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

When Life Turns

March 18, 2018 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

March 18, 2018
John 12: 20-33
Fr. George Smiga

Your cell phone rings, and you see it’s your brother. Funny, you think, he never calls me at this time of day. But when you answer, you find out why. He is in the emergency room, and he wants you to come. Your mother, now in her late 70’s, has just experienced a stroke. Now details are not yet clear, but already you can see before you months of family meetings, consultation with doctors, rehabilitation and perhaps a nursing home. In a moment, your life has changed drastically. It all began with that phone call.

You are having dinner with the woman you love. You’ve been dating now for two years, and you are convinced that the two of you are growing closer. You have even considered whether it was time to bring up the topic of marriage. At dinner she seems distracted. Halfway through the meal, she says, “We need to talk.” Your heart skips a beat, and your worst fears come true. She is not as pleased as you are in the relationship. She asks for some “time off.” By the end of the meal, the earth has shifted beneath you. It was signaled with her words, “We need to talk.”

We expect continuity in our lives. We expect one day to flow into the other. But we all know that there are moments when our life takes a drastic and negative turn. Looking back, we can even remember the phone call or the remark that signaled that change. Now we find our self in a place we do not want to be, in a place of fear, doubt, and pain. Our life has changed to a difficult place. Somehow we have to get through it.

Jesus experiences such a change in today’s gospel. He knows that his mission is to draw all people to himself. So when some non-Jews, some Greeks, come asking for him, Jesus sees it as a sign that now is the time to fulfill his mission. The gospel of John calls that mission “Jesus’s hour.” The arrival of the Greeks indicates that now his hour has come. The hour is frightening, because it is the hour of his death. But the important thing of today’s gospel is that Jesus does not call his hour the hour of his death. He calls it the hour of God’s glory. That is because Jesus is convinced that in the sudden turn towards suffering that his life has just taken, his Father will never abandon him. In fact, he dares to believe that, just as a seed that dies produces much fruit, God is able to bring life out of Jesus’s passion.

Our faith centers on the belief that God can bring life out of the most difficult periods of our lives. This faith does not promise that the journey will be easy, nor does it imply that the pain will be slight. But it dares us to hope that as we try to put our life back together after a disastrous breakup, we will learn things about ourselves that can deepen us and heal us. It asks us to trust that as we sit at the bedside of our unconscious mother, we can find thanksgiving or the forgiveness that we need towards the woman who gave us birth. Our life does not always flow from blessing to blessing. This is why today’s gospel assures us that when our life takes a sudden turn towards loss and suffering, we should not give up hope. Like Jesus we believe that our God is with us. And because God is with us, being lost can become being found and our hour of suffering can become the hour of God’s glory.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options