We should praise the feet that brought the good news to us!

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Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

 

Reading:  And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written,n “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!”  (Romans 10:15)

 

Observation:  I was thinking about taking a picture of my feet to show the feet that were bringing the good news through this blog.  After realizing that my feet just aren’t that beautiful, I thought that I should make reference to the beauty that others see in the blog that I created to bring the good news to the world, through how God is speaking to me through His Word.  However, as my title says, I settled on the fact that it is more important to praise the feet of those that brought the good news to me over the years.  My godfather and sponsor in the Church, Mike Dalton, his feet should be praised first for not only introducing me to the Church, but also to contemplative prayer.  All the Pastors and Deacons that I have met over the past 20 years of faith should have their feet praised for sure.  My mother and my wife should certainly have their feet praised for sticking with me during my years of backsliding.  Last, but certainly not least, my spiritual Mother, Mary the Mother of God should have her feet praised for continuing to lead me back to her Son and helping me repent of my sinful ways.

 

Personification:  Joy. I believe it is only with the Spirit of Joy that anything one or anything can be praised.  It is for this reason that I will try to display the fruit of Joy that comes from the grace of God to me and all those who are repentant today.

 

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

 

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. (Mark 16:15)

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Polski: Witraż piety

Polski: Witraż piety (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:  Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  (John 20:29)

Observation:  My Dad and I were just discussing this verse from today’s Gospel In the midst of a heated discussion about sin and the need for repentance, but I think it relates better to my title today, that comes from the response in the Responsorial Psalm for today’s Mass.  The reason I say that is because after we realize that we have accepted the truth of Jesus as God, what do we do.  Do we spend all day patting ourselves on the back for accepting the truth, or do we, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.”

Personification:  Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness, I think it is only necessary to continue to do the work that God has laid out before me today.  Sounds easy, but when I think of the names of the people who will cross my path today, it may be a struggle to always be telling the “Good News”.  However, when I think of the struggle that other people are going to have with me, I remember that it only by His grace that we will be able to withstand anything the enemy may throw at us.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I can be a stumbling block for others in their faith, help me to stay out of your way today and keep me only using words that build your kingdom.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

How could they doubt after the resurrection?

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Text of "Our Father" prayer with Tri...

Text of “Our Father” prayer with Trinity in central column (God the Father, dove of the Holy Spirit, Jesus) and Biblical and symbolic scenes in left and right columns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  * When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.  (Matthew 28:17)

Observation:  If I analyze this verse it can tell me a lot about my ability to accept the truth, even when it is slapping me in the face.  The apostles saw him and worshipped him, but they doubted.  The apostles just witnessed the resurrection and were witness to the miracles that Jesus performed, but still they doubted.  We are witnesses To all the things that are written about Jesus and all the Saints that came before us, and all the miracles that have been performed in their lives and ours, yet we still have doubts.  I guess the good news is that we are in good company.

Personification:  Joy  So many times in my life, I have heard the Good News and not reacted to it.  I want to put the fruit of joy on full display in my life, to show everyone that the truth of Jesus in our midst, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, rallying us to live holy lives, can only be true if we allow God to work through us and show the joy that compliance with God’s will, will give us.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay joyful in all things that you have created me to do and remember to hate evil.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

The result of sin is death…

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Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (...

Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:  “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”  (John 8:51)

Observation:  After reading the Gospel reading for today’s Mass, where Jesus ends up revealing to us, and the Jews that he was speaking to, that “He is God”.  I went back to the beginning of what he said and realized that the truth of His saving power was revealed at their.  If they had only accepted that truth, they could have found the way out of sin into the life that Jesus was trying to reveal to them.  How much are we still like this today?  If we would only accept the truth of what is revealed through His Word, we could have the power to overcome sin in our life, through the grace that comes from following His instructions.

Personification:  Self-Control  It is my hope that I can display the fruit of self-control in my life, not just as it pertains to my tendency towards sin, but also in the way that I deliver the Good News to those that I am blessed by God to get the opportunity to share it with today and everyday for the rest of my life.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see that your Word is enough for me and that the addition of my words is not necessary to deliver your Gospel truth.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

God is enough…

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Symbol of Christianity, white version.

Image via 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:  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”  (Luke 6:38)

Observation:  Although the first reading speaks more to my own experience of faith up to this point in my life, I still felt more called to journal about this verse from the Gospel today.  I attended Mass this morning, and although Father Jaspers gave the homily in Spanish, I heard him re-read this verse, as well as the rest of the Gospel again today, I am pretty sure these verses moved him as well.  It is the simple fact that I am not ashamed of the Gospel that allows me to take this Gospel reading to heart, and I can expect that God will continue to reveal more truth to me, if I continue to proclaim the Good News for his eternal purposes.

Personification:   Generosity  It is difficult to for me to understand other people, and for that reason I think I should not try to understand them and leave that to the God who created them.  My job is to speak the truth in love, and that is what I am going to do.  I don’t know if anyone will understand this as generosity, but I am hearing the call to display the fruit of generosity by being unashamed to deliver the Good News to whoever comes in my path to hear it.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to bring your Good News to more people and especially to my family.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Better late than never…Story of my life!

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English: Saint Luke the Evangelist. Russian Ea...

Image via Wikipedia

Gift:  Wisdom- With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  After this the Lord appointed seventy [-two]* others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  (Luke 10: 1-3)

Observation:  On Thursday, when Father Jaspers chose to proclaim this Gospel reading over the one from Mark, I was confused because it was not listed on any of the websites that I normally go to for the daily readings.  However, it did appear in our Missal and obviously in our Lectionary.  I would usually have chosen to focus on the fact that the laborers are few and that we are like lambs among wolves, but his homily focused on  the chosen ones were sent to 36 towns, since there were 72 of them sent out in pairs.  I guess it would have been 35 towns if we read this as some of the texts have it as 70 others that the Lord appointed.  I actually like the 70 number, because it seems like a better representation of the fact that he chose the perfect number necessary to carry out the mission of delivering the Good News to the towns that he knew needed to be reached in the first phase of evangelization.  For me, I am just happy to be reminded by Jesus in this Gospel reading that there has to be more people than just the 12 Apostles to continue His mission of evangelization to the world.  Somehow, this makes what I do seem to make more sense, but I don’t think I could explain exactly why.

Personification:  Patience  I have learned over the last two days, and my whole life for that matter, that things don’t always go the way I expect them to go.  However, this time I believe that I realize that I must display the fruit of patience when this happens and know that God will eventually get me back to the work that He began in me, if it was Him who began the work in the first place.  I believe that God is transforming the work that I do with this blog and I hope that I am waiting patiently enough to get the guidance from the holy Spirit to act according to His will.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be patient and only do the things that are aligned with your holy will for me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

O God, restore us; light up your face and we shall be saved. (Psalms 80:4)

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English: Scroll of the Psalms

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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:  When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”  (Mark 3:21)

Observation:  It is hard to believe that Jesus’ relatives would not have believed that He was the Messiah.  They knew His Mother, and they had to know the story of His birth.  I guess it is a testament to how powerful pride can be in the minds of us sinners.  I know that I forget that God has the power to save me sometimes, and I am related to Jesus by my Baptism too.  When I heard the words of the responsorial Psalm this morning at 8:00am Mass at Saint Mary Catholic Church, I realized again that just the appearance of the face of Jesus can save me

Personification:  Joy  Thanks be to God for revealing the truth of His saving power through the responsorial Psalm at Mass today, and in honor of his power and glory, I used the 4th verse of the 80th Psalm as my title for my journal today.  I want to live out the Good News today with joy, because I am secure in the knowledge that God will use whatever means necessary to save us from sin and we only need be open to the prompting of the holy Spirit to act in accordance with His grace.

Prayer:  Lord, help me be joyful today at every move that God makes in my life and realize that it is by the power of the holy Spirit and His grace, that we receive through the sacrifice of Jesus, that we are saved.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

May all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67:4b)

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Our Lord Jesus Christ

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Gift:  Knowledge – With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the scriptures and Tradition.

Reading:  The foreigner joined to the LORD should not say,

“The LORD will surely exclude me from his people”;

And foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,

to minister to him,

To love the name of the LORD,

to become his servants—

All who keep the sabbath without profaning it

and hold fast to my covenant,

* Them I will bring to my holy mountain

and make them joyful in my house of prayer;

Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices

will be acceptable on my altar,

For my house shall be called

a house of prayer for all peoples.e

* Oracle of the Lord GOD,

who gathers the dispersed of Israel—

Others will I gather to them

besides those already gathered.  (Isaiah 56:3a, 6-8)

Observation:  As I read the readings this morning and listened to the reflection from the USCCB video, I realized that God is calling us to be more inclusive in our church.  As I sit here now and try to explain what needs to happen in our church in order to live out the Good News that we hear today at Mass and every time we read the Word, I realize that the word “inclusive” , says it all.  There should never be anyone that is excluded from the experience of our church.  I understand that there may be times when people will try to lead others astray, and they should be excommunicated, but the message I am receiving today is that no matter how you come to Jesus, it is our mission as church to meet you there and hopefully your encounter with us will take you deeper into your faith experience.  We are called to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, as you can hear in the video reflection from the USCCB website today, but it seems that we are more like the many, unholy, personal and counting on our local bishop or pastor to save us.

Prayer:  We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all your churches in the whole world, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

What do I have left to sell?

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portrait of Matthew Evangelist and the first p...

Matthew Evangelist and his Gospel

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:  When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.  (Matthew 13:46)

Observation:  Immediately after I wrote the title for my journal this morning, the thought occurred to me that maybe it is not about selling anything anymore for those of us that work for the church.  We have already accepted the servant mentality, so now it is about the final words of this verse that I chose from the Gospel reading for today’s Mass.  I need to not look for ways to sell what I have left, I need to look for ways to completely buy in to the Good News that our holy Mother Church is selling.  I will never see what I have left to give up, until I am completely aware of the cost of what I am buying.

Personification: Patience  I will focus today on the fruit of patience that comes from the grace that I will receive in the Sacrament of the Eucharist today.  I will look for how the Lord is revealing the truth of my path to fully accepting my call to be a servant in the church.  God has shown me time and time again that my family will be taken care of, and now I have to be willing to show him that I will be faithful to his call.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be the man who you have made me to be and keep me from sin.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thanks Mary Magdalene for revealing our proper response to the Resurrected Christ…

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Mary Magdalene

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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:  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” 9which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, 10 for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.  (John 20:16-18)

Observation:  I see this morning the truth revealed through Mary Magdelene that when we get to encounter our Lord, like when we receive him in the Eucharist, we should hang on to that moment with all that we are.  Once we are back in the world, we should do what he tells us and work with his other disciples to spread the Good News that he has conquered death for all of us, and loves even the most hardened sinner.

Personification: Love  It would be very easy to get caught up in a discussion of the controversy that has been created by the heresies that surround Mary Magdalene, but I choose to focus on displaying the fruit of love that comes from the grace of God that I receive as a free gift.  I choose to walk with a repentant heart and not allow whatever grace I have received in the past or will receive in the future to make me full of pride. 

Prayer:  Lord, allow your grace to flow through me today, as it flows through Saint Mary Magdalene to us today as we remember our conversion and her sincere love for you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.