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Hearses Never Pull U-Hauls
By Frank Dado :: Friday, July 2, 2010 :: 30675 Views :: 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.

Mar Addai Church, MI USA

Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church
24010 Coolidge Hwy.
Oak Park, MI 48237
Tel: (248) 547-4648
Fax: (248) 399-9089

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Founding Pastor:
Rev. Stephen Kallabat

Current Pastor:
Rev. Stephan Kallabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Sulemina Denha
 


 

Rev. Stephen Kallabat


Fr. Stephan Kallabat was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing seven years of scholarly work for the priesthood in Mosul, Iraq Fr. Kallabat was accepted at the prestigious university in Rome.  There he spent six additional years of scholarly work in the areas of philosophy and theology and an additional four years in scriptural studies. 

Ordained a priest in 1966 by Pope Paul VI he returned to Iraq to serve the Holy Family parish until his departure to Michigan, U.S. in 1979 to serve the growing population of Chaldeans.  Fr. Kallabat was appointed assistant pastor, then pastor of Mar Addai Parish in Oak Park, Michigan. 

Hitting the ground running, Fr. Kallabat is credited with raising the necessary funds to provide Chaldeans in the local area a church and community center of their own.  Fr. Kallabat continues to serve the parish and Chaldean community as their pastor.   

Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Fr. Fadi Habib Khalaf was born in Baghdad May 10, 1974.  Fr. Khalaf graduated from Baghdad University in 1997 and soon after joined the Chaldean seminary in Baghdad.  While there Fr. Khalaf earned a scholarship to attend the Urbanian Pontifical University in Rome.  There he earned another bachelor’s degree in theology and was ordained deacon in Rome on May 8, 2004. 

Fr. Khalaf then returned to Baghdad where he was officially ordained as a priest.  Afterward Fr. Khalaf returned to Rome to further his studies.  In 2006 Fr. Khalaf was appointed to serve Chaldeans in the United States.  

In the summer of 2006 he arrived to the Chaldean diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle and was cardinated into the Diocese and elected to serve at Mar Addai parish on March 15, 2007 as the Parochial Vicar.

Rev. Suleiman Denha

Rev. Suleiman Denha was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  He began his priestly studies in 1951 in Mosul, Iraq and was ordained in 1959.  Fr. Denha taught in Telkaif until 1961, when he was appointed pastor in Basra, Iraq in 1966. 

After immigrating to the Unite States in 1979, he was appointed to serve the Chaldean community in Virginia.  A year later, Fr. Denha was recruited to assist the much larger population of Chaldeans in Detroit. 

Upon his arrival Fr. Denha assisted Fr. Yasso at Sacred Heart Church.  In 1982 he was asked to temporally assist St. Joseph Church in Troy, returning a year later Sacred Heart. 

In 1991, he was appointed to Mar Addai Church in Oak Park, Michigan as the Parochial Vicar, where he still serves the community today.