WE HEARD THE GOOD NEWS, BUT ARE WE LISTENING?

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So proud of Andy Schmelzer…From Coos Bay!  <  See video here!

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:  For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.  (Hebrews 4:2,11)

Observation:  As you know, if you have read my journal before, I do not usually highlight the reading, unless it is the words of Jesus and I think I need to highlight in red.  However, today’s first reading for Mass, so reveals a truth about something that happened last night in our little town, I had to highlight it in bold letters.  After I post the video for last night’s rally outside of PP’s new facility, I think it will be abundantly clear why I think this first reading is speaking to us in this country now.

Personification:  Faithfulness. It is true that I am a little jealous of this guy that I met for the first time yesterday, because of his courage to stand up to the abomination that is PP.  I hope that I can stay faithful to the Word of God and our church, so that God will show me the way he is using me to do the same thing Andy was last night.

Prayer:  Lord, continue to build up in me courage and by your grace, keep me always faithful to the calling that you have laid on me and let us be united in your church with those who listened.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!

What are we waiting for?

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Courage

Courage (Photo credit: NJ..)

 

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:  On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind.  (Luke 17:31)

 

Observation:  Have we not seen enough tribulation and strife, world wars and evil to be converted away from what this world has to offer?  I am hearing this morning in the Gospel reading, not a call to repentance to save ourselves from future pains, but a call to leave our possessions of this world behind in favor of redemption that has already come to us through the resurrection and ascension of the one who died on a cross for us, Jesus.

 

Personification:  Peace.  It is only when I realize that God has made me for so much more than this present darkness that we live in, that I can be at peace with the fact that we have to suffer through this world in order to get to the next.  I don’t know what God has planned for me next, but I know it is a future full of hope and love.

 

Prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace right now and for as long as you give us the time to take part in the redemption of the souls that have not yet accepted your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

 

Invitation given, are we making Excuses? or planning to attend the feast!

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Witnessing with Fortitude

Witnessing with Fortitude (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

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: For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner. (Luke 14:24)

 

Observation:  Since I chose the whole reading to focus on yesterday, I thought I would be a little more specific about the verse that jumped out at me today from the readings.  In the Gospel reading leading up to this statement from Jesus, the many who were invited made excuses to not attend.  I thought about all the ways that I cling to the things of this world, and not abandon them in favor of accepting the invitation to the feast, without anything holding me back.

 

Personification:. Love. It is only by completely abandoning my vision of worldly love, that I will ever come to know God’s love fully.

 

Prayer:  Lord, help me to follow your will for me more closely, as it is coming clearer day by day by your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!

 

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!

Today’s Good News…He will keep us from evil!

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Courage

Courage (Photo credit: drp)

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:  I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.  (John 17:15)

Observation:  It is my understanding that God will keep us from evil, but we have to comply with the way that we are being kept from evil.  No matter what issues I have with the things that I have to do to comply with God’s will, I must do them, if I am going to be kept from evil.

Personification: Generosity  It is my hope that I can follow the will of God in my life, so that I can display the fruit of observing the will of God in my life and give those fruits of that observance to others that are close enough to me to see the difference.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to follow your will for me in my life, so that I can be kept from evil by your grace.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

If they are not against us, they are for us…

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La vierge aux raisins

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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:   Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”  (Luke 9:49-50)

Observation:  My immediate reaction to this gospel this morning was that the preachers from other Christian denominations are not exactly in line with the fullness of the truth, but most of them are not directly against us.  Instead of letting my mind focus on those that are directly against us, I am hearing the gospel story from Luke’s gospel say that we should not deny their simple preaching, and even when they are evoking the name of Jesus to exorcise demons, we should consider them as part of the same team.

Personification: Peace  It is my hope that I can display the fruit of peace today.  I hope that I can show that peace when dealing with everyone, including my family.  This includes my in-laws, because I know that they won’t be reading this today, I will say that no matter how far they have wandered from the faith, I will accept them for the beautiful creation of God that they are.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see the beauty in all of your creation, and allow me to live in your peace for the rest of my days.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

Correct evil, but do it out of love for your neighbor’s salvation…

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Prophet Ezekiel, Russian icon from first quart...

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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 I say to the wicked, “You wicked, you must die,” and you do not speak up to warn the wicked about their ways, they shall die in their sins, but I will hold you responsible for their blood.  (Ezekiel 33:8)

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Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.  (Romans 13:10)

Observation:  I chose to focus on the gift of courage today, because it is just these two readings for today’s Mass that should give me the courage to stand up to wickedness done by the people who are closest to me.  It is not out of some sense of self-righteousness that I should correct them, but rather because I want to spend eternity with them in heaven.

Personification:  Kindness  I am displaying kindness by not telling the wicked things that I have seen just in the past couple of days from the people who are close to me, but I could also retell many of the same stories about myself.  If I am to correct any wickedness, I must remember that but for the grace of God, I would be doing the same thing.

Prayer:  Lord, watch over me and my extended family today and everyday, so we will correct each other and learn how to walk in your ways.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.