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One day a religion teacher began a class on Jesus by saying to the young children: “Today I am going to tell you about someone whom you all must meet. He’s a person who loves you and cares for you, even more than your own family and friends. He’s a person who’s kinder than the kindest person you know. He’s a person who forgives you, no matter how often you do wrong. No matter what you do wrong, he is always ready to accept you, to love you and to understand.” The teacher noticed a little boy getting more and more excited as he talked. Suddenly the little boy could not hold back any longer. He blurted out, “I know the man you’re talking about. He lives on our street!”

To be a follower of Jesus is to be someone who shows others, in practice, some of what Jesus is like.

During this time of giving thanks, let us be grateful for those in our lives who have shown us what it means to be Jesus….

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

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Jack McArdle tells the following story: “Mt. Ranier is a 14,000-foot mountain in Washington State. Some years ago nine physically handicapped people succeeded in climbing to the summit. One had an artificial leg, five were blind, two were deaf, and one was an epileptic. In spite of all this, they climbed the mountain and came down together, without mishap. When asked how they achieved such an extraordinary feat, one of the blind men said, ‘We got a lot of help from each other.’”

As we approach the holiday season, it is good for us to remember that we are called to be interdependent…needing each other as members of the Body of Christ. Together we can do much more than any single individual could ever accomplish alone. How can we better work and live together so that all may experience the success God wants for us? How can I help to alleviate the

pain of another? This week, we might call someone who is lonely, or recently bereaved, or sick, or under a lot of pressure. We might think about giving some time to allow a caregiver or a busy mom some time off. As members of the Body of Christ, we should be able to say, “We get a lot of help from each other.”

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

During this month of November, we think often of our loved ones who have preceded us in death. When we do, many of us may ask the question, “What is heaven like?” A little story by Paul Wharton may help us answer the question.

“There was a man whose one consuming passion was to go to heaven. Finally, he died and did go there. An angel took him by the hand and showed him the beautiful sights, majestic mountains, lovely flowers, gorgeous sunsets, little children playing in the streets. He exclaimed, ‘Isn’t heaven wonderful?’ But the angel said, ‘This isn’t heaven; this is the world in which you lived but which you never saw.’”

Let us be grateful for the gifts God gives us NOW, looking for the presence of God in all the good things around us…. Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven using many ordinary comparisons in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13 and calls us to be AWARE in our daily life to the treasures of his creation.

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

 

 

 

God counts on us!

After Jesus returned to heaven, he and the Archangel Gabriel were talking. Even in heaven, Jesus bore the marks of the crucifixion. Gabriel said, “Master, you must have suffered horribly! Do people know and appreciate how you love them and what you did for them?” Jesus replied, “Oh no; not yet. Right now only a few people in Palestine know.” Gabriel was perplexed: “Then what have you done to let everyone know about your love?” Jesus answered, “I have asked Peter, Andrew, James, John and a few more friends to tell others about me. Those who are told will tell others, and yet others still, until the last man and the last woman in the farthest corner of the earth will have heard the story of how I gave my life for them because I love them so much.” Gabriel frowned and looked rather skeptical. “Yes, but what if Peter and the others grow weary? What if the people who come after them forget? Surely you have made other plans?” Jesus said, “Gabriel, I haven’t made any other plans. I’m counting on them.”

God counts on us…. how do I spread the good news in word and action? How can I be Jesus this week?

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech SND

 

With Halloween just around the corner, the following story seems appropriate: 

One Halloween night, Tom Lewis was trying—with little success—to prepare a talk.  He was constantly interrupted by a parade of trick-or-treat children.  Toward the end of the night, Tom ran out of candy.  He prayed that the doorbell would not ring again.  But it did.  And there stood his next-door neighbor with her three-year-old child.  With total embarrassment, Tom poured out his predicament.  And with total compassion and unselfishness, the three-year-old opened her bag of treats and said, “That’s okay Mr. Lewis.  I’ll give you some of my candy.”   

How can I be more compassionate and unselfish this week? 

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

 

Mark Link, SJ, recounts the story or Vietnam vet Charlie DeLeo who got a job as a maintenance worker at the Statue of Liberty.  Charlie kept the two hundred class windows in the crown and torch clean and made sure their sodium vapor lights were working.  Pointing to the torch, Charlie said, “That’s my chapel…I go up there on my breaks and meditate.”  One day he wrote this prayer:  “O Lord, I don’t ever expect to have the faith of Abraham, nor the strength of Samson, nor the courage of David, nor the wisdom of Solomon.  But what I do expect, O Lord is your calling on me someday.  What is your will, I shall do; what is your command shall be my joy…and I will not fail you, Lord, for you are all I seek to serve.”

Can I honestly pray these words?   What impact does praying Charlie’s prayer have on me?  We are asked to go deep within ourselves, to identify our core values, to embrace our God who calls me into a deeper relationship!  To do all this, I must set time aside for quiet, for silence, for listening to the whisper of God in my heart and in my life.  Can I make myself available to my God today?  Can I recognize God in the face of the stranger, the lonely?  Can I recognize God in the people I see every day—at work, in my family, in my neighborhood?  Will I today find my chapel wherever I am—and listen to what God has to tell me–today?

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D.

 

 

A woman was standing on a curb, waiting for the light to change.  On the opposite side was a teenage girl.  The woman noticed that the girl was crying.  When the light changed, each started across the street.  Just as they were about to meet, the woman’s motherly instincts came rushing to the surface.  Every part of her wanted to comfort the girl.  But the woman passed the teen by.  She didn’t even greet her.  Hours later the image of the crying girl still haunted the woman.  Over and over she said to herself, “Why didn’t I say something?  Sure, she might have rejected me, but so what?” It would have only taken a minute…but that minute would have let her know that someone cared.  Is there someone to whom I could be reaching out today, in my family, among my friends, someone I have met only casually?  Is there a phone call, a note, a simple smile that will make all the difference in a person’s life? 

 

Written by: Sr. Marie Paul Grech S.N.D