March 21, 2009

Welcome to the first blog of spring!  The rites of spring are all around us – the national college basketball tournament, baseball season starting in a couple of weeks, hockey season winding down, oh and of course not to mention the budding of the trees and the greening of the grass.  Even though we only had one major snow/ice event this past winter, it still seemed like a long winter and I think everyone is ready to burst out of their shells.

Well by my count I believe we are a little over halfway through Lent.  How are you doing with your Lenten routine?  I am proud to say that I am still Dorito-free.  However, as far as my wanting to do a little more reflection during Lent – well I’m afraid that I have dropped the ball a few times on that one.  I need to make a renewed effort to do that.  It’s always easier to come up with an excude not to do something than it is to do something.  Another test of Lent came yesterday – the winds were just right around lunch time so that I could smell the barbecue at the bank parking lot right outside of my office.  But the fish from the K of C last night more than made up for it.  Delicious!

I thought several times yesterday about what I was going to write about in the blog this week, and each time I got a case of writer’s block.  There was just nothing coming to my mind (not that this is an unusual occurance for me, but frustrating nonetheless).  I should have known that there is a topic that has been out there all week long – i just didn’t realize it until last night.  This past Sunday we heard the 10 commandments read to us from the Book of Exodus.  Then this past Wednesday the scripture readings once again reminded us that it is our duty as Christians to not only obey God’s law, but to love God’s law and to pass it down to the future generations.  Then last night as I was preparing for religion class, part of the section included a review of the 10 commandments.  Gee, i think maybe I’ll talk about the 10 commandents.

In doing a little research for the reflection I gave at our communion service the other night, one of the authors of a piece I was reading said something to the effect of that it seems that we do not talk about the 10 commandments as much as we used to – that our focus is more on local, state and federal laws.  I think there is some validity to this.  As far as the media goes, it seems the only time we hear about the 10 commandments is when the discussion turns to whether they should be posted in public schools, etc.  We do not here anything about why it is such a good guide to live our lives by.

It is human nature that we wish we were not burdened by so many laws – speed limits, tax laws, etc.  I think people feel the same way when they think about the 10 commandments.  They see the commandments more as a punishment instead of as a guide to live our lives by.  They see it as a list of “can not’s” instead of a list of “can do’s”.  But God is a loving God who does not want to see us harm ourselves by doing things that break the commandments – worshiping false gods, being angry all of the time, not keeping Sunday as holy, not honoring our parents, engaging in the act of killing – not just the act of physical killing, but killing people’s spirits with our harmful words and actions, having relations with someone other than our spouse, stealing property and money, being dishonest, being jealous of someone else and their possessions.  All of these things are not only harmful to us and to those around us but also harm our relationship with God.

The 10 commandments are another wonderful example of how something that has been around for so long can still apply to our world today.  Every time we turn on the news we see people engaging in the harmful acts mentioned above.  So what can we as Christians do to make the commandments more prominent in people’s lives?  Well, we can certainly pray that people will be more accepting of them, and we can also perform our duty as Christians in passing them on tho the next generation – by telling our kids and grandkids that these are not just laws to keep you out of trouble, but these laws will provide you a full and happy life if you follow them.  The commandments are a gift, not a burden, and they are to be embraced, not dreaded.

OK, enough preaching for one blog.  Just wanted to recognize all of our parishioners who willbe extremely busy this week in our fund-raising activities this week.  First, thanks to Mike Heffernan and those who helped organize the braggin’ rights game this evening, and of course thanks to the players who will be competing (pray that no life -saving measures will be needed).  And of course this coming Saturday will be our gala dinner/auction.  Thank you in advance to the auction committee who once again has done a fantastic job in organizing the event, and thanks to all of those who will be giving up some of their valuable time this week to help pull off this important fund-raiser for our parish.  Pray that in the midst of our struggling economy that people will still be generous in their donations.

Till next week… peace.                                                                                                 

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