We are called by name…to do what?

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Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  You descendants of Abraham his servant, offspring of Jacob the chosen one!  (Psalm 105:6)

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As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  (Matthew 10:7)

Observation:  The above verses are taken from the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel respectively from the Mass readings for today.  In the Gospel today, Matthew writes about Jesus calling the Apostles by name and the feeling that I got immediately is that He is calling us just like He called them to proclaim: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  As we hear in the 105th Psalm today as well, if we consider ourselves as descendents of Abraham, we should see our call just the same way that the Apostles did.  Although not with the same sense of imminent doom of martyrdom, we do know that we are not on this earth for eternity, so we need to get to work right now proclaiming the kingdom of heaven is at hand and sharing the rest of the good news with anyone who will listen.

Personification:  Modesty – No longer needing to impress other people with our power or degrees or connections or wealth.  I am hearing this morning a call to spread the good news of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven to this world, and I recognize that it is not necessary to be someone who is respected or honored in this world to share this message.  I hope that I can display the fruit of modesty in everything that I do today and for the rest of my life, so that more people can see the message as clearly coming from the Word and not from me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to remember that first and foremost, I am called to share the good news of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven.  Please keep me from focusing on my own intentions and allow me to focus on your will being done in my life today and for the rest of my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Sin is not a part of Christ, it is wholly mine…

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Googled, "Sin"

Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  For through the law I died to the law, 19 that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.  (Galatians 2:19-21)

Observation:  The Gospel reading this morning tells about a sinful woman who comes to annoint Jesus feet and the Pharisee who judges her not by her actions, but by her past.  In the verses that I chose from the second reading today, I see that it is by the grace of God that we turn from our sinfulness and not by some observance of the law.  The law is what brought about Christ, and Jesus said that he didn’t come to abolish the law, but as followers of him, we can more easily follow the will of the Father in our lives.

Personification:  Modesty – No longer needing to impress other people with our power or degrees or connections or wealth.  I am looking forward to today with the anticipation of grace that comes from God to allow me to display the fruit of modesty in all things that I try to do today.

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

Your share of the hardship…

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St Teresa's in Titusville, where Tonya and I got married...

Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment) With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  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, 6 nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.  (2 Timothy 1:7-8)

Observation:  As soon as I read the verse that begins the reading that I selected above from the letter of Saint Paul to Timothy, I laughed.  I laughed because I have a T-shirt, that my sister Sarah gave me, that says, “Super Charged” on it and it references the 7th verse of the 2nd letter to Timothy in the first chapter.  I laughed because I am struggling, like usual, to stay faithful to what I know God wants me to be doing and not what the flesh wants to do.  I laughed because it was at the moment I read that verse that I knew that God was more powerful than my flesh and he created me to display his power through the grace that he gave me as a free gift.

Personification:  Peace – Quiet, inner confidence that keeps us from feeling uptight and anxious.  It is only when I have real peace in my heart that flows from the holy Spirit that I can wait for the Lord to reveal the truth to me, rather than act out of impulse to follow my own desires.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to carry this peace with me at all times, so that I can be a real example of it by showing your power. love and self-control in my life today and for the rest of my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Following the will of God…

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Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment)

Reading:  But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge, searcher of mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause!  (Jeremiah 11:20)

Observation:  I chose these verses after listening to the video reflections from Father Joseph Noonan of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  I will attempt to embed the video here:

 (Video Reflection) - You will need to select the 20th of March on the calendar to see the reflection for this day’s journal if you are seeing this on any date after 3/20/2010.

Application:  Peace  I think the point of the readings to me today is that I must be about following the will of God in everything that I do today and for the rest of my life.  I definitely need to seek out a spiritual advisor, and meet with them on a regular basis.  All of  this will lead me to being able to display the fruit of peace in my life.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to follow your will more completely and allow me to seek out a spiritual advisor that will lead me in your ways.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Am I living the commandments?

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heaven-1.jpg 0021 image by wilmaheijhoff

 

 

Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment)

Reading:  Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:19)

Observation:  This morning, I am struck by the idea of striving to be the greatest in heaven.  In trying to figure out how to teach these commandments, however, I am reminded that the best way to teach is to lead by example.  So, in order to be able to teach these commandments, I must be living them at all times.

Application:  Faith/Fidelity – The ability to stick to our work and to stay firm in our commitment to God and to God’s people with whom we are connected.  If I can truly display the fruit of faith/fidelity today and for the rest of my life, then I believe that I will be teaching others to keep the commandments.

Prayer:  Lord, it is with a humble heart that I come to you to ask to be the greatest in heaven, but only if I stay faithful to you and help others to follow your commandments for the rest of my life.  Please continue to supply me with the grace necessary to follow your commandments at all times.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Choose life…

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Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment)

Readings: Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live,  (Deuteronomy 30:19b)

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Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily 11 and follow me.  (Luke 9:23)

Observation: If anyone wants to get mad at me for being so loud and obnoxious about the fact that as a culture or society we should be following the will of God rather than creating a culture of death, they should get mad at Moses and Jesus first.  It was Moses that originally said that we should choose life, and it was Jesus that told us that we should take up our cross daily and follow him.  I realize that both of these scripture verses can be explained differently based on the context of the rest of the chapter.  I am hearing today the call to open the battle lines in Springfield, Oregon to show our God that we heard his word and I know why he sent his son to save me.

Personification:  Goodness I will need the grace and peace of our Lord to accomplish displaying the fruit of goodness in my life.  I do have a real desire to live a holy life and to set a good example by my conduct where I am.  I will drive by the Planned Parenthood office today in Springfield and I will park in the parking lot and say a rosary today for all of those women that are facing a difficult decision to be strengthened by our lady’s intercession and that the men that have done their part in creation of these children will be strengthened as well by our lady’s intercession to follow through with supporting the mother of their child.

Prayer: Lord, give me the strength today and for the rest of my life to follow your will for me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Who will call on His name?

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Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.”  (Mark 3:11)

Observation:  On first reading this verse this morning, I thought about how bad it is that we don’t call upon the name of the Lord more often in our own lives, since even the unclean spirits that saw him would fall down before him and shout his name.  However, in the notes on this verse in the New American Bible translation, it says that anytime an unclean spirit calls out Jesus’ name, they are trying to take his power by the notion that saying the name of an opposing spirit would guaranty mastery over it.  I guess for me, I think my first thought about this reading holds true, unless of course I ever see an unclean spirit using the name of Jesus to try and gain mastery over it, I must be willing to call upon the name of the Lord more often in my own life as a reminder to myself of who I belong to and a plea to have him always by my side.

Prayer:  Thank you Jesus, the Son of God, my savior for everything you have brought into my life and in advance for all the things that I know you will have done through me in your name.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Am I listening to my call?

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I love the sound of the reading of the book of Samuel, even though I don’t necessarily like the translation…Contrast this reading to the Gospel here (Gospel link) and notice how Samuel had to be told that the Lord was calling him, because he didn’t recognize his call at first but Jesus just made a proclamation of his purpose…

Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment)

Readings: Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.  Thus all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba came to know that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the LORD.  (1 Samuel 3:19-20)

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He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” (Mark 1:38)

Observation: I find it interesting to contrast the story of Samuel’s calling with Jesus’ proclamation of his purpose.  It is interesting to me because at a young age Samuel did not know God was calling him to be a prophet and from a very young age, at least 12 years old, Jesus knew that he would be a preacher.  I am thankful to Jesus for coming to clear the path for revelation to come to us about our purpose in life.  We don’t have to wonder about who it is that is calling us like Samuel did.  We know that if we ask God to show us the purpose in our life, that Jesus has already shown us the way to the Father and he has asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our guide.

Personification:  Kindness If you read the definition of the fruit of kindness on the format for journaling page, you will see that displaying the fruit of kindness will lead to a greater service.  The fruit of kindness is the strength of Christ’s love, and I hope that God will grant me the grace to display this fruit to everyone I meet today and in a real way to the young people that come into my life today and for the rest of my life.

Prayer: Lord grant me the grace to be able to show your kindness to the people that come into my life and thank you for leading me to a greater service in your holy name.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment)

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Today is the feast day of the Holy Family…

Reading: My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives.  Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength.  (Sirach 3:12-13)

Observation: I am hearing in this first choice for the first reading today, that I must seek out my Father to take care of him.  I pray for him every day, but I am hearing in this reading today that I have a special obligation to not grieve him and to make sure that I don’t revile him in the fullness of my strength.

Personification: Peace  I can’t remember the last time I chose peace as the fruit of the spirit to focus on for the day.  I guess it is the fact that if I can make peace with my Father than I can have peace that comes from the Holy Spirit residing in me.  I don’t know if this makes sense, but I am feeling called today to open myself up to all of the failings of my life, so that I can be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be more open to revealing the truths of my past to anyone who wants to hear it, so that your spirit can flow through me to them, and I can better reveal the truth of your good news to them.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment)

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Reading:  May the Lord make you increase and abound in love
for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.  Amen.  (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

Observation:  I did a search for abounding in love this morning because my son was sitting on my lap while the in laws were leaving.  He loves to watch the videos that I find for opening prayers at Religious Education and Youth Ministry meetings with the kids.  We also just look at random videos of kitties or dogs that he loves as well.  I guess the message that I am receiving this morning is the way to be abounding in love is to give the people around me what God is calling me to give them.  The increase that I believe Paul is talking about in his letter to the Thessalonians is the joy that comes from following the Lord.

Personification:  Joy  Now that the extended family is out of my house, I feel like I am being called to share the fruit of joy with my family in a real way this morning and for the rest of my life.  I guess I realize how good I have it to be surrounded by a family that shares my faith that we serve an awesome God.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that we give each other reasons to have our doubts sometimes, but I believe that is not only a part of our humanity, it is also essential for faith to have those doubts.