Monday, February 28, 2011

You Got A Friend In Me

Friends—like the paralytic man on the mat whose friends carried him to Jesus. Nothing doing, they were going to see that he got to see and hear Jesus, even if that meant carrying him up to a roof and breaking through to lower him down.

Have you ever wondered how that paralyzed man felt ? Did he really want to see Jesus? Did he feel insignificant and try to talk his friends out of taking him there? What was all the fuss about? He had been like this for years and knew he would continue to be.

Or was it him that prodded his friends to take him to the roof and lower him by ropes so he could hear Jesus talk? How many times had he tried to see Jesus and been thwarted by the crowds because he could not stand or get near enough to hear him speak?

Were his friends tired of carrying him everywhere and just wanted healing from Jesus so they wouldn’t have to deal with his handicap any more?

Do we look on the sacrifices we make like this? Do we go to Church on Sundays just to please our parents or do we go because we really want to experience Jesus in person? Do we need the help of our parents to get us there? Not just because we may not be old enough to drive yet, but because we can’t get out of bed on time?

This reading also shows us the importance of good friends. Would you own friends go to all the trouble this man’s friends did to get him somewhere he really wanted to go? Do your friends go the extra mile for you? Do YOU go the extra mile for them? Do you help your friend when he is down, when she is upset and needs someone to listen?

This example of friendship should be a sign to us that the friends we choose should help us grow in our faith life. They should be leading us TOWARD Jesus, not away from Him. Do YOU lead your friends toward Christ by your words and actions? What movies do you suggest you go see? Do you gossip about others? What is your Facebook status positive? Or is it complaining or mean sounding?

What kind of friend are you?

Have No Fear! God Is Here!

Today I was watching the preparation for the Shuttle Discovery liftoff. As I watched I wondered if the astronauts were worried about their own safety. After so many bad things happening in the shuttle missions and the things they have had to stop for and repair before they could liftoff. I wondered what was going through their minds as they sit in those seats, all suited up for flight.

While I was watching I was also surfing the news agency of the Vatican for news. There was this article about worrying on the site. As I read it I realized I was getting caught up in the world again. Yes, it happens to me all the time. As a mom, I worry. As a wife, I worry, as a daughter, sister, cousin, teacher, I worry all the time.

It’s at those times I need to remember and I’m here to remind you too, that God has everything under control.

Indeed, if God can provide for the birds of the air, and the flowers of the field who cannot store their food in bins or get up and walk to better pastures, why do I sit here and worry? I mean, really what can I do about it?

“We must overcome our fear of the future. But will not be able to overcome it completely unless we do so together. The answer to that fear is neither coercion nor repression, nor the imposition of one social model on the entire world. The answer to the fear which darkens human existence at the end of the 20th century is the common effort to build the civilization of love, founded on the universal values o peach, solidarity, justice and liberty. The soul of civilization of love is the culture of freedom: the freedom of individuals and the freedom of nations, lived in self giving solidarity and responsibility.”

In other words, we still must truly live the Gospel message, love our neighbor as our selves. Give everything to God, especially our fears. He will take care of us. The lives of the astronauts as well as ALL of us, are in God’s hands. What better way to live our lives? Because there is nothing we can do by worrying about stuff, like tests, classes, health and whether we have a date for prom.

In other words we can take heart in the message of the old Underdog Cartoon and say, “Have no fear! God is here!”