Monday Morning Alka-Seltzer - May 2013
(This is the welcoming message of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Daytona Beach, Florida. Would that every parish would have it in their parish bulletins and on their websites!)
ALL ARE WELCOME!
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, y no habla Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail, or could afford to lose a few pounds. We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can't carry a note in a bucket. You're welcome here if you're "justbrowsing," just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don't care if you are more Catholic than the Pope, or haven't been in church since little Joey’s Baptism. We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or are still addicted. We welcome you if you're having problems, or you're down in the dumps, or you don't like "organized religion," we've been there too. If you blew all your offering money at the dog track, you're welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can't spell, or came because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church. We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome the flexible, inflexible, tolerant, and intolerant, those who laughed and those who gasped at this welcome. We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters, bleeding hearts...and you!
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Really believing that to be true, look for the hidden purposes of God in all events, be they good or bad. Every day brings with it opportunities to draw closer to our Father so that we can enter into His presence in all things. Pentecost isn’t simply a pretty legend. It points us to a reality that cries out for our attention, calling us to live in the presence, power, and the love of God’s Holy Spirit.
"...we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We give so much attention to what is seen, to what is immediate and passing. To what should I give my attention that is not immediately visible, to what is spiritual and n0n-material? Do I not recognize spiritual realities that are more important that those that are material?