Ordinary Time, Not

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” ~2 Corinthians 5:7

It’s that time. We’re stuck in the middle of a CNY winter, with no end in sight. The magic of the first snow, and Christmas is gone. It is that time that we, as Catholics, mostly ignore- Ordinary Time. Even the name sounds so… well… and I really hate to do this, but ORDINARY! It’s in the title of the season! No special colors, holidays, just every day times. But as believers in the infant King, born of a virgin, is any time really, that ordinary?

Maybe if we look around there aren’t any obvious signs of miracles, but we know that we must life by faith, and not by sight! So, even if those wonderful Salvation Army bell ringers have headed home, shouldn’t we be donating to them anyway? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a baby being born to a virgin mother- it is, after all, the yardstick by which we measure miracles! But now- now is the time when we have to double down, and start looking for miracles all around us!

“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” ” ~ John 11:40

My son shared his brand new Legos last night, without being told! Anyone with kids knows, that is a miracle!! That’s really two miracles all at once, because he shared AND it was voluntary.Actually, three miracles because they didn’t fight at all during the 45 minutes that their Legos were out and being played with. No, they didn’t clean up after themselves! How many miracles do you expect in one day?

Now is not the time when we can see the colorful, blatant examples of God’s miracles in christmas trees, lighted nativities, and special services. Now is the time, when we have to make those tiny, everyday, and yes, ORDINARY moments into the miracles for everyone else to see!

So, what miracle are you going to work on today?

God Bless,
Kim

Do Whatever He Says

“Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.” ~Isaiah 1:17

This Sunday’s gospel was about the Wedding at Cana. Jesus goes to a wedding with his mother, and performs the first miracle at her request. It is considered, at least by Catholics, as the unoffficial start to Jesus’ ministry. You can talk about the symbolism of where he started, discuss whose wedding it may have been, and even why that was his first miracle. However, we can all agree that this was the beginning of a ministry rich in diversity, and life changing acts that have reverberated for almost 2,000 years. That ministry is the reason that our church exists all these centuries later.

As miraculous and amazing as the birth of Christ was, it is not the reason for our church. A miraculous birth alone could not sustain the church, we needed the mission. The mission that Jesus started, and gave over to our keeping. Mary started it off at that long ago wedding, “Do whatever he tells you.” And Jesus had the final word,

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” ~ John 13:34

It doesn’t take much effort to take a look around our current world to see that not everyone is following that command. What would the world be like if we actually put those words into action? Maybe let’s channel a little more MLK Jr. and try building a better world not better walls.

God Bless,
Kim

Who Do You Say That I Am

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”
~Luke 9:20

Isn’t that a big question? A simple, but deeply thought provoking question. “Who do you say that I am?” There are so many names for the Lord, that they fill verse in the bible. And yet, if you ask my children, they scoff at me, because it is such an easy question- Jesus is God. Jesus is our friend. Jesus is the one who saves us. One of my favorite answers is from my very literal youngest- He’s the one on the cross! (said while rolling his eyes).

And yet, we as adults, hem and haw over this question. And sometimes we are afraid of the answer. Jesus the King, who will punish us for our sins. Jesus the Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth. Those sound very intimidating! Not someone I would want to bring around with me every day, and yet, as so many of our youth get ready to start new parts of their life with college and beyond, that is a question they need to carry with them. Who do they say that Jesus is?

I wonder why he can’t he both. Why can’t he be the Almighty Lord of all, and my friend? Having a friend, someone you are comfortable talking to every day, who just happens to be Lord of Heaven and Earth can’t be a bad thing! The Lord didn’t say that life would always be easy, but he did promise to be with us always, even until the end of time.

 

So, I’m going to go with my kids on this one. Jesus is God, my friend, who saves me. Who do YOU say that he is?

God Bless,
Kim

Did You Find Him

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
~Isaiah 55:6

The wise men have delivered gifts, and the choirs of angels are no longer visible in the sky. Before long we will be asked to journey through Lenten sacrifices to be closer to him, so did you find him? Did you find the Christ child among your gifts, family, trips, and vacations? Was he found in the the quiet moments in between the rush to find presents? Or did you find him amidst a boisterous Christmas celebration? How did you find the Christ-child this season?

I found the Christ-child in the smiles of my own children, as they hugged me on Christmas morning. I found him in the laughter I shared with my siblings as we played games on Christmas Eve night- Robbie somehow cheated, and I’m not sure how, he ALWAYS wins at Catan. I found Christ in the annual Christmas Day nap amidst as many cousins who can fit on my grandmother’s couch as always. And I even found him in the thankful sigh of relief I admit to feeling as I put ALL the children on the bus for the first time after New Year’s.

I found him in all those things of joy. And now as we approach the season of Lent, I find myself looking forward to all of the places I can find him during Lent. Will I find him on Friday at a fish dinner? Will Christ be in the faces I pray for as I prepare packages for Emmaus house? I hope to find him in the simple soup supper that I will enjoy with my family and church community on Wednesday? Maybe it will be in the quick prayer you mutter under your breath about traffic.

The point is that Christ can be found anywhere, at anytime, and in any place… if you look.

So, did you find him?

 

Blessings,
~Kim

Find the Joy

I thank my God every time I remember you.
~Philippians 1:3

I don’t know about you, but when someone asks me how my day went the first 3 things that pop up in my head are the frustrations or struggles.  It usually takes a minute before the good, which is usually the overwhelming majority of my day, to finally make it to the top of my list of how my day went. Sometimes, it is harder to remember the good than the bad. When it comes to illness and death, the same reasoning seems to apply.

We don’t think of death in good terms. It is scary, sad, and signals an ending. No one smiles when they think of a loved one having died. But the Lord tells us that our loved ones will be with us again. Not only will they be with us again, but they feel no pain or loss anymore. Faith in the Lord means that death is not an end for us. So, we despite the loss and sadness we feel, we can also find joy and comfort.

During this All Souls Day, let us remember the loved ones who have gone before us with joy.

God Bless,
Kim

Your Life Depends On It

Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.
~ Romans 12:9

I was in the process of sorting through e-mails when I came across this bible verse and it struck me hard. “Pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.” I had to think, because I cannot remember the last time I pursued anything, let alone good, as if my life depended on it. When is the last time that you pursed anything as if your life depended on it?

It can be easy in our society, which is so busy all the time, to accept that some things just don’t get as much time as they should. Good things get pushed to the side, or the bottom of the list. We will get to them… eventually. I know, I am with you! I am the queen of pushing things to the side, and then accomplishing everything in one night, at the cost of sleep.

Life has gotten so busy that I think the only thing that I pursue as if my life depended on it is coffee, but that is going to change now.

Lent is coming, much like winter for Game of Thrones fans, and this time I am going to start a little early. I am going to pursue good as if my life depended on it, not in a few weeks, but now. I am going to pursue prayer opportunities with my family. I am going to pursue time to reflect and grow with my husband. I am going to pursue patience when dealing with my children. I am going to pursue all of those things as if my life depends on it… because it does.

Jesus told us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So, I am getting on board a little early for Lent, and I invite you to do the same. Maybe make a Lenten sacrifice or change be a lifestyle change. Who knows what amazing things will come of your pursuit of all that is good!

God Bless,
Kim

Close Encounters

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
~Matthew 28:20

I encounter Christ in the smiles and laughter of my children, and the embrace of my husband, and those encounters fill my heart with joy daily. They blend seamlessly into my days, almost without notice. I think it can be easy to let our joy-filled “Easter” encounters with Christ fade into our memories. Not because they aren’t profound, but because joy seems so transient to us, something that we can’t quite hold on to.

The times I remember an encounter with Christ more vividly are often the painful, heart-wrenching days when I feel that I cannot go on anymore- Good Fridays of my life. The days when I just don’t have any more patience, when I don’t have a plan; the day when I want to channel Pontius Pilate- wash my hands of everything, and go build a blanket fort and eat cookie dough!

I  remember the encounter with Christ very profoundly on those days because those are the days when I can’t, and HE must. Those are the times when Jesus picks me up and carries me down the beach- or as it more accurately feels- carries me through the minefield of stressful situations, unfinished tasks, and drama-filled arguments. He carries me toward the times I know are right there waiting for me, the times I vow to value more, and hold closer to my heart. Towards the smiles of my children and embrace of my husband- my extraordinarily ordinary daily Easter encounters.

Where do You encounter Christ?
~Kim

Level Up

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
~ Luke 17:5

I often overhear teens (and adults) talking about how they have reached the next level of a game, of binge-watching Netflix, and texting, or any number of activities that require time and effort. My question is, how are “leveling up” you faith?

Lent offers us the perfect chance to get things together in our faith life. Good old Catholic guilt gets our butts to mass more, a few Lenten “extras”, and even *GASP* confession! All of those are wonderful, and no matter your reason for getting through the door- you are adding some “faith experience points” and you never know what achievements from God you might unlock!

God Bless & and May your Level Ups be EPIC!
~Kim

Achievement-unlocked

Keep Christmas

“…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” ~ Stave 5, A Christmas Carol~ Charles Dickens

For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives, because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:20

We are now a week out of the joyous Christmas season- Jesus has been born, baptized, and presented in the temple. This past weekend he began his earthly ministry with the miracle at the Wedding at Cana. So, it can be easy to fall into a rut, and just kind of slide through Ordinary Time, just waiting for Lent to show up and make us sacrifice chocolate(or soda, candy or *GASP* Netflix- now there’s a sacrifice). But how are you keeping the joy of Christmas alive? Christmas may be over, but the joy shouldn’t just disappear with the last of the Christmas cookies!

How can we take all that joy that practically explodes out of Christmas- the company, gifts, music, food, excitement, and enthusiasm and insert that into our “Ordinary Times” lives? No one is going to just hand you joy. A lot of people have this idea, that joy and happiness are just going to be given to us, but Jesus tells us that the path of happiness requires some effort on our part! So, if you hear me humming “Angels we Have Heard on High” or “I Saw Three Ships”, don’t worry- it’s just the Christmas joy I’m trying to hang to for just a little bit longer!

God Bless,
Kim