Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series: Chicken and Pig

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If you tuned in last Sunday, I discussed the announcement of a new series in Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah.   Last Saturday I attended an RCIA Congress, where we discussed a program that helps adults seeking to know more about the Catholic faith.  I had been reluctant to go that morning because it was early and I wasn’t sure what it was.  However, once the morning started, and I finished listening to Father Ian, I was happy that I was there.  He really had a way of putting things into perspective.  Today I share with you the story of Chicken and Pig . 

Chicken and Pig

On Sunday Morning, Chicken and Pig were discussing leaving the church for the day to walk around the neighborhood.  On their walk, they came across a group of chicks.  These chicks were very thin, lacking from a bath, but full of eager excitement to see Chicken and Pig.  
Chicken pulled Pig aside and softly said, “Pig, I think we should make these hungry chicks some breakfast.”
Pig agreeing asked, “Well, what should we make?”
Chicken suggested, “How about we make them Eggs and Bacon?”
Pig smiled, “Well, it might take you a while to lay an egg, so why not chicken fajitas?”
Chicken smiled back with a wider grin, “Yes!”
Chicken and Pig left church that morning with the intention of following a path in Jesus’ footsteps.  One of the things that we are to do as Catholics is to feed the hungry and give to the poor.  It is one of the Fourteen works of mercy They set out to do just that and had the chance to say WWJD when they came upon the small hungry chickens.  Some are willing to give a little of themselves to do God’s work, like volunteering to cook breakfast.  While others, commit themselves fully to doing God’s work, like being the breakfast.  When Chicken suggested to Pig, lets make them Eggs and Bacon, Chicken would only have to give part of itself.  Well, to make bacon, Pig would have to commit itself fully to the breakfast, would it not?  Knowing this, Pig suggest that laying eggs might take too long if they were going to make them breakfast and suggested chicken fajitas, which requires no bacon at all.  In this moment, Chicken decided to give its entire being to doing God’s work without hesitation.  This is truly following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who died to save all of us.
When I first heard the story of Chicken and Pig, I saw that they needed to both give something of themselves to make the breakfast, but I honestly did not expect the explanation before Father Ian gave it.  It is true in life in general, there are those who give their all and some just enough, its often referred to as the 80/20 rule.  Where 20% of the people will do 100% of the work and the other 80% will either do nothing at all or just enough.  In this life, right now, I cannot admit to being the Chicken but I am working on it. WWJD.  What would Jesus do? 
 
I’ll leave you with today’s second reading:
Heb 10: 11-14, 18                        [Jesus in Glory]
Jesus, unlike the other priests, offered only one sacrifice for sin and took his place forever at God’s right hand.  He has perfected those who are being sanctified.
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews
Brothers and sisters: Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins.  But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.  For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.  
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin. 
-The word of the Lord.
-Thanks be to God.
Let it marinate.
Until then,
http://www.facebook.com/DjRelatSeven
*The story of Chicken and Pig has been modified slightly as I did not take exact notes of the story line.

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Who’s watching you?

This week has been an interesting week.  Last week’s topic, that I discussed with the kids in the catechism classes, went over what the Catholic faith believes, who we believe in, why we believe, and where we get our information from.  These are topics that I will discuss in the future.  Today I would like to talk about why we believe.  If you tuned in last week, I also touched upon this topic, but after a week of people asking this question, Why do you believe?; I felt compelled to pose this question, Who’s watching you?

In the year 2012, if one is questioned on their beliefs, a conversation amongst a group can be done peacefully and respectfully.  Everyone has a variation on their belief.  I like and appreciate that we can do this.  We are not persecuted for our beliefs.  We are not ridiculed for our beliefs.  We can believe in whatever we wish for we have Freedom of Religion.

As individuals we support our religion because we have faith.  What is faith?

Definition of FAITH according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

1
a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty

b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2
a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

3
: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

on faith

: without question [took everything he said on faith]

What phrases stand out to you?  The phrases that stand out to me are “firm belief in something for which there is no proof … complete trust and …without question.
The same can be said for someone without faith, or someone who questions their faith.  Does their faith exist?  According to the definition, no.  A person without faith, a person who does not believe, can not be faithful.  
Regardless of whether or not you believe in a religion, it can not be denied that people are watching you.  Our friends reflect upon our actions and our beliefs every day.   Our children look up to us. People watch us.  What are we showing them?

Those closest to me know, that over the last five years, I have embraced my faith.  It is not that my faith was lacking before, but I hadn’t done a good job of walking the Christian path.  I was in a state of being.  Over time I realized that just being was not taking my life in the direction I envisioned or wished for myself.  It was not until I decided to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation that my path changed course.  

In the Catholic faith, there are seven Sacraments.  The sacrament of Reconciliation is also referred to as Penance.  One reviews their prior actions in reflection against the ten commandments.  If your actions go against God, they are referred to as sins.  This reflection period is a time to acknowledge what you have done to go against God in your actions.  These sins are confessed to a priest.   The priest will offer guidance and direction on your actions.  The priest will then ask if one is sorry for sinning against God.  If you are, then one’s sins are forgiven by absolution which can only be given by an authorized priest.  

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, one receive God’s unconditional forgiveness.  I found that during this process I have also strengthened my ability to forgive myself.  I had never forgiven myself in the past.  This for me was huge.  In life we are hardest on ourselves.

If I forgive myself and acknowledge my sins and try my hardest to sin no more, I find it much easier and more likely to make choices that keep me in line with God’s law.  I find it easier to want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.  WWJD?  You might have seen this a number of times, it stands for What would Jesus do?  I find I use this phrase when I am trying to make a decision on something difficult.  I ask this question because my actions are watched by God.

God is watching.  Whether or not you believe in that statement, it does not change the fact that someone is watching you.  Somewhere down the line, your actions may impact someone you know…and someone you might never meet.  How can I impact someone I have never met?  I’m happy that you asked.  The Skit Guys will help us out with this.

 

 
 
Do you know who is watching you?   On this Soulful Sunday, I leave you with this thought to marinate this week along with one of today’s readings.
 
 
Heb 4:14-16                     [Jesus Our High Priest]
 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the high priest who shares all our weaknesses, except sin.  His mercy comes to all who seek it.
 
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews
 
Brothers and Sisters,
Since we have a great priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
-The word of the Lord.
-Thanks be to God.
 
 Until then,

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