Saturday, December 23, 2017


Deacon Jerry Franzen  Cathedral  – December 24, 2017
II Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Praised Be Jesus Christ. “Good Morning!
As I have mentioned previously the first reading and the Gospel
for each Sunday are chosen so as to be connected in some way.
First we will look at a connection between them for today,
then illustrate the connecting idea with a story
and apply this to our lives as we end Advent.


In the first reading, we heard that David was concerned
about the residence of the Lord God.
A tent was fine for all of that travel time in the desert.
But now that the Israelites were not wandering around,
David thought that the Lord should have a more
permanent place of residence.
After all, David himself had a house made of cedar;
the Lord should have better.
Nathan, the prophet, told David that whatever he did was fine,
because the Lord was with HIM.
In fact the Lord told Nathan to spell it out for David,
to remind David that the Lord, had always been with David.
The Lord had elevated David from shepherd boy to king;
the Lord had also defeated David’s enemies.
Then the Lord also told Nathan to explain that
the He, the Lord, would continue to be with David
and would make him famous.
Furthermore, the Lord would reside in His chosen people
so that they would be at peace.
Furthermore, from the ancestors of David,
the house of David, an heir would come
who would be a king, with the Lord as his father.
And this kingdom will last forever,
for the Lord would reside in His people.
Notice neither Nathan or the Lord asked David if all of this was OK.
David was told, “This is the way it is going to be.”

The tone of the Gospel reading is very similar, a story we know well.
The angel came to Mary and said,
“Hail, full of Grace, the Lord is with you.”
Not, “The Lord will be with you if you want him to be.”
Not,  “The Lord will be with you; but rather, the Lord IS with you.”
Mary did question HOW this had happened, but never WHY.
The angel said, “This is the way it is.”
And Mary said “I’m on board.”
“I am the handmaid, the servant, of the Lord.  I’ll go along with it.”
Two persons, David and Mary,
who were told that the Lord was with them,
and both said “Yes” to whatever that would mean for their lives.


Now The story*:
Roger Simms, newly discharged from the military
was hitchhiking his way home on a road to Chicago.
large black expensive sedan went him, and, to his surprise,
it stopped past him and the passenger door was opened.
Roger ran to the car,  put his duffle bag in the back seat
and slid into the leather front seat next to
an elderly gentleman who greeted him with a smile.
Roger explained that he was going home.
The driver told him that he was in luck, if he lived in Chicago.
Roger explained that he wasn’t going quite as far as Chicago
and asked, “Do you live there, Mister?
“I’m Mr. Hanover”, said the driver, “and I own a business there.”
They were off, and their conversation covered several topics.
Roger, a Christian, felt a strong compulsion to witness to Mr. Hanover
about how Christ was so important in his life.
But he kept putting it off for fear that he might offend Mr. Hanover,
who was obviously a very successful businessman.
As they neared Roger’s hometown, he realized it was now or never.

“Mr. Hanover,” Roger began,
”I would like to talk to you about something important.”
Then he proceeded to explain the way to salvation
and asked Mr. Hanover if he had accepted Jesus Christ
as his Lord and Savior.
Mr. Hanover pulled the car on to the shoulder and stopped.
Roger thought that he was about to be put out of the car.
But Mr. Hanover bowed his head to the steering wheel
and began to sob.
He affirmed the fact that he did want to accept Christ into his heart.
Their conversation about salvation continued as they drove on.
When they reached Roger’s hometown,
Mr. Hanover thanked Roger for their discussions about Christ
and he said,
“This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”
He dropped Roger off at his house and traveled on toward Chicago.

Five years later, Roger took a trip to Chicago
and decided to look up Mr. Hanover.
The receptionist at Hanover Industries told him
that he couldn’t see Mr. Hanover,
but that he could see Mrs. Hanover.
He was disappointed, but Mrs. Hanover, a woman in her fifties,
rose from her desk and extended her hand and said,
“So you knew my husband.”
Roger told her how Mr. Hanover had given him a ride.
He debated with himself about whether
he should tell her about their conversation about Jesus
and about Mr. Hanover’s conversion.
Mrs. Hanover asked, “Can you tell me what date that was?”
“Sure,” said Roger, “It was May 7th, five years ago,
the day I was discharged from the military.”
Mrs Hanover then asked,
“Did anything special happen on your ride.”
Roger now had to tell about Mr. Hanover’s conversion experience        and their subsequent conversation
and how they had even prayed together.
At that Mrs. Hanover began to cry uncontrollably,
And Roger thought for sure that he had gone too far,
possibly Mr. Hanover’s conversion
had caused a problem in their marriage.

But Mrs. Hanover explained that she had grown up
in a Christian family but her husband had not.
She had prayed for her husband’s conversion for many years.
She went on to explain that shortly after her husband
had dropped Roger off at his home five years before,
her husband had died in a head-on collision.
She then had lost her faith in God – stopped living for the Lord,
when she had thought that God had not answered her prayers.


Dominus vobis cum.  “The Lord is with you” or as we say,
“The Lord be with you.”
The Lord was with David, no matter whether he wanted the Lord,
or whether he believed that the Lord was present in him.
The Lord was with Mary, his presence was not her choice,
yet she cooperated with the Lord.
The Lord was with Roger; he was filled with the Lord.
The Lord was with Mr. Hanover, and he didn’t even know it.
The Lord was with Mrs. Hanover, even though
she had become convinced that the Lord had left her.

The Lord IS with everyone of YOU.
There are times when we, like Roger, are filled with the Lord.
At least there should be times
when we are bursting at the seams with the Lord.
We may be a little hesitant like Roger,
but all we have to do is remember that the Lord is with us.
When we meet that person who doesn’t know about the Catholic faith,
we can have the courage to witness about our relationship with God,
because God became incarnate with the Virgin Mary
and we know that the Lord is with us.
We can stand up for the sanctity of life
from conception to natural death,
because we know that God is on our side – the Lord is with us.

At other times we are like Mr. Hanover,
not even knowing that God is with us.
We stand up for the needs of the homeless.
And we say, “Where did that come from?
What gave me the courage to do that?
Who is right there next to me supporting me?”
Because God became incarnate with the Virgin Mary
we know that the Lord is with us.
And, oh, there are times when nothing is going right,
our world is falling in around us
and we are convinced that the Lord has abandoned us.

One parent is out of work, the other parent must work more,
the younger children are sick,
older children are in trouble in school.   Life is a mess.
Suddenly, light appears at the end of the tunnel,
a friend knows of a job opportunity.
The other parent can now work less.
Solutions to problems are in sight,
health care for the children becomes available with the new job
and the other parent
can now give more attention to school problems.
Things seem to come together – to be not so bad after all,
and we recognize that the Lord was there all of the time.
The Lord is with you – Emmanuel – God with us.
God is with us, because he became one of us.
This is the celebration to which we are pointing. 
May this Christmas and the coming Christmas season begin
with each of us having our faith in God’s presence with us
restored and strengthened,
so that we can say, even proclaim to others,
“Lord, I believe that you are with me; I am your servant. 
                   Be it done unto me according to your word.”

*Story “Right on Time” by Ron Mehl taken from “Stories for the Heart.” Compiled by Alice Gray, Questar  Publishers, Sisters, OR 1996 pp 265-268

Monday, November 13, 2017


CATHEDRAL – Deacon Jerry Franzen  NOVEMBER 12, 2017

Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13

Praised Be Jesus Christ  - Good Morning
*Joni learned her first lesson in responsibility
the day she came home from school
and found that her guinea pigs were missing.
 She rushed to her mother to ask about them.
“I gave them away because you didn’t take care of them,”
explained Joni’s mother.
“But, Mom, I did take care of them.”
Mom replied, “Joni, I gave them away ten days ago.”

Sound familiar?
Listen to these; see if any of them resonate with you.
          “The doctor told me to get more exercise;
I think that I can work it into my schedule next month.”
          “I’ll visit my homebound aunt
the next time I happen to be in her neighborhood.”
          “I need to apologize to my sister;
I’m waiting for the opportunity to present itself.”
          “After Christmas is over I’ll make a New Year’s resolution
that I will be more careful about how I spend my money.”
          “I know that I have a problem with anger,
                   one of these days I’ll talk it over with God.”


 We are the virgins in today’s parable,
 and it’s a “good news/bad news” story.
The “bad news” is that none of us is like the five prudent virgins
 assured of possessing a full supply of all that it takes
 to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
None of us has it all in order.
The “good news” is that none of us is like the five foolish virgins
doomed to banishment from the kingdom of heaven.   
Actually this parable is not so much about where we are
s it is about getting to where we should be.

We must be aiming for the image of the five wise virgins,
being fully prepared for our meeting with our “bridegroom,”
with God, at our death.
At that time, all of the worldly things in the natural order
are set aside; it’ll be just God and each of us.
How will our lamps be burning?
          Brightly with our faith in God?
                                      Brightly with our hope in God?
                                      Brightly with our love for God?
Or will our lamps be flickering,
because we have not known God well enough that
our faith in God has constantly shown forth in our actions?
Will our flames be very low,
because we have not known God well enough that
we have lost hope in His saving power?
Will our flames be out,
because we have not known God well enough to love Him?


We must be prepared, for we know that this meeting with God
can come at any time.
We are made painfully aware of that
in examples of “untimely” deaths.
The parable in today’s Gospel
is reminding us that we cannot put off our preparation.
We can’t let it go;
we can’t ignore it for days like Joni ignored her guinea pigs.
We must be working on it,….. but how?

The five foolish virgins looked to the five wise ones for help.
Their request was rejected.
This seems to be counter to Christ’s teachings on love of neighbor,
but, parables are not perfect analogies.
While oil and other physical goods can be shared,
one person cannot just share his or her grace
for the spiritual preparation for another’s
final meeting with God.
We must each work with God’s grace for ourselves.
As children we relied on others to prepare us;
as adults we must be responsible for our own preparation. 

What can move us to do this?
What can transform our lethargy into action?
We have all been endowed with gifts
through the action of the Holy Spirit at Baptism.
** One of those baptismal gifts is wisdom, a gift that is
“resplendent and unfading” in the words of the first reading.
This is NOT wisdom in the natural order,
 where we use our knowledge of the natural order
 to make correct decisions.
The baptismal gift of wisdom
 is the gift of wisdom in the divine order,
 wisdom where we see things as God sees things
 and make our decisions accordingly.
***There are six other gifts of the Holy Spirit given at baptism:
 understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety
 and fear of the Lord.
Remember these are not natural gifts, but spiritual gifts,
 gifts to be seen through God’s eyes and God’s precepts.       
Understanding as God understands.
Counsel as God would counsel.
Fortitude as God wants us to be courageous in support of Him.
Knowledge as God knows.
Piety as piety toward our God.
And fear not as being afraid but as being in awe of our God.
By our baptism,
we have been GIVEN each of these gifts to some degree.
These gifts are for our use for our salvation.
Having been given these gifts, we have been empowered
to USE them for our salvation by the further infusion
of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation.
On top of that, we are all expected to use the gifts
we have been given in service to others, to assist in their salvation.


The bridegroom that will meet us on that fatal day
is the same bridegroom we already meet on a daily basis.
We prepare for our final meeting with God
by how we meet Him as Jesus on a daily basis.
Using the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
we must bring the fruits of those gifts
to members of our families and to our friends
when we take good care of ourselves
in a sensible lifestyle and a God-like manner.
We must bring the fruits of those gifts to the sick or to the lonely
whose spirits can be lifted by our visits.
We must bring the fruits of those gifts to those    
who can be warmed by our contrition and our forgiveness.
We must bring the fruits of those gifts to those who can benefit
from our sensible use of our resources.
We must bring the fruits of those gifts to the persons we seek
to help us to overcome our faults.
We must celebrate all those everyday instances
when we meet Jesus in those around us by bringing to them
the bright light of Christ.
We prepare for that final meeting with Jesus
by practicing consistently and constantly
how we meet Jesus in the situations of everyday life.
AND we must recognize that some of us are better
at using some of these gifts than others,
but we are all to use the gifts we have been given
to the best of our ability.
I am sure that I am not alone in being especially fond of the flame
as a symbol of the effect of the Holy Spirit,
as was the case for the apostles at Pentecost.
In today’s Gospel, I see the flame of an oil lamp
as a symbol of the action of the Holy Spirit.
Against the force of gravity,
the oil in a lamp flows up the wick to the flame,
where the liquid oil is transformed into vapors.
It’s the vapors that mix with the oxygen in the air
and are ignited with the flame to burn
and sustain the light of the lamp.

The power of the Holy Spirit must be burning brightly in us.
We must cooperate with the graces of the Holy Spirit
to use the gifts we have received through the love of God
to move us uphill, counter to the culture of inactivity,
dependency and procrastination,
all of which can drag us down.
May we be transformed into a new creation of activity
that can burst into flame,
the light that we must be for ourselves and others
both now and at the hour of death.

* Source unknown
**Human Wisdom vs Divine Wisdom in Homily 32nd Sunday OT Year A by Bishop Sam Jacobs

***CCC #1831

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Deacon Jerry Franze n       Cathedral      September 17, 2017
Sirach 27: 30-28:7     Romans 14:7-9           Matthew 18:21-35

Praised Be Jesus Christ.  Good Morning.
May we take a few moments of silent prayer for those affected
by the tragedy of 9/11 sixteen years ago this past Monday
and for the conversion of those who continue with terrorists acts.
We make these prayers, as always, in the name of Jesus. Amen

Last Sunday’s Gospel was about fraternal correction,
about how, if someone has sinned against us,
we should confront that person,
in order to help correct that fault in the person.
Fraternal Correction – helping a brother or sister to avoid sin.
Yes, that is one of our responsibilities, a spiritual work of mercy,
to admonish the sinner, to correct in a humble manner,
the one who has offended us or actually offended God .
Fr. Maher spoke about this in his homily last week,
about how we have a responsibility to help others to avoid sin.
After hearing Jesus talk about admonishing the sinner,
Peter, in today’s Gospel reading, then asks about forgiveness.
Certainly after admonishing the sinner,
helping one to avoid sin in the future,
forgiving the person who has offended us is the next Christ-like step.
Sirach, in the first reading, says that clinging to hatred,
anger and wrath for someone who has offended us is a sin.
He goes on to say that if we sin in this way, who will forgive our sins.
Jesus used a parable to reinforce the truth
that if we do not forgive others,  who have offended us,
we can’t expect to be forgiven our sins by the Almighty.
It seems that today God wants us to look into our hearts
to examine our own attitude toward forgiveness
of those who have offended us.


*We have all had the experience of being hurt by another,
not necessarily a physical hurt,
but more commonly an emotional hurt.
The offender could be someone who is close to us,
a family member, a friend, even a stranger
or someone who is openly an enemy.
The offense could be a major item,
such as a spouse that had been unfaithful
or a person who has spread a damaging rumor.
Of course it is hard to forgive such a major hurt. 
The hurt could be a minor item
such as a person who criticizes our choice of  friends,
our choice of political candidate, car, clothes etc.
Sometimes we can just get on with it.
Sometimes the minor hurts are relatively easy to forgive.
We can get past what happened
without any need for an actual expression of forgiveness.

On the other hand, we have trouble getting past the major hurts,
and even some minor hurts can just keep nagging at us.
They linger, not even coming up for consideration for forgiveness.
Resentment and looking for revenge feed this lingering;
the resentment and the desire for revenge
can actually replace the feeling of being hurt
and become the heavier baggage
that actually weights the person down and keeps nagging at the person.
Forgiveness then seems to not even be in the arena of possibilities.
A person’s freedom to think and act    can be consumed
by thinking about how to get back at the offender.
It has been said that “To forgive is to set a prisoner free
and to discover that the prisoner was you.”**
The first step to forgiveness is to acknowledge the offense –
what Jesus called the "debts" in the Gospel.
People who have deliberately offended another
owe a kind of debt to the other, the debt to make it right.
We, the offended, have a choice:
continue in our anger and our need for revenge,
which is our attempt to collect the debt,
or we can free ourselves and the offender
by outright forgiving the debt.
If we choose to try to forgive, how do we go about it?


I know that it is hard to forgive.
It has been said that true forgiveness is a miracle;**
it requires God’s intervention.
So, first we might pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit,
that we can step out beyond the box of our natural tendencies
that focus on our hurts and nurture our anger.
Jesus came into the world, suffered and died on the cross
so that we might be free from the bonds of these tendencies.
To forgive we must overcome the effects of original sin
that lead to our resentment, our anger,
our desire for retribution, our refusal to forgive.
We must take our sins of refusal to forgive to the miracle of the cross.
The cross can bring healing, because when we stand before it,
we must recognize our own guilt, our sinfulness.
We owe a huge debt to God that none of us can pay off.
Our sins placed Jesus on the cross where Jesus cancelled our debt.
Our only hope is the cross.
That is the Good News of the Gospel, but there is a condition.
Jesus didn’t say that forgiveness was JUST an option.
We see it in today's Gospel,
and we say it every time we pray the Our Father:
“Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
By recognizing Jesus' forgiveness we can - and we must
- forgive those who have offended us.
By recognizing our own sinfulness, our need for forgiveness,
we can forgive those who have sinned against us.
It is not easy. It may be the hardest part of following Jesus.


When Jesus speaks about forgiving seven time seventy times,
he means that we are called to continue forgiving a person
who repeatedly offends us.
But it doesn’t mean
that we must continually subject ourselves to the offense.
We should try to avoid circumstances that would lead to the offense.
That statement by Jesus also means that,
if a single offense repeatedly comes back to our consciousness,
our forgiveness for that offense is not complete and final.
We must continue to work on it.  
Forgiveness is not easy, but it is the only way to peace.

More than 30 years ago I read an article on forgiveness
that changed forever my understanding of it.
The article was written by Lewis Smeades,**a Protestant minister,
who had written a book on the subject.
I have already used two quotes from his article:
“True forgiveness is a miracle.”
and “The prisoner released by forgiveness is oneself.”

Here is what he had to say about how we should approach forgiveness
of another person who has offended us.

1. Forgiveness does not change the fact
    that what the offender did was wrong.
    Forgiveness is not just saying, “Oh, I know you didn’t mean it.”
2. Forgiveness does not release an offender
    from paying any civil penalty or debt for what was done.
    BUT, and this is a big BUT,
    it is not the purview of the one offended to extract the penalty.
3. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. 
   The offense must be remembered, at least for a while,
    so that the circumstances can be avoided in the future.
4. Here is what forgiving is in the mind of Lewis Smeades:
    By forgiving that despicable, low-life of a person
    that offended me so terribly,
    I raise that person up from the lowest depths --
    up to the level of a fallible human being just like myself.

Certainly true forgiveness, like fraternal correction, requires
that we recognize our own faults first.

As we, this past week have observed the sixteenth anniversary
of the terrorist attacks in New York city,
a monumental offense,
we might take this opportunity
to examine our own attitudes toward forgiveness.    
Let the fact that Jesus has cancelled our debt to God
be our inspiration to forgive others.

If we are having trouble with forgiving someone,
or dealing with anything
that the Holy Spirit is calling us to do,
we might use the following short prayer:
It’s a modified form of a Prayer of Fr. Mychal Judge:
The prayer is:
"Holy Spirit,
take me where you want me to go,
Let me meet who you want me to meet,
Tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way."
* Parts of this homily based on the following:
** Lewis B. Smedes, "Forgiveness - The Power to Change the Past," Christianity Today, 7 January 1983 .

Sunday, August 27, 2017

HOMILY - 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

Isaiah 22:19-23           Romans 11: 33-36      Matthew 16: 13-20
Deacon Jerry Franzen - Cathedral  August 26, 27, 2017

Caesarea Philippi was an area populated by Gentiles, not Jews.
They worshipped false Gods; they were pagans.
Jesus asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
The Messiah was referred to as the “Son of Man”
in the Book of Daniel.
The disciples would have understood that.
The people of Caesarea Philippi did not know Jesus,
but they seemed to know enough about the Jewish faith
and the expected Messiah
that they gave answers familiar to the Jews.
John the Baptist had quite a following among the Jews.
Elijah was taken up into heaven in a fiery chariot
and was to return at the completion of the Kingdom.
Prophets were among the most famous of the Jews.
Then Jesus asked his followers, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter’s reply was: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Where are we in this small part of St. Matthew’s Gospel?
We certainly are not like the pagans of Cesarea Phillipi
who did not know much about Jesus.
We are disciples, followers of Jesus, like Peter and the others.
Our answer would have probably been similar to Peter’s.
We all KNOW ABOUT Jesus as the Messiah.
But the question is: “Have we really gotten to KNOW Jesus
as Peter had been getting to know Jesus?”


What is the difference between knowing ABOUT someone
and knowing someone?
Up until a few weekends ago I knew about Bishop Sam Jacobs.
People had told me that he was a friendly and revered bishop
who has had a long-time involvement
with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
I knew that he is a retired bishop from Louisiana.
I knew that those who had heard him speak thought the world of him.
I knew about him.
At the National Charismatic Conference in Pittsburgh in July,
(I should probably whisper the word Pittsburgh)
I was fortunate to meet Bishop Jacobs.
I can now say that I know him to some extent.
I have heard him preach, and he is a wonderful homilist.
I asked him questions, and he gave me insightful answers.
I can recognize him, if I should encounter him again.
I have seen him speak since the conference in a video,
and now I know some of his story, some his faith journey.
I get email reflections on the daily readings authored by him,
and I continue to get to know him better in that way.
I knew OF him, but now I KNOW him, if only a bit.

This is similar to Peter’s relationship with Jesus.
Peter may have heard about Jesus,
and may have formed an opinion about him
before Jesus called him to be an apostle.
But Peter got to know Jesus only by hearing him preach,
by hearing him interpret the Jewish scriptures for the disciples,
by asking him questions and learning from his answers,
by witnessing his miracles.
Peter knew Jesus up to this point by having been with him.


But there is another important line in today’s Gospel.
Jesus said to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has NOT revealed this to you,
but my Father in heaven.”
All that Jesus had done and said with His flesh and blood
had NOT revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah.
It was not the human nature of Jesus that had revealed this to Peter;
it was the divine nature of Jesus,
the nature that Jesus shares with the Father
and with the Holy Spirit.
It was the grace of faith that revealed Jesus as the Messiah to Peter.
Peter would have understood that this grace came from the Father.
Jesus had not yet taught his disciples about the Holy Spirit.

In the catechism of the Catholic Church, we find the following:

#684 “Through his grace, the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken faith in us and to communicate to us the new life, which is to ‘know the Father and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ’” (John 17:3)

Even though Peter’s faith was later tested
and found to be not as strong as it would seem in this Gospel reading,
Jesus told Peter that he, Jesus,
would build His church on Peter as its foundation.         
And that did happen only after the Holy Spirit
came down upon the apostles at Pentecost.
Let us not forget or overlook the role of the Holy Spirit,
the second gift from the Father for our salvation.
In #689 In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:

“When the Father sends his Word, he also sends his Breath.”
Here Word begins with a capital “W”; that means Christ.
“Breath,” also capitalized, refers to the Holy Spirit.

That paragraph goes on:
“In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable.  To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.”

The Holy Spirit is the source of our Faith.
To really know Jesus as a person one must know the Holy Spirit.


At our baptism, we received the gift of the Holy Spirit;
faith was awakened is each of us.
As we grew, the Holy Spirit guided us, directed us,
revealed Jesus to us as the model of how we should live.
As we followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
we found what is good in life, what God wants of us,
even though we may not have recognized the Holy Spirit,
We probably perceived that the promptings came from parents,   teachers, the clergy, friends, relatives etc.
The Holy Spirit was working through those around us.
This was the beginnings of getting to know Jesus,
of our developing a personal relationship with him.
Our faith, our trust in God should have grown through this.
As we have moved on as adults,
the promptings of the Holy Spirit continue from those around us.
But the promptings also come from within us.
        Maybe I should do this.
        I am being drawn to that.
        Something is missing in my life.
It is up to us to be open to these promptings of the Spirit,
to have faith in them, to trust them, to respond to them.
We grow in our faith
and thereby in our personal relationship with Jesus.
Often these prompting will be such that we are puzzled,
we may not see where they will lead us.
Or they may look like they will lead us outside of our comfort zone.
We must trust that the Holy Spirit pushing us toward the good.
The Holy Spirit will never lead us down the wrong path.
He will not lead us down what looks like a difficult path without
also being the source of grace necessary
for our successfully navigation of that difficult path.
All the while our faith in God, Father, Son and Spirit, grows,
we get to know Jesus better,
and the path to our salvation becomes clearer.

I have often told you that my favorite definition of faith is:
“Our trusting response to a God who is ever inviting us
into a closer relationship with His Son, Jesus.”
It then seems to me that the Holy Spirit is
the continual messenger of that invitation.
We must not ignore the power of the Holy Spirit.
       What is God asking of me?
       How is he asking me to serve Him?
       Should I step out of my comfort zone to share my faith.
       How can I be an instrument of the Holy Spirit?

Peter heard God’s plan for him to be the foundation of the Church,       and it took the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
for that plan to be realized in Peter.
That same power of the Holy Spirit is here for each of us,
if we just have the faith to let it work within us.
Wherever you are in your relationship with God,
follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit,
and let your relationship with Jesus Christ grow.