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!

Ask, be strong, stay focused…

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This is where we had Mass today before the day started…Glory to God in the highest!

Quick reflection…

Reading:  The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.  But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”  Matthew 13:22-23

The title comes from Father Jaspers homily at today’s Mass…For me, I must remember to stay strong and stay focused, if I am to be rich soil…By the grace of God I will stay strong and focused…Amen!

 

This hand…

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Reading 1 2 Cor 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

GodTube provided this video in my email to help explain this first reading for today’s Mass…Not coincidence as much as God incident…Thanks be to God for providing such a clear message of forgiveness for us today…Be like a Saint, be forgiven! Saint James, the Apostle, pray for us!

Pictures motivated by first reading for today’s Mass…

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 Hear, then, what the LORD says:

Arise, plead your case before the mountains,

and let the hills hear your voice!  (Micah 6:1)

I was motivated to take my two sons and Dad to Mount Pisgah on a hike today…I hope you like the pictures…The young man is my son, Kobe and the funny looking guy in the woods is me…God bless you!

Jesus is our peace?

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English: Stained glass windows at Notre-Dame, ...

English: Stained glass windows at Notre-Dame, Geneva, Switzerland. Top: God the Father; middle: Dove of Holy Spirit in trefoil; lower: Annunciation scene. Français : Vitraux de la basilique Notre-Dame, Genève, Suisse. Deutsch: Fenster in der Liebfrauenbasilika, Genf, Schweiz. (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:  For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  (Ephesians 2:14-18)

 

Observation:  I tried to title my journal entry for today, “If Jesus is our peace, why don’t we rest in Him more often?”  However, I think my title is a little more direct, because it begs the ultimate question, “Is Jesus our peace?”  If we want to have access to the holy Spirit and the Father, we must recognize Jesus as the one who can keep the peace, not just in the world, but in our hearts.  The world is creating turmoil in our hearts, through our families, we must rest in Jesus and tell Him what we need for peace.  If we go on trying to make peace by our actions, we will only create more unrest. (IMO)

 

Personification:  Joy  I have been the embodiment of fatigue lately, rather than joy, especially to my family.  I will focus my attention on displaying the fruit of joy today, with the grace of God making it possible.  I am especially joyful for the birth of my best friend David’s new baby daughter, and can’t wait to see her later this morning.

 

Prayer:  Lord, please give rest to those that need it this morning and help me remember to rest in You today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen

 

 

 

 

What would Jesus think of your life?

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Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA)

Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA) (Photo credit: 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:  Thus says the LORD: This shall not stand, it shall not be!  (Isaiah 7:7)

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“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon,* they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.”  (Matthew 11:21)

Observation:  In the first reading, the book of Isaiah is recounting the salvation of the places that found favor with God, because of their connection with his chosen people, and because it was His will that the towns of David’s lineage be saved.  In the Gospel, Jesus is talking about some other towns that have fallen out of favor with God because of their lack of repentance.  He says that these towns will be punished if they don’t repent, and they should if they recognized the power of God working in their midst through the person of Jesus Christ..

Personification:  Self-Control  In order to stand firm in the faith of our Fathers and find favor with God, I must remember that I am chosen, but I also must remember to repent.  Such great miracles have already been done in my life, through the power of Jesus Christ who is still working in our midst.  I should never stop repenting of my past evil ways, so that I can know that God’s grace is with me and he can continue to use me to build up His kingdom.

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!

You can tell the future…

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Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

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: Amos answered Amaziah, “I am not a prophet,* nor do I belong to a company of prophets. I am a herdsman and a dresser of sycamores, but the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’  (Amos 7:14-15)

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When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings.  (Matthew 9:8)

Observation:  As it says in the footnotes for the 8th verse of this Gospel reading from the Mass for 7/5/12, Matthew was saying this about man’s authority, because it was being challenged in his time in his church.  It is true that we are still having the authority challenged today in the church.  I submit, after reading the readings yesterday, especially these two verses listed above, and watching the reflection from the bishop’s website, I am the problem.  Not just me, but you as well.  If we are called to imitate Christ in our daily lives, why are we not telling the future like he did.  I am not talking about looking into a crystal ball or anything like that, but rather listening to the holy Spirit and telling people what God has revealed to us after discerning that the message came from him by making sure it aligns with what Jesus said in scripture.
Personification:  Patience  In order to focus on displaying the fruit of patience in my life today, I will remember to be patient with myself first, and patience for others will flow from the fact that I don’t lose it on myself.  The truth is, I am not perfect,  but Jesus is, and he makes up the difference for me when I can’t be perfect.
Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Thank you for the free gift of grace that allows me to see the world through your eyes, and help me to continue to see it only through your eyes.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.