Dinner With Strangers

Posted on April 25, 2017 by - The Main Thing

This post was written by Main Thing contributor Chuck Frost.

My wife and I had a late work day last week, so I decided to swing by a drive-thru and grab a sandwich for dinner. In front of me was a car with roughly 20 bumper stickers on the back. Some of the stickers didn’t make sense to me, but most of them were related to video games that I am familiar with.

The young man in the car was a little unkempt and I imagined he probably spent a good amount of time behind the computer with headphones on. Admittedly my mind went to gamer stereotypes, which are mostly untrue, but still embedded in pop culture. (more…)

Practicing Philoxenia

Posted on April 25, 2017 by - Midweek Reflection

Midweek Reflection: Practicing PhiloxeniaFor Sunday, April 30, 2017,
3rd Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14, 22-33
1 Peter 1:17-21
Luke 24:13-35

I was roaming about on the Internet and found a great website about travel to Greece called Mysterious Greece. With an extremely thorough portrayal of all that Greece has to offer, it makes Greece look like a must-see destination for everyone. In one of the blog posts, the writer speaks of the rich history of hospitality in the country and how we have a real need for a more welcoming demeanor in all aspects of our daily living. The post begins with the words, “If there is one Greek word that everyone should know it is this word— ‘philoxenia.’” The word literally means “friend to the stranger,” but the practice of this form of hospitality speaks to a much deeper reality and should rest near the top of all the virtues. (more…)

Believing the Unbelievable

Posted on April 21, 2017 by - The Main Thing

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for 2nd Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday

St. Thomas and JesusDue to the constant unchecked flow of data and information through the internet, it can be hard to know when a story is real news or rubbish. It never ceases to amaze me when someone I know has bought into some crazy fake news story.

Sometimes the story is just so unbelievable: celebrities who gained 200 pounds in a month, women having babies who were never pregnant, or people actually being seen who are dead! Like Elvis!

The apostle Thomas found the news that Jesus was alive just too far-fetched to believe. But he didn’t first hear the news on the Internet or read it standing in the grocery store checkout line. His friends told him. His fellow apostles told him they had actually seen the Lord with their own eyes.

But their testimony was not enough. Thomas needed proof.

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You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

Posted on April 20, 2017 by - The Main Thing

Post By Steve Botsford

Personal CommunionIt’s true with just about everything. Money. Love. Education. Personal Communion.

Wait…personal communion?

During this Easter Season, we have an opportunity to dig deeper into the meaning of faith. We begin with the reflection on The Road to Emmaus. In a recent post, I mentioned the term “companion” and it’s Latin meaning, “with bread.” Jesus is our companion. He is always with us as the Bread of Life.

One of the highlights of my adult life was my confirmation into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil in 1992. As I reflect on all those who came into the Church Saturday night, I recall my life during that time. It was my adult decision to enter into the fullness of faith as a Catholic. My entry to God’s family happened several years earlier when I was baptized and that decision was confirmed that night.

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We Have a Choice

Posted on April 18, 2017 by - Midweek Reflection

For Sunday, April 23, 2017,
2nd Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

All of the happenings in our world have people very concerned and worried. Whether its chemical weaponry, suicide bombers, religious persecution, or just violence in general, people—especially those who possess some kind of faith—are wondering what is God doing about all of this? Asking where God is when we experience hurtful and frightening things is normal. It may appear at first that God is deaf to our concerns, lacking empathy for our fears and suffering. Depending upon where people are on their faith journey, this apparent absence of God can easily lead them into a doubt where they begin to question the existence of God altogether.

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We Are an Easter People

Posted on April 16, 2017 by - The Main Thing

Easter PeopleAt Easter, we celebrate that Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, conquered death, rose from the dead, and remains very much alive. To the world of non-believers: WHAT!?! It is quite a big reality to swallow. But for the believer, it is a reality that inspires us to the point where we find ourselves constantly sharing the Gospel with everyone we meet! Right?

So what does Easter mean to you? The question is not what do you believe. The question is what impact does Easter have on you? How do your actions demonstrate the power of Easter? What does it mean we you hear that we, the Church, are an Easter People?

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Lent Reflection: Easter Sunday

Posted on April 16, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 16, 2017
Lent Reflection: Easter Sunday (April 16, 2017) - ‘A Lamb the sheep redeems; Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father.’(Easter Sunday Sequence)

Reflection

We have here the beautiful pastoral image of the lamb saving the flock. We are more used to thinking of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who takes care of the sheep even to the point of laying down his life for them. Here we have the image of the most innocent being slaughtered to save the others. That, in the end, is what the Paschal mystery is all about. As the Communion antiphon puts it, “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore let us keep the feast with the unleavened bread of purity and truth, alleluia, alleluia.”


Challenge

  • How will my life reflect the joy of the Resurrection today and for the next fifty days?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Holy Saturday

Posted on April 15, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 15, 2017
Lent Reflection: Holy Saturday (April 15, 2017) - ‘All time belongs to him and all the ages.’(Blessing of the Easter Candle)

Reflection

These words are usually heard in the church grounds or in the porch as the Easter candle is blessed. And we can miss them. All of the later readings at the Easter Vigil speak of God’s good time—the hymn of the seven days of creation from Genesis, the time of Israel’s deliverance from slavery, and the final frontier between time on earth and everlasting life mentioned in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. God has given us a life to live, not time to manage. So today is a good time to simply be thankful for time that is God’s gift to us.


Challenge

  • I give thanks for those who have shared their time with me with loving generosity.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Good Friday

Posted on April 14, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 14, 2017
Lent Reflection: Good Friday (April 14, 2017) - ‘Nicodemus ... also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds.’(John 19:39)

Reflection

Amidst the horror of the Passion and death of Jesus, we are back to another story of ointment today. We recall the incident in the house of Lazarus where one pound of ointment was scandalous and wasteful. Here, one of the secret followers of Jesus breaks cover and brings ten times that amount to anoint his body for burial. Perhaps one message here is: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Regret and the grief of loss leap off the pages of the Gospel as the followers of Jesus feel that it is truly all over.


Challenge

  • Where and how do I pray?
  • What steps can I take in order to do my best for the living and the dead?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Holy Thursday

Posted on April 13, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 13, 2017
Lent Reflection: Holy Thursday (April 13, 2017) - ‘How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me?’(Psalm 116:12)

Reflection

Some might say that the simple answer to that question is, “You can’t.” In a way, that is true. How could we ever repay the Lord? But this is not a banking transaction with time limits and penalties of added interest. Jesus gives us a very simple instruction so that we can live out the love that he has shown us in sharing his life and love with us. He calls us to be foot washers. This powerful symbol of not being powerful sets the pathway for the Christian life. Some call it “servant leadership.”


Challenge

  • How am I called to serve?
  • How can I lead others to Christ?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.