No Daily Mass or Adoration the week of September 18th.

From the Tee Box

A Blog by Father Trey Nelson
Monthly Archives: July 2017

WEEDS AND WHEAT...

Sunday of the Sixteen Week in Ordinary Time

“ 'Do you want us to go and pull them (the weeds) up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’ “ (From Matthew 13:24-43)

If there’s one reality that comes to mind for me today, it’s, “we’re all a work in progress. God isn’t done with any of us yet!” The parable of the weeds and the wheat is symbolic of 2 aspects of life: first, there are bad people in the world. There indeed are people who are consciously selfish and consciously hurt others. Along with this, there are also “things” in the world that are bad for us: bad behaviors, things that harm our health, and so on. For today’s reflection, however, the parable is symbolic of the reality that the kingdom of God here on earth is very much a mixed bag. All of us are weak and frail in some way, at times appearing to others more like weeds than wheat. Identify for yourself one person in your life who needs more patience from you. When the owner of the field says, “no, let them grow together until harvest,” this translates for us into, “be patient with one another. Take a deep breath along the way. Give each other a chance.”

None of us would be where we are today if it were not, in large part, for those along the way who did just that for us. Parents, for example, often take a deep breath and look at their child and are reminded, “He, she is a work in progress.” How many people have done this for me throughout my life! We grow together until the great harvest, the resurrection. In the meantime, we take our time with each other. We do take a deep breath. And we allow each other to grow into what God has created us to be.

REMOVE THY SANDALS"...

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Moses, hearing the voice of the Lord from the burning bush, said to him, "When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' if they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?" God replied, "I am who am." (From Exodus 3:13-20)

During Mass, these past couple of days, I have been recalling a memory from my childhood. I have been thinking about the movie, “The Ten Commandments.” As I recall, it use to air every year on Easter Sunday night. I remember the scene in which Moses, played by Charleton Heston, is standing before the burning bush in the presence of God, and the voice of the Lord says, “remove thy sandals, for you are on sacred ground.” The special effects were nowhere near what they are today, but it was still a powerful moment.

The idea of sacred ground or holy ground has always been a powerful one for me. I sometimes wonder, though, if some people have lost a sense of the sacred in their lives. I know that I sometimes have to consciously stop and remind myself of the sacred.  Areas such as church, prayer, sexuality, how we dress for certain occasions, whether we say “yes sir” or “no Mam” have always been areas of life in which we knew and acknowledged the sacred. But sometimes it seems that we run the risk of being so busy, preoccupied, and maybe even selfish, that we lose a sense of “being on sacred ground” when we are simply interacting with other people. Something as routine as saying “hello” or asking someone how their day is going serves to acknowledge that we value the other person and the moment. Whether it’s an obviously sacred moment, like, being at the family table or being in church, or a routine moment, like brightening the day of the person behind the check-out register, we are given numerous opportunities to consciously acknowledge the sacred nature of everyday life. In doing so, we help others to feel that they are more than just another person, more than just another item on our to-do list.

So, the next time we find ourselves sitting with a friend for coffee, trying to deliberate our way through a staff meeting, or dealing with a difficult person, or the next time that someone chooses to confide in us and share their pain with us, perhaps it would be good to stop and remind ourselves to reverence the moment and the people in it.

ON REMAINING CHILDLIKE...

Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” (From Mathew 11:25-27)

One of the statements that I have heard from mentors, coaches, and teachers as far back as I can remember is, “you never cease being a student, you never stop learning.” I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you. In my 8 years here at Saint Jude I have learned more about myself than I could ever expected. I have learned more about my strengths, and I have learned about weaknesses of which I was not aware, my personal “blind spots” if you will. This part has not always been easy, being honest with myself about where and how I need to grow. Still, I try to accept this awareness as a gift.

The words of Jesus today are an urging for us to remain “childlike” in the sense that we remain open to continually learning and growing. While we may get to the point of having learned a lot: about ourselves, about the world, and about life, we never get to the point of having learned it all.

Help us to see our blind-spots, O Lord, and allow You to shed light upon them. Amen.