Week 4: Be ordinary but have an extraordinary mission!
As quoted by Mother Teresa, "Do ordinary things with extraordinary love."
1. Reflection: 1 Corinthians 13:2 - If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 2:5 - So that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
NEXT STRONG EVENT: No parish event ... spend time with family enjoying this last week of school!
2. Note from Father Roberts Before my freshman year in high school my parents decided that it was time to build a new house. We no longer had the amount of free labor necessary to raise produce and keep up the landscaping on the five acres that surrounded our home because my five older siblings had grown up and left the house.
My parents purchased a lot in a subdivision and construction began in the late summer.
Not long after the foundation was poured and much of the frame built, my father had a major disagreement with the contractor that led to a breach of contract, leaving completion of the house to my father and me on evenings and weekends.
When we started examining the work that was already finished, we were distressed to discover that the ground floor was improperly supported, causing both the first and second stories to sag slightly. To a fifteen year-old who was eager to finish the house as quickly as possible so that I could go back to having a normal high school experience, this problem seemed unimportant. "So it sags a little, Dad. No big deal! Can't we just put the roof on before it starts snowing?"
To my father this problem was something that had to be corrected before moving on because it would only get worse with time, eventually causing major structural problems if left uncorrected. Having a roof on before winter would be useless if the house collapsed.
It took several days of hard work to fix the problems with the floor joists and support beams, but we were able to remedy the situation entirely. Today, almost twenty years later, the floor structure is perfectly sound.
Very often we make the mistake of not ensuring that we have the firm foundation of a good relationship with God before moving on with the rest of our lives. We want God in our lives, but we don't always put Him first. And without God where He belongs, our house of faith is in real danger of collapsing when under pressure.
As people of faith we know that our lives become meaningful only to the extent that we allow our relationship with God to become the foundation of the rest of our lives. This week of STRONG helps us take time to make sure that this foundation is a sound one.
3. Family Activity
A quick discussion: What is your family passion? What is your individual passion? Find something that is near and dear to your heart and support it - with prayer and finances!
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5. Inspirational Stories Below are two articles written about Dr. Chuck Dietzen, a St. Alphonsus Liguori parishioner and Founder and President of the Timmy Foundation. The goal of the Timmy Foundation is to ensure that all people – regardless of where they live or who they are – have quality healthcare.
Dr. Dietzen uses his passion to inspire high school and college students that he mentors! He tells them “Don’t settle for a job. Find your passion!”
(From IUPUI Magazine) "I had the great blessing of meeting Mother Theresa; it was then that I knew I could do more to help the underserved population of the world," Dietzen says. And thus began his life's work of healing and saving children in countries underserved by the medical profession while coaching high school and college students, hoping to flame their interests in medical missionary work.
(From Teen Ink) Dr. Chuck was first inspired by Mother Teresa, whom he met. She told him, "We can do no great things, only simple things with great love." That's exactly what this doctor does; everything, even the simplest actions radiate his love. Dr. Chuck does all his work through Christ; you could even say that he is following in His footsteps by proclaiming God's word and healing people both physically and spiritually.
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children - anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed."
"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car."
"The sand is everything else. The small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."
"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal."
"Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."