Do We Trust?

I always like to read through the entire reading for the day and pray through it a little before writing a reflection. Well today, the line that stood out the most was right at the beginning. “We have this confidence in Him.” I immediately thought to myself, do I?

Do we have confidence in God? Through all the things that have happened in our world do we still have confidence that God has a plan, or do we want to try to forge our own path. I know there were many times in 2020 where I wanted to take over the driver seat and do my own thing because things didn’t seem like they would work out any other way. But then I heard that simple line from the First Reading and am faced with the question. Do I really have confidence in him?

As 2021 begins I think this is the most important question we can ask ourselves. We have no idea what is going to come our way in 2021 and although we should be smart and plan as much as we can, we also at some point have to put down the reigns and trust that God loves us, that he wants what is truly best for us, that he has a plan to get us there, and that he has power to get it done.

If the past couple years has shown me anything about the world it has shown me that we tend to think we can get through everything on our own and God is only petitioned when it’s the really big stuff. And then we put him back in the closet of our hearts and try to endure through life until the next big thing comes. What would happen if we trusted him with the big and the small? Not just one moment but with every moment? I think this has the power to change our year for the better.

I would encourage you to take just a few moments to ask yourself that important question. Do I have confidence in him? And then be bold and ask great things and expect miracles. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Feature Image Credit: Dave Lowe, https://unsplash.com/photos/nRNsIl1NH9Y

He First Loved

“We love because he first loved us.”

Think about that for a second and really let it sink in. God loved us first. I know for a lot of my life, especially in high school, it sometimes felt like I was constantly chasing after God. As if the sins I had committed increased the dark and spaceless void between myself and God and I was the subject who had to do everything I could to bridge the gap and win him back.

Have you ever felt that way? The good news we hear in the First Reading today is that God is the one who longs for us. He starts the whole process and sees it through in a loving and consistent manner. Think about a romantic relationship for a second. Typically there is one person who is initiating the love. Something about the other draws them out of themselves and gives them the courage to make that first move. Well with God we don’t have to wait or wonder. 

Since the very moment of our conception, God has been chasing after us, longing for us, loving us first. He looks at us and since he is the perfect gift he not only gives himself, but he becomes one of us in order to save us from our sin. This reality should blow us away. It changed my whole perspective on life. I no longer needed to feel like God was lightyears away from me, a sinner, but when I look up he is already there. He is helping me, guiding me, giving me grace and love.

We are now a week into the new year. Maybe a focus of this year can be to stop throughout the day and become aware of how God is loving us in each moment. We can forget if we don’t actively engage in the things he is doing in our life. It’s the same in a relationship as well. If you stop being intentional with one another then you start losing the sense that the other person is even there for you. Let’s be intentional with God this year. This can be as simple as stopping a few times a day and saying, “Jesus, I love you.” It doesn’t have to be hard. Wherever we are, God is there. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Feature Image Credit: Jez Timms, https://unsplash.com/photos/bwtgal6MJLM

A New You

A new year, a new you. If 2021 is not going to be the biggest seller of self help books, dieting fads, and new years resolutions, then the world has lost out on a huge opportunity. I think 2020 threw most people for a loop, and we all want a fresh start, a clean slate, to become better versions of ourselves.

While we strive to make our bodies and minds better and stronger, let’s not forget that we should also take care of our souls during this new year. Part of the First Reading today really struck me. “Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.”

So what did we hear in the beginning? Think back. We heard that we are created good. We heard that we are made to be a gift to each other. We heard we are made in the image and likeness of God. I know I talk about this a lot in my posts, but it’s because it’s really one of the most important things we can understand.

If we understand that we are made in the image and likeness of God then we will remain in the Son and the Father. If we truly believe we are made in such a special way, then we will act accordingly. If we truly believe we are an image of God, then we will make that image a beacon to the whole world of God’s love.

It is easy to make resolutions about physical or monetary accomplishments and it is also easy to break them. These things are easier to break because their focus is on things that will eventually be gone. But when it comes to the spiritual resolutions we should be making, we should dig in deep and realize the eternal importance of these promises to God.

This year I am going to make a point to reflect and pray through the following Scripture verse every day. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” I want to do this in order to be reminded of who I am, who I should be, and how I should treat others. I may even print it out and put it by my bed as a reminder. What can you do to remind you this year of the spiritual realities of God? And how can we all share these better with others?

Merry Christmas and Happy New year. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Feature Image Credit: Annie Spratt, https://unsplash.com/photos/Ef1H5YTTmZ8

The Word Became Flesh

“They found the infant lying in a manger.” These simple words from our Gospel today have a profound impact on our personal lives. When we think about Jesus becoming man, I think it’s easy to focus solely on Jesus coming to die for our sins. While this is of course true and the act by which we receive salvation, I think we do injustice to the goodness of God if we only focus on this one act. Jesus came to die for our sins and much more.

I want to briefly reflect, during this beautiful day of Christmas, on two specific reasons that God became man. The first is told to us by St. Athanasius and affirmed in the Catechism. “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” CCC 460

This is our ultimate destiny, that we become divine. Not that we become our own God or a God among many, but that we perfectly and intimately participate in the divinity of God himself. Jesus is the first man to be raised to the level of divine, fully God and fully man. In a way, he becomes one of us to show us our destiny. In the Catholic Church we call this divinization. John Paul II described it this way, “Divinization means participation in the inner life of God himself. In this state penetration and permeation of what is essentially human by what is essentially divine will then reach its peak, so that the life of the human spirit will reach a fullness that was absolutely inaccessible to it before.”

The other reason I want to focus on is the fact that God became man to remind us about who we are. Think about it, man was made good from the beginning. But unfortunately, the human race fell short of the glory of God through the sin of Adam and Eve. We constantly need reminders of who we are, how we were created, and how we should act. Jesus accomplishes all of these things for us. By becoming man he puts flesh on the love of the creator and reminds us through that flesh how good we really are.

Catechism 1015 states, “The flesh is the hinge of salvation. We believe in God who is creator of the flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh in order to redeem the flesh; we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, the fulfillment of both the creation and the redemption of the flesh.”

These are only a few of the reasons that God became one of us on this Christmas morning. For many more, check out this link to the Catechism: https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a3p1.htm

I hope these help you reflect on the beauty of what happened in Bethlehem so many years ago. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Feature Image Credit: Il ragazzo, https://unsplash.com/photos/4eWwSxaDhe4

Faith and Reason

Today is Nathalie’s birthday so I would be remiss if I didn’t wish her a Happy Birthday up front. And it is fitting because today’s Gospel passage is all about birth. It’s the announcement of a very important birthday and the power of God.

Think about this passage and compare it to the announcement of Jesus. You have Mary and you have Zechariah. One is a priest and one is a simple girl from a small town. But the responses could not be more different. Mary immediately asks how this all can be because she has not been with a man. She does not doubt God is going to make it happen, but just wonders how it will take place.

Zechariah on the other hand, doubts that God can actually do it. Because of his lack of faith his mouth is sealed. Two beautiful stories about God working in the natural world to bring about his plan. Two different subjects. Two different responses.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the difference between faith and reason. Of course these two are connected in our Catholic faith, but they are not equal. They are in fact, very different. Faith is an assent of the will to those things we cannot know, but which have been revealed. Reason is using our intellect to learn about the things we can know.

So when you think of it this way, faith is not unreasonable like many presume, but instead it is super-reasonable. That is to say, reason gets us to a certain point and faith takes us beyond.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it beautifully by saying, “In faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace: ‘Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.'” CCC 155

This is the message we see in the Gospel today. We can reason all we want about how a woman cannot get pregnant after menopause or how someone cannot conceive if they have not had relations with another. But at the end of the day, faith went beyond that which we could know. God revealed a seemingly impossible plan by reason standards, and our characters had to have faith that what was said would come to pass.

We now have historical accounts of what came to pass, proving that faith was not blind assent to an untruth, but it confirmed truth beyond anything we could do ourselves. In both stories, the tipping point is faith. In our story, the tipping point is faith. Do we believe? No, but do we really believe? If God spoke to us today and told us something would happen that would be impossible to reason through, would we trust? Does our understanding supersede faith or do we allow our faith to go beyond the confines of reason alone?

Let’s all pray to have faith as Mary did when she said, “Let it be done unto me according to your word.” From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Feature Image Credit: Aaron Burden, https://unsplash.com/photos/4eWwSxaDhe4

Cleansed and Renewed

There is an absolutely beautiful scene from the popular TV show, Chosen, that depicts a scene similar to this. A leper is thrown out of society and seen as unclean. Even the apostles are afraid to approach and try to stay away. You can see the desperation in his eyes for healing. You can see the tears well up as he is cast out and treated like swine. Jesus looks up with similar tears and approaches without fear. “Your faith has saved you.” And immediately the leper was healed and rejoiced in the goodness of God.

I think we can all relate to this story in one way or another. The reality is that we are all unclean. We have all eaten from the pig trough of the world and of sin. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. And yet, we have immense hope for healing. Jesus enters the story with the same tears that we shed. He enters our story, or hurt, our misery, our wounds, our sin. He enters into the mess to help us, like a good shepherd would.

Today is a very special day for my wife, Nathalie, and I. On December 4th we had our very first date. We went to a coffee shop and ordered blueberry tea. We sat there and talked for hours and got to know each other. As I reflect on the last few years of marriage and of dating, I can’t help but relate this Gospel to our life. Many people don’t talk about the Sacrament of Marriage as being different from marriage in general. The difference, of course, is the grace you receive from Christ to live out your vows in good times and in bad.

Sometimes life throws you some curveballs. This year has been a crazy one for us, as it has for most. Moving, our dog got a broken leg, getting Covid and being quarantined, having a tree fall on our house, getting my tonsils removed, and much more. But yet, through it all, we can feel the grace of the sacrament working through us every day. Working through us to continually cleanse us and help us grow closer together. This is the power of any sacrament. They take us from our unclean and broken selves and infuse us with the grace of God which helps us to accomplish all things.

The sacramental life is so important. During this time it is much more difficult to attend the sacraments on a regular basis. For those who cannot get out and receive the sacraments yet, I offer a spiritual communion at the end of this post. This prayer asks for the grace of Christ to come upon us even though we cannot physically attend the sacrament. For those of us who are able to safely get out and go, I implore you to find new ways during this Advent season to receive the grace of the sacraments. We all need grace. God offers it freely. Let’s go soak it up. Happy Advent and from all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Feature Image Credit: Moisés Becerra, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/9881-franciscanos

The Law of Love

Today’s First Reading, written by Paul from a jail cell, shows the beauty and depth of the statement, “I have come not to abolish the law, but fulfill it.” Paul states to Philemon that he can easily tell him what to do as a law, but instead he urges him out of love. He then goes on to say he does not want to do anything without his consent, so that the good he does is not forced, but voluntary.

I can’t help but think of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes when I read this verse from Paul. The Ten Commandments are laws that were given because we seriously lost our way and had to be slapped in the face with basic morality, like not murdering someone. Jesus enters the scene and does not do away with the Ten Commandments, but switches the conversation from one of law to love. Blessed are the poor, blessed are those who weep, blessed are those who hunger. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Catechism 2055 tells us, “The commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Again, the law remains, but it is infused with love. It is fulfilled by God who is love, in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul even got this from a cell, imprisoned for preaching that very love. In possibly the darkest place of his life, he still preached the love of Christ and the importance of always remembering that love.

What is the take away for us? Do we go to Mass out of following the law or love of Christ? Do we love all people no matter what or do we tolerate some because we are required to by law? Do we pray because we are told we should or because we want to talk with God? We should be doing all of these things as much as we should be following the commandments, but if we keep love as the source and reason for these laws, then they become less like edicts and more about relationships. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Sinners Drew Near

We have all heard the story from today’s Gospel. Of course God wants to go after the one out of the ninety-nine. We have all heard that Christ is the Good Shepherd. But I want to focus on something in this Gospel that may be easily overlooked, the very first line.

We hear that the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to Jesus. Why was this, do we think? What drew them to Jesus? Was it his preaching, his miracles, the way he presented himself? It could have been a mix of any number of reasons, but I think it may have been that they could see he was different. He actually wanted to help them. He cared deeply about them.

Notice, they didn’t gather around him to be validated in their own sins, but even when Christ challenged them they continued to come back. They could see that he had their actual best interest at heart.

I think this example of evangelization is crucial for our world today. We tend to either dumb down the Gospel so much that it no longer has meaning or we want to hit people with it as if it’s a two by four with rusty nails sticking out.

Here, Jesus shows us the approach that is effective and gets to the heart of those we interact with. It’s the same as the story of the woman caught in adultery. He cared for her, loved her, showed her mercy, but then said to go and sin no more. That must have seemed like a simple and small request for the woman, seeing as her life was just spared.

Do we use the same approach when preaching the good news? Is it first good news? Do we find out about our friends, family, coworkers, and others before we try to evangelize? Classics are classics for a reason. And the classic way of evangelizing that Jesus used, seems like it may just still work. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Remember Your Death

I have been hearing from a lot of people lately that they hope the second coming is soon because things are a mess right now. We hear cries of division, political unrest, and much more. But the reality is, Jesus has not come yet, he still has work for us to do.

This is what I received from the first reading today. Especially with today being Halloween and tomorrow being All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day, it’s natural to think about death. Paul even exclaims that death is gain, because we enjoy the beatific vision. But guess what? We aren’t there yet. There is much to do.

Paul says that him remaining in the flesh is more necessary for our benefit, and the same is true for us regarding our family and friends. God has put us in this place of time and history for a reason. So what have we done with our time here? This is a good reminder for us all. If we are to remember our death right now and think about that day, will we be told, “Well done my good and faithful servant?” Or will we be taken by surprise?

There is such great hope in the Lord and until God takes me home, I want to do all I can to bring others to him. I am not always perfect, but striving is the important thing. Let’s all strive for that today and every day. Happy Halloween and from all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

Relationship over Regulations

I love today and the Gospel for a few reasons. To start, today Nathalie and I celebrate our two year anniversary. I am so blessed by her in new ways every single day and she has truly shown me the love of Christ through our still young but full marriage. It is also the Feast of Fatima, which has always been close to both of our hearts. We got engaged on May 13th and married on October 13th. And finally, I love the Gospel today because it’s about food.

If we know one thing about Jesus in the Gospel’s, it’s that he loves to eat, a man after my own heart. Here we see Jesus again correcting the Pharisees for following the letter of the law and forgetting that the whole point is the disposition of the heart and relationship with God.

I like to think of this in terms of the difference between someone who follows a recipe exactly and someone who is willing to improvise. Following a recipe is not bad, you will turn up with a pretty good dish, but the heart and soul will be missing. In the same way, just following the law for the sake of the law removes the heart and soul behind it.

Someone who is used to cooking is freed up to improvise, to change flavors, to go bold, and to not be stuck in a certain box. The end result can either be much worse or much better, but at least there is heart. It reminds me of a quote I heard once in reference to when Jesus walked on the water. The quote was: “It is better to get out of the boat and sink then to not get out at all.” Now, it is still bad to get out and sink, but at least that means we are trying and starting to trust in the Lord with that initial step out of the boat.

Jesus presents this idea in the Gospel today. You can wash your hands out of symbolism all you want, but you are too afraid to trust and get to the heart of the issue, relationship with God. How many times is this us? Especially today where it’s so easy to just pull up the Mass online instead of going in person. I realize some are still worried about health concerns, and that is legitimate. If that is you, take advantage of the live-streamed Mass. But have you been out on vacation, parties, dinners with friends, etc? If you have and you still aren’t returning to Jesus in person, I wonder if we have put the law over relationship. This can apply to anything in our lives, not just the Mass. Where have we put laws over the love of Christ? From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at tommy@rodzinkaministry.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.

What is Your Opinion?

The Gospel for today basically describes 2,000 years of moral teaching with one simple question, “What is your opinion?” Jesus asks this to the chief priests and elders and gives them a scenario of morality.

Now remember, Jesus knows everything. He knows their hearts, he knows that they have begun to go against the teachings of faith and instead have become hypocrites, and he knows that they have been created with a deep sense of morality coming from God himself.

So even though they are not following the law, Jesus is confident that deep down they know what it is and what they should be doing. He is so confident that he asked them what they believed was right and what was wrong in this scenario. “What is your opinion?”

This is hugely important for bringing a sense of morality into our fallen world today. We all know that our culture right now is not the reasoned and deductive culture that maybe an Aquinas or Augustine grew up in. We are living in a world that is more and more focusing on personal experience and feeling than on objective truth.

But what if we could get people to see the truths of the faith, of morality, and of God, from their own personal experience and feelings? That is to say, what if we could bring people to the same objective truth of God, by way of their personal experience?

Sound like a tall order? Sound like it could easily turn into relativism where whatever we feel or think becomes fact? And yet, Jesus does just this in today’s Gospel. He doesn’t use proofs or logic. He doesn’t come in with an “if this then that” scenario. He appeals to their hearts. “What do you think?” He knows that if we think deep enough, then the truths we were all created with are still shining somewhere deep inside us, even if we aren’t willing to admit it or even live by them.

In this way, Jesus helped them to realize the objective truth of morality through their own thoughts and feelings. If we believe God has created us as good and that he has inscribed laws deep into our hearts, then we must believe that people are still capable of remembering these truths.

So when we talk to people about what we believe as Catholics or what is right and wrong, let’s try hearing of others personal experiences and try to get them to see from those experiences the deeper and objective truths of God and the faith. Then what tends to happen is that people can see morality as welling up from deep inside, instead of being mandates imposed on us from the outside. The objective truths of God are in there, we just have to help coax them out. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is Director of Evangelization for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative and the founder of Rodzinka Ministries. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith.

An Old Fish Tale

This Gospel today is pretty familiar to most of us, especially if you have watched the phenomenal series, Chosen. But today I want to focus on an aspect of the story that maybe we don’t think about, and that is the fish themselves.

What was going through their mind during this whole ordeal? Here they are having a great morning and evading capture from the evil fishermen above, and all of a sudden they are caught. As they are pulled in they must have a thousand thoughts swimming through their heads. Knowing they have seen their friends go in this way and never return. Anxious as they are pulled from the water and wondering what is next for them. And then they see him, Jesus, standing there with a smile as the crowds are astonished. If I were a fish and I had the ability to understand what was going on, I hope I would be elated that Jesus picked me to help others come to know him.

What kind of fish are you? What kind of fish am I? Are we the fish that would grumble the whole time about the inconvenience of being part of God’s plan? Would we tell our other fish friends that we don’t want this to happen or that we don’t care who Jesus is. Would we even try to denounce that we know him altogether? Or would we be excited that God is using us to bring his love, light, mercy and peace into the world. Jesus asked the disciples to be fishers of men. Are we ready to take on that call, or are we just going to float through life and hope never to get caught in the plan God has for us? It’s an important question and I pray today that we all receive the grace to give a good answer when God asks it of us. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

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Tommy Shultz is Director of Evangelization for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative and the founder of Rodzinka Ministries. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith.