Children of God

December 31, 2013 2:16 pm

“But to those who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God” (J  1:12). 

In our life we receive so many identities: A daughter or son, sister or brother, student, worker, wife or husband, friend, mother or father, patient or doctor, nurse, physician.  Some of them are based on our education and profession, some of them – on our relations, some – on our age and place in society.

Our true identity is based on our faith – “but to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God”. And all our other identities should be rooted in this true one. This is the only way to be a good wife/husband, employe and boss, parent or child. Today we are finishing the year and will start soon a New one. The best way to think about the New Year is not to think about the time wasted, but rather about the opportunities that the New Year brings: for the realization of my true identity.

As children of God we can do more than our limited human capabilities let us.

“But to those who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God” (J  1:12).

You belong

December 30, 2013 11:02 am

“…they returned to … their own town…” (Lk 2:39)

My own town, my home. These words are very special for people who travel a lot. Or are on a one-year trip abroad. Here, in Mexico, I have slept in twelve places. And it is not the end.

I like the idea that the Holy Family called one place in the world – “their own town”.

It sounds very similar to our families from Wrocław, Poland, always proud of their City – “in our city…”

And I think that the Holy Family is very close to anybody who is alone. Because they know how important it is to have one’s own place, own town. They spent some time as refugees, they were emigrants, so they understand perfectly anybody who is alone, not in his or her “own town”, who is coming back to a rented room or apartment, where no one is waiting for them.

From the moment when the Holy Family found “their own town”, no one is alone, no one is without a family, no one is forgotten. Because … “the Son of man came to save that which was lost.” (Mt 18:11). And the best idea with the “lost” is to bring them back to the family, remind them – you belong, you are a part of us. This is that kind of message, which should be repeated all over again to our kids:  I love you, you are our beloved daughter/son, I am so proud of you, etc…

When we have more people with “their own town”, there will be less broken hearts, wounded by people who used us as a hotel for one night.

If you will feel homeless at your place, where nobody takes care of you, immediately visit the Holy Family home, feel the atmosphere where you are loved and always welcomed, and go back to your home knowing how to share your love with the others. Simply “return to your own town”.

With a special prayer for all of you who are in need.

Fr. Jay

The Holy Family

December 29, 2013 10:06 pm

“And be thankful” (Col 3:16)

The life of the Holy Family, very private life, hidden life. Thirty years in silence. We know only about the beginning, escape to Egypt, episode in the Temple when Jesus was twelve years old and … nothing more.

We can say that Jesus wasted thirty years of His life doing nothing. Meaning: nothing important for God, like for example saving this world. But no.

This part of His life is so important for us. He chose to spend all those years in the family, with Mary, His mother, and St. Joseph – and only three years outside. The mission was the same: God “gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (J 3:16). In the family and outside the family.

That is why St. Paul wrote in such detail: “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged” (Col 3:18-19.21).

This is still the same mission, Good News: “so that everyone … may have eternal life” (J 3:16).

And today is a very special day to “be thankful”. For the Holy Family, for the beauty of family life, which is a very special and personal way to sanctification: “put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection” (Col 3:12-14).

O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtue of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. (Collect)

Keeping all of You in my prayer

Fr. Jay

The Holy Innocent

December 29, 2013 9:57 pm

Civilization of death. Still the same. Only rights, no responsibilities. And me and myself. “When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under” (Mt 2:16). 2 years old and under. True enemies. A real danger. Indeed.

In civilization of death a child still is a danger, “something” which could change MY plans, MY career, MY life and MY world.

This civilization is all around. Like the devil. TRYING. Sometimes with a quiet suggestion – you have the right to…

Civilization of life starts with responsibilities: What can I do for YOU? In this civilization we do not HAVE children. We ARE parents. And our responsibility is to protect them, love them, educate them, pray with them, encourage them and… Parents know how creative is their vocation to be parents.

With my prayers for you, who serve the civilization of life in so many places and in a so many ways.

God bless

Fr. Jay

Head and heart

December 26, 2013 10:15 pm

“Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed” (J 20:8).

The youngest, the most beloved, and so humble and respectful. He “had arrived at the tomb first”, but it was Peter who went into the tomb first. Love for Christ is love for the Church. Even if John was the most beloved, Peter was chosen to be the First Pope. Where true love is, there is also order.

It reminds me of an old, but not good, saying about the roles in the family: the husband is the head and the wife is the … neck, which turns the head in whichever direction she wants. This is not the theology of marriage and family. The true answer is: the husband is the head, but his wife is the heart. It is not an opposition – both are complementary. The head without a heart is not a good idea, but also the other way round. And this is my Church. All roles, all charismas, everybody needed. In the service to one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

PS. Personally I like this fragment also for another reason. This is a very important proof that running is a part of being an apostle. “They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived… first” (J 20:4).

So, keep running. We need fast apostles. And remember, first doesn’t mean more important. Running is not only about the place you win at the end; more important is always love.

P.S. 2. Keep me in your prayer: 8th of February. My fifth marathon. 🙂

 

The right perspective

December 26, 2013 10:09 am

“You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mt 10:19-20)

Yesterday we celebrated a great joy, today we celebrate the First Martyr – St. Stephen. Lack of logic in the Liturgy, or… we need to open our eyes wider.

When Our Lord came to us, there is nothing like “illogical death” anymore. He is the light which helps us understand even as illogical things as a sudden death of his believer. He enables us to see things from the right perspective: “I see the heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God“ (Acts 7:56). Death is not the end, it is a natural way to eternal life.

And, what’s so important, we are not alone anymore: “You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mt 10:19-20)

With Jesus – there is always the Father and the Holy Spirit. When we invited Child Jesus to our hearts again , He did not came alone. He is always united with the Father and the Spirit. 

The Church again and again reminds us about new Evangelization. So often we are so afraid what we should do or say. And this is the answer: if you ask Him for help, He will come and will help you: “you will be given at that moment what you are to say”.

Good Night. Good Morning. Good day.

December 25, 2013 9:34 pm

The Church celebrates tonight and today the Holy Mass of Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ three times: the Mass during the night, the Mass at dawn and the Mass during the day. Three times with different readings and different prayers we celebrate the same Mystery. Sharing the same joy – we are not alone, there is no more darkness, we have God who has become a man, “today true peace has come down to us from heaven” (from Entrance Antiphony). 

We celebrate the first Mass with the Angels: “And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angels, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rest” (Lk 2:13-14).

It is my private idea – if you are in darkness, in the night, spiritual or just natural – remember about the Angels. Ask them for help. They were there during this the most important night. (And also they appeared to announce the Miracle of Resurrection – they know where they should be).

The Mass at dawn is with shepherds. “When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Lk 2:15)

Let us go. Simple reaction. Be ready to go. When Good News arrives, you can’t stay in the same place. You should go. “When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child” (Lk 2:17). Spread the message. I know – it is so hard. But it could be your different face, or A word of forgiveness or A phone call after years of silence – because you got the message, you went to confession, you prepared your heart and He visited you. Spread the message, and if you don’t know how – ask the shepherds – they will tell you.

The Mass of light. “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9). His word is a true light. “In the begging was the Word, nad the Word was God… What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (J 1:1, 3b-5).

God’s Word in our life. He came as a Child and stayed with us as a Word. And He – the Word is a light and life.

No more darkness. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.

“Grant us, Lord, as we honor with joyful devotion the Nativity of your Son, that we may come to know with fullness of faith the hidden depths of this mystery and to love them ever more and more” (Prayer after Communion, Mass at Dawn). 

He is coming

December 24, 2013 10:43 am

“Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent” (2 Samuel 7:2)

It was about the ark of God, it was about the Son of God. Not a luxury, but simplicity. To be close to people.

God chose to be, as He announced, Emmanuel: God-with-us. And among us.

That is why we try to have churches in every part of the city, in every village and in every home of consecrated people. God came to us to be with us, not to live in a “house of cedar”, where it would be so difficult to visit Him.

Today is the last day of Advent. In a few hours He  will come. To our homes, to our families, where He is so expected by our children.

He doesn’t need any special place, our heart will be perfect. Open, warm, protective, tender and totally for Him.

with a lot of prayer and close to you

Father J. 

What will this child be?

December 23, 2013 6:01 pm

“What, then, will this child be?” (Lk 1:66)

The basic concern of every parent. What, then, will this child be? Specially if our child is delicate and sensitive and needs a little bit more attention then other children.

Have you got any idea how stressful it could be for parents to know something about God’s plan for him or for her? Think about Elisabeth and Zachariah: “even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the Israelites to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to reconcile fathers to their children and the disobedient to the good sense of the upright, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.“ (Lk 1, 15-17); or about Mary and Joseph. This is your son and the Son of God, “he will save his people from their sin” (Mt 1, 21). Take care of Him. Prepare Him for the future. Prepare your son to His role.

What they did as parents? They did nothing special. Jesus spent thirty years in normal family life. No special schools for very talented children future Redeemer of the world! “He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority… And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people.. (Lk 2, 51-52). Maybe this is a good advertisement for home schooling. 😉

How often do we think about profession, some important role. Can we prepare our child to be e.g. president of the country? What we think is important for the future of our children we will give them. The majority will think about education. As good as possible. The best kindergarten, the best primary school, high school, college, university. The better education we’ll give the better career they will have.

Others will think about giving them a good start in life through covering all the basic needs, like apartment with good equipment, car, some savings for nice vacations or other needs. And so…

Do we remember that our child is not ours. She or he is a miracle, a gift from God. Our child IF IT BELONGS to anybody, belongs only to God. Remembering about this is the most important “education” and “good start” for our child.

And even if our child becomes a president of our country or Apple or Google CEO, at the same time probably he or she will be a husband or wife.

So, what we really can do for the best future for our children is to help them understand and believe that he/she is a miracle, a wonderful gift from God, always loved and always worthy.

The other thing we can do is to show them how to protect our love in the family, how to respect a woman, how to take care of our relationship.

With prayer for you

Fr. Jay

A Man of the Advent

December 22, 2013 5:28 pm

“Joseph her husband” (Mt 1:19)

Silent hero of this time – St. Joseph.

One of my favorites saints. For many ages totally hidden. “Discovered” and made famous by St. Therese of Avila. Recently “invited” to every Eucharistic Prayer soon after Our Lady, as a “Her Spouse”.

Chosen by God to represent Him as a father to His beloved Son. True father. Not an imitation.

I have no idea how he was able to respond to all those challenges: fell in love with Our Lady, and was informed that she offered her virginity to God, found her pregnant, decided to leave her quietly, and after an Angel’s intervention took Her into his home, escaped to Egypt to protect his Family, all these years silent, protective, totally devoted to Our Lady and Jesus.

He is the perfect example of what God’s grace can do.

True inspiration for our life. True saint without any extraordinariness. Normal family life, full of work, daily family activities, oriented to God, close to Our Lady, in a real relationship with Jesus.

A Man of Advent. Patron for every man.

“He did as as the Angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1, 24)

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