I asked the boys two days ago…What is the first and greatest Commandment?

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3rd quarter of 16th century

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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:  Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-31)

Observation:  It was yesterday morning that my 13 year old son woke up saying that he was pretty sure he had figured out how he could wear Nike clothes every day of the week.  Keep in mind, it is truly by the grace of God and my Mother’s generosity that he has any Nike clothes at all.  So, I was prompted to ask both my 13-year-old, Chad, and my almost 10-year-old son, Kobe, “What is the first and greatest Commandment?”  The answer from Chad was, “Uh, I don’t know.”  The answer from my 10-year-old was, “Isn’t it, thou shall not kill?”  Answer, no.  He followed up with, “Isn’t it, you should love God alone, and have no other gods besides him?”  Answer, yes.  They didn’t answer the question like Jesus, but I guess at least they got to it eventually.

Personification:  Faithfulness  In reflecting on the events of the other morning, and remember the words of Father Daniel’s homily on Wednesday night at Mass, I realize that to display the fruit of faithfulness, I must do a better job passing the faith on to my children.  I have been blessed with four beautiful children, and I need to remember that the best way to give glory to God and to thank Him for entrusting me with them, is to make sure that they are directed to follow His will for them.

Prayer:  Lord, I know that I cannot remember to follow Your will for me without being constantly reminded by Your grace that I receive from the Sacrament of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, so I hope that I will remember to constantly remind my children of the grace that can save us all.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

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Chad, my son, says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

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This is Chad...

This is Chad…This is his journal, he wrote today!

Scripture: “This is the time fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Observation: I think that in my life I need to be reminded that the kingdom of God is at hand. And that I should not hold steadfast in the ways of the world but to learn the ways of God and offer my suffering up to him.

Application: I think that I also need to be reminded that the kingdom of God is at hand and that I need to repent and carry out God’s orders, by doing things like reading the Bible.

Prayer: Lord, help me become more of your servant and let me fulfill the calling that you have given to me. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen

I hope my children can hear my heart in this…

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Chad, my oldest son, snapped the picture for me...

Chad, my oldest son, snapped the picture for me…

Gift: Knowledge

Reading: And a voice came from the heavens,
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)

Observation: As I read the readings aloud to both of my older sons that we eating breakfast at the table with me this morning, it was reading this verse to my oldest son that really spoke to my heart. I told him that I hope he hears my heart along with God’s Word telling His Son that he is well pleased with him. I think the first reading was for my nine-year old, but I will get back to you later about how it spoke to him. (Pray for us!)

Personification:  Love  It is out of sincere love for both of my children that I have started to read the scriptures to them before they go to school.  It is my hope that the eternal wisdom that comes from the Word of God will be passed on to them from the reading of his Word.  As for my 9-year-old, Kobe, I realized that I must be diligent in calling on the holy Spirit to rest on him and help him to see the truth that comes from God and not the lies that he hears from the world.  I think I got this from the first reading from John, and maybe the story will be completed tomorrow morning at Mass at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Eugene.

Prayer:  Lord, I am thankful for the grace that you are saving me with, and I hope that I will continue to seek out your grace and not my understanding to fulfill your will for my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

I defer to my son’s thoughts for today…I am not afraid of 2012, because…

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Stained Glass - Nativity of Jesus

Stained Glass - Nativity of Jesus

Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”  (Matthew 1:23)

Observation:  I read the first reading for today’s Mass to my son, Chad, this morning.  I chose to read the reading from the letter to the Romans.  After I read it and a few moments had passed, Chad asked me if I knew why he was not afraid of 2012…I said no.  He said because, “God is with us!”  It is entirely possible that he read forward in the readings today, but judging by his surprise when I told him what I read next, I don’t think he did.  I read the gospel reading for today’s Mass, that both choices for today end with “God is with us.”  I shared with him that he had just created a moment for me, and he must be getting used to it, because it wasn’t such a big deal to him, even though he was surprised.  He is 12, and I know God has great plans for his future.

Personification:  Faithfulness  Today, I am going to display the fruit of faithfulness in my life by remembering the words of my son and the gospel today.  I will remember that God is with us and the grace that flows from the sacrament that I will receive at Mass this morning will be enough to carry me through my day.  God is good…All the time!

Prayer:  Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all of my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  Amen…All the time…God is good!