Our All Saints Blog

Learn This Lesson

main image

Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. …Learn this lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Be vigilant. The Universe is one amazing and complicated “thing” or reality. It took billions and billions of years for it to come “together”. It will take billions and billions of years for it to all fall apart. So much is out there, and for what? Why?

It took billions of years for life to appear on earth. Life, as we know it, struggled to exist and even more so to survive, and for what? Why? Was it created for the sole purpose to fall apart?

All things pass away. You and I will pass away. Be vigilant! Be attentive to what is important; to what never passes away. Did you kill yourself for more money; for more recognition; for more of just about everything, only to see it all disappear before your very own dying eyes? I hope not.

Did you smile before you lost your teeth? Did you listen before you lost your hearing? Will you spend time with your family before you lose sight of your family?    

All things pass away. You and I will pass away. Even the Universe will pass away. The stars from the sky will collapse. The Sun will explode. But those who lived in the Son of Man will remain in Him just as He remains in the Father, the author of life, the Creator of the Universe.

My word and your words in God’s world will disappear. But His Word in His world will always remain.  

People will come and go, but those who lived by His Word and followed His path and lived His life will never pass away.

Why do all things pass away?  Maybe it's so that we never take for granted anyone or anything. And just as we should never take for granted that which is fleeting, we must be careful never to take for granted He who never departs! Yes, we tend to take for granted not only people who are always around but those who fail to respond.

Yes, we have a tendency to do both just as much as we have a tendency to sin in action as well as in omission. We spend way too much time and effort on all that is wasteful and sinful and not enough time on all that is holy and everlasting.

So many people come and go in our lives. Only Christ remains. Difficult times come and go. Only by God’s grace do we endure.

Today, I baptized five children into the faith. They received a white garment, symbol of their newfound purity and Christian dignity. I reminded their parents and Godparents of the nameless and passing individuals who will one day attempt to throw mud on their child’s dignity and purity.  They must be vigilant at all times.  I then handed to them a lite candle, symbol of Christ’s presence in the world. I reminded the parents and Godparents that there are many people in the world that would love to blow out Christ’s light in their child’s life.  They must be vigilant at all times.

Be vigilant at all times! Pray at all times! The world will collapse and fall into disgrace, just like the Son of God fell from “grace” and into the hands of his enemies. But the old shall be replaced by the new, just like the Old Law was replaced by the Law of Love. The stars will fall and the sun will collapse, but the Son of God will take its place and the “wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever” (Dan 12:3).

Learn this lesson.

Posted by Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro with

Two Cents

main image

A poor widow came and put two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.   For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

When something is very precious, we say it is of great value. When we say something weighs a ton we mean to say it has tremendous weight. But for God, something "of great value" or "of tremendous weight" can actually refer to two small coins.

I have no sense of direction. I always get lost. Thank God for GPS! Believe me. I am doomed if I don't pay attention to where I am going and damned if I do! I get lost everywhere, even in parking lots. Over time I learned a trick: to do the opposite of what I am thinking. When I think I need to turn right, I will turn left. When I am convinced, I need to go north, I will go south. If I do the opposite of what I think, I typically end up on the right side of the neighborhood. Since the world thinks its standing right side up, I need to think upside down. When the world thinks its heading in the right direction, I know it's heading in the wrong direction.

"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets."

Wow! That's me. That's my natural idea of success. Maybe it's yours too. Every day I yank out my internal yard stick and measure how I'm doing. Let's see ... how many dinner invitations did I get this week? How many people recognized me at the Pancake House this week? How many people congratulated me after Mass? Let's see how I'm doing on the road to success! Did I hear the roar of the crowd today? Was it more or less than yesterday? What does the Lord have to say about this? BEWARE!

What do you consider to be success? What's your internal yard stick measure? Is it the number of glances or winks you got in a single day? Or the number of people who came up to you and said, "You look so beautiful!" Do you keep track of how many dates you went on? Or how many friends called you this weekend? Do you keep count on the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of high school or college graduation parties you were invited to? Is it the number of pounds you lost? We all know your list is long so keep going ...

St. Paul tells his young disciples, Timothy, "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching ... "Be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry ... ! am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance." (2Tim 4:1-8)

Wow! Do I think like this? Do I even pretend to live like this?

The key understanding St. Paul is to understand Jesus Christ. What does the Lord consider to be success? What's important to Him and how does He measure it? The answer is found in the greatest commandment: Love God and your neighbor as yourself. How does the Lord measure this Love? Not in inches or in pounds but in sacrifices.

Let's start measuring ourselves according to Christ's specifications. In this way, two cents will be much more than its weight in gold!

Posted by Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro with

12345678910 ... 3132