Wise Men Still Seek Him

Wise Men Still Seek Him

As we are busy packing up the decorations, taking down the tree, and wrapping the figurines from the crèche scene, we cannot lose sight of the holy day that we haven’t even celebrated yet. That is the feast of the Epiphany, ending the official 12th day of Christmas. Their message is important because we see ourselves in the message of the 3 Magi. The Wise Men sought out the birth of Jesus following the light of the star.  Like the Wise Men we must continue to search and seek out the Divine in our daily lives in this upcoming New Year? But where in this crazy world do we find God living amongst us? I’ll liken my big “Christmas learning” as “Finding Waldo”. Reading that children’s book, “Where’s Waldo”, we are invited to search for Waldo in a field of distractions. Waldo is disguised, blending into the background of ordinary pictures. After picking our way through the maze of distractions, we joyfully declare, “there he is”, when we finally identify our man, Waldo. Like looking for Waldo in an array of color, lines and images, we seek God amongst our everyday lives. We have to keep our eyes and hearts on alert to identify God masquerading in our daily routines asking ourselves, what is God inviting me to learn, to give or experience during this particular event? God isn’t going to pop off the page of life. We still need to take an active part to keep up our part of the relationship. As we enter this New Year let’s adopt the intention of seeking God in each situation that arises....
You Can Take It With You….

You Can Take It With You….

You CAN take it with you, and you SHOULD take it with you! I’m talking about all the love, peace and joy that you experienced over this holiday season. Take it with you into this upcoming New Year. Think of all the love that people showered on you in the days leading up to your celebration. Love came in the forms of concerns in the baking, preparing, wrapping, decorating, connecting and reaching out. Think of all the clerks putting in extra time and effort to meet shoppers’ needs. Think of the mail, UPS, FedEx and Amazon delivery people working long hours into the night to make sure you received your orders in a timely fashion. Think of all the clergy and choirs that practiced overtime to ensure your beautiful service. Think of all the grocery store clerks standing hours on end checking your items making sure you have what you need for your celebrations. Many people, known and unknown went out of their normal way to make your holiday a happy one, showing you the real reason for the season. You experienced a season of love. If we don’t take this love into the coming year, we will have missed the whole reason for all the celebrations. How do we take this season of love into the New Year? -Is it friendliness and courtesy? Good, but not enough. -Taking care never to hurt anybody? Very good but still not enough. -Praying each day for all who are in need? Very good indeed, but still not enough. This Christmas season shows us what real love looks like and what it...
Christmas Note to Self

Christmas Note to Self

Christmas Note to Self The celebration of Christmas gives us that reflective moment to consider our own birth and our own “reason” to be here. Do you know your earthy “mission?” “What’s my purpose in life?” I asked the void. “What if I told you that you filled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?” said the voice. “Or when you paid for that young couple in the restaurant? Or when you saved that dog in traffic? Or when you tied your father’s shoes for him?” “Your problem is that you equate your purpose with goal-based achievement. The Universe isn’t interested in your achievements….just your heart. When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose. No need to look any further!” (Unknown) How beautifully this demonstrates how we follow God’s greatest commandment: “to love one another as I have loved you.” Wow…what a charge, to love as God has loved us. But let’s not be overwhelmed with this weighty responsibility. Remember to keep a watchful eye on the little things and all will fall into place, fulfilling your bigger mission in life. Just imagine if we all tended to the little things around us each day, what a big difference it would make. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. “ – Mother Teresa What do you see when you throw a pebble in the water – waves moving out to make rings, very small at first and then expanding...
Be That Gift

Be That Gift

This Christmas season brings many traditions.  One of our seasonal traditions is the giving of material gifts, representing the gift of love that we are all called to partake of. Yes, believe it or not we are all gifts to one another. This advent, this time of refocus let’s rededicate ourselves to giving the gift that we were meant to share. The Lord is dwelling here in our midst, where he has always been showing himself to each of us in diverse and subtle ways every day. Some of us will recognize his face sharing his love and goodness with others.  Some of us, on the other hand, will see little if anything of his face, sharing hollow sadness and disappointment. Casting aside our blindness to God’s Ever-Presence let’s make a particular effort to open our eyes and hearts to all. Every person comes into your life for a reason. It’s an invitation from God to respond. How will you RSVP? Christmas Gift Prayer In this Advent season, may we give: – to our enemy, forgiveness, – to an opponent, tolerance, – to a friend, our heart, – to a customer, service, – to all, charity, – to every child, a good example, – to ourself, respect. Amen (Terry Hershey) “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” (Leo...
Let the Season Begin

Let the Season Begin

We are now officially in the “Christmas Season” bringing with it the joys, stresses, anxieties, anticipations and disappointments that can come with any overinflated, long awaited “buildup”. Commercially, we only have a few short weeks to prepare for this upcoming holiday.  Our Christmas “to do” list includes cookies to be baked, gifts to be purchased, trees to be decorated and parties planned. Religiously the world is also in “ready mode”. Jewish people are prepping for Hanukkah with the treasured traditions of the lighting of the Menorah candles. Christian churches singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel“ celebrate this preparation time as “Advent”, commemorating the 4 weeks representing the 4,000 years longing for the birth of Jesus. Spiritual leaders everywhere attempt to refocus the attention of the faithful to what “Really Matters” in this life, kind of like a wakeup call. Especially during these busy days we need to remember the admonition that life is not about the destination, but “The Journey”. With so many family, cultural and religious traditions, it’s easy to overlook the “Reason for the Season”. We all get in our little ruts and maintain the habits that numb our thinking and feelings and propel us through this life just going through the motions, failing to notice the important things that we have been missing. Like the rude guest at a cocktail party, who talks with us while all the time being distracted while watching for someone more interesting to move on to meet, we often look right over the present moment right in front of us! We squander our attention on trivia losing out on the special people and unique opportunities right...