Monday, August 6, 2012

The Catholic Stance on the Definition of Marriage

Listen to the homily here.

18th Sunday Ordinary-B
Reading 1 Ex 16:2-4, 12-15 
Responsorial Psalm Ps 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
Reading 2 Eph 4:17, 20-24
Gospel Jn 6:24-35

In today's Gospel story, thousands of people flocked to the place where Jesus was because they were hungry.  They had witnessed, or had heard about the event that took place in the part of the gospel that we read last week where Jesus had fed the 5000 men.  We don't know how many women and children there were but he fed a whole lot of people and they had their fill.  That food came from just a couple of fish and some loaves of bread.  Well, when they heard that Jesus had left, they tracked him down, they followed him, they found him and they showed up because they were hungry.  But Jesus pointed out to them rather quickly that they needed to strive for something more than food.  

This past Wednesday, thousands of people flocked to Chick-fil-A restaurants all around the country to eat lunch or dinner.  And they were hungry too.  Some of them were just hungry for chicken and they didn't know about the events that were taking place and so they were quite surprised to see the thousands of people who were showing up in the restaurants all over this country.  The rest may have been hungry for food as well but their greater hunger was to make a statement of support for the president of the company who had, in an interview, witnessed to his Christian faith and had openly spoken his support for the traditional definition of marriage as being one between one man and one woman.  Others were there as a statement of support for his right to speak his principals without suffering the persecution that arose from some segments of our society.

Now if you've been following this you know that a firestorm arose around the country as his statements and his position were taken to be by some, rather than pro-marriage, they were taken to be anti-gay.  Boycotts were called for, even a couple of mayors of some large cities had proclaimed that they would do whatever they could to prevent Chick-fil-A from expanding in their cities.  So Wednesdays events were to counter those boycotts as well as to express their support.

So I thought that in the midst of this controversy which is making national news, that today might be the right time, a good time, without all of the emotion and all of the words being slung, to clearly outline two things.  To have a teachable moment.  To really outline two things about this subject as they relate to our Catholic faith.  There's tons and tons of material out there.  You can read it, research yourself.  And hopefully very soon, this week, maybe even by the end of the day because he was here at an earlier mass, our webmaster will have posted links to the documents that I'm going to quote from today on our website.  And I just wanted to make this clear and concise which is why I'm up here today instead of down there and why I have notes.

First point, our US Bishops have made very clear that the Church's teaching is that marriage is, and must continue to be, defined as the union of one man and one woman.  This definition is not new.  This definition comes not from man, and not from government, it comes from God.  We see it in the beginning, the book of Genesis.  God created man in His image; in the divine image he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them saying to them: be fertile and multiply.  Fill the earth and subdue it.  In a pastoral letter the Unites States Conferences of Catholic Bishops that was issued in 2009 called Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan the Bishops state:
"We Bishops feel compelled to speak against all attempts to redefine marriage so that it would no longer be exclusively be the union of the man and the woman as God established and blessed it in the natural created order."
Further down they reiterate:
The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.  This union once validly entered and consummated gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses.  Marriage thus created is a faithful privileged sphere of intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death. 
And so this profound, this beautiful document goes on and on to talk about the beauty of a sacramental marriage between a man and a woman.  I encourage you to read this pastoral letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan.  And our Bishops have been very vocal recently about supporting this definition of marriage and opposing any effort to change the definition of marriage.  So that's point number one.

Point number two.  And I want to make this briefly but pointedly, is that this stance by the Church is not a hate filled action or statement against men and women who are gay.  That's what all the controversy was about in the Chic-fil-A event.  It's not an anti gay action.  There is no place in our faith or in our church for hatred or discrimination.  Period.  As Catholic Christians, we're called to listen and to embrace the words of the statement from a document entitled Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care for Homosexual Persons. And this was from the then Cardinal Ratzinger, better known now as Pope Benedict XVI.  He was, in 1986, when this was published, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.  It says:
  "It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action.  Such treatment deserves condemnation from the church's pastor wherever it occurs"
So hateful actions against someone who is gay has no place in our lives.  Furthermore I think it's important to make this point and I would venture a guess that not many of you have ever heard this.  And I'm summarizing here some statements in Ministering to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination a document from our Bishops published in 2006 we know this: Being a homosexual is not a sin.  Being a homosexual is not a sin.  Entering into homosexual acts, that's a sin.  Just as entering into any intimate act of a man and a woman outside of the sacrament of marriage is a sin.

Therefore we, you and I, must help nurture our friendship with those who are gay.  We must nurture our friendship with God so that the virtue of chastity among all of us is both embraced and strengthened.

So please, I encourage you to be open to God's truth.  I encourage you to pray about this.  To embrace the Church's teachings about marriage.  To reject the worldly position that somehow embracing the traditional understanding of marriage, which has been that way since the very beginning, that somehow that's a hateful action against those who are homosexual.  And knowing that for some this may be a bit challenging, I think we should now look back at the Gospel story for help in understanding how we can accomplish the works of God.

How we can grow closer to the Lord so that there is no place in our hearts for straying from the truth or rejecting the Church's teachings.  So there's no place in our hearts for having hatred or malice.  Remember in the Gospel the people said to Jesus, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"  And His response to them was, "This is the work of God.  That you believe in the one He sent."  There is the bottom line.  To believe in Jesus Christ.  Because you know what?  Just like the people in the Gospel, whether we know it or not, whether we accept it or admit it or not, you and I are hungry for more than just chicken.  We're hungry for the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.  In our hearts.  Opening our hearts to God's message, opening our hearts to His Son, knowing the one He sent are so essential to us being the men and women that God calls us to be.  God, as we heard in that first reading, is the one who fed the Israelites in the desert with manna.  That same loving God sent His only son to be for us the Bread of Life.  Not just the food that feeds our worldly hunger, but the food that fills the God shaped vacuum that is within each one of us.  That God shaped vacuum that can only be satisfied and filled by the presence of Jesus Christ.  He is the food that gives life, eternal life to those who believe.  He is the food that overcomes hatred with love.  He is the food that brings us closer to Him so that we constantly seek His will and not the will of the world.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Repaint And Thin No More - January 22, 2012

Reading 1 Jon 3:1-5, 10

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

Reading 2 1 Cor 7:29-31

Gospel Mk 1:14-20

Amazing homily about repenting from choices we are making that are not aligned with God's will - especially in regards to abortion and artificial contraception.

Listen to the homily here

Monday, February 21, 2011

5th Sunday Ordinary Time

**To listen to this homily, click on the title**
Reading 1: Is 58:7-10

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

Reading 2: 1 Cor 2:1-5

Gospel: Mt 5:13-16

**I am having a hard time getting around to transcribing this homily so I wanted to just go ahead and post the audio of it!!**

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - January 9, 2011

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

**To listen to this homily, click on the title**
First Reading: Is 42:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial Song: Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
Second Reading: Acts 10:34-38
Gospel: 3:13-17

As Father said we gather tonight to celebrate the baptism of the Lord. I commend all of you for your wisdom in waiting until this afternoon to come to mass. Those of us who were here this morning got our own baptism…a baptism by rain and then snow! We’re here to celebrate, to bring to a close the Christmas season, this great celebration of the baptism.

How many of you have followed the story this week of the homeless guy, Ted Williams - the guy with the radio voice? For the benefit of those who didn’t catch it, let me recap it for a minute. There’s a guy named Ted Williams who had been in radio and had gotten fired. It’s amazing how some people go in different directions when that happens and for him unfortunately he took the darker road - several years of homelessness as it turns out, some drugs, some crime, some alcohol – all of this said openly and publicly. He became homeless and he would stand on the corner with a big cardboard sign that said something to the affect of…I have a voice that was given to me by God…the greatest radio voice around. As luck would have it an enterprising reporter came up to him this week with his video camera going and he said to the guy,“I’m gonna make you earn your dollar. I want to hear your great radio voice.” And so this homeless man came up to the car and he said something to the effect of, “If you’re listening to the greatest oldies, you’re listening to 96.7. It was amazing. The guy took the video and put it on the internet and it became what is known as viral, which means everybody started watching it. And all of a sudden within the week he was on all the network morning shows. He was given an offer to be the voice of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – whatever the voice of macaroni and cheese is! He had an offer to become the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers. All of these incredible things in less than a week. He got a second chance. It’s an incredible opportunity for him - a second chance. What he’s going to do with that, we don’t know. It’s his choice as to what he’s going to do with the second chance that he’s gotten.

Now why do I bring that up today at the celebration of the baptism of the Lord? I bring it up because to me as I thought about it this week, as I prayed about it, and as I thought about that story and I thought about the message for today, I realized that in a certain sense, the story of Ted Williams is in a way an allegory about all of mankind. An allegory about you and me.

You see a long time ago our first parents fell from grace. Our first parents, through their own free will, chose to disobey God and His will and they fell from grace. And they very really, and very truly, became homeless. They couldn’t go home to God. But God promised all throughout history that He was going to give us a second chance. He was going to send the One who would come and reverse that decision. He promised that there would be One who would come in gentleness, in kindness, and in love to open the eyes of the blind and all of those beautiful things that He promised. And in time, in His own time, God finally sent that One. We celebrated the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah on Christmas day. We celebrated that birth, the one in Bethlehem, who was the Jewish Messiah, who was the promised One. Last week, we celebrated the Epiphany, the revelation of Jesus Christ as savior of the entire world. But tonight we celebrate the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. When Jesus walked into the Jordan River to be baptized by John – it was a problem. John recognized it. He knew that Jesus didn’t need to be baptized. But the very fact that that baptism appears in the gospel is the proof that it really did happen. The baptism of Jesus presented a problem for the first century Christians. There were still people around who thought that John the Baptist was the messiah. And they said look - Jesus presented himself for baptism, He must have had sin. So the fact that it’s even in the gospel is proof that it happened.

Why then did Jesus come to be baptized by John?

Most likely it was because for one thing He wanted to associated Himself with us. He wanted us to understand that He was a human, that He was a man. He was without sin. He did not need to be baptized but He wanted to connect with our humanity.
He also wanted us to follow Him into that river. He showed us the way. He showed us and led us into the waters of baptism. And so God presented the world finally and ultimately, the One who would come to give each one of us a second chance.

So today we celebrate not only the baptism of Jesus, but we celebrate our own baptism. You and I were brought to the river, for many it was just a bowl about this big! But we were brought to the river. We were baptized. And just as God had looked down, when Jesus was baptized, when He came up out of the water and God spoke and said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” And when we were baptized, God said the same thing. This is my beloved son. This is my beloved daughter. In whom I am well pleased. And how wonderful is it when we hear daddy say, “This is my child. I’m so pleased.” When we were baptized that’s what God said. We get a second chance.

What we do with it – that’s our choice. We can choose then to follow Christ or we can choose to turn away and reject Him. It’s our choice.

So tonight let’s begin a journey of reflection. Let’s begin a journey of reflection – reflecting upon our own baptism. Reflecting upon what happened. Let’s recall to ourselves our own baptism. On Thursday and Friday with our little 3 and 4 year olds I tried to help lead them to an understanding of what they do when they reach up - and some of them still can’t reach it yet - but when mom and dad walk in and dip their fingers into the bowl as we come into church. We touch the water and we cross ourselves. What are we doing? Who knows? What is it we’re doing when we do that? And don’t say it’s just because we’ve always done it that way. We’re reminding ourselves of our baptism. Dipping our fingers into the bowl and reminding us of our own baptism. What happened that day? What happened when we were baptized?

We were invited to follow Christ - who is priest. We are called to be a priestly people. Only a few are called to be ordained to the priesthood but we’re all called to be a priestly peoples. What does that mean? It means we’re to stand in prayer and intercession for others - to pray for others. To attempt in our greatest ability to make holy the ground we walk on - to walk in holiness. To do God’s will not because we think we have to but because we want to - to be priestly people.

We’re called to follow Jesus the prophet. We’re called each one of us to be prophets. To speak God’s words of love and forgiveness – not only with our mouths but with our lives. To speak God’s words and to live His life as prophets.

And we’re called also to share with Jesus His kingship. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the king of the universe. And when we are baptized He becomes our brother. We, you and I, share with Him that royal priesthood.

And so my dear friends we celebrate the baptism of the Lord, that in celebration of His baptism, we celebrate and remember and recall our own baptism. When Jesus Christ entered into the waters of baptism and invited us to do the same and won for us a second chance.

The question is, what are we going do with our second chance?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Feast of the Holy Family - December 26, 2010

**To listen to this homily, click on the title**

First Reading: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Second Reading: Col 3:12-21
Gospel: Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

Good morning. Merry Christmas. I'm glad you got the memo. The one about it being Sunday! I think maybe a few didn't get that memo.

This is obviously the day after Christmas and I don't know about you but it's a wonderful opportunity to finally catch our breath. After all the hectic goings on around the celebration of Christmas are over. All the preparations, particularly the moms and wives, the ladies who do all, or mostly...I'm speaking for myself frankly...who do most of the work preparing for Christmas. Take a deep, deep breath.

I'm always so amazed and in awe of the wisdom of the Church that placed this particular day, this celebration of the Holy Family, so close to Christmas. In this case this year it's the very day after Christmas. It gives us an opportunity, as we celebrate on this day, it gives us the opportunity to really refocus and to really remember what the celebration of the Incarnation and what the celebration of Christmas is supposed to really be about. They have given us the model of the Holy Family. The family of Jesus that was so tuned in, so committed to doing the will of God. They were so obedient and that, I believe, is what the Lord is calling us back to. To focus our lives and our hearts on being obedient to the will of God.

Pastorally speaking, as we minister to people during this time of the year, so many times we see sort of the worldly results of things going on. Problems in families. That's one of the things that really comes out during this time of the year - the problems that are in families of every kind.

So many times people get so uptight when it gets close to Christmas Day because they have family gatherings and there are splits and there are problems in the family. And we start wondering how are we going to keep so-and-so from coming to the party or how can we invite everybody without inviting that one because they're mad at this one and all of these wonderful things. Everybody gets all uptight with all of these conflicts going on and they just get exacerbated at this time. That's so unfortunate. That's not God's desire. That is not God's will to have that and it's so unfortunate when we see that happening. And that's why again, we bring this celebration and we focus again on God's true desire for love and peace and joy and all of the these that he brought to us when he became man.

Another situation that we see during this time of the year is, and many of you in this church today may have had this situation, and that is when we lose a loved one during the year. And we find that as we celebrate Christmas, all of the sudden it is the first time that we celebrate Christmas with that loved one gone. And that becomes a sort of an intensification of our mourning process. And so it becomes a situation. We had that in our own family. My wife's mother passed away at the end of August and so this was the first Christmas with an empty chair. Sometimes when there's a death it can even more deeply split a family, cause even more family. Thanks be to God, in our family what happened,it brought about some healing. It brought about the coming together of the family in some beautiful ways. So even though there was an empty chair, there were more chairs filled this year than in the past. And so, again, it is not God's desire that we have these kinds of problems in the family and so that was a beautiful thing to see in our own family, God's healing process in that time.

Another thing that happens during this time of the year that intensifies too is when there is some kind of a tragedy in a family. We have a family in this parish who just this past Monday lost their home to a fire. It burned to the ground. Thanks be to God one of the sons was up watching the lunar eclipse and had just gone back to bed and smelled smoke and was able to get the family up. They lost everything. Burned to the ground. You would think that they would have the worst Christmas ever. But what has happened to them is that there's a renewal of their participation in the family of God. They have seen this church, they have seen their high school community, they have seen the community, the family of God come together. The father and the family were here at 7:30 mass and the father said, "I've never seen anything like it. This is the best Christmas we've ever had." Not because of the things, but because of God's love as exemplified through the community of the family. There own family, the family of the church, the family of the bigger community. God's love is manifested through them. So rather than experiencing this horrible tragedy of the loss of love, they lost everything of their possessions, but what they have gained is a greater understanding of God's love.

Now as I prepared and looked at the readings, I tried to get to the core of the message for today. And what I really truly believe is that the message to take away from this church, to go forth in this coming year...what I saw in the readings today was a commitment to obedience. To obedience to God's will. Look at the story. We see that young maiden, that young woman, Mary. God came to her through the angel and she could have said no. But she said yes to God's will, to God's desire in her life. She said yes. She was obedient to the Lord. Joseph, her husband, stepped away for a moment when he found out the news but yet God spoke to him and Joseph then was obedient. Obedient to God's will in his life. For his family. For us. And he said yes. And he picked up in the middle of the night and he took his family at God's beckoning, he took the family to Egypt. And in that whole sort of telling of the story by Matthew, his audience was primarily Jewish, we can sense a return back to the exodus, to Moses. And Moses' obedience. The prophet spoke, "I called my son out of the desert" and for them it was the nation of Israel about whom he was speaking. In the Gospel story, it is His son Jesus called out of Egypt. The one who was to be obedient to the Father even unto death. And in the obedience of the mother, in the obedience of the earthly father, and in the obedience of the son God has come to us and brought to us, if we will accept it and if we will live it, he has brought to us peace and joy and compassion and forgiveness and love. He has brought that to us. If we are obedient to His call and His will.

I hope and I pray that you and I will go forth from this day and every day praying to be able to live God's will. Because it's His desire and His will that we in our so called nuclear families, that we in the family of the Church, and that we in the family of the world will live in peace and harmony and love. So may God bless us, may God lead us and carry us out of the desert and into His arms of love. May you go forth in this day committed to being obedient to His will.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Faith of Abraham Homily - 8/8/2010

**To listen to this homily, click on the title**

First Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22

Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2, 8-12

Gospel: Luke 12:32-48 or 12:35-40

Good morning. All the wonderful parishioners of St. Thomas would like to welcome all of you who are guests, who are joining us here from other churches, other parishes, other cities. We’d like to welcome you. We’re glad you’re here with us this morning to celebrate with us the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. To celebrate the resurrection of the Lord.

I don’t know where this came from but I read something earlier. It sounds a little bit, if you’ve read Screwtape Letters – C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters – it sounds a little bit like one of the scenes from Screwtape Letters but it’s not. It has a different ending. Let me tell it to you. It’s two of the little worker bee demon who are having a meeting. These two demons were trying to come up with a good way to get more converts to their side. And one of them said “Why don’t we convince those Christians that God just doesn’t exist”. Well the other demon said, “No that really won’t work. All they’ve got to do is look at a sunrise. All they’ve got to do is look at a mountain. All they’ve got to do is look at something of beauty in this world and know that there must be a source of that goodness”. So they thought for a while and then the other little worker demon says, “Why don’t we try to convince them that the devil doesn’t exist”. The other said, “No that won’t work either. All they have to do is look at the evil in the world and know there must be a source of that evil”. So finally they talked for a while and they bounced a few ideas around and they came up with their solution. They decided that what would be the best thing would be to convince the Christians that we have plenty of time.

That is the message for today my dear friends. When you hear the Lord calling, it’s time to respond – now. Jesus in the Gospel was talking to the apostles. And he was talking to them about having an understanding, having knowledge of what the master wanted and the repercussions that would occur if that servant, if that person, did not do what the master wanted. If they thought, “Well, the master’s a little delayed in coming, we can just have a party” – you see, it is in faith that you and I hear those words. It is in faith that we hear those words encouraging us that when we hear the Lord, we need to respond now. Because my dear friends, we don’t know how much time we have. Our time is now. That is a statement of our faith - when we respond to his message. St. Paul in the second reading today gives us three incredible examples of faith and they’re all about Abraham. Let’s think about those examples for just a minute.

The first one occurred when Abraham was in his 70’s. It’s a time when most people are retired. But God came to Abraham and said, “I want you to get Sarah and the extended family and we’re gonna move you”. “Where Lord”? “Not for you to know Abraham. I just want you to move. I’m gonna take you where I want to take you”. Now my dear friends, Abraham did not say, “You know Lord, I’m kinda happy right now with my life. I’ve got my tent just the way I like it, got my flock out there and my herd and all this stuff. Everything seems to be just fine Lord. Don’t wanna move. Don’t know what kind of neighborhood you’re taking me too”. He didn’t say that. Abraham, Sarah, the extended family picked up and they went to a place unknown. That was an act of faith. Abraham did not know where that journey was taking him. My dear friends, what is God calling you to in your journey in life? Where is the Lord asking you to go? Is He challenging you with something new? Is He inviting you to follow Him in an unknown destination? I can take this in a lot of different ways. There are two young men sitting on our altar right now. Martin on one side and Miguel on the other side. They’re two of our four seminarians. Zach and Tim and these two guys and they have responded. God has invited them to a journey. They don’t know ultimately where it’s taking them but they have responded and they have said yes and they have said, “Yes Lord, take me wherever it is that you are leading me”. An act of faith. Let’s keep praying for them. They’re all getting ready to go back to school in different places. Please continue your prayer for them. But in the same time, continue to pray for your own self, asking the Lord where it is that He wants to take you - be willing to say yes to that invitation – now. Not later.

Now, there’s another story that St. Paul reminds us of about Abraham – it took place a few years later. Abraham was almost 100. God came to Abraham and said, “You know Abraham, this same time next year I’m going to come by and visit you again and you’re going to have a son”. Now Abraham’s wife Sarah, who was a spring chicken in her 90’s, she was listening in secret and she did what maybe you and probably I would do and that’s laugh. And yet, both Abraham and Sarah in an act of incredible faith said, “Lord, we don’t know how this is gonna happen” but then they cooperated in their humanness to God’s will and guess what? A year later God came back by and there was a son. It seemed impossible to the human mind that that could happen. My question to you today is what in your life seems to be impossible? What is happening in your life that you look and you say there’s nothing that can happen, that can change this, that can make it right? There’s nothing that can heal my marriage. There’s nothing that can find me a new job. There’s nothing that can get us out of this trouble that we’re in. What is it in your own life that seems humanly impossible? When you ponder that, I want you to think about Abraham and Sarah. And their incredible act of faith. They said, “Lord, don’t know how you’re gonna do this, but ok”. God in your life wants to help you get through the impossible. Whatever it is. He wants to be there with you. What He asks of us is that we say yes now, and work with Him in our humanness to allow Him to work in His divinity. Key to it however, is being willing to say yes – now.

The third story I find very, very tough. As a parent, I find the third story very, very difficult to even ponder. You see after that child was born, God promised that through that child and that through Abraham his descendents would be as numerous as the starts in Heaven and yet God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham, unbelievably, was willing to do what God asked. We know the end of the story, we know that ultimately God did not complete that request. Isaac was spared. The important point of that story is that Abraham was willing to do what God asked. Abraham in faith was willing to sacrifice his son. Now I think our question today is what is God asking me in my life, what is He asking me to sacrifice. Certainly he’s not going to ask us the same thing he asked of Abraham, but what is He asking of us? Is He asking us to give up our former life? Our former way of life? We know as parents we sacrifice everyday for our children. But what is He asking us to do? What is asking us to sacrifice? And are we willing in faith to say, “Ok Lord. This will be tough. But you asked and I’m gonna say yes, I’m going to sacrifice whatever it is that you’re asking me to do. And I’m gonna do it now”.

My dear friends, we don’t know how long we have. We don’t know in our own individual lives how much more time we’ve got. We don’t know. What we know is that the Lord is saying to us, “Don’t wait. Don’t wait for the master to return and find us doing the wrong thing”. Is He calling us someplace new in our journey in life? Say Yes! Say Ok – now. Do we have something in our life that we find impossible? Allow the Lord to work in our lives. He wants to work us through it. Is He asking us to sacrifice something? To give up something? To change – to do something else? Be willing to say Yes. And do it now. Recognize, know, believe in our hearts how much God loves us. He will only ask us to do something that is for our own good. He asks us to do it – now.