Whenever I think like the world, I shouldn’t be surprised when I fall like it…

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Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

 

Reading:  Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.  (1 Corinthians 3:7)

 

Observation:  I woke up this morning on the occasion of my 41st birthday, and said that I deserve to play a little XBox, Tiger Woods 2013, and it didn’t work…Disc is scratched, of course.   Anyway, as I set up the XBox, I started up my Playbook to read through the readings as well.  All the while knowing that God deserves the praise for my 41 years of life, but wanting to give myself some share of the glory.  Truth is, just as Paul said to the Corinthians about himself and Apollos, it is not the one who waters or the planter that deserves anything, it is God who causes the growth.

 

Personification:  Faithfulness. Rather than assuming that I ever deserve anything , I hope that I can wait on God to bring real joy into my life and I am able to display the fruit of faithfulness to the God who made me and is growing me into the man he wants me to be.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to stay focused on you in times of celebration and struggle, so that I know that the joy that comes from it is your everlasting joy, not my temporary happiness or satisfaction.  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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We live amidst evil, until the end…

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”  (Matthew 13:36-43)

Observation:  I don’t usually post the whole gospel reading from our Mass readings, but today’s is especially impactful on me and the young folks and chaperones that just returned from a youth conference in San Diego.  I would normally talk about how I hear that I need to stay strong and unafraid amidst all the evil that is allowed to be present in this world by a God that knows that his grace is sufficient to save us, even in an evil world.  However, I feel that this parable is saying to me today that my job is not to pluck the weeds, it is to live in their midst, with my attention on what God is doing in my life and not on the evil that the Devil is working in theirs.

Personification:  Joy  It is with great joy that I can say that God has saved me from myself today.  It is with joy that I will worship Him at Mass at 12:15pm today at Saint Mary Catholic Church.

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

What would Jesus think of your life?

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Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA)

Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Thus says the LORD: This shall not stand, it shall not be!  (Isaiah 7:7)

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“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon,* they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.”  (Matthew 11:21)

Observation:  In the first reading, the book of Isaiah is recounting the salvation of the places that found favor with God, because of their connection with his chosen people, and because it was His will that the towns of David’s lineage be saved.  In the Gospel, Jesus is talking about some other towns that have fallen out of favor with God because of their lack of repentance.  He says that these towns will be punished if they don’t repent, and they should if they recognized the power of God working in their midst through the person of Jesus Christ..

Personification:  Self-Control  In order to stand firm in the faith of our Fathers and find favor with God, I must remember that I am chosen, but I also must remember to repent.  Such great miracles have already been done in my life, through the power of Jesus Christ who is still working in our midst.  I should never stop repenting of my past evil ways, so that I can know that God’s grace is with me and he can continue to use me to build up His kingdom.

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

The church is born today…What does that mean to me?

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English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.* But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15)

Observation:  I went back and read the Office of Readings for yesterday, since it was the feast day of Saint Phillip Neri, it just felt like I couldn’t miss out on them.  I will try to catch up with today’s Office of Readings before youth group later today.  I mention the reading that I did in addition to the regular reading of the readings for Mass, to explain that the  choice of this Gospel reading today was borne out of the process of a lot of reading this morning and not just my normal perusal of the daily Mass readings.  It is not that my normal perusal of the readings is not sufficient for my journaling, but since we are celebrating the birthday of the church today, I felt that extra attention was due God for sending this amazing gift to lead us to faith almost two thousand years ago.

Personification:  Joy  It is my hope that I know today that God is revealing the true joy to me today that comes from trusting God to be with me at all times through the holy Spirit and physically through the body and blood of His Son, and someday my joy will be complete when I am with the Father in Heaven, by His grace.

Prayer:  Lord, give me a joyful heart like Saint Phillip Neri and help me to repent of my will in favor of yours.  Saint Phillip Neri, pray for us.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.

The big news about salvation, comes tomorrow!

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English: Jesus ascending to heaven

English: Jesus ascending to heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.  (John 17:11)

Observation:  Today, I hear Jesus saying that he has concern for us his disciples, even after he leaves this world to ascend to the Father.  I am hearing that it is the same concern that every disciple of Jesus should have at the end of their earthly life.  As we will see tomorrow, Jesus’ concern for us is not just about our ending up in Heaven, but protecting us while we are still here too.

Personification: Generosity  It is my hope that I live my life for Jesus, but not just partly for him.  I want to empty myself out completely for Him.  It is only because I know that Jesus did this for me, that I know that I can do this as well, and I know that God wants this from me.

Prayer:  Lord, empty me of all my own selfish concerns, so that I can be more fully yours.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen!

What does eternal vision look like?

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Fear The Lord The left hand of the two similar...

Fear The Lord The left hand of the two similarly carved stones either side of the west entrance to St Leonard’s Church. 32432 “Fear the Lord your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name.” Deuteronomy 10:20 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.  (John 16:20)

Observation:  Last night, in a discussion that I was having with some young adults at our church, I mentioned that if we are focused on the things that God wants for us, we may not necessarily be happy, by the world’s standard of happiness.  However, since we know that eternity is forever and this life is only but a minute of time, happiness in this world is only temporary.  Eternal joy last forever.  Jesus is saying that we will have grief while the world rejoices, but our grief will become joy in our everlasting home with God and all the saints that have gone before us.

Personification:  Joy  Someone could come back at me with a quote from a recent Gospel message that we heard from Jesus that he came that we could have joy, and that our joy would be complete.  I hope that with my reflection today, it is eternal joy that he is talking about and the moments of joy when we see God working in our lives and the lives of others around us, and I think this is the type of complete joy that Jesus is talking about.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to experience real joy in my life and make that joy completely focused on you and the work that you would have me do today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

No justification for sin…

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child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Hol...

child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son*always remains.So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. * I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.”   (John 8:34-38)

Observation:  It is this reading this morning that tells me that God has provided the means to avoid sin.  I need only lean on the grace of God to save me, and I will know that it will save me.  The truth is that I will always be a slave to sin, so I better remember what happens when I forget to be a slave to God as well.  It is not a conscience act of the will that allows me to be a slave to sin, but it is a conscience act of the will to be a slave to God.

Personification:  Faithfulness  In order to display the fruit of faithfulness in my life, I must make a deliberate decision to obey the will of God in my life.  If I act as if God is going to do it for me, I will fall prey to my sinfulness.  Exactly what that looks like is explained by Saint Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians, I think….Pray without ceasing!  (2 Thessalonians 5:17)

Prayer:  Lord, strengthen your servant to follow your will more closely and supply me with the grace necessary to resist temptation.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.