It’s been awhile since the last time I’ve blogged. (3 years to be exact) I thought I would start back up.
There are many things going on in my life that I would love to share.
I am still the Youth Pastor at the Parsons Church of God. I have also become the Young Life leader for Tucker County and I was just hired as an assistant Jr. High football coach for Tucker Valley Middle School. I also work for McClain Printing Co. in the pre press department. I’ve been employed at MPC for over 23 years.
I wanted to start blogging again. To encourage people. To keep people inform of what’s going on in my ministry. To combine faith with your everyday life.
This summer is going to be a crazy summer for me. I’m taking a group of teens to “Creation”. It’s the nation’s largest christian music festival in June. When I get back from there, I get a few days off. Then I am heading to Scotland on a mission trip with my fellow Eastern Mountains Young Life area leaders. We will be there for 12 days. Then I am taking a group of teens to Young Life camp in Rockbridge, Va.
I know I’m going to face some challenges this summer, but with a lot of prayer I believe it will be a rewarding one.
Hopefully, I will keep on posting and maybe share a light in this world that we live in today.
Many frustrated people seem to always fight the clock as a way of life and I’m one of them. We stay up late, then we sleep as late as we can and then rush to school or work, gulping down our coffee and smores pop tarts in the car, applying make-up or shaving at the stoplight, talking on our cell phone at the same time. At times we find it hard to fit in the important things in life. That’s the world we are living in…. Is that the way God had intended it.
A time management expert was teaching a seminar for executives. He placed a large, clear open-mouthed jar in front of the group. Next, he put seven or eight large rocks into the jar until it was full. “Is the jar full?” He asked. Everyone nodded. Then he took pebbles and filled up the jar with the small rocks until they reached the rim. “Is the jar full?” By now, they didn’t answer. So, he poured fine sand in. “Is the jar full?” Some nodded. He proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled up the jar again. “What’s the lesson about time management?” he asked. Hands shot up, and everyone agreed “No matter how busy you are you can always fit more things into your schedule.” “Wrong.” he replied. “The lesson is: unless you put the big rocks in first, they never will fit in. You must figure out what the big rocks are for you.”
What are the big rocks in our life? Giving time to God? Giving time to our marriage and to our children? If we don’t put those big rocks in first, we may end up not being able to put them in later.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12 :15 (NIV)
Most of us think of Mermorial Day as the official start to summer. A time to spend at picnics, camping, swimming, being with family and friends. A three day weekend to enjoy ourselves and get away from work.
Memorial Day is a time to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for our country. Sometimes we take for granted the freedoms we enjoy in our country, how truly bless we are to live where we do. As you go through your weekend, take time to enjoy your friends and family. However, take a moment and pause and say thank you to those who made this possible. Those who ultimately gave all so that we can have the freedoms we truly cheerish.
May 10, 1970 is a Mother’s Day that my mother will never forget. You see, that was the day I was born. I always tell my mom that I never have to get her a Mother’s Day present, because what better gift could I give than myself. (lol)
Seriously, though, I’m thankful for my mom. I grew up in a loving home, surrounded by family who cared for each other. I was taught the love of Christ and to love others. She was a great example to me. I always knew that my mom loved me.
This year for Mother’s Day is going to be a difficult one. It will be the first one for my mom without her mom. I don’t know how she is going to react. I’m sure it’s going to be hard. She loved her mom very much. I miss grandma too. (I loved her very much.)
I’m also thankful for my wife. I’m glad God put me with her. I’m glad she is the mother of my children. Her mom would be so proud of her. She’s a perfect example of Proverbs 31.
I hope everyone will take time to honor your mothers tomorrow. Tell them thank you and I love you. The sacrifices they make is immeasurable and they do it out of love.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you.
Palm Sunday is our entrance into the holiest week of the year. As a Church, we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with the multitudes of people going before Him and following after Him placing branches on the ground and shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
However, the Palm Sunday Triumph only led to His death on the cross on Good Friday. But, we know that His death was not a failure, because it was through His passion and death that He conquered the world and entered into His Kingdom.
Sadly, Palm Sunday and Holy Week has become just another holiday week with a mostly secular attitude. What used to be a week focusing on the suffering and death of Jesus to bring about the forgiveness of sins has largely become just another week of the year. When we used to concentrate on the immense love of Christ by placing ourselves under extra penances and making sure our souls were right and filling the church on the high holy days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil; these have all but become something of a nostalgic memory.
We have gotten to the point where we say we believe in JC, acknowledge His love for us, and we say we love Him in return, but our outward display of these attitudes doesn’t reflect the same sentiments. I’m sure many of you remember filling the church on Holy Thursday as we recalled the greatness of the gift of the Holy Eucharist as given to us by Jesus the night before He died at the Last Supper. Then, on Good Friday, I bet there wasn’t a radio or TV heard in a Catholic household especially during the hours of 12-3 and people refrained from talking so as to think of the 3 hours of suffering as Jesus hung on the cross out of love for us.
I can remember people in the aisles of church on Good Friday in my own home parish and people would weep as the men of the parish carried the corpse of Christ on a bier around the church for veneration. It’s time we return to these ideals as Catholics. Place your palm branches some place where you can always see them, especially this week.
Let the palms remind you that Christ is the King of our families, that Christ is the King of our hearts, that Christ is the only true answer to our quest for happiness and meaning in our lives. And if we do proclaim Christ as our King, let us make time for Him in our daily lives, especially beginning this holiest of weeks. Let this Holy Week be the reminder to us that He is the one with Whom we wish to spend eternity and let us show Him this by making Him the priority and primary concern of our lives. This is the only way that we will ever find true peace and happiness in our confused and complex world.
** Due to time commitments, Father Grassi is unable to take blog comments at this time. If anyone has a question of faith, please feel free to call Father Grassi at St. Thomas Catholic Church or speak to him after Mass.
If I were to ask you for your definition of passion, what would it be? An intense kiss, love, an extreme feeling for someone?
According to the Webster’s dictionary, Passion is defined as “1) orig., suffering or agony, as of a martyr. 2) the agony and sufferings of Jesus during the crucifixion or during the period following the Last Supper.”
It is an intense love, a love that Christ has for us.
Below is a video I found on youtube last year as I was preparing a message for Easter. It is called “Watch the Lamb.”
As you go through Good Friday, I hope you take time to stand in awe of the sacrifice that Christ made for us.
Now go to church on Easter Sunday, for it is a day of celebration. We have victory in Jesus, for He is not in the tomb, He is not dead, He is ALIVE!
This is a short story written a young teen in my youth group, Taylor Ambrose. She wrote this for “Teen Talent”, a statewide talent competition for the Church of God. She won first place in the short story division.
Delicate, beautiful, simple, yet extraordinary, I am a rose. People admire my piercing red, but I still give a modulated feeling to those who will accept it. My petals are set up in a maze, weaving in and out o each other. Not very complex, but it does make you mesmerized by how something that came from the dirt could be so beautiful.
Beautiful, or so they think, because when you go down, down to my stem, you back away. Why will you back away? My stem is stout, sturdy, and strong. Through the wind, and the rain, it keeps me held up. They don’t think or see that. They see thorns. My thorns are sharp, despicable, grotesque things that hang on my stem no matter what.
A small girl and her mom approach me. “Mom, look how beautiful.” She bends down to pick me up. I feel disdainful because the little girl noticed me. But then her mother promptly snaps. “No, get away from there! Those contemptuous little thorns will hurt you!”
The mother grabbed the little girl’s wrist and made her leave, not leaving a sliver of time for objection. All alone in the grass I stand feeling melancholy. The crisp night comes then early morning rises. A small figure rises over the hillside. The closer it gets the more I recognize her. It’s the small girl from yesterday. I cannot understand why she would be here. Her hands come gently to my stem. She grabs a thorn, then she strips it from my stem. Blood trickles from her finger but she doesn’t hesitate to grab the next thorn. Thorns are leaving while more of her fingers are hurting. After the last thorn is gone she says quietly, “There now, you can be perfect.” Sensitive, exquisite, simple yet extraordinary, I am a human. My body works together in critical ways. My hands can make dumbfounding things. My feet can take me places. And my mouth can sing alluring notes. My complex mind is full of knowledge; it is astounding how much my mind can store. I am amazing.
Amazing, or so they think, because when you look deep, deep into my head you will see that I sinned, numerous times. Sometimes it feels like 1,000 pounds are weighing me down because of my sins.
I start to walk aimlessly around a room. I pick up a book that is on a stand. Small words, many pages, but I read a story. It tells about a man, he appeared to be just like you and I. But he could do amazing things. He gave people their sight back, legs back, and healing anyone that asked. One night, the man let guards take him away, beating him and torturing him. He was in pain, was dying, but he didn’t refuse anything being done to him. Carrying a cross up a steep hillside, crying out in agony, the man was barely holding on to life. Nails are driven through hands and feet to hang him on the cross. After being mocked, abused, and not repairable for humans, He prayed, then He died. They put Him in a tomb; people had lost all hope that they would see Him again. But after three days He arose from the tomb as good as new! Then He ascended into heaven and watches over us always. All of this was done for me so that my sins can go away. I am astonished to say anything, but I can hear Him saying to me now:
“There, now, you can be perfect!”
Taylor Ambrose is a 7th grade student at Tucker Valley.