“Repent and believe in the Gospel, for the end is near…Alleluia!!!”

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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:  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:  Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.* From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence,* and the violent are taking it by force.  (Matthew 11:11-12)

 

Observation:  As I sat in our small chapel this morning waiting for the good news to be proclaimed by the leader of our communion service, he says that he is still waiting on the holy Spirit to inspire him to tell him what to say about the gospel for today.  The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  It was an admonition from Jesus to his apostles, and to us today.  If we believe that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and we are in it, then we are greater than John the Baptist.  Our job is more important than his job, because he was telling of the coming kingdom and we must convince people who it is already here.

 

Personification:  Joy.  I am choosing to display the fruit of joy today,  in anticipation of the 3rd Sunday of Advent, where we are called to rejoice in the coming of our celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Since, tomorrow is not promised, we should show joy to the people who don’t know Jesus now, so they can see the love he has for them through us and the joy that comes from our relationship with God.

 

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

 

Thanks be to God…He calls sinners to be saints!

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English: Christian Petersen's Head of Christ i...

English: Christian Petersen’s Head of Christ in Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Ames, Iowa (Photo credit: 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:  Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.  (Matthew 25:13)

 

Observation:  After reading my journal yesterday, you may have gotten the impression that I was done with sin in my life, and I may have even hoped that it was true when I wrote it yesterday.  However, the truth is, even though I know that I will have to make an account for all of my unwillingness to follow God at times, I still willingly choose to make the same mistakes.  The good news is that even though I did not choose to “stay awake” in the past, I can choose to lean on His grace that is never-ending, and prepare for the imminent return of Jesus by receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.

 

Personification:  Patience I am choosing to focus on the fruit of patience again today, because I need to remind myself that even though God is patient with me and my conversion, I must also be patient with myself.  I almost changed the title of my blog today, because of something that I read on Cardinal Dolan’s blog that was written by Saint Thomas Aquinas.  However. I thought that since God is calling me to be a saint, even in my broken “sinful” present state, maybe someone will remember what I wrote as the title for my blog, and find it helpful someday.  http://blog.archny.org/

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray that I can embody the holiness that springs forth from your words, agere sequitur esse, “Actions flow from being!”…Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us…I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

Is the master going to find me doing so…or?

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7am sharp - First light.

7am sharp – First light. (Photo credit: http://www.ruffrootcreative.com)

 

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:  But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.  (Matthew 24:48-51)

 

Observation:  So, as I read the gospel reading for today’s Mass, I was left with the feeling that if I really can’t leave my sinful ways behind, I will not like the reaction that Jesus will have when I see him.  It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks is the right and proper way to act, if I know that God forbids something, I should forbid myself from doing it.

 

Personification:  Joy. I am going to focus on the fruit of joy again today, and I will try and find different ways to share that joy that comes from God’s grace.  If I can avoid falling into sin by following only the things of God and not of this world, I will be filled with joy that flows freely from the mercy of God.

 

Prayer:  O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you in the past, and I detest all my sins, because of your just punishments, but most of all because you are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to repent of my past sinfulness, and avoid the near occasions of sin…I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!!!

 

 

No excuses…

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St Matthew in Ely Place

St Matthew in Ely Place (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

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:  In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.  (Matthew 18:14)

 

Observation:  Some people say that we cannot control what path our children take in life, it is usually in defense of a child that has left the church for some reason or another.  This verse from today’s Gospel reading is saying to me that this is a dangerous attitude to have, because although we cannot control the path another human being chooses of their own free will, God is saying here that His will is that none of our children are ever lost, and we should adopt this attitude towards leading our children to the faith.  Never give up and never stop going in search of them and leading them back to the fold, if they should get lost.

 

Personification:  Generosity. If I understand this verse correctly, God will never give up on his lost children, regardless of their past decisions or indecision in their faith.  Therefore, I should be willing to give everything I have, in displaying the fruit of generosity, to win these children back for God.  If God was willing to send His Son to die to redeem me, I should be willing to give anything to help bring someone back to Him.

 

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I don’t have the ability to save anyone, but show me the way to give what I can of myself and my resources to align myself with Your will for them.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen

 

The spirit moves us in the Gospel, are you listening?

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Jesus and Saint Peter, Gospel of Matthew 4.18-...

Jesus and Saint Peter, Gospel of Matthew 4.18-20 Français : Jésus et Saint Pierre, Évangile selon Matthieu 4.18-20 (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: Wherever the spirit would go, they went. And they were raised up together with the living creatures, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. (Ezekiel 1:19)

&

* When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”  (Matthew 17:26-27)

Observation:  So, in the verse that I chose from the first reading today, I am reminded of the Gospel being what moves us in the Spirit, since the four animals are sometimes interpreted to symbolized the four evangelists that wrote the Gospels.  The wheels being a symbol of the way the Spirit is moving something connected to the Gospel message, and I think that something should be me.  I don’t know if that theologically coincides with the literal interpretation of Ezekiel’s vision, but that is what it is saying to me.  As for the actual message intended for me from today’s Gospel, I think it is that even though I may not be expected to give back to the church, more than I give already of my time and treasure that was given to me by a gracious God, I must remember to give God credit for what was given to me from the miracle of my having this job, working for His church.  Sure, it is not as amazing as Peter finding a coin in the mouth of a fish, but a miracle, just the same.

Personification:. FaithfulnessIt is only when I can display the fruit of faithfulness to God’s Word and the church that was instituted by Jesus, that I can be sure of making good use of the grace that He gives me in the Sacraments that I receive.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be what you want me to be for my family and friends, so that I can Be sure that I am not standing in the way of your will for the people who I can most directly affect by my decisions.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen

Great faith heals sickness and expels demons…

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Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman's daughte...

Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman’s daughter from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century. (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:  And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.  (Matthew 15:22,28)

Observation:  As in the case of the Centurion’s servant who was healed because of the Centurion’s faith, so is this Canaanite woman’s daughter set free because of the woman’s faith.  I don’t know if God meant to reveal a formula for those that are outside the church to receive healing, but I can’t help but think that this Gospel reading is revealing that formula.  My focus should be on the sheep in my fold, or my immediate family, but Jesus revealed that the grace to heal my extended family is available to them, if they can have great faith and approach Jesus and ask for it.

Personification:  Love. I hope that I can start to set the world on fire with God’s love that comes as a result of following His will for me today.  I see that His grace is enough for me, but I want my other family members to see that it is enough for them too, and I think the only way to do that is to love them.

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your love.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

We live amidst evil, until the end…

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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:  Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”  (Matthew 13:36-43)

Observation:  I don’t usually post the whole gospel reading from our Mass readings, but today’s is especially impactful on me and the young folks and chaperones that just returned from a youth conference in San Diego.  I would normally talk about how I hear that I need to stay strong and unafraid amidst all the evil that is allowed to be present in this world by a God that knows that his grace is sufficient to save us, even in an evil world.  However, I feel that this parable is saying to me today that my job is not to pluck the weeds, it is to live in their midst, with my attention on what God is doing in my life and not on the evil that the Devil is working in theirs.

Personification:  Joy  It is with great joy that I can say that God has saved me from myself today.  It is with joy that I will worship Him at Mass at 12:15pm today at Saint Mary Catholic Church.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!