Take Ten - God Has A Plan
Weekend of Feb 24/25 - God has a Plan
- For the Audio click here
- Written Summary: When I was child I must have heard my Father say a million times, “The right tool for the right job!” As a man who knew a lot about construction he was keenly aware that each tool was created for a purpose. When a skilled laborer used that tool for its created purpose it was indeed a work of craftsmanship. Each week as we together proclaim the creed we begin by professing our belief in God, the Father, the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. While those words roll off our tongues have we really reflected upon what it means to call God our Creator? In our human experience we create things with a purpose. It may be to perform a function. Perhaps our creation is meant to express or evoke an emotion. We create with purpose. So does God! In fact God creates with a grand design in mind. Each individual part of creation is designed together according to his plan. It is hard to imagine that God, the almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing King of the Universe in a moment of time imagined each of us into being. You have a purpose in God’s grand design to bring the good news of Christ’s salvation to this world. It is your mission! But did you know that the Holy Trinity, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit also have a shared mission? Here is what one of the documents of the Church tells us: “… the three divine persons (are) committed to the same mission, to accompany humanity in the discovery of love, and to the understanding of who God is…” Simply said, God created you for the purpose of discovering and sharing his divine life and love with you for all eternity. You were created for heaven-- to be enfolded in the perfect love that is the very essence of God. God, our Creator fashioned us with the capacity to know and respond to his life-giving love. The next time you say the Creed will those opening lines reach deeper into your heart?
Weekend of March 3/4 - What Happened to the Plan?
- For the Audio click here
- Written Summary: Has this ever happened to you? You are in a tense conversation with someone. In the heat of the moment you say something that the minute it leaves your mouth, you regret. You are left with knowing that no matter how much you want to, you cannot take it back. The consequences will now fall. While God’s plan for all of humanity was a life of ever deepening communion with him and therefore each other, there was a disruption in God’s plan. Disorderness entered the world because humanity through our free will chose to seek purpose and meaning outside of God’s plan. Original sin was a choice against God’s will for us, a choice counter to our own happiness. And like the moment when you can’t take back what you’ve said, we could not make right this broken relationship with God. The consequences fell. Suffering, death, sin and alienation are things that human beings now experience as the result of that sin. As significant as our action was, the Scripture invites us to focus on God’s action. God allows the consequences of our action, in order to preserve our freedom. Yet, his last action as Adam and Eve leave the garden is to sew clothes of leather for them, protect them from what they will encounter. This can only be an act of love—an act of mercy and forgiveness. How you hear the tone of the Father’s voice as he grieves over the life we will now have is critical in your life of faith. Is it punishing or sad? There is a children’s song about the fall of creation in which speaks God to Adam. Hear his lament as he speaks to his childre: “Where are you Adam? Why are you hiding from me? I made you to be happy and to love perfectly. But now you have chosen to sin and disobey. You must leave this garden. You cannot stay! Even though I love you, you must go from here. You will have to work and toil year after year. Yet, my love for you will never have an end. I am the God of mercy and forgiveness.” Human beings disrupted God’s plan for our happiness. We ruptured our relationship with God and forfeited the right of eternal life with him. But the God of mercy and forgiveness will find a way to love us home once again.
Weekend of March11/12 - The New Plan is Perfectly Revealed
- For the Audio
- It is a challenge to wrap our minds around an act of complete mercy and forgiveness. That may be because we never really believe we are COMPLETELY guilty. There often seems to be a small part of us that thinks, “I am sorry, but…” Last week’s reflection on Original Sin may have brought us to a deeper understanding that we are wholly in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. We must leave the garden, and yet we were asked to trust in the God of mercy. There is original sin and there is our personal sin. The times we choose to look for meaning and purpose outside of God’s plan for us. The times we stand guilty with no “buts” about it. Incredibly, despite our unworthiness, our incapacity to even begin to understand a love that is totally without condition, we hear these words from John 3:16. “For God so loved the world be gave his only Son…” And in verse 17,”For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” In his life, death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus reconciles the world to God. He offers himself, pours himself out right up to the final and complete sacrifice on the cross. Pope Francis tells us that Jesus is the face of the Father’s mercy. In Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we are saved from our sin—and the fullness of a life of communion with God is available to us once again. We are given the gift of salvation. That is why crucifixes, not crosses are visible in our Catholic churches. We live as an Easter people, but never take our eyes off the face of Christ crucified. For on that cross we gaze upon love poured out, love made visible. What a gift to know that his sacrifice will be made present for us again today at the sacrifice of the Mass. Pope Frances says it this way, “Faith in Christ brings salvation because in him our lives become radically open to a love that precedes us, a love that transforms us from within acting in us and through us.” (Lumen Fidei 20)