Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

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Isaiah 7:14b-15

The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall be living on curds and honey by the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good.

This is from the Morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours this morning.  As it was read this morning, I felt like it was important but I think I was thinking of the reading in reference to John the Baptist, rather than Jesus.  However, now that I read it through again, I understand that the prophet that wrote this book of prophecy might not have completely understood the implications of the incarnational nature of who Jesus would be.  This begs the question to me, how do I look back on the incarnation, as someone who lives 2000 years after the birth of Jesus, and not understand the incarnational nature of who Jesus is?  I am struck today with the fact that Jesus is not only calling me to be a symbol of who he was on earth, but really be Him in the world today.  This is what the incarnational nature of who Jesus is, and if I understood this fully, I would never choose evil and only ever choose good.  Unfortunately, I sometimes forget and fall.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

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What does the fox say?

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You knew it was just a matter of time before it had to be done, especially by me.  I spend a lot of time around young adults and youth, so there was bound to be a reference to foxes in scripture or somewhere in my prayer life that was going to lead me to share this video and take the opportunity to point out the good news in the lyrics.  So, without further ado, here is the video…

If we follow the gospel reading for today, we see that it is Jesus who calls out the fox.  Here he says…He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.  (Luke 13:32)  The fox that he is referring to is Herod, who the Pharisee was telling Jesus, wanted to kill him.  Here is a good question, “Did Herod really want to kill Jesus?”  After what had happened to John the Baptist and that whole terrible scene, you might think Herod wanted to steer clear of Jesus.  However, the point of this post is to ask the question…”What does the fox say?”

It has been over 2000 years since Jesus said, “Go and tell that fox”, and we are left to figure out what Herod’s response would have been to this telling statement of Jesus about casting out demons and performing healings, and the third day accomplishing his purpose.  In the song, we hear a reference to the red fur and an angel in disguise, but also a reference to a guardian angel in the woods.  Rather than try to discern the intentions of the artist in choosing these lyrics, I would rather point out that God can use whatever means necessary to bring people to know him and I will use this song as a reminder of the power of angels in our lives to overcome evil.

Here is a prayer that I will say and share with you now…

Angel of God, our guardian dear to whom God’s love commits me here.  Ever this day be at our side, to light and guard, to rule and guide…Amen!

Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand…Jesus!

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3rd quarter of 16th century

3rd quarter of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I was set on fire by the reading today, and I hope that by the grace of God I am used to stoke this fire in the hearts of everyone who reads this today.  For some it will be hard to hear.  I’m sorry for your feelings and I hope that you forgive me.

 

In the gospel for today’s Mass readings, Jesus says the words that are included in my title for today’s post.  This is his reaction to hearing that John the Baptist had been arrested.  (Matthew 4:17). From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,k “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

Also, in the first reading for today’s Mass readings, we hear about the testing of spirits.  In John’s letter he goes so far to say that those that do not believe are the antichrist…Is that you?  You be the judge:

 

Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.a2This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God,b3and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus* does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.  (1 John 4:1-3)

 

I am left with one question for anyone who may come across this post…Do you question the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist?  Do you preach against it, like Catholics are a cannabolistic cult society that believes that eating people’s flesh is somehow sacred?  Do you not understand and thereby plead ignorance and say it must not matter and it must not be necessary to my faith in Jesus?

 

Read John 6:66, and then read the above letter from the same Saint John the evangelist that wrote it…I did, and I am left with the distinct impression that anyone who stands against this teaching is the antichrist!

 

Lord, I pray for all those lost souls that have been led astray by false prophets, I pray that in the spirit of repentance that you will send the holy Spirit down upon us all and keep us faithful to your teaching and your truth.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

“Repent and believe in the Gospel, for the end is near…Alleluia!!!”

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English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to...

English: Repent window, Mathon church, near to Mathon, Herefordshire, Great Britain. Beneath the left side: Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and the right: “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness”. (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:  Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.* From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence,* and the violent are taking it by force.  (Matthew 11:11-12)

 

Observation:  As I sat in our small chapel this morning waiting for the good news to be proclaimed by the leader of our communion service, he says that he is still waiting on the holy Spirit to inspire him to tell him what to say about the gospel for today.  The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  It was an admonition from Jesus to his apostles, and to us today.  If we believe that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and we are in it, then we are greater than John the Baptist.  Our job is more important than his job, because he was telling of the coming kingdom and we must convince people who it is already here.

 

Personification:  Joy.  I am choosing to display the fruit of joy today,  in anticipation of the 3rd Sunday of Advent, where we are called to rejoice in the coming of our celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Since, tomorrow is not promised, we should show joy to the people who don’t know Jesus now, so they can see the love he has for them through us and the joy that comes from our relationship with God.

 

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

 

Are we trying to see him?

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John the Baptist
Image by Lone Primate via Flickr

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:  And he kept trying to see him.  (Luke 9:9b)

Observation:  I am hearing this morning that I need to be constantly trying to see Jesus.  If Herod, who beheaded John the Baptist, was seeking to see him than how much more should I, who knows fully who he is, be seeking to see him in everyone I meet.  This is probably not the way that Herod is seeking to see Jesus, but his quest is a great reminder to us to be thankful for the gift that Jesus gave us in the Eucharist and we should long to spend time with him.

Personification:  Faithfulness  I have heard so many stories of people who have found the devotion to adoration of the blessed sacrament to be a game changer in their lives, that I should not be surprised by the Lord’s reminder to me to spend more time in his presence.

Prayer:  Lord, I want to be faithful to you and I know that being in your presence will make this easier to do.  Please help me to make time to rest in your presence more today and everyday for the rest of my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

So, it was not in the original writing, still important enough to be included…Right?

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A kiss of peace?

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:  He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  (Mark 16:15-17)

Observation:  This morning, as I read this gospel reading I was not thinking about the fact that this is one of three different endings to the gospel of Mark.  I was thinking of how much of this revelation applies to me.  It is my understanding that although there are three different ways that we could choose to end the gospel of Mark, one of which includes the ending with the disciples being bewildered with the fact that Jesus was not in the tomb, the revelation of the gospel story includes the reality that Jesus would have said these words to his disciples, which includes us.

Personification:  Gentleness  It will be my intention today and hopefully for the rest of my time on earth to display the fruit of gentleness when sharing the gospel story with people that I come in contact with.  No matter how important or dire I perceive the need for someone to hear the good news.  The reality is that no one is going to be able to hear it unless it is deliver with the spirit of gentleness that comes from the holy Spirit. 

Prayer:  Lord, if it is your will for me to continue to share the good news, please endow me with the gentleness that comes from the assurance of the faith that you have in me to deliver it properly.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 






 

Have you ever wondered why the saints seem so sinless?

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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:  We know that no one begotten by God sins; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the evil one cannot touch him.  (1 John 5:18)

He must increase; I must decrease.  (John 3:30)

Observation:  It is clear to me this morning after reading the first reading from the Mass readings for today that God does not see our sinfulness, and if we can see our way to look past it ourselves with God’s eyes, we shall realize the potential that God knows we are capable of.  When I look at the lives of the saints, like Mother Theresa and Saint Andre Bessette, I see sinless creatures whose ability to allow miracles to be worked through them, in the face of such adversity, is only outweighed by their humility.  Which brings me to the verse from the gospel reading for today that tells us the words of John the Baptist that I believe if we are all planning on being saints, we should live by, just like the saints in the past did.

Personification:  Gentleness  In displaying the fruit of gentleness today, I would hope that God’s grace will allow me to show it with all humility.  In the face of all of my past sins, it would be great to see my life with God’s eyes and not my own, so that I can act with all humility in the face of all the miracles that God is working in my life.

Prayer:  Lord, continue to work miracles in my life and in the life of those around me to bring about a greater realization of your Kingdom here on earth, right now.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.