He was born, died, resurrected, and rose to heaven and will come again…Are you afraid?

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Allegory of hope; Oil on canvas, Francesco Gua...

Allegory of hope; Oil on canvas, Francesco Guardi, 1747 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gift:  WisdomWith 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:  Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you.  (Isaiah 63:19)

 

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In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  (1 John 4:17-18)

 

Observation:  As I read the Office of Readings, I felt as if the first psalmody was written for me.  As I went back to the page just now to remember what the first psalm reading is called, I found this scripture written under the title for Psalm 39, or the urgent prayer of a sick person.  Creation is made subject to futility…by him who subjected it, but it is not without hope (Romans 8:20).  So, I am getting over a cold/flu, and I hope today marks the end of my suffering any symptoms.  However, it was further down the Office that I came to the line from the First reading that I quoted above.   I couldn’t help feeling joy at reading of the words of Isaiah that were calling on God to come down.  Although, the prophet was speaking before the first coming, I would think he would have yearned for our final salvation as well.

 

Personification:  Joy. Today, I am hoping to display the fruit of joy, not only because I hope to not suffer any more symptoms of a cold, but also because of the hope that I have that our loving God will not want to see us suffer this world’s injustice too much longer.  As it says in the responsory, right after the first reading for today’s Office of Readings:

 

We cry out for justice, but it is not there;

 

for salvation, but it is far from us.  (Isaiah 59:11)

 

It is much easier to see a path to displaying the fruit of joy when we read the first reading for today’s Mass from the first letter of John that I listed in the readings section above.  It is only because we know that God loves us perfectly, that we know that we can be not afraid of his bringing judgment on this world.

 

Prayer:  Lord, in your love let me put real joy on display to see today.  It is my hope that everyone who sees me today, sees you.  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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It’s us, that Jesus came to save…Have you hung out with Him lately?

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Gods ultim will become like Jesus cover

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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:  “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you, “Restorer of ruined dwellings.”  (Isaiah 58:12b)

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Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”  (Luke 5:31-32)

Observation:   For the last couple of weeks, I have become more aware of the fact that Jesus wants to be directly involved in my salvation.  Not as some distant ideal or moral compass, but as a willing partner who is willing to help me through whatever is holding me back from following God’s will.  The first reading today tells me that I must be willing to share this message with others if the breach of trust in the church is going to be repaired and the dwellings of all believers is going to be restored back to the heavenly dwellings that God wills them to be.  In order to be doing God’s work, I must be willing to go to the place that I could find the most sinners.  I will wait to see what God has in store for me there.

Personification:  Patience  Rather than think of all the places that I could find the most sinners, I will try to display the fruit of patience and wait for the holy Spirit to show me the places that I need to go to encounter those, like me, who are in need of repentance.  The truth is, I can just plan on being truly present for the people I will meet at the church, and share the vision that I have received about the future of our world if we just learn how to accept God’s love and mercy.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be patient and wait for you to show me the people who will be most affected or are most in need of this message of your love and who, like me, are in need of repentance.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Tell my people their wickedness…Really?

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The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Tes...

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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:  Cry out full-throated and unsparingly, lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; Proclaim to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins.  (Isaiah 58:1)

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Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.*  (Matthew 9:15)

Observation:  My pastor has a phrase that he says often, and I have heard before, it is “Tell the truth in love.”  As I ponder this verse from the first reading that I posted above, I must remember the words of my pastor, but not be stopped from telling the truth as it has been revealed to me.  The truth is that the people of this world and of our church are suffering under the yoke of sexual sin, because there are not enough people telling the truth in love about what God has revealed to us through his Gospel and through our bodies.

Personification:   Kindness  It is out of kindness that I will refuse to hold my tongue today.  I will attempt to display the joy that comes from the knowledge of the bridegroom as a mentor and a friend, and especially as my first spouse.  Before I could ever learn to love others the way that God loves me, I must be fully committed to his love by accepting the fact that he wants to be joined to me forever.  Once I have accepted this love, I will share it with others and explain what it means to be fully joined in marriage to God.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to share your good news today and help you transform our world into a place that you have waited to return to.  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.

Though young men faint and grow weary…(Isaiah 40:30)

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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:  Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.  (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Observation:  As I read these verses this morning, I just couldn’t get this song out of my head.  I hope God will reveal more to me at Mass tonight at the Newman Center, but if not, this song is a good prayer to guide my life.

To continue yesterday’s theme, our hope in the Lord should bring peace…

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Isaiah stained glass window at St. Matthew's L...
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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:  They shall not harm or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.  (Isaiah 11:9)

Observation:  I read the readings at home this morning before I came to our communion service and I really didn’t have any particular verses that were speaking to me.  However, when I was sitting in our chapel this morning, listening to the lector read the first reading, I couldn’t get the picture of the earth filled with knowledge of the Lord, and that looking like the waters that covers the sea, out of my head.  It reminded me of yesterday’s focus of my journal that had to do with hoping in the Lord and thereby not allowing conflict to appear in our relationships.  Today, I am left with a picture of what this peace looks like, and not a practical application of how we could make it happen.

Personification:  Peace  I don’t remember if I focused on peace yesterday, but I will try to keep the idea of knowledge of the Lord covering the earth in my head, so that I can display the peace that comes from the grace of God.

Prayer:  Lord, allow me to display the fruit of peace in my life and supply me with the grace necessary to display it to everyone that I come in contact with today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

I can’t wait to seek Him, what if I am unwilling to seek Him tomorrow…

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Photo of the Book of Isaiah page of the Bible

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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:  Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.  (Isaiah 55:6)

Observation:  After reading the gospel for today, I am certainly not concerned about the abounding mercy of our Lord to accept me when I am willing to turn to him.  However, the first reading and specifically the verse that I chose to journal on above, is a reminder that we may not always be close to the Lord.  So, we must seek him while he is near, so that in the times that we wander from him, we will know the way to get back.

Personification: Generosity  In order to display the fruit of generosity, I must not be selfish today.  I must think of others before myself.  As much as I know that my prayer life must be the central focus of all of my daily activities to stay focused on God, but I must remember that someone who needs my help with something in their world, should always take precedence over my needs.  The truth is, other people don’t make many demands on my time very often, so I should be ready to provide for them out of the store of goodness that flows from God’s grace.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to show your goodness to everyone today, by being willing to help everyone who needs me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.

Wash yourselves clean! (Isaiah 1:16a)

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Jesus Christ of eucharist - an icon, Historic ...

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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:  Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good.  (Isaiah 1:16-17a)

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You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!  (Psalm 50:17)

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Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.  (Matthew 23:3)

Observation:  I read this morning that God is trying to tell me that I must learn to do good, and I must be careful where I look to find examples of others doing good.  In the verse from the Responsorial Psalm, I hear God’s reminder that I must be willing to accept discipline, and not ever cast the Word of God aside in favor of the word of man.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is my hope that I can display the fruit of faithfulness today.  I don’t plan on just attending Communion Service this morning and receiving the Body of Christ, I plan on letting the Eucharist wash me clean of my iniquities and allow me to finish the day strong proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ by living it out in my life.

Prayer:  Lord, cleanse me of my iniquities and allow me to be your vessel of grace to others.  Please give me patience to go ahead in this world with the knowledge that you have already defeated all evil.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.