In case our relationship with him is based on what he has done for us?

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English: Jesus of patience, the work of Pablo ...

English: Jesus of patience, the work of Pablo de Rojas (XVI) Español: Jesús de la Paciencia, obra de Pablo de Rojas (Siglo XVI) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

 

Reading:  Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,j and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people.k Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2:14-18)

 

Observation:  Death has no power, except if it eternally separates us from God.  The devil had that power to have people remain in their sin, and be lost forever, but we were made free from death by the power of Jesus.  If you read the gospel for today’s Mass, you will hear about his power while he still walked the earth.  His greater power is only fulfilled through his faithful followers, whom he called brothers, who can see in his willingness to suffer death, that he has transferred his power to them to carry out his mission of saving sinners from death.

 

Personification:  Patience. It is important that I remember to have patience with others, the way that God has had patience with me.  If I can display the fruit of patience today, by not blowing anyone up, especially my children, with my words, than I will be well on my way to being able to be patient with anyone.

 

Prayer:  Lord, please show me the way to display the fruit of patience with my children.  You know how they get under my skin and I know it is your power to make them listen the first time.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!

 

 

 

Is it just me, or is Jesus talking to us too?

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Offertoire en rite tridentin

Offertoire en rite tridentin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

 

Reading:  Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.  For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”  (Luke 10:23-24)

 

Observation:  It is possible that I came to this conclusion before when I heard this reading and I may have even journaled on it.  However, I feel like it is important for me to say that I feel blessed to be living in these days where we can know Jesus intimately through all the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist.  In both visible signs of God’s grace, we can see, feel and experience grace in a way that the prophets and kings of the old testament only dreamed about.

 

Personification:  Patience. I came to the conclusion after Mass on Sunday, that I need to show more patience with those that are leading our congregation in worship and in the different ministries in our church.  I was reminded of the fact that it took me 20 years of walking in the faith to come to the conclusions that I have about the importance and necessity of the church in all areas of your life.  That should not be a matter of pride for me that I got to this point in my faith in 20 years, rather I should be thankful that the grace of God has gotten me this far and his grace is enough to get us all to be able to enjoy eternal life with Him.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!

 

If I am called to be one of the two witnesses, am I ready?

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The Transfiguration Lodovico Carracci 1594

The Transfiguration Lodovico Carracci 1594 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and devours their enemies. In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain. They have the power to close up the sky so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying. They also have power to turn water into blood and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.  (Revelation 11:5-6)

Observation:  I left out the part of the reading that talks about what happens to the witnesses once the beast appears, but you can read that for yourself.  If we choose to be one of these witnesses, we must be willing to be killed for our faith, just like all the martyrs of the 2000 years of history in the church.  The powers we have as one of the witnesses, and the glory that comes after we are called to share eternity in heaven will be worth whatever suffering we must undergo at the hand of the beast.

Personification:   Generosity. To display the fruit of generosity, by giving our lives to God, we must keep in mind the generosity of God in giving His Son’s life.  He did this to call us while we were still sinners and to call us to conversion and show us in His resurrection that death is not the end.

Prayer:  Lord, grant me the power to be called one of your witnesses and give me the strength to persevere in your church to the end.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

Invitation given, are we making Excuses? or planning to attend the feast!

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Witnessing with Fortitude

Witnessing with Fortitude (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

 

Reading: For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner. (Luke 14:24)

 

Observation:  Since I chose the whole reading to focus on yesterday, I thought I would be a little more specific about the verse that jumped out at me today from the readings.  In the Gospel reading leading up to this statement from Jesus, the many who were invited made excuses to not attend.  I thought about all the ways that I cling to the things of this world, and not abandon them in favor of accepting the invitation to the feast, without anything holding me back.

 

Personification:. Love. It is only by completely abandoning my vision of worldly love, that I will ever come to know God’s love fully.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to follow your will for me more closely, as it is coming clearer day by day by your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

 

I remember when I stopped questioning and knew that the church was from God!

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The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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: And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  (Acts 19:6)

&

Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”*  (John 16:30)

Observation:  In the first reading for today’s Mass readings, we hear how the newly introduced to the holy Spirit are able to prophecy and speak in tongues.  How much more should we who have known the holy Spirit for some time be able to do the same thing, or even more miraculous things.  All too often, we think that someone else will have the gift to do it, but not us…Why not us?  In the Gospel reading, I am reminded that I came to the same conclusion that the Apostles came to about Jesus, about the church over 20 years ago.

Personification:  Self-control  For too long, I have allowed my sinful nature and bad decisions get in the way of the future that God had planned for me.  With the help of God’s grace, I hope to start a new chapter in my faith life today, by being unashamed of the Gospel at all times, and willing to speak in whatever way God wills and be a prophet, if whatever ways God wills me to be one.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be faithful to you and follow whatever the holy Spirit is leading me to today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The same moment he went up, they were told to look for his return…

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Holy Spirit painting

Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  (Acts 1:11)

Observation:  On this day that we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, it is necessary to remember what that first apostles were told when he left.  I am hearing this morning that they were told that he would return the same way he left.  I believe the thought that I would have being told that is that I should prepare for his return by doing what he instructed me to do before he left.  We are waiting for Pentecost Sunday next week to celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit, but we already have it and should be acting according to it, because if we are not doing God’s work, he could return at any moment to find us unprepared.

Personification:  Joy  I believe it is with the fruit of joy that comes from the Holy Spirit that we should await the return of the Lord.  We hear the promise that he will return the same way he left, but it is not supposed to be met with the same feeling of loss that I am sure the Apostles felt when they saw him taken up to Heaven.  I think when he returns, we should be dancing and singing and praising him for all that he has done in our lives, and the fact that if he is returning, it is time for the eternal party to start.  We no longer will have to hear those people tell us they know when it is going to happen, because it will be happening and I, for one, will be rejoicing.  Who’s coming with me?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!

In response to circumcision, Peter says, “No need to bother!” (My own translation)

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30pxPope John Paul II's coat of arms]] 30pxHer...

30pxPope John Paul II’s coat of arms]] 30pxHerb Jana Pawła II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading;  After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us.  (Acts 15:7-8)

Observation:  I am hearing that the response of the early to the question about circumcision, was that it was not necessary to follow Jesus, and for the church today…Peter would say, “It is not necessary for everyone to fit the perfect mold of what we would call a repentant sinner to be saved.”  I feel like too often we only see the completely reformed sinner as worthy of coming to the church, and the truth is that we should be opening the doors to everyone who recognizes a need for God to take an active role in their life.  If I look back on my conversion story, that is still ongoing, of course, I realize that I would never be accepted by a church that operates with the standards that I have in my mind, and I am taking Peter’s words today to heart.

Personification:  Joy   It is with great joy that we should see the call to repentance for the world.  I see the picture of Blessed Pope John Paul II in my mind, when he said, “Open wide the doors!”  and it warms my heart to know that we are still being asked to follow through with this ideal for evangelization in the church today.

Prayer:  Lord, let my life be a mirror of the Gospel truth that you have graced me with the ability to accept in my heart and let the light that you filled me with shine for the world to see.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.