The Baptism of our Lord…

Standard

http://vimeo.com/5903511

This video was done from the Gospel of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Baptism…

Gift:  Wisdom

Reading:  After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”  (Luke 3:21-22)

Observation:  I read all of the readings this morning and if you look at the USCCB website for the daily readings there were two options for both the first and second readings for Mass today, but when I read the Gospel, these two verses above really spoke to me.  It wasn’t because of the fact that God spoke the amazing words that I put in bold letters above, but because the voice that came from Heaven, God, spoke these words after Jesus did something that seemed very beneath him to do.  Why should the Messiah have been baptized by John, and why did Luke explain it as if it was just something he did along with everyone else as well as the fact that he had joined everyone in prayer?

Personification:  Humility (Gentleness) & Modesty  I think this morning, God is calling me to look at the example of Jesus’ Baptism and realize that in order to truly follow the will of God, I must join the others in their prayer and not try to set myself apart from them in any way.  I must look for ways to make myself smaller and let God do the work in proclaiming what I am trying to do.  I think that is Luke’s message for me today, that I should remember that if the Savior of the world found a way to join the others in ordinary prayer, I should too.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that you did not need to be cleansed from any sin when you allowed John to Baptize you, but I thank you for giving me the example of service to others by allowing yourself to be used in a way that shows me the example for how to be in communion with others.  Please help me to find ways, with the help of your grace, to be more like you in my everyday life and join our brothers and sisters in ordinary prayer.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Reminder to ask for what we need…

Standard

Gift:  Piety (Reverence)

Reading:  And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.  (1 John 5:14-15)

Observation:  As I heard this reading this morning at Mass, I was reminded of the fact that I should not feel anxiety about the things that I need to take care of my family.  If I ever need anything, I need only remember that if I ask according to his will, he will hear me.  If I know he hears me, I should act as if it is already done and therefore there is no reason to have anxiety.

Personification:  Peace  In order to display the fruit of peace in my life, I must act with confidence in the knowledge that God will provide for all of the needs of my family.  This doesn’t mean that I can slow down in my ambition to work hard and contribute to the welfare of our family with what God has gifted me with the ability to do, but I can’t be worried about anything that I feel like I need to provide for my family because it is God again that will provide it.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to lay down my will to be a provider for my family, since I know that I would have nothing without you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Who Am I?

Standard

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…

Luke 8:15

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.

Jesus, the Prophet?

Standard

The song says what we do when we don’t recognize all that God does for us…

Gift:  Fortitude

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.

Obser

Why is my heart still hardened?

Standard

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.

Love like God loves you…

Standard

(Not the best video, but I love the song…)

Gift: Piety

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.

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Standard

 

Gift:  Wisdom

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.