When you visit your relative, hate what is evil…

Standard
Sandro Botticelli, Magnificat, 1480-81, temper...

Sandro Botticelli, Magnificat, 1480-81, tempera on panel, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:  Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord (Romans 12:9-11)

Observation:  Ok, I took a little poetic license with combining the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the first reading from Mass.  If it causes just one person to click on my blog today and read the readings for today’s Mass, and even more if it causes them to go to Mass, I will feel like God accomplished the objective of my little blog of getting more people to read His Word, and that is awesome.

Personification: Peace   It is my hope that I can display the fruit of peace in my life today and be an instrument of God’s peace to my family and my community today.  It is only be focusing on the truth that comes from God that I can display peace.

Prayer:  Lord, bring me to your peace today and allow me to put Your peace on display to everyone I meet in person, online or on the phone.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.

We may be ignorant, but it is now our fault…

Standard

United States penny, obverse, 2002

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:  God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.”  (Acts 17:30-31)

Observation:  In the first reading for today’s Mass, I am hearing Paul when he says these words to the people of Athens, he is speaking to us today in the United States.  I hear that up until this point, God has excused our ignorance, because it has seemed like we had the greater good of all people as our goal.  It seems we have completely lost that goal and are completely focused on money as our only one true God.  His words that we must repent, are even more biting to all of us that need money to support our family, but we must remember to treat the money we have with a sense of duty for the work that it can do to eradicate poverty and homelessness in the world and not for the things of this world that it can buy.

Personification:  Generosity   I hope that I can live my life today and every day with a generosity that comes from the grace of God.  I know that God is taking care of my needs and the needs of my family.  Therefore, I can live my life with the reckless abandon of all hope that I could have in the money that is in my bank account, and realize more fully the potential that it has to change the hearts of those that might need a small part of it to be able to put food on the table or keep from being put out on the street.

Prayer:  Lord, I know this is dangerous, but I want you to bring those people who could benefit from the money that I have in my account to my attention so I can see a way, by your grace, to help them.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of  the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Forgiveness…

Standard
The Great Day of His Wrath

Image via Wikipedia

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:  34″Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.*35* So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”  (Matthew18:34-35)

Observation:  After Sunday’s tirade through the temple and today’s mention of the wrath of God that will come to anyone who does not forgive his brother, I am thoroughly convinced that Jesus is telling me that properly placed anger is definitely part of God’s will.  I don’t believe this gives me the right to judge anyone, but when something is evil and has the intentional harm of others as part of its foundation, I am allowed to be angry with it.  I will never hate the sinner, but I will always hate the evil.

Personification:  Peace  I hope that I can display the fruit of peace to everyone that I meet today.  Mostly to my family, but also to my extended church family.  We will see how it goes…God is enough to make it happen!

Prayer:  (Saint Francis 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.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.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

God is enough…

Standard

 

Symbol of Christianity, white version.

Image via Wikipedia

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:  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”  (Luke 6:38)

Observation:  Although the first reading speaks more to my own experience of faith up to this point in my life, I still felt more called to journal about this verse from the Gospel today.  I attended Mass this morning, and although Father Jaspers gave the homily in Spanish, I heard him re-read this verse, as well as the rest of the Gospel again today, I am pretty sure these verses moved him as well.  It is the simple fact that I am not ashamed of the Gospel that allows me to take this Gospel reading to heart, and I can expect that God will continue to reveal more truth to me, if I continue to proclaim the Good News for his eternal purposes.

Personification:   Generosity  It is difficult to for me to understand other people, and for that reason I think I should not try to understand them and leave that to the God who created them.  My job is to speak the truth in love, and that is what I am going to do.  I don’t know if anyone will understand this as generosity, but I am hearing the call to display the fruit of generosity by being unashamed to deliver the Good News to whoever comes in my path to hear it.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to bring your Good News to more people and especially to my family.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance. (Romans 8:25)

Standard
It contains fragments of the "Epistle to ...
Image via Wikipedia

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:  I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.  (Romans 8:18,22-25)

Observation:  After reading through the readings this morning, I realized that it is not necessary to comment on them all the time.  Today, especially the first reading from the eighth chapter of the letter to the Romans.  All of what we read the last week in the same letter to the Romans, was leading up to this week’s revelations of truth that Saint Paul is laying down for us.  To me, it is not that last week’s readings were not truth, it was just hard to hear them in the snippets that we got from the readings each day.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is my hope that I can see through all the things of this world to the truth that comes not only from the Word of God, but also from the sacred tradition that is the church.  It is those two things that sustain my faith in a God that truly wants to have a relationship with me.  Not only as a Father, but also as a friend.

Prayer:  Lord, please help me to remember to be in relationship with you in the good times as well as the bad.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

God only gives gifts to those who ask for them…

Standard
Holy Spirit

Image by micmol  via Flickr

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:  “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit* to those who ask him?”  (Luke 11:13) 

Observation:  I didn’t choose the title for my blog post today because I want to point out that God is giving me gifts because I asked for them.  Rather, it is my hope to grab the attention of people who come across my blog today and relay the message that I hear in today’s gospel reading.  That is, that in order for a gift to be given, it must first be asked for.  The God of the universe will see how to best grant our request and we, with his grace, will be able to see that we have received what we were asking for.

Personification:  Joy  It is funny that I chose to focus on displaying the fruit of joy as I have to remind my older son for the fifth time to get out the shower and my middle son for the third time to get dressed.  It is difficult to see sometimes how I could be able to be joyful when I have to discipline my children, but it sure does give me some insight into how the God of the universe feels when he has to discipline me.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be full of joy that comes from following your will today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Lifting up holy hands…

Standard
Gentleness (1861), by Jean Marcellin (1821-188...

Image via Wikipedia

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:  * It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.  (1 Timothy 2:8)

Observation:  As I read the readings this morning, I had not said my normal morning prayers due to a break in my normal morning schedule.  After I read the first reading, I realized that I shouldn’t miss my morning routine.  I normally pray with my hands positioned in a way that reflects the posture that identifies the way I feel that I should be addressing God, which is why this verse was such a resounding call to get back to my routine.

Personification: Gentleness  I will try to display the fruit of gentleness to everyone today.  This includes my family.  I know that it is difficult to display gentleness sometimes, but with the grace of God it will be possible to display the fruit of gentleness even in the midst of disciplining my children.

Prayer:  (Saint Francis 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