Gift: Understanding

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Godblessyou.gif God Bless you image by Miffhoney08

Reading:  Arise, O God, judge the earth, for yours are all the nations.  (Psalm 82:8)

Observation:  The fact that I have always been aware of my sinfulness is probably the reason that I have always had my reservations about praying for the second coming of Jesus Christ.  However, this morning the readings and specifically the responsorial psalm reminds me that God has the power to rescue all of the afflicted.  However limited our resources may be to help feed the hungry and however difficult it may be logistically to give shelter to the homeless all over the world, God could return and restore everyone to the justice that they deserve.  It seems rather selfish of me to want to stop his return until I am ready because of my sinfulness.  I guess a more methodical reciept of the Sacrament of Reconciliation would help that feeling.

Personification:  Peace  In order for me to personify the fruit of peace, I must have peace in my heart about the plans that I know our God has told us he has in store for us.  This peace only comes through a truly repentant heart.  I believe this peace will come to me not only when I am truly sorry for my sins, but when I keep my promise to the Lord to avoid the near occasion of sin.  Only after I have a truly repentant heart can I plan on displaying the fruit of peace to others that I meet and, of course, this will only happen with the grace of God because I cannot do anything without his grace.

Prayer:  Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because you are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you…

Gift: Wisdom

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I googled, “devil death entered the world” and this is the video I found on the videos page.  All glory be to God for revealing his plans for our salvation…

Reading: But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.  ( Wisdom 2:23)

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Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?  So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'”  (Luke 17:9-10)

Observation: I could have very easily taken the easy road and just chose the verse from Wisdom to journal on today and said that God was trying to speak with Wisdom to me through this first verse of the first reading today.  I mean how often do the readings start with the last verse of a chapter?  I guess by choosing to journal on this verse from Wisdom and the two verses from the Gospel I can show that God is revealing not only the negative that is in the world because of the devil, but also the fact that his unprofitable servants may not always manifest themselves as the great and wonderful people that they are, because they are acting out of obligation.  By the Word of God, they are acting out of obligation and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Personification: Humility (Gentleness) It is only through true humility that I can be doing the will of God.  I am going to try to be more cognisant of the fact that there are true believers that act out of obligation rather that their own volition and that is ok.  It would be better for me to see the good in everyone, rather than to try and pick out the evil.  It is my job to join the other unprofitable servants in line doing God’s work, so that more of us that are acting out of obligation to our master can come forward and join in the battle for the souls that are crying out.

Prayer: Lord, help me to stay faithful to your call by your grace.  Please do not let me think highly of myself in any regard other than my allegiance to your will, for I believe and you know that it is only by following your will that I can truly be saved from myself.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe)

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Saint Martin de Porres – feast day (November 3rd)

I believe he was being put up as an example for a young man in our youth ministry by his brother who is in already in God’s hands…

Reading: He said to him, You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  (Matthew 22:37)

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Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:9)

Observation: When I looked back over the readings for November 3rd, I realized that the readings for the feast day of Saint Martin de Porres were missed on the website that posts the readings of the day.  Once I read the actual readings for his feast day, I found a very important tone of dependence on God to sustain us.  I believe that Saint Martin de Porres was the epitome of dependence on God in his own life and how he took care of his brothers and the poor that came to him for help in their time of need.

Personification: Faith/Fidelity  It is my sincere hope that through the intercession of Saint Martin de Porres that I can be able to display the fruit of faith and fidelity to everyone that I meet.  I can only hope that I can somehow be the embodiment of the verse from Matthew’s Gospel above, and that I can love the Lord, my God, with all of my heart, with all of my soul, and with all of my mind.

Prayer: Lord, help everyone who reads this understand more clearly that God is speaking to them in the Word of God and by the working of the Holy Spirit in their life today and for the rest of their life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


Gift: Fortitude

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I hope this picture displays what I am trying to say below…?

Reading:  No servant can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Luke 16:13)

Observation:  I have heard this verse interpreted by preachers as an explanation of having too much of a dependence on money.  What I think I was hearing yesterday, when I read this verse in the Gospel readings for yesterday’s Mass readings, was a call to live my life without any concern about money.  Everyone wants to give you advice about being a good steward of your money, when in reality you should give it all to God and he will take care of you.  If you work hard and have all of the best intentions to take care of your responisibilities, God will see that and make sure that you have enough or he will see that you are not relying on him and take it all away until you learn how to rely on him.  Of course, I think this message is intended for me, but I think it could apply to any believer who wants to give up their dependence on wealth of this world because it could disappear in an instant and that is not where we are called to focus our energy.

Personification:  Patience (Latin: longanimitas)  I am hearing the call today to display the fruit of patience in my life when it comes to every aspect of it.  I am hearing this morning to be more attentive to my wife and her needs rather than my own selfish needs.  I am hearing a call to be more attentive to my children’s needs rather than trying to make what worked for me when I was a child work for them.  I am hearing a call to be more attentive to the youth ministry’s needs rather that what to think they will be better off just doing what worked for me in learning to walk with the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be patient like you have been with me for all these years that I have been struggling to follow you.  Please show me the way to help light the path of righteousness for everyone around me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Gift: Piety (Reverence)

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File:Alonzo Rodriguez Commiato dei santi Pietro e Paolo Messina Museo Regionale .jpg

Farewell of Saints Peter and Paul, showing the Apostles giving each other the holy kiss before their martyrdom. (Alonzo Rodriguez, 16th century, Museo Regionale di Messina).

(Are we going to have to wait until our martyrdom until we recieve this holy kiss?)

Reading:  Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.  For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise as to what is good, and simple as to what is evil; then the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.  (Romans 16:16,19-20)

Observation:  I have noticed lately that I have lost that reverence for a greeting of a fellow believer that I have always loved so much.  It has never been a holy kiss as Paul is suggesting here to the Romans, but it was always a hug or a hand shake.  I don’t know if it is my own shame from my sinful nature that causes me to back away from others when I meet them, or the fact that I can see the fact that they are not comfortable with it.  It actually has become more popular to greet someone, even a fellow believer with some kind of a sarcastic remark, rather than an actual greeting.  I am going to try and rectify this today when I meet fellow believers. 

How awesome would it be if I could find a way to say the final line of the verses that I selected from the first reading today whenever I left the company of fellow believers?   I could just say, “The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”  instead of my normal, “God bless you.”

Personification:  Love (Latin: caritas)  In order to display the fruit of love today, I will need the grace of our Lord Jesus to be with me.  If I was to actually greet everyone with a hug or a handshake today and the greeting of God bless you, I think I would be well on my way to personifying the fruit of love to everyone I meet.  When I leave the company of others today, I will try and remember to say, “The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”  How often do I meet fellow believers when I am out in public?  Shouldn’t I see it as a cause for a simple celebration?

Prayer:  Lord, help me display your Love to everyone that I meet today.  Please help me to show that Love to my family first and then to everyone that I meet today.  I ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Children of Abraham…

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This video is close to my heart this morning, knowing what we know of our most recent fallen soldiers at Fort Hood…May the Lord’s peace come to the families of the soldiers that are asleep…God bless you.

Scripture:  Realize then that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham.  But the law does not depend on faith; rather, “the one who does these things will live by them.”  (Galatians 3:7,12)

Observation:  It is my understanding that it is not the law or observance of the law that justifies me as a believer.  It is by my faith in the promise that was passed down through generations from God through Abraham to me.  A heritage that was purchased for me by Jesus dying on the cross to ransom me from the law.  But not for liberty from the law, but so that I can truly live by them.

Application:  It is my sincere hope that, by the grace of God, I will continue to live by faith and never forget that it is not the law that makes me righteous, but the grace of God who gave his Son so that I could share in his promise that all nations would be blessed.

Prayer:  Lord, in your infinite wisdom, grant me the ability to be put on blinders to the things of this world that would take me away from how you are calling me to follow your son.  Please allow me, by your grace, to follow him in all areas of my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Gift: Knowledge

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Reading: None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.  For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  (Romans 14:7-8)

Observation: The emotion I am feeling this morning is expressed best by the word gratitude.  God is good…All the time…All the time…God is good.  In the midst of my sinfulness, God loves me.  At the pinnacle of my faith walk with Christ in the church, God will love me.  I guess the gratitude that I am feeling this morning is centered on the fact that I am nothing without the Lord, and I am so grateful to Him for using me, a worthless sinner, to do His work.

Personification: Self-Control (Latin: continentia) In order to be the personification of the fruit of self-control, I will definitely need the grace of God to accomplish it today and for the rest of my life.  I am overcome this morning with the fact that without God, I cannot do anything worth while and even then it is only worth anything if I give the glory to Him.  My flesh wants to cry out to take credit for all the good things that I do, but the Lord who dwells in me is telling me to fade to the background, and give all glory and honor to the one who is Good.

Prayer: Lord, I want to thank you for being in my life.  I’m sorry that it took me so long to start to follow you, but I want to follow you for the rest of my life with the help of your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.