November 23, 2011

Reflection: Do the Right Thing

The Good Samaritan

Theme: Being honest and trustworthy – even when no one is watching.

Object: A dollar bill and a bag such as one that a business might use to take deposits to the bank.

Scripture: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 116:10 (NIV)

What would you do if you were walking by your friend’s room and you saw a dollar on the floor? Would you pick it up and give it to your friend, or would you look around to make sure no one was watching then slip it into your pocket?

What would you do if you were walking down the corridor and found a bag like this one – and when you looked inside, you discovered that it contained a lot of money? Would you tell the nurses and report your find, or would you say, “Wow! This must be my lucky day?”

Today I am going to tell you two true stories about people who found a large amount of money and chose to do the right thing.

Hector Rodriguez is a 15-year old high school student. One day, Hector found a bag of money containing $120 on top of the Coke machine. He took it to his teacher then the two of them went to the principal’s office to turn in the money. When asked why he turned in the money instead of keeping it, Hector said that he was concerned that the employee who left the bag would get in trouble if he lost this money.

Eddie McLaughlin was walking home one evening when he found a bag on the sidewalk outside of a store. He picked up the bag, looked inside, and saw that it contained a large amount of money. When Eddie got home, he told his wife about finding the bag of money and together they counted it. There was over $4,000 in the bag. Eddie called the police and told them about the money. The manager of the store had dropped the bag while closing up, and without a doubt, he was happy that it was Eddie McLaughlin who found the money.

When we hear stories like these, it may make us stop and ask ourselves, “What would I have done if I had found all that money?” To find the answer to that question, ask yourself, “What would I do if I found a dollar on the floor beside my friend’s room?” You see, honesty is not a question of how much money is involved, it is a matter of doing the right thing.

One day Jesus told his disciples a story about a rich man who had a manager, and the manager was using the man’s money for himself. The rich man discovered that the manager was wasting his money so he called him in and fired him. After telling this story, Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” If we make sure that we are honest in the small things, then we can be sure that we will be honest in the big things. If people know that they can trust us in small things, they will know that they can trust us in the big thing too.

Dear Father, help us to remember what Jesus taught about honesty and help us to be honest in every situation – big or small. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

November 18, 2011

Thought of the Day

Occupy your minds with good thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied, they cannot be.

-- St Thomas More

November 10, 2011

Homily: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father Rene Butler

 There’s an old joke about a little boy who noticed that his great-grandmother read the Bible constantly. One day he asked her why. She answered, “I’m cramming for finals!”

There is plenty to make us anxious in today’s readings. Malachi prophesies doom for evildoers. Jesus says his followers will be. And why? “Because of my name.”

Even family and friends will hand you over, everyone will hate you. And why? Again, “Because of my name.”

But then Jesus says two strange things.

1. In a time of persecution, don’t prepare your defense. Now any self-respecting “Law & Order” addict can tell you that you never go into a courtroom unprepared. Witnesses have to be prepped.

2. Don’t worry. Jesus doesn’t say this in so many words, but he assures us that not a hair of our head will be destroyed. How can he maked such a claim?

If we look back at the reading from Malachi, we read, “But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” There’s that “name” again! In the King James translation, which is more literal, we find “there will arise the sun of justice with healing in his wings.” What a wonderful image of protection!

So suppose we knew that the end was coming on December 21, 2012. How should we spend the next two years? Try to be extra good? Memorize the bible (cram for finals)? Just keep our nose clean, sit back and wait? St. Paul is very clear: keep on working!

Do we need to live in fear? Well, yes and no. Not in fear of persecution that may or may not come. Not in fear of the end. But if we live in “fear of God’s name,” if the deepest abiding respect for God is the hallmark of our lives, we are assured that, no matter what happens, we have nothing to fear. Really.

November 1, 2011

Interview With An Unborn Child

This haunting video talks about abortion throught the eyes of the unborn child. To think that this has been repeated over 53 million times since 1973. Oh what might have been...

All Souls Day — 2011


If you were to collect all the passages about death and the afterlife in the Bible, you would still not have a clear picture about what the experience of death is like or what we can expect life to be like after we have died. Obviously God has had no intention of revealing very much about these two basic experiences, even though humans have speculated and written much about them. Death is an impenetrable wall or abyss that exists between us and the afterlife, at least as our knowledge is concerned.

We are, however, asked to reflect on what precedes and what follows the experience of death itself. With regard to what precedes death, we are encouraged to reflect on God's mercy and goodness, not on our failures, torments, and trials of the past. The prophet Jeremiah rejects the thoughts that bring despair, regret, and depression; instead he fills his heart with the positive qualities of God: "His mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning."

We ought to think these thoughts not just about ourselves but also about the deceased we commemorate. There is an ancient expression that advises us to "have only good thoughts about the dead." The feast of All Souls teaches us to approach death without fear and anxiety, but with confidence and hope for our own life beyond death and for those who have preceded us in death.