Thursday, March 25, 2010

Of First Importance

The “About” section of this blog explains three things that are important to me and which also, to a great extent, drive the content of my posts:

With all the rage going on lately with the health care debate and many of the other outrageous things that have been going on in our country, I perhaps have been devoting way too much space to matters political. But whether I am talking about politics, Italy, theology, family and friends or other musings, I view these as all secondary. There is something else that is of first importance: the Gospel.

I recently stumbled onto a blog that is aptly titled Of First Importance . It’s format is usually a daily quote, sort of an inspirational “thought for the day”. But this is not your typical kumbaya, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” type of inspiration. Each day brings a very pithy, meaningful message not from some pop psychologist or modern day inspirational speaker, but from giants of the faith of ages past and present. The messages simply remind us of the Gospel and encourage us to live each day in the good of the Gospel, and all of its far reaching implications in our lives.

The phrase “of first importance” actually comes from a verse of Scripture. In his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul was writing to a group of Christians who had spent way too much time majoring on minors and had forgotten the essence of the Gospel. They had forgotten the main event that defined who they were: that Jesus Christ had died for their sins and rose again:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” [I Corinthians 15:3-4)

If we can lay hold of this glorious truth--or rather let this glorious truth take hold of us, then everything else that we deem so important will fall into its rightful place.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Has it really been 39 years?

Certain dates tend to stay etched in my mind. Not to sound morbid, but this is often the case with anniversaries of deaths. Not that they are constantly on my mind. Rather, like a macro lying dormant on a hard disk, they self execute with the arrival of the date.

March 20 is one of those days. Though I look forward to it as the first day of spring, it also marks the day my grandfather, Nonno Pietro, passed away. It was my first experience at losing a loved one. It has been 39 years and I was only a child at the time, but I can still remember the day clear as a bell. My dad was at nonno's bedside in Italy when he died. (On and off over an 18 month period, one or both of my parents spent weeks and months at a time in Italy, having dropped everything to show undying devotion to their parents during their final days--something else I will never forget.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dear Congressman

It is a little late, but I intend to somehow email the letter below to every so called "moderate" House Democrat within the next 24 hours.
Dear Congressman:
I am not a constituent in your district, but I might as well be. I know you are experiencing a great deal of pressure from all sides. Probably the most intense pressure is coming from the President of the United States, the Speaker of the House and the Majority Whip. With formidable carrots and sticks, they are doing everything in their power to persuade you to vote for a so-called heathcare reform bill. I have a suggestion. Instead of listening to them, listen to your conscience and listen to the voice of the people in your district.