Jesus is a ninja…

Standard

Image

Reading the Gospel today, I couldn’t help but think that Jesus was showing his ninja skills when he evaded the stoning they aimed at him after His proclamation that “I AM”.  I led the communion service this morning and I have to say it was weird saying those words from Jesus this morning.  Not just because they are so important for us to hear that Jesus said them, but because when you read them in the Gospel of John, it is as if you are saying them.

Knowing my sinfulness, I expected that I would be stoned and run out of the service this morning, but thanks to His mercy, I was allowed to stay and offered a simple reflection based on th

e video reflection that I watched from the USCCB website.  I don’t understand the sig

nificance of the ninja theme that has been

the focus of my last few posts, but I have the pro

mise from  the Word of God, that God will work it together for good for those that love Him

and are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

I am leaning on the Holy Spirit to lead my whole life and I hope that Jesus is taking the things that I struggle with in my life and preparing to reveal to me how I will be converted and continue to repent from my past sins and look to the future that is planned for me in heaven.

 I pray that my words on this post and this prayer can bring light to someone’s darkness and allow them to lean on the mercy that is promised to all those who strive to obey His Word…Amen!

Am I being the sower that Father Daniel told me to be?

Standard
Jesus on the wall of the senior Home

Jesus on the wall of the senior Home (Photo credit: freestone)

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:  He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God;* it is as if a man were to scatter seed the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”  (Mark 4:26-27)

Observation:  Wednesday night, one of our young adults and I went down to the Newman Center at the University to attend the weekly student Mass at 9pm.  I had just finished my Catechist training class and he had just finished choir practice, but I was hoping to make it in time for confession.  I did make it for confession, and Father Daniel’s homily on that day’s gospel was rather unorthodox.  He actually had us discuss what we heard the gospel telling us about the seed that was sown on the path and the rocky ground, etc…After we discussed it in our small groups, we heard him say to all of us that we should be the sower, and stop seeing ourselves as seeds.  Today’s gospel reading is explaining further that we should no longer be looking at where our seed lands, just be sowing it.  Father Daniel specifically told me to be a sower before I left Wednesday night, and I resolved to do so.

Personification:  Love   It is the true nature of love to be spreading the seeds of faith to anyone that may hear it.  I know my little blog does not reach many, but I am thankful to God for the work that he is doing through me here and in our church.

Prayer:  Lord, don’t let me lose sight of the work that you are working through me and let me love you more and more by continuing to spread the good news to everyone who is reading or listening.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of  the holy Spirit…Amen!

WE HEARD THE GOOD NEWS, BUT ARE WE LISTENING?

Standard

So proud of Andy Schmelzer…From Coos Bay!  <  See video here!

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.  (Hebrews 4:2,11)

Observation:  As you know, if you have read my journal before, I do not usually highlight the reading, unless it is the words of Jesus and I think I need to highlight in red.  However, today’s first reading for Mass, so reveals a truth about something that happened last night in our little town, I had to highlight it in bold letters.  After I post the video for last night’s rally outside of PP’s new facility, I think it will be abundantly clear why I think this first reading is speaking to us in this country now.

Personification:  Faithfulness. It is true that I am a little jealous of this guy that I met for the first time yesterday, because of his courage to stand up to the abomination that is PP.  I hope that I can stay faithful to the Word of God and our church, so that God will show me the way he is using me to do the same thing Andy was last night.

Prayer:  Lord, continue to build up in me courage and by your grace, keep me always faithful to the calling that you have laid on me and let us be united in your church with those who listened.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

In case our relationship with him is based on what he has done for us?

Standard
English: Jesus of patience, the work of Pablo ...

English: Jesus of patience, the work of Pablo de Rojas (XVI) Español: Jesús de la Paciencia, obra de Pablo de Rojas (Siglo XVI) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

 

Reading:  Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,j and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people.k Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2:14-18)

 

Observation:  Death has no power, except if it eternally separates us from God.  The devil had that power to have people remain in their sin, and be lost forever, but we were made free from death by the power of Jesus.  If you read the gospel for today’s Mass, you will hear about his power while he still walked the earth.  His greater power is only fulfilled through his faithful followers, whom he called brothers, who can see in his willingness to suffer death, that he has transferred his power to them to carry out his mission of saving sinners from death.

 

Personification:  Patience. It is important that I remember to have patience with others, the way that God has had patience with me.  If I can display the fruit of patience today, by not blowing anyone up, especially my children, with my words, than I will be well on my way to being able to be patient with anyone.

 

Prayer:  Lord, please show me the way to display the fruit of patience with my children.  You know how they get under my skin and I know it is your power to make them listen the first time.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!

 

 

 

How does Mom remember the story?

Standard
Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art

Madonna by Raphael, an example of Marian art (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:  And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. (Luke 4:22a)

Observation:  As I read the gospel reading from the Mass readings for today, I remembered that I had heard that Luke had gotten part of his gospel from listening to testimony of Mary, the Mother of God.  It should not surprise us then that in his gospel we hear of how people spoke highly of him and were amazed at his gracious words, before they got irritated at the fact that he was just the son of Joseph, the carpenter, and they could not accept what he had said of himself.  It is true for me, that my mother would usually tell a better version of my story than even I remember from growing up, and for that I am truly thankful to have her for a mother.

Personification:  Love  I hope that I can remember to focus on my mother version of the events that make up my life, and only see the bright spots of where God was trying to form me into a disciple.  As for Mary, I hope that I can see her as my spiritual Mother, so I can start to understand what pure love is and how to put the fruit of love on display to the people who I meet today.  I have to give my testimony again tonight at Saint Peter Catholic Church about how I suffered through my girlfriend’s abortion, without having any say in the decision, and as I finish this post I will call my mother to ask her to pray for me.

Prayer:  Hail Mary, full of grace.  The Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

 

Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand…Jesus!

Standard
3rd quarter of 16th century

3rd quarter of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I was set on fire by the reading today, and I hope that by the grace of God I am used to stoke this fire in the hearts of everyone who reads this today.  For some it will be hard to hear.  I’m sorry for your feelings and I hope that you forgive me.

 

In the gospel for today’s Mass readings, Jesus says the words that are included in my title for today’s post.  This is his reaction to hearing that John the Baptist had been arrested.  (Matthew 4:17). From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,k “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

Also, in the first reading for today’s Mass readings, we hear about the testing of spirits.  In John’s letter he goes so far to say that those that do not believe are the antichrist…Is that you?  You be the judge:

 

Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.a2This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God,b3and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus* does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.  (1 John 4:1-3)

 

I am left with one question for anyone who may come across this post…Do you question the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist?  Do you preach against it, like Catholics are a cannabolistic cult society that believes that eating people’s flesh is somehow sacred?  Do you not understand and thereby plead ignorance and say it must not matter and it must not be necessary to my faith in Jesus?

 

Read John 6:66, and then read the above letter from the same Saint John the evangelist that wrote it…I did, and I am left with the distinct impression that anyone who stands against this teaching is the antichrist!

 

Lord, I pray for all those lost souls that have been led astray by false prophets, I pray that in the spirit of repentance that you will send the holy Spirit down upon us all and keep us faithful to your teaching and your truth.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

In Joseph, we see our salvation…

Standard
Saint Joseph by Guido Reni, c. 1640.

Saint Joseph by Guido Reni, c. 1640. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, an epiphany about what Joseph means to our salvation.  As much as the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God heralded her role as the first image of heaven on Monday to me, today’s Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus shows me that Joseph reveals to us the name of our Savior.  This may not sound like much, but without his compliance with the word given to him by an angel about the name of Jesus, his foster son, we would not have his name to lead us to the Father in heaven…Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!