Friday, April 22, 2011

Waiting for the Lord

This was the day they waited. The Lord was dead. They mourned and they waited. I can only imagine what that was like. They were afraid. They were distraught. They were defeated. They didn’t understand what happened. They didn’t know what was going to happen. All they could do was wait.
I don’t know about you, but I am not good at waiting. I avoid waiting at all costs. I shop when everyone else is home so I don’t have to wait in line. I have found many short cuts through obscure neighbors around town so I don’t have to wait in traffic. And when I do have to wait, I come armed with things to distract me- like a book or my phone. But in my defense, waiting has become a thing of the past in this world of instant gratification. We have technology at our finger tips giving us needed information and communication instantly. In our society, the art of waiting has wasted away.

Although we don’t wait as often, there are some circumstances in life that require us to wait- like medical test results, a job offer, our loved one to return from Iraq, or for the bank to approve that desperately needed loan. In those times, waiting is hard. Especially when it seems as if your very life hangs in the balance. I imagine that is what the disciples felt like. They placed all their love, hope and faith in Jesus. And he was gone. Their very lives- their very souls hung in the balance. And they desperately missed their Lord.

There have been a few times in my life when I have had to wait. The hardest time was waiting for my premature son to be strong enough to leave the NICU after he was born. And the waiting was made worse because we were several hours away from home. He was born in San Antonio and we live north of Dallas. The waiting was hard. Would we be there a week? Would it be a month? Or would he take a turn for the worse? There was nothing I could do to make it go faster. There was nothing I could do to make it easier. All I could do was wait and hope and pray. My son’s life was hanging in the balance. As a desperate mother, I couldn’t imagine an outcome that wasn’t positive. I placed all my hope and trust in the Lord. I prayed with all my soul that my son would be okay, that we could bring him home and when it was all over, we could pay the medical and hotel bills. The Lord blessed us with all those requests. Through the waiting, He called me to depend on Him and He grew my faith.

While we see waiting as torture, God doesn’t see it that way. He uses waiting to mold us and form us. He makes us into the people he made us to be while we wait. Like the disciples, we sometimes feel the absence of our Lord in the waiting. Our faith is tested. Our humanity is tried. Sometimes we fail and sometimes we rise. But one thing is certain. The Lord will never forget us. His love is so much bigger than the crosses we bear. In the waiting, he hopes we will find and embrace that amazing love and allow Him to help us carry our heavy load.

So, today we wait with the disciples. And we wait with joyful hearts. Because we know what is around the corner. We know He is coming back. We know He did not forget us. Today we wait, but tomorrow we celebrate the joy the disciples discovered at the empty tomb. All glory and honor be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mary's Fiat

I put this video together for one of the youth nights at my church.  It depicts the relationship between Mary and Jesus using scenes from a few different movies.  Scroll all the way to the bottom to turn off the blog music before you watch it.

The Passion Experience in Real time

The Passion Experience - Easter 2011 from Incarnate Network on Vimeo.

This is pretty cool!  Check it out.  I plan to do some reposting on facebook as events unfold on Good Friday.  Share Jesus' passion with the world.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lent or Bust

So, how’s your Lent going? Is it all you thought it would be? Have you kept your Lenten promises? Well, my Lent has not been all that stellar. I struggled with what to give up this year. I finally settled on ridding myself of sweets and coffee mostly because I couldn’t think of anything else. Afterwards, I felt like I was being childish. Only kids give up sweets. So that idea made it easy to cheat. And I did. Then I felt guilty. But then I felt silly because only kids give up sweets. ARGHHHHH!

This Easter, I will be celebrating my 14th year as a confirmed Catholic. There was so much I didn’t know or understand 14 years ago. And one of those things was Lent. My understanding of Lent was limited to no meat on Fridays and that you should probably give up something. I am sure I was told more about the season, but I didn’t really understand the why behind Lent so that info was lost on me. When I converted, I still had a lot of Southern Baptist ideals to let go of and the season of Lent was one of them. But over the last 14 years, I have gained a better understanding. Lent is a time to suffer a little for the Lord. It is a time to fast from the pleasures of the world. It is a time to give until it hurts. It is a time to pray like time doesn’t matter. It is a journey we take so that we may be reborn, renewed and refreshed in our faith and our Lord.

There is one Lenten promise that I have been working very hard to keep. The Lord has impressed upon me over the last few months how important it is to understand His suffering- how he suffered, what he felt/feels, and why he suffered. I was really confused as to why he wanted me to go on this journey with him. And then in Mass one night, he told me: his love is greater than his pain. By understanding his suffering, then we have a greater understanding of his love. So, this Lent, I decided to spend some time understanding the Lord’s suffering. I came across an independent bible study called People of the Passion by Stephen Binz (Threshold Bible Study). This study takes the reader into Christ’s passion through the eyes of the eyewitnesses. I have found it very interesting to look at Christ’s last moments from this perspective. I’ve put myself in their shoes and wondered how I would have faced the Lord. As part of my Lenten promise, I have been blogging my way through it ( ). You can visit the link if you would like a closer look at this experience.

So I guess my Lent isn’t a total bust. I am doing my best to keep up with this bible study. That was the last shred from my broken Lenten promises I was desperately holding onto. But then, I went to the Stations of the Cross this past Wednesday and Father gave a brief talk about the stations before we began. And he looked right at me and said, “I am sure all of us have broken our Lenten promises by now. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Jesus fell three times on his journey with the cross, and he didn’t give up. Keep trying.” So, now I need to keep trying to give up sweets? Really?! ARGHHHHHH!