What a great example of perseverance in faith…Even in the face of such a terrible loss, he still gives glory to God…He said he never questions why things happen the way that they do, because he knows that God is in control…
Scripture: But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.
Observation: The question I am left with after reading this verse from the eigth chapter of Luke’s Gospel from the daily readings for our journaling group is, am I a person who embraces the Word with a generous and good heart.
Application: Even though I feel like there has been fruit that has come from my perseverance in the past. I can’t help thinking that the fruit may have come in spite of me, rather than because of me. I guess this is what waiting one the Lord or perseverance means…
Prayer: Lord, help me persevere in the faith every day and every minute of every day for the rest of my life. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The song says what we do when we don’t recognize all that God does for us…
Reading: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, 9 because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Observation: Whenever I remember reading this passage before, I remember hearing Jesus read something that says that he is the Son of God. It strikes me this morning that I am hearing for the first time that Jesus was prophetically speaking about his ministry in the manner of Elijah and Elisha as prophet. It is easy to see Jesus as a Messiah or Savior, but much more difficult to see that he was a prophet to his own people. I guess in light of the fact that the Israelites had eventually rejected all of their prophets too, it should be easier to see Jesus as a prophet.
Personification: Love (Charity) The definition of love (charity) from the format for journaling has provided the context for displaying this fruit today and for the rest of my life. If I can continue to sense the needs of others around me, and this need overwhelms my will to act on my own behalf, than I can be assured of the fact that I am acting in God’s will and not my own.
Prayer: Lord, help me to understand the real needs of others around me and allow me to see that I can act out of love for them by providing for their needs with the grace provided by God for all the strength I will need to accomplish any task. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God is good…All the time…(This is the video I found when I searched, “hardening of hearts” – great message…)
Gift: Fear of the Lord
Reading: They had not understood the incident of the loaves. 24 On the contrary, their hearts were hardened. (Mark 6:52)
Observation: This incident in the Marcan account of the Gospel story always leads me first to ask how could the disciples hearts still be hardened after watching the miracle of the loaves and fish and then the walking on the water. This morning, after reading this verse again in the Gospel reading for today’s Mass, I am reminded of the fact that I still do not completely trust that Jesus Christ is the Son of God either. If I did, I would seek him out in all things, rather than seek out my own interest in all things.
Personification: Self-Control I will need the grace of God to take the next step in my spiritual journey into displaying the fruit of Self-Control in my life. If I am going to learn to discipline my time, energy and desires to reflect my spiritual values and priorities, I will have to take my daily planning much more seriously. It sounds like a simple thing, but it can bring order to my life, if I can do it with the grace of God.
Prayer: Lord, help me to find the time today and for the rest of my life to prioritize the things that I have to do in order to bring focus to my following of your call more specifically in every aspect of my life. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Not the best video, but I love the song…)
Reading: In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
Observation: My wife has always been able to love me with a love that does not care about my past. I am hearing in this first reading today that she learned that from God who loves her regardless of her past. I must be able to get through the layers of stuff that I have built up over the years and get down to the real love that God is giving me, so that I can share that love with others.
Personification: Love (Charity) I guess it is true that I have been able to show some type of love to others, but what I need the grace of God for, is to be able to recognize the ways in which I can love the people that I meet more readily. I feel like it may take me a while to open myself up to loving someone, and I am glad that God does not wait to show me his love. He sent his Son out of love for the expiation of my past, present and future sins.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the grace necessary to be able to love like you love. Regardless of how someone comes into my path, please show me how to love them and help me to seek out people who need love. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading: 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. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh be longs to God, (1 John 4:1-2)
Observation: So, I was going to take the easy road and just journal on the first verse, because it seems to me quite clear what John is saying here in the beginning of the 4th chapter that is a continuation of a theme from the third chapter that makes up the first reading today in the daily readings for Mass. However, in the 2nd verse, I have looked at both the online translation and the translation in my study bible, of course both of which are New American Bible translations, and they both have the wording that was hard for me to accept but I think I understand now. I looked in my son’s Tennis Shoe bible, which is not a New American Bible translation, and it does not mention the second verse as it is written above. I can only assume, for me, and for our time that I should remember “that Jesus Christ come in the flesh” not came or even has come, in order to belong to God and have a greater power in the truth.
Personification: Peace I imagine that once everyone comes to the truth, there is a certain amount of peace that comes over them. I will need to be guided by God’s hand to display peace about the truth that I have recieved this morning, and not to be instantly emblazened for battle with my protestant brothers. The grace that comes from receiving the Lord’s flesh in communion should be enough to keep me at peace with the truth that he has given to me in this reading this morning, and hopefully provide a way to bring this greater truth to my brothers as well.
Prayer: Lord, allow me the context for listening to however you call me today and for the rest of my life to communicate the truth to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Epiphany (Bosch painting)
Reading: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6)
Observation: I guess this verse jumped out at me today to give me a clearer picture of what the Epiphany means to all of us. It only makes sense that God would want to save all of his people, but how do you go from having a favorite people in Israel, to now saying to everyone that you are now heirs in the kingdom? These words of Paul in this letter to the Ephesians is a pretty good way, but the idea that three kings from far away countries came to pay homage to this Christ Jesus at his birth is amazing. Either way that I come to accept that Jesus Christ is my king, the important thing is that I accept the fact that he came for all of us, even if we live in Springfield, Oregon.
Personification: Faith/Fidelity In order to be able to display faith and fidelity to the Word of God, I must remember to stay in it. It may sound ridiculous for me to remind myself to stay in the Word, but I honestly feel like as long as I live on this earth, that I must continue to read the bible because it is the only way to keep the other voices of this world out of my head.
Prayer: Lord, please supply me with the grace necessary to always stay faithful to your Word and never let me be too far from your Word that I want to guide my every move in my life. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Although this is the Holy Father words from yesterday’s Mass at St Peter’s, I believe it relates to exactly why I feel like I should be hearing the call to follow the church and the Word more closely in my life. (I also love the video of St Peter’s in Rome and I will use whatever excuse I can to post it.)
Reading: Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. (1 John 2:24-25)
Observation: The admonition that I am hearing this morning is that now that I am aware that I know him who is from the beginning, I must let what he said remain in me. Meaning that all that he gave us through the church and all that he actually said, should become every part of my whole being. As the 25th verse says, he has promised that eternal life is what waits for me if I can do this, and it is not a quantity but a quality of life that he is speaking of here. As John the Baptist says in the Gospel reading from the Gospel of John today, I feel like John the Baptist in that I am not worthy to untie the sandals of his feet, but I hope he supplies me with the grace necessary to follow his footsteps.
Personification: Long-suffering (Positive Attitude) It seems like whenever I feel like God is revealing a truth to me, like he has been for the past three days, that is when I must remember to display the fruit of long-suffering or I should be recognizing that I must display a positive attitude through whatever trials that may come my way. I guess, today especially, I feel like I should be getting the message that the eternal life, that comes from following the will of God in my own life, will not be easy, but I should remember that just being on the path that he prepared for me will continue to give me great joy.
Prayer: Lord, bring me a new sense of understanding as it relates to following your will for me and allow me to display the fruit of long-suffering to everyone 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.