So, you say you know it all…Really?

Standard

Image

Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

I am sorry for not posting this yesterday.  I felt an overwhelming urge to post this, as we celebrated the life of this great Saint yesterday.  I am posting it today, but first, I am feeling called to share the first reading from the Mass readings yesterday.

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.   (Romans 1:16-25)

Now, with the added perspective of today’s first reading from the Mass readings, I am left with an even more powerful urge to share this reflection that I received, as I read this reading yesterday.  It was the sincere act of loving God with our whole heart that will allow us to be filled with exactly what we need to understand in order to live our lives in accordance with His will.  It is not the amount of book knowledge we have learned or are learning that allows us to understand God, it is His grace that has allowed us to open up to the knowledge and we should receive it as a gift and not a kind of exclusive right that only comes to the intelligent or one who is able to comprehend complex thoughts or ideas.  Here is the reading from today that God provided for my perspective…

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.  (Romans 2:1-11)

It is important for me to hear that I cannot be proud of the things that God has revealed to me through scripture or through a spiritual book I read, I should look for ways to impart the knowledge I have been given to the child of God that is sitting in front of me right now.  The ability to be a messenger of God comes from grace as well, so it is important for me to not take that for granted either.  OK, what is the point of this post…Please go back and read the quote from Saint Teresa of Avila on the picture above…Enough said, for now…God bless you!

To continue yesterday’s theme, our hope in the Lord should bring peace…

Standard
Isaiah stained glass window at St. Matthew's L...
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:  They shall not harm or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.  (Isaiah 11:9)

Observation:  I read the readings at home this morning before I came to our communion service and I really didn’t have any particular verses that were speaking to me.  However, when I was sitting in our chapel this morning, listening to the lector read the first reading, I couldn’t get the picture of the earth filled with knowledge of the Lord, and that looking like the waters that covers the sea, out of my head.  It reminded me of yesterday’s focus of my journal that had to do with hoping in the Lord and thereby not allowing conflict to appear in our relationships.  Today, I am left with a picture of what this peace looks like, and not a practical application of how we could make it happen.

Personification:  Peace  I don’t remember if I focused on peace yesterday, but I will try to keep the idea of knowledge of the Lord covering the earth in my head, so that I can display the peace that comes from the grace of God.

Prayer:  Lord, allow me to display the fruit of peace in my life and supply me with the grace necessary to display it to everyone that I come in contact with today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

No one can serve two masters…

Standard
Christogram with Jesus Prayer in Romanian: Lor...

Image via Wikipedia

 

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:  No servant can serve two masters. 8 He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  (Luke 16:13) 

Observation:  When I looked at the readings for today’s Mass last week, I felt like the readings were written specifically for the decision that I am now in the process of making about my future career.  However, upon reading them again this morning, I realize that a decision has already been made and I am not in control of that decision.  I should not ever serve mammon again in my life, but can I enter into a partnership with dishonest wealth to provide for my family’s future?  

Personification:  Chastity – Able to form loving and caring friendships, which help us to act appropriately with our gift of sexuality.  It is my goal today to display the fruit of chastity in my life by creating new friends in the church today and finding new and different ways to be loving and caring to them.  

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. 

Not my will, but God’s will be done…

Standard

Here is the video reflection for the Gospel today…If you are reading my journal on any other day, you can click on the date of this entry on the calendar below the video and see Father Michael’s reflection for the Gospel that I reference in my journal.

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 LORD forbid,” Naboth answered him, “that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”  (1 Kings 21:3)

Observation:  After reading the first reading today, I am left to ponder whether Naboth knew that there would be retribution from Ahab for standing up to him.  However, when they came to honor him, he must have been filled with love for the Lord for honoring him for doing what was right in standing up for what is right.  As he died, though, he was probably left with the thought, I should have just given him the land.  I am left with the feeling that it must have been really hard to be a Jewish follower of the law during those days.

Personification:  Peace – Quiet, inner confidence that keeps us from feeling uptight and anxious.  After reading the Gospel today and hearing the video reflection, I am hoping that I can display the fruit of peace that comes from following the will of God.  Even though, at times the decision can feel like I am not doing what is best for my family, I must follow what I know God is calling me to and I know that I will be at peace.

Prayer:  Lord, help me be at peace with your will for my life and always display that peace to the people that I meet 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.

The law and the truth was not abolished when Jesus came, it was fulfilled…

Standard

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:  13Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.  (Matthew 5:17-18)

Observation:  To me, Jesus’ mission was not to reveal the truth to those who already knew the truth.  Rather, it was to reveal the truth to those who had been misled about it.  The truth is obvious to anyone who seriously seeks it out in their own lives, Jesus is necessary because we do not always seek out truth.  It is part of the human condition or our sinful nature to seek out the things that look like truth, but fall short.  It is only by relying on God’s grace and accepting Jesus Christ as our savior that we can be saved from our own selfish interest in seeking our own version of truth.

Personification:  Goodness – A real desire to live a holy life, to set a good example by our conduct where we are.  The only way that I can set a good example is if I keep my focus on Jesus and the truth that was revealed through him.  It is his earthly walk that shows me how I should live out the rest of my days on this earth.  When the new Jerusalem comes, I will not have to focus on the truth any longer, because his truth will be as easy to follow as breathing because we will all be following the same truth.

Prayer:  Our Father, who is in heaven, great and powerful is your name.  Your Kingdom come.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Forgive us our for our sinfulness, as we forgive others for their sinfulness as it relates to us.  Please do not let us be led into temptation by the evil one, but deliver us from all evil.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Perfect love…perfect charity…

Standard


5109333

 

The song is “Perfect Charity”…I have a video that I will post later…Click on the link above and it will take you to the website where you can listen to the song…God bless you!

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:  Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.   (John 16:15)

Observation:  This morning, I am aware of the fact that if I am going to be made like Jesus, than I am going to be a servant to all.  It is not my will that can be done any longer, it is all His will.  In the words of Jesus in the Gospel today, I hear that the holy Spirit will give us all that is in Him, but that is nothing more than perfect love and perfect charity.

Personification:  Love (Charity) – Quick to sense the needs of the people with whom we work and live and respond as Jesus would.  It is my hope that the Lord would grant me the grace necessary to sense the real needs of the people with whom I work and live, so that I can respond as Jesus would.

Prayer:  Lord, continue to create in me a spirit of surrender, not so that I give up on this world but so that I give up my way of trying to bring the Good News to it, in favor of your way.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The Word says that we are reborn as servants…Rejoice!

Standard

Gift:  Knowledge

Reading:  You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God, 11  (1 Peter 1:23)

&

Brought peace to your borders, and filled you with finest wheat.

4 The LORD sends a command to earth; his word runs swiftly!  (Psalm 147:14-15)

&

6 Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt.  But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.  For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:42-45)

Observation:  I am hearing this morning in the beautiful words that come to me from the first reading of Saint Peter, the Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel of Mark that I am born anew, a new creation that is allowed to serve others, rather than focus on my own selfish interests.

Personification:  Joy – The ability to celebrate life even in the midst of pain and confusion.  I do not believe there is a greater joy on this earth than to serve others.  At least as far as I know, I haven’t seen a greater joy than the one that comes from serving others.  When Jesus says that if we wish to be great we should be a servant, I believe that greatness can be achieved on earth, in the form of great joy.

Prayer:  Lord, help me display the fruit of joy at all times by allowing me to find new and different ways to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as serving those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.