The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Looking Backwards

March 1, 2015 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

March 8, 2015
John 2:13-25
Fr. George Smiga

Mark Twain has famously said, “When I was 17 years old I thought that my father was a fool. But when I became 22, I was amazed at how much the old man had learned in five years.” Twain’s point of course is not that his father changed. He did. In those five years between 17 and 22 he experienced new things that allowed him to appreciate who his father was. We do not begin life with all that we need. We begin with partial knowledge. But we push forward. It takes time and experience to deepen our knowledge of ourselves, of the people around us, and the world in which we live. Looking backwards, things become more clear.

This is the experience of the disciples in today’s gospel. Jesus is talking about the temple of his body, but the crowds around him and his disciples believe he is talking about the temple in Jerusalem. The evangelist tells us that it is only later, after Jesus resurrection, that his disciples remembered his words and understood them. For the disciples looking backwards made things clearer. Jesus’ words didn’t change. They did.

This is the pattern of our lives. We often imagine, when we make major decisions in our lives that we know what we are getting into. But this is seldom the case. When you committed yourself to your spouse on your wedding day, the vows that you exchanged were heartfelt and sincere. But you had only partial knowledge of what those vows meant. It takes time and experience for you to be able to say, “Now I know what it means to love another person for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health.” What your vows mean becomes clearer when you look back on them after 10, 30, or 60 years of married life. Your vows haven’t changed. You have. And this is true of most major decisions in our lives. We decide: “I’m going to do this as a career. I think I am ready to have children. I am going to commit myself to this person as a friend.” We make all those decisions with the best knowledge we have at the time. But what we are deciding only becomes clear after years of living it. It is only after our business goes through a crisis, after we sit by the bedside of a sick son or daughter, when we separate from a friend and together find our way back, that we discover what saying “yes” means.

Now this is a scary way to live, finding out only gradually what we have already committed ourselves to. But here is the good news. Although our life becomes clear to us only as we look backwards, our life is completely clear to God. Although we understand only gradually what our commitments involve, God understands us fully. And because God loves us, God works to see that our lives will not end up being impossible or destructive. So when it begins to dawn on you that your marriage, career, or friendship is more than you bargained for, different from what you thought, and more difficult than you had planned, it is important to remember that although this is news to you, it is not news to God. We understand our lives by looking backwards, but God is the one who is constantly leading us forward. That is why we should trust God. That is why we should believe that our lives are not random or wasted. That is why we should have faith that each day that we live, God is taking us a step closer to the life that has been planned for us from the start.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options