Category Archives: Weekly Column

If You Were God.

If you were God and you chose to be born a human being, how would you have done it? Find a list of choices below and see how your preferences compare with God’s. (Remember, you are God, the whole world is yours.)

1. When would you come to earth? Probably around this time, right? At least a time in history with electricity and light and indoor plumbing and TV of course! Wrong!! God came 2000 yrs. ago not long after the Bronze Age. People were just learning farming and writing.

2. Where would you be born? Let’s see . . . Paris? New York? Hawaii? Some exotic and beautiful place probably. Wrong!! God was born in a backward little town called Bethlehem next to the largest desert in the world.

3. Who would be your family? Your blood? Some famous stock of Roman or Greek or Egyptian nobility? Wrong!! Your blood is Jewish, a minor tribal grouping of people who were slaves for most of their history.

4. What would your financial situation be? I mean really … God is rich. Right? God, as man, would have the material world at his fingertips. What comfort would not be yours while on earth? Wrong!! He was born in a stable. His parents had to stretch to make the simplest of payments. The bible says he literally had no home.

5. Who would your friends and associates be? The educated, the executives, the cultured and high class, the religious for sure. Wrong!! He hung with the working class. Fishermen, carpenters. He ate with the outcasts: extortionists (tax collectors), prostitutes, lepers.

6. Who would you have close to you? Your wife? Your cabinet? Cleopatra? The Queen of Sheeba? The Harvard Board of Directors? Wrong!! You never marry (“What’s wrong with that boy?”). Your Board of Directors prove to be traitors and cowards.

7. What would be your greatest achievement? To be universally acclaimed as King of all the world? To have every people and nation bow to your smallest command? Wrong!! Your greatest achievement will be your death – – – naked and nailed to a cross – – – and then your Resurrection.


I think you begin to see how differently God chose to live his life from the way you and I would. That’s because we don’t get it. We think the purpose of life is to enjoy, to be fulfilled, to be happy in the ways this world can deliver. And as lovely as they are, we must be careful. We can get blinded by the shiny, sparkly things and begin to think that having them is why I’m here on earth.

To correct this Jesus came to show us what God the Father had in mind when he made us humans. How we are to be a Light to the World, not a sponge. We are a seed that dies to itself so it can give life a hundred fold. We are a branch united to God’s Vine (Christ) that receives his very life into us. (Read Mt. 5:13 – – The Beatitudes for the new key to happiness.)

And here’s the point . . . if we miss this we miss every- thing . . . “apart from me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5 Like a branch separated from the vine, we wither over time. That’s because we’re living life apart from our source – God.

What wondrous love God is! The small, the humble, the gentle, reveal His infinite power. This power of love has overcome the world. J. 16:33

It’s still Easter!!

Fr. Tim


Do your part . . . then sleep like a baby.

Some things in life happen automatically. No need to study or practice. Your heart beats 72 times a minute without one thought from you. Your lungs fill over and over every minute, your stomach knows just what to do with those eggs you had for breakfast.

There are other things that happen only when someone teaches us. Walking, speaking (“say Mom-ma.”), riding a bike, writing your name; all require someone to show us how it’s done.

And then there are the really important things that if we fail to learn them, we can end up living lonely, selfish, mean little lives. Things like manners, respect, hard work, loyalty, honesty, generosity, etc. These things don’t come naturally. We have to learn them.

This is the job of parents and family; to teach the things that humans must learn to live good lives. Yet, like never before, the family is under many pressures that afflict its ability to pass on these values. Absent fathers, crippling poverty, time away from family (working two and three jobs), the retreat into the internet and social media, all contribute to weakening the learning atmosphere in the family.

Add to this the fact that dysfunction can increase generation by generation. Someone who was never taught patience or forgiveness or respect for others is not likely to give those lessons to their children. You can’t give what you don’t have. And so crude or careless behavior becomes the norm.


So what are we to do? Some choose to throw their hands up and condemn a “world gone crazy”. Some attempt to retreat from the world to live “private lives” untouched by society and its troubles. These are attractive options.

Pope Francis points us in a different direction. He calls on people of Christian Faith to “go out to the fringes” of our society.

To walk with people who do not know the hope we have; who don’t know the love of God given to us in Christ. He encourages us not to fear the darkness of other people’s lives; but at the same time we ought never doubt the light we carry by our union with Jesus.

Francis uses graphic images to convey what happens when we walk with those who are lost. He says we begin to smell like them. I think he means we start to recognize that we share in the same imperfections as our neighbor. (It’s sort of like getting a “Brooklyn” accent when you’ve spent some time there. Howyadoin?!”) He tells of a church, the Bride of Christ, who has “dirty feet” from walking the muddy paths of people lost and searching.

What does this mean on a practical level?

++ It means first of all – – – don’t be afraid. Christ has won the victory over sin and darkness. Seek him daily in prayer.

++ It means never give up. Your efforts for goodness and truth have Christ as their guarantor. It may mean we suffer the sufferings of Christ but so too will we rejoice (here or there) in his victory (Romans 8:17).

++ It means participate in the political deliberations and debates in our country and local community in an informed and helpful way.

++ It means educating ourselves and voicing our opinions about public schooling, social help for the poor, aid to families in need.

++ It means listening to the whisper of God in your conscience and doing what you are able, by God’s grace, at that moment.

++ Don’t go racing around trying to save the world. Jesus has already done that. Trust God to keep you in the moment he wants for you. Life and its opportunities to bring Christ’s light will come to you. Pray to be ready.

++ It means do your part. The rest is up to God. (They say Pope John XXIII retired for the night, telling God, “It’s your Church; I’m going to bed.”)

Finally Spring!! Yay!

Fr. Tim


Lord, show me.

Ever feel like your life is a mystery? Like coming to a clearing in the forest, we pause to ask ourselves some basic questions. Questions like: What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Is this the way I should be spending my life? Does it matter what I end up doing with my life? What’s my purpose? Why am I here?

These are the hard questions facing each of us as we begin our adult lives. They can be a little scary as they make us look over the vast horizons of time and mortality. It takes courage.

In fact, many choose not to ask these questions in their youth, preferring instead the quick satisfactions of entertainment/sports/clubbing/beer! What happens later can be a felt disappointment in life, the vague feeling that some- how I missed my flight!

So how does one find “IT”? Your purpose? Many times it finds you. Your likes and dislikes, your talents and abilities can help you make the decisions that will shape your life. I’ve always felt you had found your purpose when what you love to do, is what the world needs real bad.

It may not be any one “job” that has your name on it. In fact, your job is most likely not your “purpose”. Jobs often provide the earthly necessities we need to carry out our purpose. Someone sells cars, not because God made them car salesmen, but it is a way to live their call from God – – – – to be a husband, father, friend in need.

Our “purpose” comes down to one thing: you were made to love. Not to make money, not to be most popular, not to have the coolest stuff, not to have more fun than anyone else. You were created by God to give your life up for God and neighbor.

That’s where we get confused . . . we think “to love” has some sort of soft music playing in the background as we visit pretty people who enjoy our company!

No!!! Love is HARD!! It’s giving your life up FOR someone or something. (many times without thanks or appreciation). But here’s the wonderful surprise that happens. When I live my life in this way, (FOR others) I kick into action “My Purpose”, my reason for “being me” on this earth at this time.

Guess what happens then? Happiness. Jesus said it in Mt. 10, “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” You’ve got to lose it to find it! To lose your life in love and service is the key to happiness and a purposeful life.


There is much more to say here about finding “it”, but let
me finish for now with a few pointers:

— God has given each of us natural likes and dislikes/ interests and disinterests. Start with your likes, your pas- sion; what path might you follow to allow you to follow your love? It may be as simple as wanting to make people happy. What a great vocation.

— What do friends say you do well? Is there a message there for you?

— Is your love and giving focused more on some one person (future spouse?) or are you more energized with some “work” or social concern to which you dedicate yourself? (the dedicated single life).

— God has a plan for you. How do we know? Because He made YOU, not someone else. You are God’s unique idea. So ask God to show you. “Lord, show me what you want me to do with my life.” Or, “Help me to want what your will is for me.”

–Jesus has promised: you WILL find it —- if you ask, seek and knock (Mt. 7:7).

Blessings to you everyday.

Fr. Tim


This Parish.

Every once in a while things come together just right. Last Sunday was one of those days. It was a culmination of months of planning and a beginning of a new “work” in the parish.

Back in August the Pastoral Council met to determine what the focus of our parish pastoral effort should be for the year. After two days of brainstorm- ing and prayer, your Council decided that a strong “Youth Ministry” would be our goal.

Next, we turned to YOU to help our Jr. and Sr. High teens experience a joyful, and meaningful Catholic identity. Parishioners Helen Sleeman and Judy Cass stepped forward to be our new youth minister and catechetical coordinator for grades 6-10. They are both great additions to this necessary ministry.

Along the way we discovered that strong Catholic youth come from strong Catholic families. Mary Haas, our Faith Formation Coordinator, invited Mr. Mike Theisen to speak to parents about their irreplaceable role in helping their children grow in their faith. Last Sunday it all came together.

Here’s what happened. Twenty-two people brought pans of lasagna, chili, and pasta dishes. Forty-three families attended the event. Parish Council members (remember, they started this!) helped serve the 125 people at table. Senior High students and staff ran a fun afternoon of games and activities for 55 children in Murphy Hall.

Meanwhile, upstairs 70 parents were gathered to hear the message that “the home and the parents are the single most important elements for children growing in the faith.” It was a wonderful afternoon.

On a personal note, I must tell you how moved I was to see parent’s reactions when they heard how much their children want to know the story of their mom and dad. (How they met, their wedding, etc.)

The research question asked surveyed children, “What do you wish would be better in your family?” Those children responded, “I wish I could be closer to my mom and dad.” There were smiles . . . and some tears for parents.


So what’s the point of this article? It’s to tell you WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER.

Holy Trinity Parish is not Fr. Tim or Fr. John driving the bus and you all looking out the windows. It is the PEOPLE OF FAITH called Holy Trinity, that has decided parents need some help in raising children of faith.

We are not alone on this journey. This parish exists to teach, to worship, to serve human needs, and to celebrate life as it has been given to us by God. We can’t do this by ourselves. We need the gifts, the talents and the sweat of all of us working together. (Read the words of “Our Mission” just below.)

Some days it just works. When it does, it’s pretty wonderful. Let’s thank God. When it doesn’t …… let’s blame it on… Fr. John!

Easter joy to you.

Fr. Tim


Jesus. Something has changed.

Most of us think in pictures. We try to imagine what things looked like when Jesus appeared to the apostles. We hear how they were all huddled in a room. Fearful of the Jewish authorities they had locked the doors. Suddenly he appears! Right through the locked doors!

How’d he do that? He still has a body. He shows his hands so they can see the nail marks of the crucifixion. How then can he suddenly appear and disappear? Walk through walls?! These are important questions. We’ll try in these weeks of Easter to understand more deeply what Jesus’ Resurrection is like.

First, we need to rule some things out – – what the Resurrection is NOT. The resurrection is not resuscitation. This is not a corpse come back to life. Remember Lazarus, friend of Jesus who was dead some four days before the Lord could come to him. Lazarus was resuscitated – brought back to the same life (same body), he’d been living. In time Lazarus would die again.

No. Jesus was resurrected, and the world had never seen that before so it’s been hard to find the words and science to explain it. This we know:

++ Jesus’ resurrected body was a real body. He was not a ghost. To make sure the apostles knew it was really Jesus he showed them his hands with the nail marks. On anoth- er occasion he would sit to eat a meal with them.

++ But, this body of Jesus had changed. It was no longer limited by the laws of space and time. He appeared and disappeared, passed through physical barriers yet main- tained the identity he had with the body he’d been given by Mary. It’s Jesus . . . but he’s changed.

++ Jesus now lives in a state different from the one we live in here on earth. He is “raised up”. He lives in the Divine Life of the Trinity (Heaven). But here’s the neat thing . . . he has brought our human nature and its necessary vessel, the human body, into heaven! The glorified human body of Christ is now and forever in the Holy Trinity of God. It’s sort of “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Humanity has landed in God.

++ It is in Christ’s transformed mystical body that the human soul finds it’s “space”, its own “bodily participation” and communion with God that is “eternal life”.

++ What will this new life in the Body of Christ look like and feel like? I don’t have the slightest idea!! Let’s start with . . . “Pretty Wonderful”, and spend the rest of eternity describing this infinite beauty.

We’ll let Jesus take care of the living arrangements in eternity. What’s important is the Resurrection as it effects life here and now.

Can I meet Christ in his resurrection like the disciples in the gospel? No. That’s because after 50 days he “Ascended into Heaven” (the life of God beyond space and time).

Can I meet The Resurrected Christ in another way – – just as real? Yes! Through Faith. Remember Jesus’ words to Thomas? “Thomas you believed because you saw me . . . Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Jn. 20: 29.

Faith is a new way of seeing. It’s a gift. If you’ve read this far —– you got it!

Happy Easter again.

Fr. Tim


What good would life have been to us?

A happy and blessed Easter to you. I pray that the liturgy you have experienced today has touched you and in some way given you an experience of God’s love.

For Christians, this is the greatest day of the year – – greater even than Christmas – – because it was for the Resurrection of Easter that Jesus was born. Today is the day that declares victory for the Kingdom of Light. The great Exsultet at the Easter Vigil overflows with the wonder and joy of what Christ has accomplished by his death and resurrection.

This is the day when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.

This is the day when Christians everywhere are washed clean of sin and restored to grace to now grow together in holiness. Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love!

The power of this holy day dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride.

Day truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God!

. . . . and then this powerful question . . . .

What good would life have been to us, had Christ not come as our redeemer?


Think about that. Without Christ’s love and the promise of Eternal Life with God, is there any- thing powerful enough to free me from myself and the lure of all the false amusements of the world? Remember the old torch song by Peggy Lee? “Is that all there is?. . . then let’s keep dancing, let’s break out the booze and have a ball.”

No, that’s not all there is. Now there is a new principle to living our life on earth – – – it is to live a life of thanksgiving to God; a life lived in gratitude for the wondrous adoption we receive in Christ. We are God’s sons and daughters. And in Christ, we will live forever with God our Father.

How do we know this? Because Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.

May God bless you this Easter Sunday and every day of your life.

Fr. Tim


Holy Week at Holy Trinity

This Sunday, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of the holiest week of the church year. At mass today we received the blessed palms and remembered Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

This sets the stage for what is to come. This Thursday (7 pm.) begins what is called the Sacred Triduum. These are the three days that changed the world! Thursday recalls the night Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and offered the Passover meal that gave us the Eucharist.

Good Friday (3 pm.) Jesus is crucified and dies. We kiss the wooden cross and each of us makes our own prayer to him. Holy Saturday begins in darkness (8 pm.) as we light the new fire and announce that Jesus Christ, the Light of the World is raised by the Father from the dead. We will welcome our candidates to full union in the Catholic Faith.

Whether your Lent has been a time of growth in prayer or kindness or perhaps a disappointment from what you had hoped for yourself, IT DOESN’T MATTER . . . this is the week Christ calls us to his side. Please join us for these beautiful liturgies. God has a powerful grace for you to help you on your journey of life.

God bless all who come this Holy Week.

Fr. Tim


What is the Liturgy of the Hours?

First, a very brief overview (for a reader who is interested in knowing more and perhaps to learn how to pray the hours).

The Liturgy of the Hours (also called the Divine Office) is, along with the celebration of Eucharist, the public prayer of the Church. Christ asks us to pray always and he asked his apostles to watch one hour with him. In the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church throughout the world is constantly watching with him, praying with him.

The Liturgy of the Hours is a way of praying through scripture-and especially the Psalms, to sanctify the hours of the day. There are seven hours or times of prayer spread throughout the day and night. The liturgy of each of these hours is comprised of Psalms, canticles (songs from other books of the Bible than the Book of Psalms), scripture readings from both the Old and New Testaments, hymns and prayers.

The two main hours of the Liturgy are Morning and Evening Prayer, which take place at sunrise and sun- set, bookending the day. It takes about 10-20 minutes to pray each of the hours depending on whether you pray it silently or with a group.


I personally invite you to join us in Morning Prayer this very Holy Triduum. I have been touched deeply knowing that the whole Church is praying with me during this time. I love reciting the psalms and prayers. The reflections from our leaders are inspiring and meaningful. Come and pray with the whole Church. You will not be disappointed.

~ Clare Schreiber.

Thursday 9:00 am. | Friday 9:00 am. | Saturday 9:00 am.


Duh.

Some years ago I tried to learn Spanish as an adult. There were Hispanic people in my parish, and in a moment of fervor I thought I could be a better priest for them if I could speak in their language.

So I called a priest friend in the area who was fluent in the language and asked if he’d be willing to teach me conversational Spanish. He was delighted to help. He gave me a beginner’s book, and we set a schedule to meet twice a week.

The short story is that I was a total failure. “Tim, your pronunciation is good but vocabulary and sentence structure is terrible,” said my tutor. We did this for a couple months – – – I could say the words, but I had no comprehension of what I was saying.

So . . . I quit. I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t my tutor. He was very patient with me. You know why I quit? I couldn’t stand feeling so stupid. He’d ask me something in Spanish, I’d have to answer “no comprendo”. I just couldn’t take the feeling of being so inept.


I think many Catholics have that same problem when it comes to speaking their Faith to friends or family. First of all, it’s not a subject we naturally talk about in casual conversation. Secondly, Catholics are famous for “doing” their faith, not talking about it. “Get to mass this Sunday?”, “Yeah, I’m all set.” That’s all the “God talk” we need.

But what happens when we are charged with the responsibility of passing our faith on to our children? We can’t presume they “get it” simply by going to mass or making their sacraments.

Certainly you know enough English to correct your child when they say they “ain’t got no . . .” Or “Gimme some”. Parents, you’re quick to correct them because you know the adult way of speaking and you want them to know it too.

So what do you say when child or grandchild asks you, “Dad, do you believe in God?” “Of course I do dear,” but then the follow up, “Why do you believe?”.

Are you ready for that? Are you looking forward to that? St. Peter tells us to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you the reason for your hope (faith).” 1Peter 3:15
So get ready mom, dad; what do you say when your child asks:

  • How do we know there’s a God?
  • What’s the Bible? What’s the deal with the Jews? Do you believe in miracles? What’s heaven like?
  • Is that really Jesus in Holy Communion? How does that happen?
  • Did Jesus really rise from the dead? How’s that?!
  • What’s the Holy Spirit? Did Jesus say “love your enemy”? How?!
  • Do you pray mom/dad? How do you pray?

Get the picture? This is “Church time in your home”. It’s a precious chance to engage your child in something other than homework, TV or video games. You need to be ready.

Feel like I did with the Spanish? Holy Trinity would like to help. Sunday, April 3 at 11:30 am. in Murphy Hall (gym) we’re having a pot luck luncheon and a 90 minute presentation by Michael Theisen (a nationally known Faith Director for Families and Youth). He’s going to help with the “Duh Factor” so many families experience about their faith.

Parents – – – – You owe it to the kids and yourself. BE THERE.

Fr. Tim


A Word about the Devil.

This is not about the red faced, pointy ear, dragon tailed fellow we see carrying a pitch fork. That’s a cartoon or a Halloween costume. No. This is about a power that functions in our world and in familiar everyday sorts of ways.

The bible refers to this creature by name; Devil, or Satan. These come from Greek and Hebrew words meaning “enemy” and “accuser”. Our understanding of the devil has developed over time. In the Book of Job he is God’s “tester of humans”. Later it becomes a “resisting element” toward God’s will; finally we perceive a personal, spiritual creature that stands wickedly opposed to God and God’s people.

A generation or two ago it was common to hear “the devil made me do it” or we gave our children the image of an angel on one shoulder, the devil on the other. “Listen to your good angel, not the bad one.”

Today it’s fashionable to laugh all this off as childish, something like a Bad Santa. Be careful here. There’s something about the power of evil that has to be under- stood and yes – – – respected.

First of all evil is a mystery. We do not know exactly its beginning. It lies on the ground in the form of a snake as it tempts Adam and Eve. The Book of Genesis tells us it was cause of a rebellion toward God’s will and has lived ever since as God’s enemy. The mystery? Evil is with us, but its size and origin, its dwelling place, its activity, is usually hidden.

We see it best by its effects. In many situations evil acts as a parasite. It feeds on what is good and substantial. In fact it has no life of its own. It can only exist by virtue of something else (think of rust on chrome).

St. Augustine refers to evil as a “lack of being”, a shadow, rather than a solid object. A lie can only exist when there’s something true that can be lied about. Evil hides rather than stands out. Why do criminals cover their heads when the cameras roll? Why do most crimes happen in the dark?


C. S. Lewis in his Screwtape Letters gives a brilliant and humorous description of the devil Screwtape as he instructs his minor devils how to defeat people’s good intentions. The devil’s point of view looks like a photo negative; black is white, good is bad.

The world is in reverse. “So confronted with the situation,” says Screwtape to Wormwood, “the poor man took the true and noble road, the one we so hoped he would . . . he lied.”

To my knowledge, I’ve never met the devil. That seems to be reserved for the great saints like St. Francis, or St. John Vianney, or of course, Christ himself. The devil needn’t waste time on me. Sending one of his lesser spirits has usually gotten the job done.

So I don’t trouble myself with medieval images of Satan. Rather I call him “my enemy”. I’ve heard others talk about their tempting spirit as the accuser, bad spirit, the liar, the tempter.

What I do take seriously is the fact that this enemy spirit knows me. It knows where I am weak. It knows where I’ve hidden my resentments, jealousies, and sinful desires. My enemy can play me like a piano, hitting just those notes that can start me down a road that ends in sin.

My enemy speaks in my head and it sounds like me (because I’m already leaning in that direction). “Don’t be a sucker,” it sneers, “Everybody does it.” “Who cares if you keep that promise . . . nobody’s watching.” Or, “Who do you think you are? Those prayers won’t help anyone.” Or, “Did you hear what so-and so just did?” Or most discouraging, “Just give up, it’ll never change. It’s hope- less.” All with my voice.

It’s hard to put into words. (I worry about your reaction here – – – “Oh great, Fr. Tim’s hearing voices now!”). I trust you’ve heard your Enemy speak to you as well. So too I presume you’ve heard/felt the Holy Spirit speaking.

So what are we to do when our enemy starts speaking to us?

  • Be in peace. It’s what happens. It happened to Jesus.
  • Know what’s happening. You’re being tempted to choose something against God’s law of love.
  • A little prayer of course. “Lord here I am again.. Help me.”
  • For every temptation God provides an escape (1 Cor. 10:13). E.G. To suddenly remember a little courtesy you could do instead of the harsh word or rash judgement.
  • Know that, by Christ’s death and Resurrection, your enemy has been defeated. Really. The Devil is busted!!

Straight ahead now.

Fr. Tim


Know Who You Are. That’s Half the Battle.

Did you hear the one about the gardener who held a lawn party? He created a beautiful rose garden on the sight of the old town dump. At the grand opening, local town dignitaries, the news media, and even his pastor were invited to tour the marvelous rows of brilliant flowers.

Of course the pastor, ever anxious to preach and instruct, was waxing on about “the exquisite beauty of God’s creation.” And how, “The heavenly scent of each different flower could only come from God.” And finally that, “God Himself is the greatest gardener of all.”

“Yeah?” said the gardener. “You should have smelled God’s garden before I got a hold of it.”

The story in Genesis about the Garden of Eden gives us some critical information about life here on earth. The rebellion of Adam and Eve caused the garden to likewise rebel. From then on the earth would resist man’s efforts to cultivate it. (This is a great mystery by the way . . . why nature spawns things like drought or plagues of locust or cancer.)

“Cursed be the ground because of you. In toil shall you be all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you. By the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat . . . till you return to the earth from which you were taken.” Gen. 3:18, 19.

Work which had been meaningful and a pleasure, now had become hard and frustrating. (I don’t have to tell you that do I!). Nothing seems to want to work out. Things tend to fall apart. That’s just the way it is.

Think about it, your house, your job, your marriage, your parenting, your parish . . . All require hard work …or … they fall apart.


Fortunately, there are marvelous developments in the past 50 years to help those who struggle to make ends meet.

Welfare, unemployment benefits, Social Security and a faulty, but honest attempt at universal health care are all government’s attempts to help those in need.

I am glad for these achievements. But they are only there to “help”. They don’t relieve us of our duty to discover who we are through our life’s work.

We seem to have settled for something “less” than who we are. We’ve lost our “Purpose”. Flushed with the fun and ease of our internet lives, “living for the weekend”, sports and entertainment, and life styles that require 2 and 3 jobs to support, we can lose a sense of who we are and why we’re here.

Think about it. Who are you? What defines you?

A student? A Democrat/Republican? Spouse/parent? A Bills fan? A video game player? All these interests are just a part of who you are. Is there some way to understand ourselves that captures all of us; something that tells us what to work for?

There is.

But, it’s a definition that doesn’t come from the world. In fact, “the reason the world does not know us is that it doesn’t know God. Beloved, we are God’s children now . . . and when He is revealed, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 Jn. 3:1, 2.

When we start living from this staggering truth about ourselves everything changes. We can begin to treat our neighbor as brother or sister. We can use the things of this world in a way that no longer drugs us from the sadness of meaningless lives. Recreation, food, earthly pleasures are used to serve the higher vision of who we are.

This radical vision of human life comes from Christ. He shows us who we are.

Straight ahead now. Let’s get to work on God’s garden.

Fr. Tim