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Hearses Never Pull U-Hauls
By Frank Dado :: Friday, July 2, 2010 :: 93216 Views :: Article Rating :: Religion & Spirituality, Opinion and Editorials

Let me begin by sharing my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude to all the wonderful e-mails shared with me by readers of my articles.  As I have written to some of you, please join me by sending me your ideas or writing for this wonderful website.  It is a blessing that it is available and hopefully other courageous writers will contribute an article about their profession, passions, or points of views. 

I am sorry it has taken so long to write more articles as the winding down of another semester, caring for some elderly relatives, and helping my dad find a job, has kept me quite occupied.  My family has hit a financial snag when my father was laid off from work.  I share this not to endear any readers, that is the furthest from my mind, but to share a personal reflection that has given rise to today’s article.  Thankfully dad was able to find another job, but he now has to drive nearly two hours one way. 

I mention this to highlight another reason why I love my dad so much; his optimism born from his faith. When I tried to empathize with his ordeal of a long travel and less pay he smiled and said, “brronee (son), I listen to your Ipod (after I showed him how to connect it to the car, he is infatuated with the device and has adopted it as his own), pray an extra rosary, and enjoy your mother’s bag of fresh fruit and vegetables; I am even more blessed now.  God always knows better, I just enjoy the ride.” 

In this article I felt it important to write about how money impacts people.  Fortunately, my mom and dad never seemed to get caught up in the need to show-off their material possessions.  They were obviously too confident and secure to feel the need to make a statement with material goods.  Unfortunately, my cousins and many close friends, come from families who struggle with the need to compensate with flashy goods.  The drive to prove they have made it is overwhelming. 

The desire to “keep up with the Jones" as the American saying goes, has been a driving force for many people who are bent on trying to keep the pace of the seemingly "higher class."  This is no different in the Chaldean community.  There apparently is a prevailing theory that the grass is always greener on the other side.

These feelings of dissatisfaction run rampant in our society and in our community.  Sadly the feeling generates a desire to constantly outdo and outsmart our neighbors. We want to have the latest and greatest, the biggest and fastest, and the most superior possessions available to us.

Although this trend may seem harmless and perfectly natural, we must recognize that Scripture clearly condemns envy, discontentment, and covetousness because they can lead us down a destructive path of self-centered, self-absorbing, and self-gratifying pursuits.

Discontentment undermines God's promise to "provide all that we need" (Phil. 4:19) and to "satisfy the desires of every living thing" (Ps.145:16). Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God said, ' Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' " The Lord gives us this command so that we will devote our time and energy to a life of service with eternal rewards rather than a life of temporary pleasure with fleeting satisfaction. God does not want us to be so consumed with working to earn money, that we are reduced to just "making a living" instead of "living a life."

Paul wisely instructs Timothy to "pursue righteousness, godliness, . . . and love . . . " instead of money, for he states that "we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it" (I Timothy 6:11, 7) Wealth and hoarded possessions only have value in this life; a point made clear by the fact that hearses never pull U-Hauls.

King Solomon, once the wealthiest man in the world, wrote, "I amassed silver and gold for myself . . . I denied nothing my eyes desired . . . Yet when I surveyed . . .what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless" Ecclesiastes 2: 8,11). In the end he concluded that the only worthwhile purpose under heaven was to "fear God and keep His commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Jesus promises that if you "seek His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). Immeasurable blessings await those who pursue the higher calling of Christ Jesus rather than enslaving themselves to the unending pursuit of prestige and possessions. When all is said and done, what will be your legacy? Will it be said that you pursued the Kings of Kings or merely the riches of His kingdom?

Thanks for reading,

"That's me. Frankie D!


Frank Dado is a student of Theology at the University of San Diego.  He enjoys the science of psychology and philosophy along with sports and writing.  He has written many reviews and essays on the philosophy of everyday living and the science of behavior.

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.