It is a Jeremiah day…

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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:  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:  “The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: “I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.  Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.  However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy.  (Rev 3:1b-4)

 

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.* I wish you were either cold or hot.   So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.   For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.   I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire* so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.  (Rev 3:15-19)

 

Observation:  I feel like I attend church in the time of the Revelation to John about the church in Sardis and Laodicea, and I can’t decide which of the two I attend presently.  It is me, of course, that has the lukewarm feelings at times and the tendency to get too lax in my spiritual life, but I feel like our church has so much lukewarmness and spiritual deadness, it is hard to not stand up on the pews and start screaming about when we are going to stand up for what we really believe.

 

Personification:  Joy  It is only in displaying the fruit of joy in my life, that I will be effective in delivering the news that it is time to repent.  This is not just a call to stop complying with evil in our society, it is that we need to recognize that sitting idly by while the neighborhood we live in goes to hell in a hand-basket is not ok either.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner…For the sake of your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world…I ask this, as always, in the name of  the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…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…Change your heart!

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Prepare the Way of the Lord

Prepare the Way of the Lord (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

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:  He went throughout [the] whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  (Luke 3:3)

Observation:  As I read the gospel reading for Mass today, I was thinking about the way that I would pray for the President to repent of the evil that he has put forth in his HHS mandate that forces men and women of good will, in the United States, to violate their consciences.  At the same time, I was thinking that I should pray that we all repent of the evil in our own sinfulness.  By the grace of God, both of these things will be done for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Personification:  Self-Control. Many times when I choose to try to personify the fruit of self-control, I write that I will only be successful if the grace of God saves me from myself.  God’s grace has saved me this morning and I just want to thank Him for it.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for saving me from my flesh and preserving me, by your grace, to follow your will and not my own this morning.  Please continue to shine your light in my darkness and allow me to follow you, Jesus, with the continued intercession of Our Mother Mary, even more closely.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

All evil must be left behind…

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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:  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:  Jeremiah said to the princes and all the people: “It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city everything you have heard.  Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will have a change of heart regarding the evil he has spoken against you.  As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what is good and right in your eyes.  But you should certainly know that by putting me to death, you bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and its inhabitants. For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these words for you to hear.”  (Jeremiah 26:12-15)

 

Observation:  I am reading in the first reading, an admonition to all of us to repent of the evil in our life, so that God will repent of the evil that he will rain down on us in judgment for choosing evil over Him.  If we do choose God, we can count on His protection over our lives.  Even the worst situation is a gift when seen through the eyes of faith, but the best situations will be seen as a curse to those that are not in God’s grace and not following His will for their lives.

 

Personification:  Self-Control. If I can focus on God’s will for my life and not on whatever evil I have gotten comfortable with, I will be able to display the fruit of self-control.  The best scenario would be to never get comfortable with evil, but our lives make that impossible sometimes.  The grace of God will come to those that repent of the evil when they recognize it in their life, or they are made aware of it by people who love them.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me repent of whatever evil exists in my life, and help me be a prophet to those who cannot recognize the evil in their life.  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…

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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.

A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. (Psalms 51:19b)

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"Son of man" appears 25 times in Luk...

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Gift:  Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.

Reading:  When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.  (Jonah 3:10)

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Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.  (Psalms 51:3-4)

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While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them,“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.”  (Luke 11:29-30)

Observation:  From the title for my journal today, you can see that I believe today’s message begins for me as a call to have a contrite heart.  I am hearing that I must be willing to be humble enough to recognize my tendency toward sinfulness, to see a call to repentance.  Jesus is saying that just as the Ninevites accepted Jonah’s call to repentance for the evil that was being done in their day, we must accept Jesus’ call to repentance for the evil that is being done in our day, if we are to expect any salvation at all.  I see this as not just pertaining to the punishment that may come to us in our world today, like was promised to Ninevah if they didn’t repent, but an eternal punishment for not listening to the Son of Man’s call to repentance.

Personification:   Self-Control  It is my belief that God would rather have me in complete control of my desires, but I realize that I am not there yet.  I hope that with more prayer and fasting, I will be able to let God orient my desires to those that are in line with his will and not the earthly desires that I would want.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

 

It’s us, that Jesus came to save…Have you hung out with Him lately?

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Gods ultim will become like Jesus cover

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Gift:  Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.

Reading:  “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you, “Restorer of ruined dwellings.”  (Isaiah 58:12b)

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Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”  (Luke 5:31-32)

Observation:   For the last couple of weeks, I have become more aware of the fact that Jesus wants to be directly involved in my salvation.  Not as some distant ideal or moral compass, but as a willing partner who is willing to help me through whatever is holding me back from following God’s will.  The first reading today tells me that I must be willing to share this message with others if the breach of trust in the church is going to be repaired and the dwellings of all believers is going to be restored back to the heavenly dwellings that God wills them to be.  In order to be doing God’s work, I must be willing to go to the place that I could find the most sinners.  I will wait to see what God has in store for me there.

Personification:  Patience  Rather than think of all the places that I could find the most sinners, I will try to display the fruit of patience and wait for the holy Spirit to show me the places that I need to go to encounter those, like me, who are in need of repentance.  The truth is, I can just plan on being truly present for the people I will meet at the church, and share the vision that I have received about the future of our world if we just learn how to accept God’s love and mercy.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to be patient and wait for you to show me the people who will be most affected or are most in need of this message of your love and who, like me, are in need of repentance.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.