Friday, March 21, 2014

Lord, It is Good That We Are Here.

Come to me all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. 
                                                                      (Mt. 11:28) 

I was blessed this past Saturday to have attended a Men's Retreat! I was was able to spend a day learning, worshiping, and praying. Although I've been involved in different ministries over the years, this is the first time I've spent an entire day on a retreat for myself since college. There were about 60 men of diverse backgrounds, which was a lot more than I thought would be there. I think it goes to show the need for solid men's ministry.

We ended the day with Mass, and of course this weekend's Gospel was Matthew's account of the Transfiguration. I felt like St. Peter thinking how good it was to be here. Actually, I feel like St. Peter often, but that's a story for another post. Getting back to Saturday, I was away from the usual stresses of life, able to spend time adoring our Lord, and enjoying fellowship with other Catholic men. It was my own Mount Tabor, a place where I could for a moment, experience the radiance of our Messiah and lay all my burdens on Him.

But as St. Paul said in the Second Reading (2 Tim. 1:8B-10): Bear your share of hardships for the gospel, with the strength that comes from God. While it was good to be there, I knew it had to go back to the routines of life. Not that my life is so terrible. In fact, I am tremendously blessed! But there can be worries and challenges. Monday always follows Sunday, but hopefully we over the weekend we can catch up, spend time with our family and friends, and recharge for another week.  Our Lord allowed the Apostles to experience his full glory as a means to strengthen them for the challenges they would soon face. We have that opportunity every week at Mass, to be strengthened by the Word and the Word Made Flesh.

Of course it's not easy to take our faith out into the world. How many of us get strange looks on Ash Wednesday or praying Grace in a restaurant? No, it's not a world that is often accepting of our faith but as Paul further reminds Timothy:

On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. (2Tim. 1:12). 

It's Friday already!  Have a blessed weekend!

My Parish's altar during Lent. It has Mt 11:28 inscribed on  the front.


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