Busy, Busy, Busy!
Rev.. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
October 15, 2017
A loaf of bread fell from a bakery truck, hit the pavement and a crumb broke off. Three birds swooped down on the crumb and began fighting over it. One bird finally succeeded in flying off with the crumb. Two others were in close pursuit. A series of frenzied aerial maneuvers followed until the crumb was at last consumed by one bird. The loaf was untouched! Only the crumb had been seen by the 3 birds to fight over because they lacked vision and had only greed. If only they had seen the whole loaf or the bigger picture all could have been satisfied. How true is that story about so many of us? We are too busy to get to the banquet of the king as mentioned in the Gospel or to take the time to dress properly for that banquet. If you dare to stop and notice, most of us, when asked how we respond, both by sight and word; BUSY! BUSY! BUSY!  The real question is, "busy about what?"  The need in this beautiful season of autumn is to not be as frantic or chronically overscheduled.  A real problem for many is even to take the time to RSVP to an invitation or to stop and write a short thank you note for a great banquet!!!

At the time of serious sickness or death you so often hear people say, IF ONLY? Well, this is the IF ONLY week to stop and note the beauty of life all about us and God's daily invitation to enjoy life not rush through it. The Prophet Isaiah states that the Lord will wipe away the tears from every face and that the Lord is here to save us and we must stop and look and behold Him and rejoice and be glad that He has saved us. St. Paul writes to the Philippians that we know how to live in humble circumstances and also how to live in abundance as God supplies for all and to Him be glory forever and ever.  We all need to stop and not fight over the crumbs of life when the large loaf of bread is there for all to share!  

Life is passing us by and our chance for closer loving relationships within families or friends takes time and effort to talk, listen and share not be tooooo busy for interpersonal relationship with God and Neighbor.   When we do not take the time for the banquets of life by eating and sharing and talking together we miss the chance to be real, understood and enjoy the one on one of human life. We are so busy that we are a lot like the husband who went to buy a birthday gift for his wife. He had invited some friends over that night to celebrate here fortieth and he wanted to get something special for her. At the store, he spotted some cute little music boxes and one red one was playing "Happy Birthday." Being busy and in in a rush and thinking they were all the same, he chose a blue one, his wife's favorite color and had it gift- wrapped.  Later, at the dinner party he gave it to here and when she opened it and lifted the lid, out came the tune of. "The Old Gray mare, She Ain't What She Used to Be!" How he wished he had not been so busy to check the Blue Box!

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Keep Gratitude Alive
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
October 8, 2017
Greet the unexpected visitor as you would an invited guest or the return of a long lost friend. For in so doing, the Bible tells us, we entertain angels unaware. They come to us in many forms. A stranger, a foreigner, a child, even a bird or butterfly to remind us God is watching and aware of who and what and where we are.  A smile, a kind word, gentle touch can be as fulfilling as a feast and an attentive ear as satisfying as a meal shared with friends. God thus fills your days with countless messengers of love and if you have not yet been graced to see one, what better time than now for you to go out and be one? The thoughts, virtues, ideas and ideals about these first words above have been heard by all of us but now at HARVEST TIME it is the BEST TIME to go and put them into action. Awareness of God, Others and All that is about us is the underlying theme of all the Scripture this weekend A spirit of acknowledging, affirming and showing gratitude to all for all is KEY to keeping gratitude alive!

Jesus in the Parable story from the Gospel of Matthew 21 reminds us that the kingdom does not belong to us, it is a gift of God.  Consider what you truly own and you will be surprised at how much more you owe to God and others for what you are and have!! For many of us we are like a friend of mine who years ago remarked when he lost a lot of money in the stock market; "you can be a bull or you can be a bear, but you can't be a pig!"  It is a large or big responsibility for all of us to be more grateful to God and Neighbor and as we behold the beauty of this fall and the colors and the harvest - what a time to give THANKS!  Go visit a vineyard and see that indeed it is the land of the Lord and it does give by its very nature glory back to God with its harvest!  Don't worry about your possessions they can be replaced but worry about your style of life, attitude, values and how can you be more grateful? How often do you say thank you in prayer, conversation or by a note or phone call? Perhaps if more of us did so the human hatred, anger, fear and selfishness would dissipate and disappear and a spirit of understanding, love and gratitude would become more real.  Read the opening words of this article and put them into practice this week and you will be amazed at the visiting angels that come your way.

Remember, since life is short, we need to make it broad and since life is brief, we need to make it bright! It is your chance by word and deed to make the Lord, Others and even yourself a happier, brighter and less greedy person by sharing, giving and just knowing how little you own and how much you truly owe in gratitude to others and to God!

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What do you think?
Rev. Robert F. Tucker
St. Louis de Montfort Parish, Litchfield
October 1, 2017
What do you think might be the question concerning the Gospel of this weekend for it is a choice each has to make?  It is the parable of the two sons and the two boys who must have been a handful for their father just like most of us! Neither one responded obediently to the father's request for help in the vineyard. How often did you not offer to assist, or pretended not to notice help was needed or just were indifferent? Our behavior is our choice it is not who we are. Yet, who we are is often defined to others by our behavior. The first boy said "no" to assisting his father and this was a deep insult in the culture of the time. But he felt guilty enough about it to go to work anyway in the vineyard. The second son answered "yes" but never followed through. How many projects did you start or think about doing and they never got off the ground?  Guilt in all cases is easy to get from these two boys! But, it is not guilt that is the point of the parable but the challenge to be willing to change our mind and do what is wanted and not say "Yes" and be no help. Jesus is comparing in this parable the elders and chief priests of his time as they supposedly listened to John the Baptist but never acted upon his words and changed their sinful ways.

Our faith is not just a matter of saying the right words or celebrating ritual because we are commanded to both obey our parents and keep Holy the Sabbath. We are challenged to put mind, heart and soul into who we are in our behavior and choices, who we think we are and what we are doing!  In particular, perhaps this week, we might realize how much harm is done when we or others agree but never follow through. It is easy to talk a good talk but not do the walk.  If we wish to have results then we need to say yes and do it.  Jesus wants us to know that it is never too late to change things around and have a change of heart and do what is right!   The Lord does remember his mercies and asks us to do the same and act on that mercy. We are free to turn from evil and indifference and move from one state of no action to a new one of living out our faith in word and deed! This change might be concerning yourself or another or even being upset with God's apparent indifference. God overlooks past failings and so must we both concerning ourselves and others. In this new month how much can be done in the name of faith, if we act on our belief, forgive a fault, think in God-like ways and put faith into action?

Think about the epitaph a woman put on her tombstone and how you might act better and more hopeful this week. "She lived with her husband for 52 years and died in the confident hope of a better life." What do you think?