The opening ceremony for the winter Olympics was spectacular. The beauty of the production; and the warmth of the athletes towards each other was impressive. For a reason we are as yet to know, the olympics started with a tragic accident: the death of a young luge athlete, while merely practicing his event. It reminds us that we are all going to die, and no one knows for sure exactly how and where. At least this fine gentleman died doing what he loved, and with his closest friends and peers. His death will not go in vain. With God’s grace, he may be smiling from ear to ear, in His presence, watching the Olympics with the best view possible.
Mardi-gras starts today. St. Louis has the second largest mardi-gras parade and celebration in the United States. while at breakfast with my friends from church, a large group came into the restaurant we were at, in their mardi-gras decorations. What a sight to see at 9 a.m. They were having fun, and were full of life. I am proudly wearing a string of beads I received from one of the group.
Are you hungry? Today’s reflection is about food.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
But I, like an olive tree in the house of God, trust in God’s faithful love forever. (NAB Ps 52:10)
Some speculate the “tree of life” in the garden Of Eden was possibly an olive tree. Its fruit is known to have provided food; and oil for heat, light, and healing. There are several stories about olives, and olive trees in the bible. A popular metaphor is that Mary gave birth to the “One” who is the light of of the world; shining on the path to eternal paradise, and for the healing of nations: thus making a connection with the importance of olives in Mediterranean inhabitants lives. Olives were as important to gentiles as it was to the jewish people: no one is outside the redemption of God through Jesus.
Like an olive tree, those that believe in Jesus Christ as our “Savior” will grow and flourish in the house of God like a well-watered olive tree. Two other Psalms also have this theme. In Psalm 92:14, “the just are likened to trees growing in the sacred precincts of the temple, which is often seen as the source of life and future of its people, because of God’s presence.” Psalm 128:3 states, “like a fruitful vine your wife within your home. Like olive plants your children around your table.”
What do we have to do in order to achieve eternity with Jesus?! Easy: love him with all our heart; and love all others AS we love Him! That is the first of two conditions. The other condition: to trust Him with all our heart, mind, and soul. Trust is a concept that is hard to comprehend. Our trust has to be 100% and unwavering. God works His finest it seems, when we need Him the most. Regardless of what happens, trust that the Lord is with you through anything in your life.
“Lord, please surround me with your love and grace as the olive surrounds its seed. Let my love for You grow inside me and sprout, as the seed allows a new olive tree to sprout and grow. Amen”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #13:
As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ. A sense of community will make them joyful and ready to place themselves on an equal basis with all people, especially with the lowly for whom they shall strive to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ.