Has God changed his mind about me?

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Living word of God

Living word of God (Photo credit: Daniel E Bruce AKA (Humble Light))

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:  So the LORD changed his mind about the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.  (Exodus 32:14)

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I do not accept human praise;*”  (John 5:41)

Observation:  I have two things today to ponder from the Word of God, as I am hearing it in the daily readings for Mass.  First, I hopeful that because God changed his mind about punishing the Israelites that sinned against God by worshipping false idols, God will change his mind about me, who seem to fall into the same sinful attitude of accepting praise from others, and not looking for praise that comes from God.  Of course, that is not my only sin, but I think that I am hearing today that this sin is what leads to the others.  Pride sucks, and I want it gone from my life.

Personification:   Kindness  I am hearing my wife’s voice telling me to display this fruit of kindness today.  I don’t know why it seems that it is most often difficult to display this fruit to my wife and children.  However, I will focus on displaying this fruit today, especially because we are going to be growing our household by two people this evening.  My Sister and my Dad are coming to stay with us for a while.

Prayer:  Lord, I am hopeful that you will guide me in your ways, and show me the way to model your love and kindness to my family today and any of your children that I may 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.

Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy…(Leviticus 19:2b)

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A page from Leviticus, in the Samaritan bible

The book of Leviticus, from the Samaritan Bible...

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:  Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.* * You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart. Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:2b,17-18)

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And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’* Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  (Matthew 25:40-41)

Observation:  Today’s readings are revealing to me that it is not just the strict adherence to the law that makes us holy, it is the heart that lies behind the adherence to the law.  I would hope that God could see that my heart is pure and I am trying to follow His will and not my own.  I hope that the just judge would not see fit to place me on his left and the words, “Depart from me” would not be directed at me.  I can’t even imagine how sad that it would be to hear those words from God.

Personification:  Love   After reading the admonition to love your neighbor as yourself from the first reading, it would only make sense to want to display the fruit of love, unless I was hoping to end up in the fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels.  It sounds like an easy proposition, to display love when there are so many people in need of it, but it is not so easy when the people who you are closest to, make it so hard to love them.  I am the type of person that enjoys a good hug or a sweet kiss from my children as a sign of their love and mine, but often it is discipline that I have to give them first and be patient for them to listen and then eventually come back to me.

Prayer:  God, I know that you are disciplining me to be able to love you the way you want me to, help me to accept your discipline and learn to love you the way you want me to.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The point of all the discipline…At least for me!

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St John and St Bartholomew

St John and St Bartholomew

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:  Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite.* There is no duplicity in him.”  (John 1:47)

Observation:  I heard in this Gospel reading for today’s Mass readings that Jesus knew Nathanael’s character and obedience to the will of the Father, before he even met him.  I feel like Jesus knows my character and lack of obedience just as well as he knew Nathanael.  Therefore, instead of being automatically seen for the faithful disciple that he knew that Nathanael would be in Saint Bartholomew, Jesus sees me as a broken vessel, it is up to me to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to discipline my life so he can see that I know what I am and how much I need the grace of God to be his disciple.

Personification: Self-Control  It is up to me to be able to display the fruit of self-control, but I know that there has been duplicity in me in the past.  I know that with the grace of God going before me at all times, I can continue to display the fruit of self-control and give further proof to the saving power of God in his Son.

Prayer:  Lord, keep me focused on you at all times.  Please help me to understand the ways in which I have gone astray in the past and have mercy on me.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

The first reading from Isaiah…the video from USCCB website!

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5 It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.  (Isaiah 49:6)

Prayer:  Lord, help me to use the reflections and the homily from Mass to guide my steps today and toward the will of God in my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.