Friday, April 5, 2019

Father Becker April 5

[Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
   “Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”] (Jn. 7:25-27)

Once again Jesus surprises the Jews by His actions.  First, He’s in Jerusalem where the authorities are trying to kill Him.  Second, He is the Christ long awaited by the Jews.  However He is not recognized because the Jews think they know where He is from. They and really no one could have imagined that God would take on flesh in Jesus.  God surprised the Jews as He does us. 

St. Augustine exclaims in his Confessions, “Oh Beauty ever ancient, ever new.” God is wholly active in our lives. He existed from all eternity and will continue to exist for all eternity.  God is ever ancient and ever new simultaneously.  He never changes.  Yet, He  transforms the world.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Yet, He always catches us by surprise. 

God never acts as we expect.  We can’t “box Him in”.  He is full of surprises.  He has plans for you that you haven’t even imagined. Allow God to surprise you today. We abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent so that we can draw closer to Jesus.  Today, allow Jesus to draw closer to you.  Let Him surprise you. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Father Becker April 4

[“Moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.“] (Jn. 5: 42)

Ugh... well that’s quite an indictment.  In our Gospel today Jesus differentiates between human and divine testimony.  He doesn’t accept human testimony, but God’s.  Seemingly out of the blue this verse appears on the lips of Jesus amidst His discussion. 

Moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.“

This verse catches us off guard, and it convicts us. (well it convicts me at least).  God is always speaking, desperately trying to get our attention. He seeks us out, and we many times are oblivious. Yet, there are times in which He breaks through like the sun peaking through the clouds. This can happen at anytime, anywhere, and through anything or anyone.  Jesus’s words remind me of something St. John says in his first letter:

Do  not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1Jn. 2:15) 

When we become aware of God convicting us of our sins or bad habits we must remember that He convicts us not to make us feel awful about ourselves. God convicts us so that we may grow in holiness.  Loving the world and the things of the world is not bad in and of itself, since God created the world and all it contains.  However loving them above and before God is.  

Jesus prompts us to reflect on and honestly ask purselves, “Is God the first priority in my life?  Do I love other things more than Him?  What must be readjusted in my life so that God truly is the center of my life?”

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Father Becker April 3

[“I cannot do anything on my own;
   I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will
   but the will of the one who sent me.”]
(Jn. 5:30)

Whose will do I seek? God’s or my own?  Jesus claims to be not only a son of God, but the Son of God and consequently God Himself.  He slowly reveals the mystery of the Blessed Trinity (3 Persons in 1 God) and that He, the Holy Spirit, and the Father are one.   So...Jesus perfectly seeks the Father’s will.   

Immediately before His arrest, Jesus passionately prays to do God’s will in the garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will” (Mt. 26:39b).  A day later Jesus exclaims from the cross, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30b).  On the cross Jesus perfectly accomplished the  Father’s will, the salvation of the human race. 

In whose name do you act? God’s or your own?  Jesus did not act on His own, but did the will of His Father.  We often speak of discerning God’s call for our lives, such searching being necessary. However I think many of us already know situations or things God is asking us to accomplish.   We are just unwilling to because of fear, uncertainty, etc.  it takes a lot of courage and strength to accomplish God’s will, and many times it requires us to go out of our comfort zone.  

Take some time today and recall one of those situations in your life in which God is encouraging you to accomplish His will .  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage and strength to accomplish it.  It might help to spend some time in prayer with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:

[Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives,
   and the disciples followed him.
When he arrived at the place he said to them,
   “Pray that you may not undergo the test.”
After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling,
   he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing,
   take this cup away from me;
   still, not my will but yours be done.”
And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.
He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently
   that his sweat became like drops of blood
   falling on the ground.
When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples,
   he found them sleeping from grief.
He said to them, “Why are you sleeping?
Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”] (Lk. 22:39-46)

Teaching the Way of Love April

The Diocese has asked all schools to inform parents of the newest Teaching the Way of Love blog.

The April post can be found at

In Christ's Peace
Daniel Minter
Assumption Catholic Schools

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April 2

[There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
   a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
   and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
   “Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him,
   “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
   when the water is stirred up;
   while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.] (Jn. 5:1-9)

“Do you want to be well?”  Jesus asks this odd question to the sick man confined to a mat.  The answer the man will supply is obvious to us and most likely to Jesus as well, yet He still asks it. Jesus does not assume the man wants to be healed. He waits for the sick man’s request. 

Jesus poses this same question to you. “Do you want to be well?”  Again I’m sure the answer is obvious, “Of course I do.”  Yet, it’s ironic that many times we don’t ask Jesus to heal us.  We’d rather rely on ourselves or wait for the situation to fix itself all the while needlessly suffering alone. 

What needs to be made “well” in your life?  Are you and your spouse going through a rough patch?  Are you trying to crawl away from the shackles of a certain sin(s)?  Are you having difficulties at work or with coworkers? Is your financial situation enslaving your every thought? Are you mourning the imminent death or the recent death of a loved one? Etc.? 

Talk to Jesus about your struggles. You don’t have to go through it alone.  Jesus is waiting upon your request. 

“Do you want to be well?”

Monday, April 1, 2019

Father Becker April 1

[At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
   that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
   since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
   for they themselves had gone to the feast.] (Jn. 4:43-45)

Jesus was commonplace in His own native town.  His neighbors saw nothing special about Him. Though Jesus was “God among them”, inhabitants of His hometown refused to look deeper than skin. They could not see the extraordinary amidst the ordinary.  Thankfully others saw signs of the divine in the human such as many people of Galilee and the Apostles. 

Normally God works through the ordinary.  Jesus (2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity) took to Himself human flesh. Through His humanity He accomplished our salvation by His death. To bystanders His death was ordinary, just another man crucified by the Romans.  However we know through the eyes of faith that the extraordinary was achieved in the ordinary. 

God continues to engineer the extraordinary in the ordinary most especially in the 7 Sacraments He gifted the human race.  A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.  In the Sacraments very ordinary words and materials are used as vehicles of God’s grace—water, bread, wine, oil, speech, imposition of hands, etc.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a great treasure trove of mercy God gave His Church (see Jn. 20:22-23). We confess our sins audibly to an ordained priest who in turn responds with words.  His own words yes, but synonymously Jesus’s— words of forgiveness, healing, and peace. 

Today make an examination of conscience, and prepare yourself to infallibly  receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.  There are lots of opportunities this week and in the coming weeks to go to confession. Also you can always stop a priest whenever you see one and ask him to hear your confession. 

Here are two simple ways I llike to make my examination of conscience. 
Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten me and bring to mind my sins. 

1.) Go through the 10 Commandments one by one recalling the sins I’ve committed against each.

2.) Recall the sins I’ve committed
       • Against God
       • Aganst others 
       • Against myself 

Sometimes it helps to make a list before going into the Confessional, noting the sins I’ve committed and the number of times I’ve committed them. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019


St. Lawrence Catholic Church is hosting a showing of Screenagers on Tuesday April 9, 2019
at the McMillan Library

The showing begins at 6 PM
Admission is FREE

Movie Synopsis
Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well. 
In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can
empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

Father Becker March 28

[Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart.
for I am gracious and merciful.] 
(Joel 2:12-13) 

I’m not sure about you, but most of my “Lents” have similar pattern. I start out strong and on fire and usually end on fire.  However the middle is generally a roller coaster.  Once I start there’s a period of steady keeping of my chosen penances. Unfortunately my pride slips in and I think, “This ain’t so bad”. Inevitably this gives way to lots of struggles in keeping my Lenten promises. This can then lead to a feeling of failure. At which point, giving up my penances all together seems like a pretty good idea. 

In the Gospel verse during today’s Mass, the prophet Joel reminds us that we can still “return” to the Lord. Regardless of how great our Lent has gone so far, we can recommit today. If pride has slipped into our Lenten journey, today we can begin to uproot it.  If we’ struggling to keep our penances, today we look toward the Lord and His grace. If we are thinking of giving up our penances all together or already have, today can be our new beginning. 

“God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” — St. Mother Teresa

We’d all love both, to be successful and faithful. However if we were completely successful right now with our Lenten penances, would we remain faithful to God? By this I mean, would we recognize that we need Him or that  our penances are for love of Him?

How is your Lent going? Gleam encouragement today from the prophet Joel.
•Is your Lent going smoothly? Keep trucking.
.•Is your Lent a struggle? Take courage.
•Is your Lent feeling like an epic fail?  Start again today. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Big Fish and Other Items of Interest

Just  a reminder that the musical Big Fish will be preformed on

April 4 Dinner Show - tickets still available $60 per person for dinner and show - contact Linda

April 5 and April 6 show only - tickets $10 per person - contact Linda

Also Shadow Stations will be performed at the ACS building on April 18th at 1:45 PM in the gym.

Reminder that St. Lawrence and Sacred Heart are offering Friday Fish Frys on the remaining Fridays of Lent. Tasty fish that helps support our parishes.

In Christ's Peace

Daniel Minter
Assumption Catholic Schools

Father Becker March 26

[Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.“] (Mt. 5:17)

“The fulfillment of the law is Love” (Rm. 13:10). Though simpler to recite than the hundreds of rabbinic laws, Jesus proposes a more difficult and excellent way (cf. 1Cor. 12:31). 

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, Love is “willing the good of the other for the other’s sake”. That’s tough! True love has no hint of selfishness in it. Yikes! 

Yet Jesus isn’t asking anything of us He Himself didn’t do on the cross, AND anything He isn’t doing in us now.  

Take some time today and ask God about His love for you, and your love for Him and others. 

Do I strive to love God and others as Jesus does

(1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
If I speak in human and angelic tongues  but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated,

it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,

it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.

For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

 So faith, hope, love remain, these three;h but the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Father Becker March 26

[Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
   “Lord, if my brother sins against me,
   how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.] (Mt. 18:21-22)

How great is God’s mercy? How willing is He to forgive? AND How selective is our mercy?  How unwilling are we to forgive?   Though we may not articulate the point as St. Peter did, I think many of us harbor a similar sentiment—what is the minimum amount of forgiveness and mercy I am expected to extend? Jesus expresses God’s readiness to forgive, and commands His disciples (and us) to do likewise.

Showing mercy towards those who have offended us is tough enough, but accepting mercy extended to us by God can sometimes be even more difficult.  “How can God forgive me for what I’ve done? Can He really forgive me?”  I think this is precisely why we have a hard time forgiving others—we haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness of our own sins. “If God can’t forgive me, I can’t forgive others. I can’t give what I haven’t received.”

God is more than willing to forgive and desires to forgive.  Jesus makes this clear by His words today and His actions on Good Friday as He exclaims from the cross, “Father forgive them. They know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).

Why haven’t you allowed God to forgive a certain sin(s) you’ve committed? Do you fear God’s boundless love? Spend some time with Jesus today and explore your heart and His.  Be honest with yourself and Him. Allow Jesus to meet you in the uncomfortableness, and begin to experience His love and mercy. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Father Becker March 25

[Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
   the virgin shall be with child,
   and bear a son,
   and shall name him Emmanuel.] (Is. 7:14) 

Salvation is intentional. This seems like a “no brainer”, yet we can take it for granted and fail to consider its gravity. Already here in the 7th chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah God makes clear His intention to grant salvation to His people and the way in which it would arrive— “a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son”.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is that Virgin promised and her Son that salvation intended. In agreeing to her virginal motherhood Mary confirms God’s intentional salvation. 

In so intending to save all humanity, God intentionality intended to save you personally. God had been preparing your salvation for thousands of years. 

Take a few moments today and thank God for His love and offer of salvation. Also, thank Mary your mother and the Mother of God for her cooperation with God’s grace. 

Hail Mary full of grace...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Father Becker March 21

[Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
   who seeks his strength in flesh,
   whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
   that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
   a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
   whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
   that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
   its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
   but still bears fruit.] (Jer. 17:5-8)

In whom or what do we trust?  The prophet Jeremiah contrasts two vivid images for the Israelites and each of us. 

In whom or what do i trust?  More poignantly, from whom or what do I find my identity?  Our identity and value is not the sum total of what we accomplish.  Our identity is not found in public opinion. Nor is our identity a sexual orientation. 

Our identity is not something fluid.  It is not a reward earned. Our identity is a gift received from God our Father and never revoked. 

We are children of God. He created and loves us. It is in accepting this,our true identity, that we flourish without fear or worry. 

Take some time today and allow God to show you you’re identity.  Give your heavenly  Father the time and the space to love you. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Father Becker March 20

[The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
   “Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.“] (Jer. 18:18a)

Jeremiah has been preaching repentance to the people of Judah and Jerusalem and they’ have had enough. He has called them out and brought to their attention their own sinfulness. Jeremiah has called them to something more, and they feel threatened by him. 

We have all experienced at one time or another moments when we’ve felt “threatened” by the presence of someone who we perceive to be holier than ourselves. Their very words and actions, though in no way directed toward us, stir up feelings of anger inside of us.  We feel personally attacked since we are unwilling to change even though we know there is something not quite right in our lives. 

In the presence of the sun, darkness will soon vanish. Rays of light and truth are “threatening” to those areas of darkness and falsehood within our heart.  Take some time today and reflect: Why am I angry? Why do I feel “threatened”, “judged” by another’s holiness?

Ask God to show you those dark areas of your heart.  Take it to prayer and also the Sacrament of Confession. Expose the darkness to the Loght, Jesus Christ, and experience freedom.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Father Becker March 19

[When Joseph awoke,
   he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
   and took his wife into his home.] (Mt. 1:24)

Recounted in our Gospel today is, called by some, the Annunciation of St. Joseph. At this point Joseph has discovered that Mary is pregnant and he knows that the child is not his. Though Joseph is hesitant to proceed with the marriage, an angel encourages him “to take his wife into his home”.  Granted Joseph is made aware of the divinity of Mary’s Son, Joseph still has the choice to say “yes” to God’s plan or reject it in favor of his own desires. Thankfully Joseph acquiesced, and “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him”.

What about us? When God asks something of us, are we willing to grant His request? Do we amend our actions and attitudes when He pricks our conscience? Maybe God is speaking to you through a coworker, a friend, your children, your spouse... it can be very hard to follow God when He speaks through another, but it’s God’s voice nonetheless. 

Take some time today and honestly ask the dangerous questions.  What is God asking of me?  What areas of my life is God asking me to adjust? Chances are you might already have a vague idea. Ask for clarity and St. Joseph’s intercession for the grace to follow God’s voice. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Father Becker March 18

[“Stop judging and you will not be judged.“] (Lk. 6:37a)

Sad, comical, ironic, disheartening: many of us Christians have perfected the very thing Jesus told us not to do. We can be really great judgers.  In a certain way this makes sense, since as Christians we’ve been blessed with Jesus’s teaching—know right from wrong.  We can always judge a right action from a wrong one. However sometimes we go too far and condemn a person rather than just a sinful action. 

Recently I was asked if a certain individual who is married to a pornstar is a good role model for young men.  It became clear after discussing the question with others that the question presumed a severe negative judgement of the pornstar. Porn is gravely immoral and so we can rightly judge that making porn is awful. However the question at hand judged/ condemned the pornstar as if the pornstar herself was unworthy of love and respect because of her actions. 

It’s much easier to judge than to love, yet wasn’t it love and not condemnation what Jesus demonstrated on the cross?  “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (Jn. 3:17). 

Take a few moments today to pray for those you’ve judged unfairly, and also plan on a time to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession. 

P.S. Some Confession times in the city:
• Tuesday 4:15pm S.S. Peter and Paul
• Saturday 9am OLQH 
• Saturday 3pm OLQH 
• Check your bulletins for others
• Also, you can stop a priest whenever and ask him to hear your confession. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Father Becker March 15

[“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
   You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.  But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
   will be liable to judgment] (Mt. 5:21-22a)

In the course of His teaching and preaching, Jesus often criticizes the current religious practices of the Jewish religious leaders. His comments in today’s Gospel reading are no different.  Jesus advocates for the removal of sin by its roots and not merely treating its symptoms. He brings to the attention of His listeners a cause of murder, namely anger. So in order to be righteous one must not merely avoid murder, but also one must control their anger.  Jesus wants conversion of hearts, and not just conversion of legalistic action. 

When visiting his attempted assassin in prison, Pope St. John Paul II remarked, “The difference between you and me is that you got caught.” Of course St. John Paul II did not try to kill anyone, but he recognized that all of us, if we do not moderate our anger, have the capacity to attempt something seriously sinful. 

To claim, “I haven’t killed anyone, so I’m a pretty good person”, is not acceptable for a Christian. Jesus wants our hearts to be transformed by His grace, and through that inner transformation our actions. 

What areas of your heart is God challenging you to change?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Father Becker March 14

[Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.] (Psalm 138:3a)

“I’m frustrated. I can’t do anything about it except pray”. 

I’ve heard this countless times and I’ve  said it myself probably as much as anyone else.  Expressed in such a sentiment is our own attitude of prayer. We can mistakenly think prayer is pointless, ineffective, and the last resort.  Let’s think about it a bit and translates our frustration.

“I’m frustrated. I can’t do anything about it except ask the all knowing, all encompassing, all powerful, and all good God to help me.” 

I guess prayer doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.  Our Psalmist today conveys this confidence in God’s generosity. God will always answer our prayers He may not answer them in the way we want, but He will answer with what we need—that which is best for us. 

God knows what we want and need before we ask, but He desires us to voice our desires to Him—healing of a loved one, stronger marriage, better job, ability to pay the bills, grace to love a coworker, overcome a certain sin, etc... 

Have you lost faith in the power of prayer? What is God waiting for you to ask?  God is our loving Father just waiting for His children to ask...

“My child, what would you like Me to do for you?”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Father Becker March 13

[...when the people of Nineveh believed God;
   they proclaimed a fast
   and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.] (Jonah 3:5)

Instead of simply relaying to his readers that the Ninevites proclaimed a fast, the author of the book of Jonah prefaces it with when the people of Nineveh believed God.  Apparently only when the people of Nineveh believed God did they fast.  It was not on their own initiative or a whimsical ideal that Nineveh repented by fasting, but by the prompting of God. 

Undoubtedly the actions of the people of Nineveh provoke an uncomfortable question. Do we believe God’s words?  OR  Do we simply forego His urgings to repentance in favor of our own “enlightened” ideas? 

It’s so easy to make God out to be Barney the Dinosaur—“I love you, you love don’t have to change”. We can domesticate God because that “god” is much more palatable and comfortable. That type of “god” requires nothing of us,.  We don’t have to take that type of “god” seriously.   It’s uncomfortable for us (myself included) to admit that we sometimes turn God into a purple dinosaur because we’d rather do our own “thing”. 

However we must not go to the other extreme, making God out to be a ferocious tyrant.  It’s precisely because He loves us that He wants us to change and to become the best version of ourselves.  Over and over again Scripture tells us God is a jealous God (cf. Exodus 20:5).  He wants nothing to become an obstacle to our relationship with Him, NOTHING— sports, food, money, popularity, luxury, etc.  God desires us to love Him above all things. His jealous love is why He asks us to fast and repent. 

Do you believe God’s words?  Do you believe God loves you and wants what’s best for you? If so, then you must follow the Ninevites’ lead in returning to God with your whole heart through prayer, fasting, and alms giving. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Father Becker Tuesday March 12

[and forgive us our trespasses,
      as we forgive those who trespass against us] (Mt. 6:12)

In the course of a conversation about the “Our Father”, my interlocutor said that when she prayed the “Our Father” she would always skip the phrase about forgiveness. Her rationale was that she did not want God to forgive her trespasses as she forgave those who trespassed against her because she never forgave others. So for her to pray this phrase of the “Our Father” essentially meant that God would not forgive her. 

She rightly observed that forgiveness is really difficult especially when we’ve been severely hurt by another—maybe someone unfairly judged us, a member of our family, a friend of ours, etc.  Unfortunately though my interlocutor failed to realize that true forgiveness is only made possible by God’s grace. Forgiveness is a choice on our part, but it is also simultaneously begun, sustained, and completed by God’s grace. 

Who haven’t you forgiven? Are you harboring a grudge against someone?  Be patient with yourself because forgiveness does not happen immediately, but is a process that takes time.  Forgiveness releases us from the anger that eats us up inside.  Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a choice to treat with charity those who have hurt us.  

When we forgive:
1.) We must acknowledge that we’ve been hurt. Do not ignore it.  The hurt is real. 
2.) Pray for the grace to forgive. Maybe we even need to pray for the desire for the desire to forgive. 
3.) Forgive. Remember it’s a choice and  NOT a feeling. 

As Christians we must forgive and also remember that God helps us to do so. His grace and our choice to forgive give us confidence to pray the entire “Our Father”, even the phrase about forgiveness. 

Who do you need to forgive? Take some time today and begin the process of forgiveness.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Father Becker March 11

Sorry I missed a few days here is the March 11 Lenten Lights from Father Becker

[For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, I’ll and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ ] (Mt 25:35-40)

A reporter repulsed by Mother Teresa tending to the maggot infested wound of a helpless sick man in the gutter, he commented, “I couldn’t do what you do for $1 million.” Mother Teresa responded, “I couldn’t either, but for Jesus I can.” 

Mother Teresa saw Jesus in others especially in the suffering people left to die in the streets of Calcutta. She rightly believed that in loving the people around her, she was loving Jesus. 

Do we? Do we see Jesus in those we interact with—family, friends, coworkers, strangers, etc.? 

Jesus challenges us today to change our mindset. As we perform acts of charity this Lent may we recognize Jesus in those we serve and interact with daily. Jesus exhorts us to see Him in the people we work with, in the children we teach, in the people at the grocery store, etc. After all what we we do for the least of Jesus's brothers and sisters, we do for Him. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Father Becker's Reflection March 7

[ Then he said to all,
   “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
   and take up his cross daily and follow me.”]. (Luke 9:23)

As Christians we champion the cross, yet many if not all of us are hesitant to pick our own cross up. However, Jesus specifically directs us to follow His footsteps to Calvary with our own cross hoisted on our shoulders.

There is nothing romantic about it. If you’re to follow Christ, you will die. Yes, die to yourself—your pride, your desire for comfort, your reputation, etc. One thing we can forget though is that crosses come in all shapes and sizes.

•Maybe yours is an embarrassing sin that you can’t seem to eradicate from your life. 
•Maybe yours is anxiety over paying the bills.  
•Maybe yours is difficulty with a family member or coworker.

We never choose our own cross. We choose to pick it up. Jesus never gives us more than we can handle with the help of His grace. Your cross is lying beside the road to Calvary. Jesus asks, “Will you pick up your cross and follow Me?”

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Father Becker's Ash Wednesday Reflection

From the Desk of Father Becker - Assumption Catholic Schools Chaplain

Hi All, 

As last year I’ll send out my own daily reflections. I hope they can help you’re your Lenten journey with our Lord.

“Rend your hearts, not your garments,
   and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
   slow to anger, rich in kindness,
   and relenting in punishment“ (Jl. 2:13). 

Today marks the day for us to begin our Lenten penances. We focus our attention on what am I going to “give up”, or what am I going to “do”. 

While such a reflection is necessary to arrive at a concrete resolve, something more pressing should occupy our minds. 

“Where is my heart?”
—“Am I close to God?”
—“Am I far from God?”
—“How do my Lenten practices help move my heart closer to God?”

The prophet Joel says that God wants our hearts. Lent is a time to “rend” and convert our hearts.  Penances are necessary, but God does not want them as much as He desires your heart.

How do my Lenten practices help move my heart closer to God?.