Reading: Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. (James 2:18)
Observation: The actions that I take and the things that I let myself get involved are better evidence of my faith than any profession of faith could ever be. Therefore, I am hearing today that I should be ever vigilant and choose wisely what activities I allow myself to get involved in, because of the evidence of my faith or lack of faith that the actions I take demonstrates to others.
Personification: Faithfulness (Latin: fides) Today and for the rest of my life, I will concentrate on making good decisions that will lead others to be able to see Christ in me. In order to really have faith in Christ, I must be willing to follow Him in all the decisions I make in my life. Regardless of the situation, I should be asking myself how I should act in order to be faithful to the call that He has given me.
Prayer: Lord, help me to show my faith through the works that you are calling me to and giving me the grace necessary to see the work through to completion. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Flooding – burst river banks in Lewes, England 2000
Reading: I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed. (Luke 6:47-49)
Observation: For the first time I understand this parable to mean not that I need to be a strong foundation. Rather, I need only to act in faith, responding to the call of the Lord and I will have built the foundation that can withstand the flood.
Personification: Love (Latin: caritas) I am hearing today that the fruit of love should be forever what I am, not just love the neighbor, but I am hearing that I must be the personfication of love to everyone that I come in contact with. This includes all parts of my family, whenever I get a chance to show them love, I should be ready to bring God’s love to them by my actions.
Prayer: Lord, in the times that I try and be the strong foundation of the faith to my family, help me to remember to act in a way that responds to what you are revealing to me in the Word of God. Please give me the grace necessary to be your loving disciple and be a better example of your love to your other disciples. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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.