A Hint

Building on the Word Videos are a ministerial effort by Rev. George M. Smiga produced in service of the New Evangelization. The videos of this series are consciously created to be short, free, and relevant to the spiritual questions of modern culture. The message of faith is presented in a manner which is inviting and dialogic.

 

 

“A Hint” is the first Building On the Word Video to be produced. Like every video in this series, it addresses a spiritual question of modern culture in light of a specific biblical passage. “The Hint” addresses the existence of God. Humbly admitting that no scientific proof for God is possible, it invites viewers to question whether they consider their own lives as random or gifted with a larger purpose. Connecting the genealogy of Matthew’s gospel to modern images and experiences, the video attempts to reveal hints of a guiding power in our world and leads the viewer to name that power “God.”

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR “A HINT”

1) What events do I know in my own family history which have shaped my life? As I reflect on them, do they suggest that God has guided my lineage? Why?

2) What qualities, talents, or interests in my life give me satisfaction and joy? Does it make more sense for me to consider them random characteristics or hints of God’s presence? Why?

3) In a moment of beauty or in a personal relationship have I ever experienced a graciousness which I would call spiritual? Do I consider it fitting to understand that graciousness as God’s action? Why?

4) Does it surprise me to discover that Jesus’ own lineage was marked by improbability and scandal? Does this realization change my perception of Jesus? How?

  • http://Daughterandstudent Christine L. Schmidt

    Excellent theological content, video presentation, and intimate performance.
    I cried when your father was chosen to help the military camp and hence met your mother, just a few drops. God is awesome. He made you for great things, thank you.

  • Paul and Linda Rini

    This is GREAT!!! Boy have we missed you!!!!

  • Mary Pat

    This is a great addition to Catholic Web Sites! Thanks for sharing your great gifts of knowledge, speech and passion about our faith so generously – all hints of God’s presence.

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Thanks Mary Pat. It was in discussion with you that the idea emerged to begin this effort.

  • ellen mayer

    Thank you so much for your very moving video, The Hint. It made me stop to think of my own lineage and the connections (which I no longer think of as random or coincidental)in my past. Food for thought!

  • Micky Keogh

    I have always felt that my confirmation was no accident. The community of believers at St. Noel are graced by Fr. George’s incite and wisdom weekly. He is never afraid to make us think deeper into the inspired Word of God. Bravo on the new website! Now everyone can have what we have.

  • http://fhcpresb.org Clover Beal

    Thank you, Fr George. This was lovely.

  • Bill Blankenship

    Wonderful, very thought provoking. Brings many memories to light and enlists a thought process concerning what was said and how certain things came to be. It also brings to wonder how many times we missed the opportunity to give God the glory for what we have been given. Thank you for making this video.

  • Marie Andrews

    Wow. I can’t wait to view the others. This is why you’re my favorite teacher.

  • Laura Peltz

    Your video “A hint” is beautifully written, presented and filmed. What a gift to all of us. The questions you posed as a way to go deeper into the topic are thought-provoking and right on target. After finals and sacramental celebrations next month – I will treat myself to exploring your website in depth. May Christ’s peace be with you.

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Thanks Laura. Because you are actively engaged in pastoral ministry, I appreciate your comments in a special way. My hope is that the video will be useful in working with parish groups and in retreat settings.

  • Bob Herron

    I know, from experiences in my own life, that there are hints to God’s existence. This short video is packed with a powerful message. It has helped me reflect on those ‘hints’ in my life and helped me to understand ‘Thy will be done.’

  • Linda Hutter

    Thank you Fr. George for the wonderful video and website. I will be checking back often for more videos and insights, so much to think about. Thanks also for sharing your father and mother’s story, it is always interesting to hear how families began.

  • http://fbhsllc.com Bill Elwood

    Very well done. And the “hints” are not always subtle!
    Blessings,
    Bill Elwood

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Bill, if you are suggesting that God sometimes uses more difficult and painful aspects of our lives to speak to us, I cannot disagree. We simply are unable to call the shots.

  • Meg Zetzer

    Improbability is a beautiful hint! Thank you for your insightful perspective Fr. George.

  • Donald Cozzens

    George Smiga is engaging and inspiring in this contemplative and reflective video. It’s both an artistic success and a religious experience!

    Donald Cozzens

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Thanks Don. My hope is that many people will have a similar experience and begin to reflect more deeply on the mystery they carry within them.

  • Paul Kelly

    Fr. George,

    Your insights into the existence of God are so helpful. Thanks for your thoughtful answers that challenge us to go deeper. Thanks for affirming my own faith by seeing God’s grace in our lives! The personal story of your parents really struck home for me! Thak You God!

  • Carolyn Jablonski

    This website is something that has long been needed and I’m surprised that someone didn’t come up with the idea sooner. In these unprecedented times, the vast majority of Christians are seeking meaning from their faith. This site provides just that and more.

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Thanks Carolyn. I know I can count on you to spread the word that this resource is available.

  • Rick & Debbie Oprzadek

    Fr. George, what a wonderful website you are building! “The Hint” is a great invitation to reflect on our lives and the many events that have shaped us. How many times do we start a sentence with “If it had not been for …..” . Things really do have a way of working out and your video reminds us that it is not chance or luck but our God purposefully guiding us. Thank you for creating a place where people can go to read, think, question, and discuss.

    Rick and Debbie

  • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

    I appreciated the phrase “you are building.” Yes, it is still something very much in progress. The approach is to keep trying and, if it serves God’s purpose, it will bear fruit.

  • Joseph Smiga

    Thank you for the wonderful presentation about how God works in our lives. Watching your video empowers me to become a better follower of Christs’ teachings and promote His ways.

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Joe, because you are my brother, I know also have a personal connection to the story I use in “A Hint.” I am deeply thankful for your support and remain grateful for the ways God has blessed our family.

  • Fr. Bill Dickinson, Catholic Leadership Institute

    This website is excellent for engaging not only our lives in the Word of God, but also for strengthening our Catholic Culture. It is a vehicle for discussion and discipleship for any person who wants to value, more deeply, the sacred–and the presence of God that already reigns in our hearts, and present in the marketplace of life. The Hint is one such example of sacred, cultural, and personal relevance. Congratulations on this initiative with and for others who seek to grow in holiness and wholeness of life.

  • http://www.ceirs.org Joe LaGuardia

    Wonderfully, done, George. I hope there are more to follow!

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Joe, there is another video which has already been shot. We hope to have it up on the website this fall.

  • Mark DeJohn

    Brilliant Fr. George!!! … Your video “A Hint” truly opens up my mind to the unlimited nature in which God exists not only in my life but in the lives of others & how coincidences are truly Gods way of being anonymous in our lives! … I will definitely pass this video message on to all who are in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment … To enhancing the human condition through “A Hint” ~ Mark DeJohn

  • Karen Franks

    Good Morning Fr. George,
    I have always felt that my life and all surroundings in my life are gifts from God. Listening to A HINT is a wonderful way to start the day, and gives me food for thought as I take my morning walk with the sunshine, the birds, and God as my walking companions. Having faith opens us up to unlimited possibilities in our lives as God is with us in every single second of our lives. I cannot even imagine my life without God and without my faith. Your presentation, A HINT, is wonderful!!

  • mike T

    Finally a Catholic priest takes a story from the New Testament and makes it relevant to us. Great job George, I look forward to more of your work.

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Mike,
      I appreciate the positive response. But as you know there are many priests who use their gifts to make the gospel relevant to us–including your brother, Paul!

  • Rick C

    Very well done. I look forward to your next installment.

  • Steve

    Can this really be considered the lineage of Jesus when Joseph was not his biological father? And what do we know of Mary’s lineage?

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      The thrust of the genealogy is not primarily biological but theological. This becomes apparent when you compare Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus with Luke’s. They do not agree in the names and number of Jesus’ ancestors. Each author has shaped the lineage for his own audience and meaning.

      This makes Matthew’s inclusion of the women in his genealogy even more significant. He includes them to make the daring point of the imperfection of Jesus’ ancestry which I draw upon in the video.

      Neither Matthew and Luke accept Joseph as Jesus’ biological father. But because Joseph is the husband of Mary, Jesus is identified through Joseph’s lineage. The scriptures tell us nothing about the ancestry of Mary, either biologically or theologically.

  • David A. Novak

    George, you have awakened a sense of wonder in me as you look into very old questions and discover fresh insight. I look forward to passing along your splendid website and videos to others, especially the Adult Learning Group at our parish. I hope you make many more of these videos and commentaries that heighten our awareness of God’s mercy. Thank you!

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      David, I thank you for your comments. As someone committed to adult learning, I feel confident that you will spread the word to your parishioners and colleagues who could benefit from the site.

      Yes, there is another video in process and the hope for further videos if the response warrants it. It is a labor intensive effort. It took a full day (9 am to 6 pm) to shoot the 11 minutes of “A Hint.”

  • James R. McGonegal

    George
    We live in a world made up of story more than stuff. The HINT is a masterful work of
    story and stuff. Your ideas are thought provoking. I hope you make more videos. Your
    gift of communication and the setting in the cemetery speaks volumes about the ultimate
    questions of life and our relationship with the physical and spiritual world. Well done!

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Jim,
      Thanks so much for the feedback. As you continue in your own pastoral ministry, I hope the resources on this website will be of some assistance.

  • Bill Raddell

    Thank you, George. This is a beautifully crafted reflection – theologically, visually, and as a meditative experience. I found myself thinking about my own experiences and what has brought me to this point in my life. For adults who are interested in growing in their faith, it is a valuable experience. I could see using it in a retreat context quite easily. It stands well alone, but I could also see it as a part of a series on New Testament themes. Too many Catholics seeking a deeper understanding of Scripture gravitate to evangelical churches in their hunger to better understand the bible. It is great that we can point them to a resource with a Catholic perspective. I have added you to my favorites list and look forward to the future installments.

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Bill, thanks for the comments. Please spread the word to other teachers who might find it useful in their work.

  • Christopher B. Janezic

    George-Great Stuff for my Notre Dame College Class.
    When will the next installments be on the website?

    • http://buildingontheword.org Fr. George Smiga

      Thanks Chris. The second video is in production. We hope to release in the Fall.

  • http://www.ipmconnect.org Joseph Francis Cistone, D.Min.

    Nice work, George, if I only had half the memory you do! Peace, Joe

  • Steve Homer (MORE Group)

    Very Nice video Fr. George! Well done and great story about your parent’s. We come from Slovak Roots so my mom can relate to your Polish heritage. Not to mention growing up during WW 2. Looking forward to future videos from you. You are a true gift from God to us and we Love You!! God Bless You Always!! :)

  • liweisu

    Very nice work Fr. George! Congrats!

  • Pat Maskow Firem

    Fr. George, I’m so glad to know of this resource that I can share with others. All of your own gifts
    come into play here to point out the gifts God has been giving each of us right along. We’re just
    in too much of a hurry to notice, but your words with the cemetery backdrop make us pause and
    reflect…Thank you for the improbable hint of improbability; that gives meaning to the seeming confusion of Jesus geneology!

  • smary james

    Wonderful! Thank you so much

  • Griffin

    Great video, George! I had never thought about family and God in that way (and had never really thought much about the lineage verses in the Bible). Thank you, and it was great seeing you in DC!