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.
Reading: So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. (Galatians 4:7)
Observation: Today, I am hearing from the Word that I should see myself as an heir of the Kingdom of God. I make decisions that will impact the Kingdom for years to come. I should remember that if I am to inherit the Kingdom while I am still in this world, I must keep his commandments. Although in an earlier verse, Paul says that we are ransomed, that does not mean that I should not be looking for ways to follow the law more clearly. Rather, I should walk in the knowledge that I know the price has already been paid for my past mistakes.
Personification: Joy I am feeling a call to display the fruit of joy in my life. The knowledge of being ransomed for all of my past sins should be enough to cause me to be overjoyed. However, my sinful nature does not let me revel too long in the joy that comes from that knowledge. Therefore, I will need God’s overflowing grace to be able to display the fruit of joy to everyone that I meet today and for the rest of my life.
Prayer: Lord, help me to feel real joy in my life by helping me to give that joy to others that I come in contact with, because I will need your grace to not dwell on my sinfulness and see that you want me to be a messenger of the good news. I ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…wow!
Reading: He was in the beginning with God. From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, 11 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:2,16-17)
Observation: I had the song, “How he loves” by the David Crowder band playing in my head this morning when I woke up. Of course, I was looking for something that related in the readings for today and I think I get the message that He was sending me this morning. The first verse that I selected from the second verse of the Gospel of John from today’s readings follows the message that I received yesterday from the first letter of John, that because of my status as a father of three boys I can take solace in the fact that I know “him who is from the beginning”. I will let the song and yesterday’s video explain the other two verses.
Personification: Goodness I think I chose the fruit of goodness to focus on today because the only things that are truly good in God’s eyes come from him. So, I will need his grace to overflow to me to allow me to display the fruit of goodness in my life.
Prayer: Lord, help me to display your goodness through my actions today. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.