REALLY GOOD NEWS FROM PETER TODAY!

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Window at Parish Church of St Peter, Frampton ...

Window at Parish Church of St Peter, Frampton Cotterell, England (Photo credit: DanieVDM)

 

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:  He did deliver Lot, however, a just man oppressed by the conduct of men unprincipled in their lusts. (Day after day that just one, good as he was, felt himself tormented by seeing and hearing about the lawless deeds of those among whom he lived.) The Lord, indeed, knows how to rescue devout men from trial, and how to continue the punishment of the wicked up to the day of judgment. (2 Peter 2:7-9)

 

Observation:  If God delivered Lot, does that mean that he will deliver us?  I can see parallels in what Lot had to endure in his day and what God’s faithful ones have to endure in today’s world, living amidst all kinds of evil.  We can be sure that if we continue on the route to becoming devout men and women, he will rescue us from trial.  However, we must remember that if we throw our hat in with the wicked, the punishment that comes to the wicked will be for us as well.  Reading today taken from the Office of Readings for today.  (See lournaling Page for link)

 

Personification:  Faithfulness. It is good to know that God will save devout men from trial, but I need to keep in His grace, by displaying the fruit of faithfulness in my life now, if I plan on being that devout man.  In choosing to do God and rejecting evil at every opportunity today, I will be able to display the fruit of faithfulness by the grace of the One who died for my sin.

 

Prayer:  Lord, it is by the light of your goodness that I can see the evil that surrounds me and with your protection and the protection of your holy angels that I will be saved from my flesh…Amen!

 

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Leave me, Lord, for I, too, am a sinful man…

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Saint Peter's Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: Søren Hugger Møller)

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:  When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”  (Luke 5:8,10b)

Observation:  The miracles that God has done in my life are no less miraculous than the catching of the fish that was done in Peter’s life, so my reaction should be just as humble and contrite.  The truth is, that I am not worthy to be shown such great kindness and love that God has shown me by allowing me to continue in the ministry for as long as he has. I hope that I can truly hear his words to Peter repeated to me today, when he tells him that he should not be afraid, because from now on, he will be catching men.

Personification:  Self-ControlIn displaying the fruit of self-control, I hope to give up my will and only do the will of God in my life.  I think I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating, I can only control myself by surrendering to the God who has something greater planned for me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be the man who you want me to be and not the sinner you know I am capable of being on my own.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

Like Peter, we become the prophet when we live the Word!

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Generosity

Generosity (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

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:  We* ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.  Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  (2 Peter 1:18-19)

 

Observation:  For those of us that have had a mountaintop experience, it is encouraging to hear these words in scripture telling us that we must be attentive to the prophetic message that we received there.  The message may be as simple as the fact that we know that God exists, but it could be as amazing as the God of the universe wants to have a relationship with us, and He wants to show the power of the Holy Spirit through our hearts, hands and minds.

 

Personification:  Generosity  I used to think of the fruit of generosity only in terms of the amount of money that I was willing to part with, to help someone else live.  Don’t get me wrong, I still think that is an important part of displaying the fruit of generosity in my life.  However, I hear this reading today calling me to display the type of generosity that comes from emptying out your entire will and self for others.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to empty myself out for others and be willing to share the mountaintop experiences as well as the difficulties in my life, to help share the prophetic message of Jesus Christ to the world.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit..Amen!

 

 

 

What are your people expecting of you?

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Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Saint Peter and Saint Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that [the] Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”  (Acts 12:11)

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But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.  (2 Timothy 4:17-18)

Observation:  So, on the day when we remember that Saint Peter and Saint Paul died for their faith, I am hearing in the first and second reading, a reminder that what God has planned for my life should not be what my people are expecting.  He will certainly send down his angels to protect me and rescue me from evil, but the goal is not the rescue, it is to finish the race well.

Personification:  Faithfulness  In order to finish the race well,  I am hopeful that I can display the fruit of faithfulness to my God and His church.  I should remember the rest of the readings as well.  For in the gospel, Peter is given the keys to the kingdom, the authority to loose and bind the things of this world.  My hope is that I can get back to confession today and remember to go back to this fountain of God’s grace more often, regardless of whether I would consider my conduct good or bad.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be faithful to you and your church in my life.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saint Peter’s 7 steps to love…

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Statue of st. Peter

Statue of st. Peter (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:  Beloved: May grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.  (2 Peter 1:2-7)

Observation:  I had picked the last three verses of this reading to journal on yesterday morning, but didn’t have the time to sit down and share my thoughts until now.  After hearing Father Francis’ homily from The Newman Center Mass yesterday evening, I am encouraged to share with more zeal than ever the good news as it is being revealed to me.  Truth is, I don’t care if no one else is listening that I think needs to hear this message, I know God is using it to talk to the one that needs to hear it.  Anyway, the steps I mentioned in my title, are not so much steps but parts of love…It just didn’t sound as good as parts, so I left the title I picked yesterday.  If you read the words that are attributed to Saint Peter in this letter, he says that love is composed of these things; Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Self-Control, Endurance, Devotion and Mutual Affection.  This is a much different version of love than the one I was raised with and the worldly love is the one I spent most of my life selling to get what I wanted from people.

Personification:  Kindness  This fruit of kindness was not listed in Saint Peter’s parts of love, but for me to be able to display God’s love, I must remember to act with kindness towards those that I love first and everyone else I come in contact with as well.  The grace that I get from God will allow me to focus on displaying this kindness, because it is not something that comes naturally to me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to show the uncommon kindness that you showed me by dying for my sins, even though I am unworthy of your grace, I know you will supply the grace necessary to love others with the love that you showed me for calling me to follow you.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

Obey the truth and you will learn to love…

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English: Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Dove of the Ho...

English: Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, stained glass, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:  Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God,* for:

“All flesh is like grass,

and all its glory like the flower of the field;

the grass withers,

and the flower wilts;

but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.  (1 Peter 1:22-25)

Observation:  When the Holy Spirit is moving in your heart and compelling you to do certain things that seem out of character for you, that is an opportunity to be obedient to the truth and begin to learn how to react out of love to all situations.  This is what I heard from the first reading today, and I hope I can remember that the word of God is the thing that lasts and not my emotion.

Personification:  Love  It only makes sense to focus on the fruit of love, since obedience is teaching me how to love.  It is funny how our understanding of love in this world is so foreign to the next world’s love.  God’s love is not interested in reciprocation, if we could all learn to love each other this way, we would be on our way to understanding the kind of love that Saint Peter is talking about here.

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen

In response to circumcision, Peter says, “No need to bother!” (My own translation)

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30pxPope John Paul II's coat of arms]] 30pxHer...

30pxPope John Paul II’s coat of arms]] 30pxHerb Jana Pawła II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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;  After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us.  (Acts 15:7-8)

Observation:  I am hearing that the response of the early to the question about circumcision, was that it was not necessary to follow Jesus, and for the church today…Peter would say, “It is not necessary for everyone to fit the perfect mold of what we would call a repentant sinner to be saved.”  I feel like too often we only see the completely reformed sinner as worthy of coming to the church, and the truth is that we should be opening the doors to everyone who recognizes a need for God to take an active role in their life.  If I look back on my conversion story, that is still ongoing, of course, I realize that I would never be accepted by a church that operates with the standards that I have in my mind, and I am taking Peter’s words today to heart.

Personification:  Joy   It is with great joy that we should see the call to repentance for the world.  I see the picture of Blessed Pope John Paul II in my mind, when he said, “Open wide the doors!”  and it warms my heart to know that we are still being asked to follow through with this ideal for evangelization in the church today.

Prayer:  Lord, let my life be a mirror of the Gospel truth that you have graced me with the ability to accept in my heart and let the light that you filled me with shine for the world to see.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.