotionally
God woke me up at 4 or 5 am…I can’t remember
Its okay, because it was my gain
A dark night, ah the sheer grace
I went out into the starlit darkness
My house all still
I had to resist leaving the place and time,
thinking of the future
and all the things I could do
on this incredible and diverse island called ‘paradise’
It turned out great
Yet, I noticed how tempting it was to leave
Here’s what happened:
Last year there was a lava flow into the ocean
It was hot, dangerous, fascinating and a once in a lifetime opportunity for me
I heard last night over a glass of wine that there was “nothing happening”
How wrong they were for
‘Happening’ is only the beginning
Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace
As a child rests in her mother’s arms
So too, even so my soul
I was awoken
I went out
Stunned by the star studded sky
I actually saw lava in the distance
Pele, the Volcano goddess, dancing in Red
So quiet, so, so silent
I was drawn to
the bottom of the road
where sea and land have been raging
heat of passion
But not now,
for I was alone
no other soul was awake
I stopped the Jeep,
I walked out over the lava now cooled
and departed from the safe trail
I could barely see,
forgot my flashlight
And then I stopped close to the sea
where the lava had erupted, yet now frozen
I started to pray without words or thoughts
It was as if I was led here without knowing it
My Father held my hand
and yet I still resisted
wanting to be somewhere else
God was patient, kind and gentle
God was loving, peaceful and joyful…
yes quite joyful
God was generous with gifts of creation and interior thoughts
God was and is faithful
and didn’t obliterate me
who in reality, i am, nothing
except when I am in the eyes of God
It is remarkable to me
How much God longed to meet with me…
God loves me, and I have nothing to fear
God whispered my name:
And then in the middle of nowhere
on a lava flow
I obediently took off my shoes and socks
and I curled up in the arms of “Love”
I have never felt so at peace…so secure
The sun rose on me
As the Son rose within me
I curled up
I was just a speck in the universe, yet…
Anything else that could happen today was pure blessing.
Funny, I’m at KMC Lava Lounge
(A military recreational lodging place that is inexpensive beside the crater)
Horrible yet wonderful
I’m sipping on wine, not annoyed, but pleasantly enjoying life.
This morning I made a simple altar of 7 rocks
worship, simple, pure
with my friend Jesus
I’m still almost in disbelief
Sounds of water crashing into rock
Mysteries of Light
My Beloved turned my water into wine
Called, baptized, transfigured, devoured
with Jesus, my Beloved
“You are my beloved child, son, with you I am well pleased”
How could this be?
Because God took the initiative, that’s how
God loves us,
more than we could ever imagine
and God desires to spend lots of time with us
First Fruits –
Let the journey begin!
It is so important to learn from history and the stories of our combat veterans. I re-blog this because it is important. After reviewing Pachyderms https://www.amazon.com/Pachyderms-Danny-Buoy/dp/0989002667 , Danny allowed his story to be “repackaged” so that it became a “polished diamond”. Let us continue to love one another.
By Danny Buoy
Link to Pachyderms updated
This book was updated and edited and reads well. The story is truly a diamond
Review by Ron Camarda MWSA
January 26, 2012
Pachyderms is a diamond in the rough. The book reads like a screenplay of a movie with substance…but better. The characters come alive, albeit complex, simple and surprisingly likeable, through the mind of a very gifted and clever author. St. Augustine’s Confessions came to my mind as I finished this book. Danny looks deeply into his own heart and soul and recognizes his own faulty judgments and foibles. The book is raw and demands that you feel, think about, experience and observe the fears, terror, boredom and blunt force of an illogical war. This is accomplished through the observations of a young new recruit who was overwhelmed by the inevitable deployment to an unpopular, seductive and perplexing Vietnam War. It…
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Beauty all around me
Even sickness can be beautiful
Not me this time… my friend
yet still wrestling
I am very at peace and yes, happy.
Completed my license requirements
Patiently waiting for the green light and rising question
Light in the trees
Coolness of house
Attempting to meditate beyond distractions
dark night of the soul
my soul feels at home
and Beloved God.
Gospel according to Saint Luke 9:18-24
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply. “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
Jesus rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
Jesus said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
What is the difference between a father and someone who donates the seed?
What is the difference between one who loves one’s neighbor and one who blames the marginalized, immigrants and poor for who they are?
What is the difference between Christ and those who crucify Christ… even today?
When Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I am?”
He is asking the same question.
His disciples answered correctly, but they did not accept the reality.
The only way to recognize Jesus in his distressing disguise is to see the reality of His wounds and suffering.
Pope Francis says that true fatherhood means giving life to others. To give life to others requires excruciating suffering and sacrifice.
To love Jesus means to suffer. His suffering becomes our suffering.
There were many false prophets in the time of Jesus, 99 for every 100. How do we know who is a follower of Jesus?
Jesus knows that if we accept the Cross of Suffering and follow him, we will also suffer greatly.
If we accept the Body of Jesus within our own bodies, hearts and souls we will suffer as Jesus suffers. We do this every week in Eucharist. We become what we eat and drink.
My own wounds of Jesus were profoundly revealed to me when I was forced into a horrific war. When Jesus pleaded with me to love like our father… those soldiers and Marines whose bodies were being ripped apart by shrapnel, hatred and diabolic explosions of the mind, body and soul… and their enemies, I wanted to balk.
To witness the death of one’s child would destroy me.
Jesus invited me to pick up my cross and follow His Way.
I never realized what it really meant to be a father until my spiritual sons and daughters suffered and died before me… even those sons and daughters who wished to kill my children and me, who I am.
Jesus loved all those who crucified him.
Jesus asks us to love those who hurt us and kill us.
As you reflect on our fathers today, see if you can recognize his sufferings and joy.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to OUR FATHER and OUR earthly FATHERS!
Easter- 2016 ~ Luke 24:1-12 ~ At daybreak on the first day of the week, the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them (Moses & Elijah of Transfiguration?). They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James (Peter, John and James in Transfiguration); the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.
I am amazed and humbled that with two phenomenal preachers here at Queen of Peace, I was asked to preach today like a third string quarterback. O well, pray for me!
Jesus, we remember how you washed our feet. In his homily on Holy Thursday, Father Jeff helped us understand that it is you, Jesus, who consecrates and breaks the bread, feed our souls, baptizes and anoint us. You heal us so often even when we complain that we can’t find you.
Even though Jesus walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they didn’t recognize him because they were too caught up in their own terror, fear and anxieties.
Their hopes were not as big as God’s hopes and dreams for them. But Jesus was patient and asked the two to remember all the way to their dinner table. They celebrated and believed when he said the blessing and broke the bread. Another miracle of Easter is that the men finally believed the women.
Though we don’t always recognize Jesus present in our sufferings and distractions, we do believe he is with us at this moment and for all eternity. In fact, Jesus can’t imagine heaven without every one of us today! We have trouble accepting such a magnificent love. Too often, we seek the living one among the dead.
The living one is seeking us today.
Jesus, we celebrate the breaking of your body and the water and blood that flowed from your side. When we are terrorized by hatred, unfaithfulness and betrayal, you show us how to love. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” and “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Your sacrificial love is our only hope to end all wars, hatred and fear. Yes, it was a truly Good Friday.
Jesus, we celebrate how you eat and drink with us every time we come to Eucharist. “Lord, I am not worthy for you to enter into my body, but only say the Word, and my soul will be healed.
Here a million wounded souls, are yearning just to touch you and be healed.Gather all your people, and hold them to your heart.
We remember how You loved us to the end.
And still we celebrate, for you are with us here;
and we believe that we will see you when you come in glory, Lord.
We remember. We Celebrate. We believe. (Song by Marty Haugen, 1980)
The key to Easter is that God loves us and wants to spend time with all of us. (Lots of time and for all of eternity).
It isn’t so much that we are seeking God, but God is seeking us.
It is through the birthing pains of our faith, the way of the Cross, that we understand this. When we encounter the empty tombs, keep searching. We must seek more diligently than the kids who will be seeking those Easter eggs in a few minutes, which might seem like hours to them. It is not an easy task, but with love of God and one another in our hearts… Jesus walks with us this Easter Morning today… even before we find him or recognize Him. He is alive with us… TODAY!
We remember his words.
We celebrate his love and mercy.
We believe how much God loves all of us… no exceptions.
He is Risen! Halleluiah!
Let us raise our voices with Father Kaz.
Discover the Risen Christ, the Beloved, as we sing our Easter Joy with Hallelujahs…
5th Sunday of Lent – March, 2016
Isaiah 43:16-21 ~ “In the desert I make a way,… for I put water in the desert and rivers in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise.”
Psalm 126 ~ The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy
Philippians 3:8-14 ~ Brothers and sisters: I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and Beloved. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…
John 8:1-11 ~ Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
There is a growing time bomb beneath the soul of human kind.
The last century has been an accumulation of nuclear and hydrogen bombs and weapons. Polarization just like the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ time is taking place. Jesus was the scapegoat then, now it is the nasty opinions and anger. Automatic weapons and a plethora of guns keep stockpiling.
This is just like the Israelite community after “escaping” Egypt with Moses and Aaron.
God is bringing us Home forever.
We complain about the transport!!
We in the United States are
Blessed for no other reason:
IN GOD WE TRUST
Not everyone has to agree with us.
We can still love those with differing opinions…pray for them.
We have unheard of freedoms,
Food (freedom from hunger)
Wealth and safe water
Even crumbling infrastructure that still works
Ability to travel anywhere in the world safely
Immigrants from every country in the world
The rest of the world is jealous… Can we blame them?
We can wake up in the morning and choose to walk with Jesus,
The creator of the world…
Of what could we be afraid?
Though you are homeless
Though you’re alone
I will bring you home
Home to your own place
In a beautiful land
I will bring you home
I will be your home
I will be your home
In this feared and fallen world,
I will be you home.
Whatever’s the matter
Whatever’s been done,
I will be your home…
(Song composed by Michael Card)
For all that happened to the poor woman dragged in front of Jesus,
She gets alone time with Jesus…
Are we jealous of her?
She is my nomination for the Supreme Court justice…
Very, very liberal in Mercy!
O to Good News!!!
Mark 6:7-13 ~ Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
Jesus went up the mountain to pray with his friends. They all came down the mountain changed and transfigured. When is the last time your prayer encounter changed you? If we really heard the voice of God, our Beloved… we would be enlightened today.
I heard a parable. A man who was entirely careless of spiritual affairs died and went to hell. And he was much missed on earth by his old friends. His business agent went down to the gates of hell to see if there was any chance of getting him out of hell and brought back. But though he pleaded for the gates to be opened, the iron bars never yielded. His priest also went and argued: ‘He was not really a bad fellow, but given time he would have matured. Let him out, please!”
The gates remained stubbornly shut against all their voices. Finally, his mother came; she did not beg for his release. Quietly, and with a strange catch in her voice, she said to Satan: “Let me in.”
Immediately the great doors swung open upon their hinges. For love goes down through the gates of hell and there redeems the dead. (G.K. Chesterton)
For God so loved the world… that He sent his only son to bring all of us home. Jesus, that chosen son, simply said, “Let me in.” The gates opened when a young virgin opened her heart and soul. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
If we were to become fully awake we would see Jesus in all of his glory. We would enter the terrifying cloud. With Jesus in our own Body and Blood, we would hear with our own ears God speaking to our own hearts:
This is my chosen son.
This is my chosen daughter.
This is my chosen sister and brother.
This is my chosen grandfather and grandmother.
This is my chosen mother.
This is my chosen father.
I am with you, always, until the end of time.
You and I are bonded together in a marriage that can never be broken.
We are one with Jesus when we Love One Another.
The Exodus that Moses & Elijah spoke of with Jesus to be accomplished in Jerusalem… It will be Jesus taking us to our heavenly home through the narrow Gate of the Cross. We are no longer bystanders at the foot of the cross. We are crucified beside him and within him. Jesus tells us, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
We receive Jesus in the Eucharist, his body and blood. It is hard to grasp or imagine that God, the creator of the world, is sharing our blood and body. It is impossible for God to divorce God’s very own flesh! We are one with God forever. We are loved for all eternity.
Jesus cries out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Jesus is saying, “Let all of us in.”
John, the beloved disciple who went up the mountain with Jesus to pray, eventually describes it like this in the book of Revelation: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent…
The doors open with great glory.
Our faces have changed in appearance and our clothing becomes dazzling white.
God is smiling with great love.
“Welcome home my Beloved!”
Of what or whom could we possibly be afraid?
December 25, 2015
Today is the 10th anniversary of Mark Woods’ article, The Best Christmas Ever.
I do tend to be nostalgic, but this does not seem like the best Christmas ever. It does not even feel like one of the top ten. Today I will be working as a counselor at a rehabilitation hospital. Many there have addictions and brain health issues. They have no idea how much I love them. Some are angry. Some are homeless. Some are far away from home like the people I served in a war zone. I will ask them, “How is this the best Christmas ever?” I expect the patients to look at me as if I was the crazy one.
My homily I gave for Christmas in Fallujah 2004 is still haunting and challenging me. It really was a terrible Christmas on the outside… the wrappings. Not only was I thrown into a crazy and horrendous war, but also I was in the middle of the worst and most devastating battle as a complaining and whining priest chaplain. I hate that I whine!
My homily was rather simple. If this is not the best Christmas ever, something is wrong. Every Christmas builds on the previous Christmas. When we realize we are loved unconditionally by anyone… nothing else is desired or needed. The birthday of Jesus in which we celebrate today reminds us of the man who forgave the people who were crucifying him. He loved us even when we didn’t have the guts to stand at the foot of his Cross. He loved us beyond the grave. Jesus was clear; “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you… Love one another.” (John 15:13-17)
The key to my book, Tear in the Desert, is that God wanted me to tell the men and women I served with that I loved them. When an Army soldier came to me, I balked. God literally asked me, “You do love him, don’t you?” With everything in my being, I loved this man whom I just met. He suffered an unexploded rocket to his abdomen. As I helped bring him into that operating room, I was confused and angry about this damn war. I had already witnessed 27 deaths and hundreds of physical casualties, not counting thousands of hidden brain and heart injuries. Yes, I loved him. That was the problem.
If I told this man that I loved him, and I don’t say things I don’t mean, it would destroy me. It would destroy me because I loved him as if he were my very own son. As a Catholic priest, the hardest choice for me was not to get married or have children of my own. So here I was with this dying man before me who calls me Father. I was like Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
I have been told and witnessed that there is no greater pain in this world than to witness the death of one’s child who is loved no matter how old or wayward they may be. I wasn’t just being asked by God to tell this soldier I loved him. I was being asked to accept this child as my son.
I was very vulnerable.
I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t even attempt to minister the sacraments. I was numb. The surgeon was screaming at me to set up the light. I figured I helped get the man on the operating table and stretch out his arms like Jesus on the cross. They were the lifesaving surgeons. I was a token chaplain. When he told me I was standing on the huge light, I snapped out of it… at least superficially. I felt I could throw my prayers out like a 3-point swish and get the hell out of there.
But as I approached the table, the altar of healing hope, to do my professional duties, the two surgeons simply said to me, “Padre, it is up to you. We can’t do anything further.” And then they walked out of the room.
I was stunned. I thought, “How can you give up hope. God is working through you.”
Edward, my foster son, was dying at that very moment. I had sung to him as I caressed his red hair and bludgeoned body. As I sang, O Holy Night, a tear escaped his left eye at the words, a weary world rejoices. Edward spoke to me through that tear. I assured him I would let his family know of his love for them. A sword was piercing my heart.
And then God gently asked me to tell Edward that I loved him.
“O Jesus, I can’t tell him that.”
“You must Ron Moses. You do love him, don’t you?”
“Of course I do. You know I do. But if I tell him I love him, and then he dies, I will be toast. I won’t be able to function through my own grief. What about these other service men and women I love? They need this padre to be strong.”
“Trust me Ron. I love you. You can do it.”
There was my beloved son dying. I loved him. I had trouble letting him go. I have asked so many people to tell their loved ones that it is okay to die peacefully and that they will be okay. This time it was God, my Father, urging and ministering to me to love my son into heaven.
So, in a most terrifying and holy space, I leaned over and breathed these words and sealed them with a kiss on his forehead.
“I love you Edward. Go with Love.”
Flash of light. With the eyes of my soul, I saw his soul embraced by love.
Today is the best Christmas ever… because I remember and feel the embrace and kiss of Edward, my beloved son… still.