Monday, December 21, 2015
I remain filled with hope and Debbie and I have confidence confidencethat dr. Hanna is putting me on the right course. Of treatment. Thank you for your. Continued prayers
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Friday, December 18, 2015
Reflections on the Readings
December 20, 2015 - Year C
4th Sunday of Advent
Dennis S. Hankins
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
MARY Full of Grace and Love
Elizabeth greets the mother of our Lord with these immortal words- "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb".
Choosing to be one with us, God entered our world through the womb of the virgin Mary.
Many sermons this Christmas season will claim: "But Jesus was born to die", a forlorn look at the incarnation. Let us remember that Elizabeth did not say, "Doomed is the fruit of your womb." Confined to the flesh of our humanity, God was in Christ to show us that it is possible to live in the power of love's pure light. Jesus, the light of the world, reveals the God who is love; he ate and drank with sinners and at the marriage celebration in Cana, he turned the water into wine.
We can be grateful to a very young teenager, whose name is Mary, that she willingly said yes, "be it unto me according to your word".
The Son of God is not a victim of God's love, but rather he is the love of God incarnate of the virgin Mary. And as the creed states: He came down from heaven for us men and for our salvation. If God was mad at us, there would not be a Christmas to celebrate. As it is, the sights and sounds of Christmas, the glorious revelation of faith, hope, and love, and the greatest celebration of Christmas is that of love, a love that caresses the brow of the orphan and condemns the murderous violence of gangs.
God is not a God of violence, but rather he stepped into our world and became the object of violent hatred and scorn. So, my friend, God is love wrapped in human flesh and was born of the virgin Mary. This is the old, old story of infinite delight and imperishable truth. He excludes no one from His love and receives everyone who comes to Him. Let us receive this King of love and each other as brothers and sisters in His kingdom. For His kingdom rests upon his shoulders, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. For His kingdom is an imperishable kingdom of hope and love.
In this prayer that is prayed everyday by Catholics, let us pray also: Hail, Mary, full of grace, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of our Redeemer, pray for us that we might say yes as fully as you did. May Jesus who heals us, forgives us, and redeems us, fill our hearts as he filled Mary's womb. Amen!
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Reflections on the Readings
October 25, 2015 - Year B
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Dennis S. Hankins
The Gift of Giving
The poor widows in the readings of today remind us what it means to love God more!
They show us the richness of their faith- a faith that moves them to embrace the reality of things not seen. For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Generosity is a word that rightly describes the Christian. For by faith Christians and many moved by compassion have built hospitals and schools, and sent medical supplies and water and food to the ends of the earth. And sometimes when supplies seemed not enough often became more than enough in the hands of him who multiplied the loves and the fishes. The widows of today's readings inspire us to trust more in God, to desire more to participate in His generous love for the least among us! What does it mean to love God more? It may mean that we trust God to meet our needs, even when we do more to make sure our brothers and sisters are adequately assisted.
Putting God first with all that we have, with all our body and soul is not easy, but it does liberate us from being selfish and self centered.
I have met such people of God whose goodness and generosity have impacted me and my family in recent days. How near God has been to us in the generosity of those who have reached out and embraced us in the love of God. All of us are called to give, to let our light shine , to share what we can. John Wesley, the Anglican priest who was the founder of the Methodist Church said, "Make all you can, save all you can, then give all you can." I take that to mean, work hard, be frugal, and then be generous. As we share with others, we are called by God to be cheerful in what we give, and then watch Him as He shows us His pleasure and gratitude, as He pours out upon us and our family His blessings such as there may not be enough room to receive it. (Malachi 3:10)
The lesson of the readings is this: It will all work out for us in the end, especially if He finds in us a generous heart, a compassionate spirit, and a desire to help where we can and give all we can. For Jesus himself appears in heaven itself to intercede for us with compassion for all that concerns us. O what a Savior! Let our giving be in the name of Him who emptied himself for us men and for our salvation. No, we can't outgive the Lord, but we can be filled with the sacred heart of Jesus in all we do.
Now an update since my surgery: Words are not enough to explain how deeply my family and I have been touched by your sacrificial giving and the assurance of your prayers. Since my brain cancer surgery, the nearness of God has been evident. I'm in my fourth week of radiation and chemo therapy. Blood work confirms that my chemo treatment has not adversely affected my blood count, kidneys, or liver. There's more to go, but I wanted to thank God and you especially for storming heaven in my behalf. How grateful I am for your prayers which continue to embrace me and my family. Receive our love, and we hope that in all ways you are blessed by Him who gives us himself in bread, which is His body and the chalice which is His blood. Amen!
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Reflections on the Readings
October 25, 2015 - Year B
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Dennis S. Hankins
Bartimaeus, a blind man, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me." Many rebuked him telling him to be silent, but he kept calling all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him … What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
Crying Out To The Lord
Frankly, we are all Bartimaeus. All of us in some way or another reside at the side of the road of life hoping that someone might help us. Millions, in fact, sleep under or on cardboard, under the bridges, or on the bench at the park, in need of better food, a shower, a shave, and some good conversation.
Bartimaeus has never seen a sunrise nor a sunset. No light has ever pierced his eyes. He has never seen the beauty of kids playing in the neighborhood or seen a mother hold her baby like a treasure. But through tears he cries out for mercy, much like a baby cries for help when he feels alone or forsaken or in need of mother's milk. Such prayer is rich and bold. And like the second reading from last week, such prayer is encouraged. In other words, let us indeed cry out boldly for the mercy and grace we need. For our God is able to do exceeding and abundantly above what we cry out for. Another popular and favorite scripture is 2 Chronicles 7:14. If my people, which are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray, then will God hear from heaven and will heal their land.
It remains a mystery to me why anyone wants to rain on such necessary and fervent prayer. Perhaps it's embarrassing or someone thinks God is not interested in our seemingly petty and small issues. But let us not forget that Jesus said, "Come unto me all of you who labor and are burdened down, and I will give you rest." Let us cry out, for He will hear us when we are at our lowest low and our deepest need. You will never hear Jesus say, "That crying soul over there is annoying me." Just like the cry of a baby for the embrace and assistance of his mother, so our deepest need and request touch the heart of our Father. For like a mother, He is aware and knows our every concern. And even should our weeping last through the night, in the morning, there will be joy.
Indeed in that eternal day, there will be no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain, no more blindness of soul and body; for He who fills us with light and life that is immortal, is also the light of that city where there is no need for the sun! So dear children of God, cry out! Cry out for mercy and healing; cry out more and more. Cry out until you hear Jesus say, "What is it that I can do for you?" In that moment, don't hold back, spill your heart, and you shall receive more that you could ever dream or ask for. Praise be Jesus Christ! Amen.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Dear Friends,As you already know, because of my requests for prayer, our daughter, Melissa, was unexpectedly hospitalized for seven days. She was admitted with chest pain, and was diagnosed as having a blood clot that led to a stress heart attack. The cardiac physician also discovered an anomaly in her heart in the electrical side of things that required a procedure that completely cured her of that anomaly. However, Melissa was also diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. All of this came on the heels of just having major surgery one week prior to this crisis.
As you can imagine, this hospital stay comes with tremendous expense. In addition to the medical bills, Melissa has been unable to work for the duration of her hospital stay as well as many days after she was released. She is, at this point, only able to work limited hours as she recovers and learns to live with diabetes.We are asking for help for our daughter in dealing with the financial devastation that has come from this unexpected health crisis. Our son, Reverend Timothy Hankins, has set up a link for this purpose. Any amount you can contribute will help a wonderful young woman recover from a horrible circumstance. Thank you for your generosity and for your continued prayers and support. Here's the link: http://www.gofundme.com/melissahankinsmedWith grateful hearts,Dennis & Debbie Hankins