Googled, "Lost sheep"
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: I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. (Luke 15:7)
Observation: Today, like always, I was struggling with the question of whether or not I should see myself as a sinner in need of repentance or a repentant sinner. It may sound like the same thing, but I believe the difference is very important. If I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, shouldn’t I be righteous? However, if I am righteous, shouldn’t I follow the will of the Father at all times. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yet, I still fall prey to my sinful nature and therefore end up a repentant sinner once again. I guess the truth is that without sin, we are righteous. Since, we will all sin again and be in need of repentance, we will be cause for joy in heaven again when we embrace this repentant spirit.
Personification: Long-suffering (Positive Attitude) – Because we know we are love by God, we are able to put up with the injuries, slights, and outrages of life. It is good to know that God has sent his holy Spirit to give us the fruit of long-suffering. If I could only recognize this fruit in my life at all times, I would understand that God did give me the ability to work through any sinful tendencies that I may have with the power and grace that he gives me freely.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.
Reading: So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
Observation: I am hearing this morning that I should not let the word of God return to him void. Although, I am well aware of my inability to be worthy of preaching the Gospel, I will put out as much effort as the Lord gives me the strength to put out. I think this particular section of the word of God in the book of Isaiah is specifically talking about the coming of the Savior that will forgive us our many sins, so that we can be going about the work of the Lord in his glory and not our sin. I should pay particular attention, as should we all, to the words of Jesus today and every day, in the Gospels.
Personification: Long-suffering (Positive Attitude) I am hearing a special call to keep the fruit of long-suffering or a positive attitude through the trials that I will put myself through, and remember that the word of God brings power and glory to everything that we do.
Prayer: Lord, remind me constantly of your power to accomplish anything and use me as a tool to accomplish what you would have me do today. I am sorry that I have not always been focused on your will for me in my life. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Although this is the Holy Father words from yesterday’s Mass at St Peter’s, I believe it relates to exactly why I feel like I should be hearing the call to follow the church and the Word more closely in my life. (I also love the video of St Peter’s in Rome and I will use whatever excuse I can to post it.)
Reading: Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. (1 John 2:24-25)
Observation: The admonition that I am hearing this morning is that now that I am aware that I know him who is from the beginning, I must let what he said remain in me. Meaning that all that he gave us through the church and all that he actually said, should become every part of my whole being. As the 25th verse says, he has promised that eternal life is what waits for me if I can do this, and it is not a quantity but a quality of life that he is speaking of here. As John the Baptist says in the Gospel reading from the Gospel of John today, I feel like John the Baptist in that I am not worthy to untie the sandals of his feet, but I hope he supplies me with the grace necessary to follow his footsteps.
Personification: Long-suffering (Positive Attitude) It seems like whenever I feel like God is revealing a truth to me, like he has been for the past three days, that is when I must remember to display the fruit of long-suffering or I should be recognizing that I must display a positive attitude through whatever trials that may come my way. I guess, today especially, I feel like I should be getting the message that the eternal life, that comes from following the will of God in my own life, will not be easy, but I should remember that just being on the path that he prepared for me will continue to give me great joy.
Prayer: Lord, bring me a new sense of understanding as it relates to following your will for me and allow me to display the fruit of long-suffering to everyone that I meet today and 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.
Reading: And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
Observation: The truth of what was revealed by Jesus in his ministry as he walked the earth is that he is the Saviour of the poor and the oppressed. It is probably not what the disciples of John wanted to hear, because they were all waiting on a Messiah that was going to bring back the glory days of Jerusalem that they had all heard stories about. Jesus could also be speaking to me right along with the disciples of John today. I have all of these expectations about what Jesus is going to do to save me and my family, when what I should be doing is being thankful for what He has already done in my life.
Personification: Long-suffering (Positive Attitude) The fruit of the spirit that I chose to focus on today is long-suffering. Although it is easier to see the fruit as a positive attitude, I think that God is revealing to me today that it is only in continuing to stay in the Word of God, not just study it, but live it out every minute of every day of my life, that the eternal life will come to me on earth.
Prayer: Lord, please continue to reveal the truth that comes from your Word to me today and for the rest of my life. For my part, I will wait upon you to reveal what the next step is for me in my life and I will stay true to your calling for me with the help of your grace. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading: Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” (Luke 20: 34-38)
Observation: This was Jesus’ response to a question from the Sadducees about marriage in the next life. I am hearing this morning that the Word of God is telling me to not be so sensitive about what others tell me about their faith. Someone had noted in a picture that my wife did of an incredible young man that passed on to the next life at the end of last summer, that the wings she put on him are not accurate, since we don’t literally get wings we go to heaven. It made me feel wierd every time I showed the picture to anyone, as if I was teaching something about our faith incorrectly. However, this Gospel reading today shows that Jesus used this reference of being like angels, to explain those that are deemed worthy of the coming age.
Personification: Long-suffering (Positive Attitude) I will work on my ability to deal with other people today while displaying the fruit of long-suffering or positive attitude. As always, it will take the grace of God to be able to deal with some people that come at me as if nothing I ever do is right. I know that I must be willing to listen to everyone, but I need God’s grace to understand that it is not the will of God for me to be constantly second guessing the decisions that I make in order to be overly sensitive to opinions that aren’t even rooted in the Word of God.
Prayer: Lord, please give me the strength to stay positive about the decisions that I make in direct response to the will of God, and help me to not second guess your directions. I ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.