Reading: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
Observation: The verse I chose today was from the beginning of the first reading today. It is admonishing me to put on the fruits of the spirit.
Personification: (See above)
Prayer: Lord, help me to put on these fruits in a real way. I don’t want to just understand them, I truly wish to be the personification of these fruits, with your grace. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture: Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:10-11)
Observation: It seems ridiculous to me that the Jewish people would be so proud of their laws that even when faced with the miracle of God’s healing right before their eyes, they would plot against Jesus because it was done on the sabbath. Then I think about how much we are just like that. My pastor mentioned how if something is misred in the liturgy by the priest who is presiding over the Mass, that we are obliged to go to another Mass to hear it read correctly. When faced with the miracle of the priest consecrating the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, should we really be thinking about something like whether the liturgy was being followed exactly, without error. (just a question – not trying to spark a debate)
Personification: Goodness (Latin: bonitas) It will be my focus today to show the fruit of goodness that comes from the Lord. In all situations it is easy to get off track and speak harshly or sarcastically, but I would rather than show real compassion and goodness that is a direct result of God’s grace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to focus on the goodness that comes from you and to work tirelessly today and for the rest of my life to display goodness, rather than the bitterness that I have shown in the past. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs”
Reading: Brothers and sisters:
You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds;
God has now reconciled you
in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death,
to present you holy, without blemish,
and irreproachable before him,
provided that you persevere in the faith,
firmly grounded, stable,
and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard,
which has been preached to every creature under heaven,
of which I, Paul, am a minister. (Colossians 1:21-23)
Observation: I chose the whole first reading to journal on today because it spells out exactly the hope that I said I need yesterday. Not even the simple tragedy of my own sinfulness can stop Jesus from presenting me as holy, unblemished and irreproachable because of His power, not my worthiness. My only admonition that I get from this reading is to stay faithful to the Gospel.
Personification: (Faithfulness) I see myself being called today to show the fruit of faithfulness by preaching the Gospel always and never allowing the Word to be gone from my mind, my lips or my heart.
Prayer: Lord, keep me faithful to your Word and continue to convert my heart to make me a true disciple of you Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ, from whom all good things come. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scripture: The rest of the human race, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the work of their hands, to give up the worship of demons and idols made from gold, silver, bronze and wook, which cannot see or hear or walk. (Revelation 9:20)
Observation: Even after all the tragedy, they still won’t repent. How much am I like that? Even when faced with immense tragedy, I still fall prey to my sinfulness.
Application: I hear God saying to me this morning that I should not be focusing on the tragedy, rather the hope that he brings through Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, bring your hope into my heart and let me follow your Son more completely. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading: He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
Observation: After reading the Gospel this morning, I found myself drawn back to the first reading. The Gospel is full of amazing verses that I could easily have chosen to journal on this morning, but the first reading was drawing me back to reveal again the following message. God is not telling us that he will deliver us from darkness, it has already been done. We, believers have been transferred into the kingdom of the beloved Son, by the power of his death and resurrection, for the forgiveness of our sins.
Personification: Peace (Latin: pax) Today, I am hearing God instruct me to display the fruit of Peace to everyone that I come in contact with, not because I am anything more special than any other of God’s creations, but for the simple fact that Jesus Christ died, so that I could live with Peace in my heart and it is about time for me to start acting like I have it.
Prayer: Lord, help me to live today and for the rest of my life with your Peace in my heart. I will need God’s grace to keep from allowing strife to enter into my relationships with others. In the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading: We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the holy ones because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. (Colossians 1:3-5a)
Observation: I didn’t see this verse the first time through the readings this morning. It was only after looking back through the notes on the first reading in order to find the pronunciation of the two words that I may have to read at Mass this morning. However, the reading that I selected goes along with the theme that has been playing out in my journal lately. Specifically, the hope that is reserved for the faithful in heaven.
Personification: Love (Latin: caritas) I will try and focus on being thankful by showing the fruit of love that comes from God to everyone I meet today. I will show God’s love especially to those that I find difficult to love, because I know that God does not have a hard time loving me, even in my imperfection, so I shouldn’t find it difficult to love those people in my life that I may have trouble understanding at all times.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be a more clear example of your love to the people that I meet today. Please guide me with your grace to be especially aware of the people that are closest to me today and help me to show them your love as well. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading: For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
Observation: Today, I am hearing in the first reading that I am called to live together with Christ in this life as well as the next. If my hope is to spend eternity with the ones that I love both here and those that have past, than I should be focused on living this life the way God is calling me to live. Knowing that I will fall short, I will stay focused on the fact that my salvation comes from the death of Jesus Christ and not from anything that I do here on this earth.
Personification: Joy (Latin: gaudium) Right now, I am feeling especially called to show the fruit of Joy to everyone I meet. It is my hope that by the grace of God I can be an example of his grace to others like the Thessalonians were to the early Christians. If in the face of persecution, I can act with joy, than I hope that I can be that grace to other people that come in contact with me in my ministry.
Prayer: Lord, help me to show your Joy to the people I meet today and for the rest of my life. Please give me the grace necessary to be grace to others in the midst of my flesh here on this earth. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.