Rush after Him.

July 22nd Sunday Readings.benny-jackson-222664-unsplash

In the gospel this Sunday, Jesus and the disciples try to sneak away to a deserted place to rest, but the crowds came to know where Jesus was going and rushed ahead to meet them. Scripture says that a vast crowd had gathered. I can imagine Jesus and the disciples getting into a boat to get away while word of mouth spread of where they were heads. I can almost see the vast crowds of people pouring out of the towns and villages and gathering on the seashore, hungry to catch even a glimpse of Jesus. 

When was the last time you rushed to be close to Jesus?

If it was this past Sunday when you rushed your family out of the house and rushed into the parking lot and rushed into Mass 5 minutes late – God bless you. Extra gold star points for getting to Church. Just getting the family to Mass on Sunday can be a miracle. 

Many of us rush to meetings or the gym or dinner out or kids activities. However, when it comes to our faith we rarely show the same level of urgency. Rarely do we rush to confession when serious sin enters or life. Infrequent are the times we hurry to get prayer time started in the morning. 

The other thing about the kind of rushing that occurs in the gospel is that nobody in the story planned on hearing Jesus teach. It was spontaneous. The people who rushed to be near Jesus stopped what they were doing, dropped whatever was going on, and rushed to go where Jesus was going in order to be near him. 

Have you ever dropped everything to rush to Jesus? Do you think you could do that now? What would it look like to drop everything and rush to Jesus?

LIVE IT: Rush to see Jesus. Do something for your faith that is unplanned. Drop everything and stop by Church or the Adoration Chapel. Turn off the radio and pray for the entirety of a car ride. Take someone who is lonely out for coffee. Drop everything and go rush after Jesus. 

Are you busy?

May 7th Sunday Readings.busy-full-calendar.jpg

Are you busy? Yeah me too. I can’t wait for summer, but on the other hand I know that with it comes soccer games and running around and kids off school and maybe a different level of personally busyness. I don’t like complaining about busyness because complaining about being busy is like complaining about having too much food at dinner – it sounds ungrateful and not self aware.

If I’m honest, though, busyness is life sucking. Being busyness leaves me exhausted. Also, no matter how busy I am in a day, I still feel like I missed out on something during the day. Busyness leaves me unsatisfied. Somehow I don’t feel like God made me to be busy.

In the gospel this Sunday, Jesus offers us something related to, but different, from busyness. In the very last line Jesus says, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” Jesus tells us that he came to free us to have an abundant life. Jesus didn’t come so that we could have a busy life.

I’m not sure what the difference is between busyness and an abundant life, but I know how each one feels. Busyness is exhausting and life draining. A life in absence is refreshing, inspiring, and feeling a good kind of tired. Its the difference between “getting everything done” and going on a beautiful hike in the mountains.

Screen-Shot-2013-09-17-at-5.34.05-PMI also don’t feel like it’s just the difference between fun stuff and hard, boring stuff. Sometimes after a full day of work where I feel like I got something done and contributed to the mission, I know I lived abundantly. Sometimes after a day of busy vacation, I’m not any more inspired or refreshed.

I’m not sure how to move from a busy life to an abundant life (If I did, I would have already done it). But I do know this – Jesus wants us to. The God of the universe came to give us an abundant, fulfilled, joyful life. I’m not sure how to make it happen, but I know the first step is to put my busy life into Jesus’ hands.

Take out your calendar or your phone or whatever you use. Hold it in your hands, look up and pray these words, “God, I give you my busyness. Jesus I want a life of abundance. Holy Spirit transform my life.”

The Good Word for July 19th

I'm too busy to tell people I'm busy.For the complete Sunday readings click here.

Have you ever told someone you were too busy for them? I wish I didn’t, but the people in my life I probably say this to the most are my kids. I never actually say those words, but what I often do is suggest they go play outside or in the playroom or go ask mom. Rarely is what I am doing so important that I shouldn’t take the time for them. Gosh, I don’t even like admitting this truth.

The thing is God is never too busy for us. He is never too busy to hear our trivial story or complaining or good news. God is never too busy to pay attention to exactly what we are saying. God is never too busy to give us exactly what we need. Certainly he doesn’t always give us what we ask for or want, but he is never too busy for us.

However, we often treat God like he is too busy, right? We say things like, “God doesn’t care about whether I am sitting in traffic, God has bigger issues in the world.” And yes it is true that there are bigger issues than Minnesota construction traffic, but that doesn’t mean he is too busy to listen to us.

God attends to us absolutely.

In our Gospel Jesus and the Disciples are exhausted. They are so busy ministering to people they, “had no opportunity even to eat.” Yet, on their way to rest and food, the crowds follow. Jesus “moved with pity” decides to forgo his rest so minister again to the people.

The same is true in our life. Jesus never tires of ministering to us. If we turn to God, God is there. If we speak, God listens. If we listen, God is powerfully present (sometimes we have trouble hearing – another blog topic altogether).

We can trust that no matter what, God won’t abandon us. God is never to busy for you.

Hearing God’s voice in the midst of our noice is tough, but he is always there. Take 5 minutes everyday this week to sit in silence. No words. No pressure. Just 5 minutes of silence.