Friday, December 12, 2014

Third Sunday of Advent Year B

Transforming People One at a Time

Dynamic Catholic, incredible possibilities and transforming people are the key words that help to capture the central message of this Sunday. Last Sunday Deacon Wally summarized the first chapter of Matthew Kelly’s book Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic with the captivating phrase “Incredible Possibilities”. In that chapter Kelly says that “transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the world.”  Prayer is the first sign, and the most dominant quality among dynamic Catholics. They have a routine and make time for daily prayer a priority.
 
This Sunday we consider study and generosity: the second and third signs of a dynamic Catholic.  On the second sign, Matthew Kelly has discovered four amazing facts: 1) on average, dynamic Catholics spend fourteen minutes each day learning more about their faith. 2) They see themselves as students of Jesus and his Church, and they make an effort to allow his teaching guide and form them. 3) Dynamic Catholics have a plan and a routine for their continuous learning. 4) They apply the principle of continuous learning. These four facts are credible proposals for our transformation. If you want to be a continuous learner, consider reading only 5 pages a day of a good Catholic book.  Five pages a day is 1,825 pages a year, 18,250 pages in 10 years.  Five pages a day is something you and I can do. Reading five pages a day is a game changer. If you are not a book reader, consider listening to a CD of a good Catholic book for ten minutes a day. Several of Matthew Kelly’s books are in CD format. The second sign of a dynamic Catholic is study – continuous learning.

Generosity is the third sign of engaged Catholics. I would to share with you a real story of a dynamic Catholic who lived a grateful life. The person in question continually shared his time going to Church daily and his treasure with the parish offering to sponsor outreach projects and the needs the parish had. He literally volunteered by asking the pastor, “Is there anything I can do?” When you met this person, he was the most joyful person you could ever meet, though he was struggling with his own health issues. He was generous, but God was even more generous with him. You see, God is generous before we are generous because all we have comes from God’s superabundant generosity. Dynamic Catholics are deeply aware of how much God has blessed them. For them, gratitude is not something they do; it is a way of life. Dynamic Catholics express their gratitude by being generous with their time, talent and treasure. Let me sum up in three points. 1) Dynamic Catholics have a routine in giving their time to study their faith by reading a good Catholic book  or the Bible daily.  2) Dynamic Catholics are deeply aware of how much God has blessed them. For them, generosity is a way of life. They have established goals for giving a percentage of their income to God. 3) The Advent Season is season of transformation. God has a plan to transform you and I into the best version of ourselves. The possibilities of our transformation are incredible. All we have to do is open our hearts and God will do the rest. Be bold; be Catholic; be a dynamic Catholic. Be more interested in knowing more about your faith.

©2014 John S. Mbinda

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