God THEN Change

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus invites Himself into the home of a sinner – Zacchaeus the tax collector…and THEN Zacchaeus has a change of heart.  Change doesn’t come first; first comes God, then comes change.  Jesus invites Himself into our “house” at every Mass each time we come forward for Communion.  Jesus wants to be received into your heart and into your house in a new and deeper way than ever before.  Don’t say, “But I’m not ready!  I still need to change!”  We make it a lot easier on ourselves if we just let Him in – then God will do the hard work for us.  First comes God, then comes change.

Honest and Real Prayer

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Like last weekend, this weekend’s readings center on prayer.  They show us that God loves real, honest, raw prayer!  God wants you to tell Him what’s going on inside of you, even if you don’t think it’s “holy” or “godly” or whatever – God wants your prayer to be REAL.  Like the tax collector in the Temple, we go home justified (and fulfilled…and fed…and blessed) when we are utterly honest with the Lord.  So try it this week: 10 minutes of prayer each morning, walk through your day with Him before it happens, asking Him for strength, and then tell God what’s really on your mind, what’s really preoccupying you these days.  God loves that kind of prayer!

Pray Always

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus humorously encourages us today to be like a nagging, old woman when we come to prayer – that means to pray always, again and again, bother the Father!  God wants us to come to Him time and again not because He forgets or is unaware of our needs, but because the more face time we have with Him, the deeper our relationship grows.  3 practices that will make “pray always” a reality: spend the first 10 minutes of each day with the Lord, offer different hours during the day for others (like Moses, your prayers will help someone win battles in their life), and find a good friend to share how your resolutions are affecting your life, and vice-versa.

Joyful Stewardship

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend our parish is celebrating Stewardship Weekend.  Thank you, fellow Christian, for all that you have done with the gifts God has entrusted to you.  Thank you for those ways that you have been a good steward.  Gratitude for what God has given us leads to generosity.  And generosity leads to a joyful heart.  In our Gospel Jesus heals 10 lepers…only 1 comes back to thank Him.  Be the one to come back and thank Jesus; count your blessings – then you’ll find yourself wanting to give more.  And as you give, your heart will grow, and you will be filled with a joy that no one can take from you!