Archive | February, 2016

Close Encounters

23 Feb

burning bushIn this Sunday’s first reading, we encounter one of the most famous passages in the Old Testament. Moses is wandering through the desert tending his flock of sheep, faithful to his duty, when he encounters the Living God made present to him through the burning bush. This encounter with God changed him and gave him the confidence he needed to fulfill the mission God had for him.

Many of us feel like we are wandering through the desert of our family life, faithfully doing our duty of tending our own little “sheep.” It is easy to get distracted in the midst of cleaning the house, making dinner, getting kids to do their homework, getting to activities on time, or meeting deadlines at work. If we are not mindful, we may miss God’s attempts to encounter us.

The Church has always considered the image of the burning bush as an icon or representation of what happens to us in prayer: We are ignited with the flame of God’s love, and yet we are not consumed.

As we are now deep in the heart of Lent, let us joyfully find those moments of encounter even as we immerse ourselves in our duties of work and family life. Each day, let’s step away from the chaos and allow ourselves time for the Living God in prayer–alone and with our spouse. When we do this, we, like Moses, are changed to better fulfill the mission that God has for us–heroically loving our spouse and children!

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Everlasting Impact

16 Feb

family prayingHave you ever wondered about the impact your family can make on history? Our family’s potential for influencing the future is limitless. It is easy to get caught up in the monotony of everyday life, but the truth is that small, daily decisions can greatly affect the course of history.

In this week’s reading from Genesis, God takes Abram and challenges him to lift his gaze to the heavens and see the stars. God’s promise to Abram is that his children will be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abram had the grace to look beyond the monotony of his current struggles, open himself to God’s way of doing things, and commit to trusting God with the future of his existence. That trust changed history.

Abram’s reward for his trust in God was not merely the accumulation of material wealth, but even more the legacy of generations of faith. We have that same potential to affect the world. In America, we think in terms of leaving an inheritance to our children. That is not a bad thing, but it is far greater to leave an inheritance of faith that can be passed along for generations.

Every time we bring our children to Mass, say night prayers with them, give them a blessing before they head off to school in the morning, or even explain to them about why we passionately dedicate our time and resources to serving those in need, we make a deposit in their bank of faith that they in turn will pass on to their own children someday.

Intentional decisions made today bear fruit tomorrow.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Living in Lent

9 Feb

valentineThis year the first Sunday of Lent falls on Valentine’s Day. While prayer, fasting, and almsgiving don’t seem particularly romantic, there is actually a significant tie-in.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is tempted by Satan to put temporal things such as money and power before His relationship with the Father. Isn’t that what gets in the way of our feeling “in love” in our marriages? Long hours at work crowd out time together. Stress about bills tends to make us snap at each other. A desire to be right drives a wedge between us.

We don’t mean it, but sometimes these things get in the way of the fundamental truth that we are a man and woman in love.

If this is our situation, what if we decided to rethink Lent this year? What if we skipped giving up chocolate and instead tried to do something we know would make our spouse feel more loved? Here are some ideas:

  • Skip lunch out at work and buy flowers with the money.
  • Fast from criticism.
  • Suggest a date night (out or in) that includes your spouse’s favorite activity.
  • Make an effort to correct a habit that irritates your spouse.
  • Be home by 6 for dinner.
  • Set a specific time to pray for or with your spouse.

For marriage enrichment opportunities, check out www.archkck.org/family. Let us take advantage of the graces of Lent to help improve our most significant relationship!

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Jesus on Board

2 Feb

Jesus on boatDo you ever wonder if Jesus even notices you and your family when it seems like every other need in the world is more important than yours? We can sometimes think, “With all the problems in the world, from terrorism and hunger to pollution and poverty, how can Jesus have time for my desires and needs?”

In this week’s Gospel, Peter has worked all night and caught no fish. His mind was probably filled with the thought we’ve all had at one time or another, “How will we pay the bills?” When Jesus appeared on the scene, Peter could have sent Him away to deal with more important matters like Roman occupation and leprosy. But instead, he lets Jesus on his boat. And he miraculously receives more than he could have imagined.

This week, Jesus is waiting to be invited in to that big presentation at work, the pile of dishes in the sink, your son’s math test, and your hurt feelings from that spat you had with your spouse last night. Yes, there are worse problems out there, but these are your problems and they matter to Him. Why not invite Him in and see what miracles are in store for you?

This Sunday also kicks off National Marriage Week. We invite you to come celebrate with Archbishop Naumann at Holy Mass at Holy Trinity in Lenexa at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 11th. Following Mass, national speaker and author Jon Leonetti will present on the topic, “The Mission of the Family.” This evening would be an excellent way to invite Jesus onto your boat.

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.