In a lot of ways, life unfolds like a card game. You don’t get to decide which cards you are given… but you do get to decide how you’re going to play them. Students often ask me why I do what I do – and it has everything to do with where I’ve come from. When I look back over my life, it’s clear to me that God gave me the cards He did for a good reason. I’d like to share with you how those cards have led me to where I am today… and why I’ve been blessed to spend my entire adult life serving as a youth minister/chaplain to some incredible young people.Continue Reading
From time to time we all see or hear about professional athletes being put into critical situations for their team: being put on the ice for sudden death overtime in hockey, pitching or batting in the the bottom of the ninth in baseball, or playing an elimination game in any sport. When interviewers ask if they are nervous, many of them discuss how they’ve trained for years for this moment – and how they relish the chance to make a difference. Jose Bautista’s series saving homerun in the ALDS a few weeks ago was the perfect example of this – with one swing of the bat, he changed the fortunes of his team. And it was a moment he absolutely savors…
I wish you could have heard my thoughts in that moment. It’s the closest I have ever felt to being a superhero. I felt like I was Batman, and the villain had the girl dangling off the edge of the building. My adrenaline wasn’t 10-out-of-10. It was ten-million-out-of-10.
While sports offer a spotlight for these sorts of heroic actions, there are numerous other careers that make life-saving decisions without the pomp and circumstance that Bautista and many like him enjoy – military personnel, first responders, and those who work in the medical field. Each man or woman who works in these fields and others like them trains to defend, protect, and save lives – looking precisely to those moments where their actions might make a difference.
I think that every kid who has ever tied a cape around their neck and pretended to be a superhero has felt that same hope,wanting to make a difference. Many superheroes embody those qualities many of us aspire to: of courage, of selflessness, and that same desire to make a difference in the lives of other.
I had an experience a couple of weeks ago that reminded me that it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself as the hero than to actually be the hero.Continue Reading
[This is Deacon Pat Hessel’s homily from the weekend of October 17-18, 2015, at Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove.]
The 1982-83 NHL Season was a good one for the Edmonton Oilers. They finished third overall and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing only once in the process. But in the finals, the New York Islanders swept the Oilers in four straight games.
Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier were walking past the Islanders’ locker room after game four, expecting to see a wild celebration, but they saw something very different. Gretzky described it like this: “We walked by their locker room in the corridor and saw after they won they were too beat up to really enjoy it and savor the victory at that moment. We were able to walk out of there pretty much scot free. We had so much respect for the Islanders players and the Islanders teams that we learned immediately you have to take it to another level in order to win a Stanley Cup. And that’s what we did.” The Oilers won five of the next seven Stanley Cups.
In today’s Gospel, James and John asked Jesus: “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus was a very popular and powerful teacher, and James and John suspected that he was destined for even greater things – and they wanted to be right there with him – one on the right and one on the left. They wanted a share in the power and prestige.Continue Reading