Are you still persecuting the church?

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I’m breaking from my normal format today, to make a comment about the readings for today’s Mass.  It seems to me that the gospel reading today makes it very clear that Jews that were with Jesus had a hard time accepting the fact that Jesus said that they would have to eat flesh and drink blood to have life within them.  How many non-denominational Christians are still struggling with this today?  It strikes me that if they would only see that Jesus has been present in the church

imagesince the Institution of the Eucharist, the people who had struggled with accepting that the Eucharist is truly His Body and Blood would have the scales fall off their eyes just like Paul.  Jesus wanted us to be One Church, not many denominations of Christian churches.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that other Christians are still struggling, like us, to follow Christ in their own way, but with a Pope like Francis, and a God who humbled himself to come down to earth, not just as a baby but also making himself present to us in the form of bread and wine right now, I think we could easily be in Communion as brothers and sisters in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.  Maybe they are waiting for Jesus to return and really blind them, like Saul was on his way to persecute the first Christians, before they will let their eyes be opened to the truth that has been revealed for 2000 years of history in the church.

I pray that we all continue to follow God’s will for our lives and we are brought so low that everyone can see Jesus behind us…I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

It is a Jeremiah day…

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English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to...

English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to Mathon, Herefordshire, Great Britain. Beneath the left side: Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and the right: “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

 

Reading:  “The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: “I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.  Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.  However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy.  (Rev 3:1b-4)

 

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.* I wish you were either cold or hot.   So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.   For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.   I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire* so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.  (Rev 3:15-19)

 

Observation:  I feel like I attend church in the time of the Revelation to John about the church in Sardis and Laodicea, and I can’t decide which of the two I attend presently.  It is me, of course, that has the lukewarm feelings at times and the tendency to get too lax in my spiritual life, but I feel like our church has so much lukewarmness and spiritual deadness, it is hard to not stand up on the pews and start screaming about when we are going to stand up for what we really believe.

 

Personification:  Joy  It is only in displaying the fruit of joy in my life, that I will be effective in delivering the news that it is time to repent.  This is not just a call to stop complying with evil in our society, it is that we need to recognize that sitting idly by while the neighborhood we live in goes to hell in a hand-basket is not ok either.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner…For the sake of your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world…I ask this, as always, in the name of  the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it just me, or is Jesus talking to us too?

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Offertoire en rite tridentin

Offertoire en rite tridentin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

 

Reading:  Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.  For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”  (Luke 10:23-24)

 

Observation:  It is possible that I came to this conclusion before when I heard this reading and I may have even journaled on it.  However, I feel like it is important for me to say that I feel blessed to be living in these days where we can know Jesus intimately through all the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist.  In both visible signs of God’s grace, we can see, feel and experience grace in a way that the prophets and kings of the old testament only dreamed about.

 

Personification:  Patience. I came to the conclusion after Mass on Sunday, that I need to show more patience with those that are leading our congregation in worship and in the different ministries in our church.  I was reminded of the fact that it took me 20 years of walking in the faith to come to the conclusions that I have about the importance and necessity of the church in all areas of your life.  That should not be a matter of pride for me that I got to this point in my faith in 20 years, rather I should be thankful that the grace of God has gotten me this far and his grace is enough to get us all to be able to enjoy eternal life with Him.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!

 

Create in me, a clean heart…

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English: Scroll of the Psalms

English: Scroll of the Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

 

Reading:  My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;

 

a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.  (Psalm 51:19)

 

Observation:  I was trying to decide whether to post a video or post my regular journal this morning, when I got a tweet from Rick Warren this morning that said that I should not let anyone else make a decision for me.  The truth is, I post the videos because I think that is the way most people might eventually be exposed to the concept of journaling, but for now the focus is on the work that God is doing in me.  The potential for what he could do in others, will have to wait until God has better prepared me to do it.

 

Personification:  Peace.  The journaling that I try to do every morning, gives me such a peace about the work that God is doing in me.  I hope to be able to share that peace with my family today and anyone who I may come in contact with.  I just received another tweet from Rick Warren, exactly two minutes ago that said,  “Personal discipline always yields more freedom.  The fruit of the Spirit is #Self Control.  Gal 5:23…I should be focusing on self control as well today, and the hope is that it will yield more true freedom.

 

Prayer:  Lord, create in me a clean heart, so that my contrition will be a worthy offering to you and your work will be done in and through me today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

 

All evil must be left behind…

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English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to...

English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to Mathon, Herefordshire, Great Britain. Beneath the left side: Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and the right: “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

 

Reading:  Jeremiah said to the princes and all the people: “It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city everything you have heard.  Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will have a change of heart regarding the evil he has spoken against you.  As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what is good and right in your eyes.  But you should certainly know that by putting me to death, you bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and its inhabitants. For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these words for you to hear.”  (Jeremiah 26:12-15)

 

Observation:  I am reading in the first reading, an admonition to all of us to repent of the evil in our life, so that God will repent of the evil that he will rain down on us in judgment for choosing evil over Him.  If we do choose God, we can count on His protection over our lives.  Even the worst situation is a gift when seen through the eyes of faith, but the best situations will be seen as a curse to those that are not in God’s grace and not following His will for their lives.

 

Personification:  Self-Control. If I can focus on God’s will for my life and not on whatever evil I have gotten comfortable with, I will be able to display the fruit of self-control.  The best scenario would be to never get comfortable with evil, but our lives make that impossible sometimes.  The grace of God will come to those that repent of the evil when they recognize it in their life, or they are made aware of it by people who love them.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me repent of whatever evil exists in my life, and help me be a prophet to those who cannot recognize the evil in their life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

  

 

 

Called to live an out of this world life, holy!!!

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Jesus christ(coptic)

Jesus christ(coptic) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God* that you have through the imposition of my hands.For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,* nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.* He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,for which I was appointed preacher and apostle and teacher.* On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.  (2 Timothy 1:6-12)

Observation:  I wrote out an entry for my journal this morning, it disappeared as I tried to post it.  The title was saved, but the body of the entry was erased, as if I never wrote anything.  I must have said something that was either going to get me in to trouble or was not written for building up the kingdom of God.  As I write this journal entry this evening, I do not know if what I am writing will be worthy to be posted, but I can be sure that God is working on me, so that I will understand more fully what his Word is revealing to me.

Personification:  Self-Control  It is only through the grace of God that I can display the fruit of self-control.  When I rely on my understanding and knowledge, along with my will and selfish desires, I can never hope to display the fruit of self-control.  However, once I realize that God has created me for so much more  than my own desires, I start to see the power and love that controls my will and directs me to follow His will for my life.

Prayer:  Lord, I want to make myself into the man who you created me to be, by complying with your will in my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

When you visit your relative, hate what is evil…

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Sandro Botticelli, Magnificat, 1480-81, temper...

Sandro Botticelli, Magnificat, 1480-81, tempera on panel, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord (Romans 12:9-11)

Observation:  Ok, I took a little poetic license with combining the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the first reading from Mass.  If it causes just one person to click on my blog today and read the readings for today’s Mass, and even more if it causes them to go to Mass, I will feel like God accomplished the objective of my little blog of getting more people to read His Word, and that is awesome.

Personification: Peace   It is my hope that I can display the fruit of peace in my life today and be an instrument of God’s peace to my family and my community today.  It is only be focusing on the truth that comes from God that I can display peace.

Prayer:  Lord, bring me to your peace today and allow me to put Your peace on display to everyone I meet in person, online or on the phone.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.