Jesus Helps Me according to my Faith

I will be brief today. ūüôā Some new content will be coming. This week’s theme is being Entrusted. ¬†We have each been given a task and a calling. I hope to walk you through a prayerful journey this week. Stay with me as we delve deeper. For today here is the scriptures for your prayer. 1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43 54-57 62-63 Psalm 119 Give me life by your decrees Luke 18:35-43.

Here is a couple of thoughts to help you along. God entrusts us with living a life under His laws and in His commands. We see the strength of martyrs in the profenation of His holy covenant. Today we encounter the very same thing in our Christian lives. The challenge is are we determined and resolved to choose His law versus death or are we going to cave in?

In Luke we have the blind man who calls out again and again and Jesus asks him as He asks us, “What do you want me to do for you?” This is a silent motivation. By crying out we say, “I trust in your ability to help me. I have the faith that you will.”

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Pray Always

Pray always without becoming weary. This is the beginning of this Gospel passage. There is a lot of power in staying connected with God at all times and bringing before Him everything from want and need to what is frustrating us and to what is giving us joy. And when we watch and listen there is always a reply. Sometimes it comes instantly and at other times we wait for heaven’s answer. It is in those times of difficulty that we are challenged the most to trust that we are being heard. There will always be the temptation to stop but if we stop we loose the grace line or at least it cannot be as effective in us. It is in these hard times that God stretches our muscles. What He is asking is a persistence and a constancy. Why wouldn’t He listen to our prayers?

It seems that if we ask over and over then He must not be hearing. But that is not the¬†case. It is not that He doesn’t hear us it is for us to grow. When we really are asking for something (grace, direction, needs, wants, joys) then He wants to see what we do with it. It stirs into flame our desire. We learn our motives for wanting it. We learn about ourselves and others. It beckons us out of our shell and calls us to greater intimacy and trust. He wants to grow our trust. He wants us to see what we are made of and be driven and passionate for what He wants for us. When we don’t have something, greater becomes our desire for it. I don’t just mean material possessions. We want God’s action in our lives. We want His presence. Prayer brings us closer to that destiny and is the pathway straight to His heart and His desires. One contact with the Divine changes us. Many contacts transforms us. But it is not just our work either. It is also what God does for us, though hidden because it really is Him praying through us. (The Holy Spirit makes up what is lacking and cries out to the Lord in moaning. He makes intercession for us to the Father.) It isn’t doing it is just being. What we offer is a reflection of ourselves and where our hearts lie. It shows God our love for Him and opens us to receive His. Prayer is that dance of receiving and from that love giving in return and bearing fruit.

God’s work is ever-present always-working and moving. He does mighty wonders and little transformations. When we cease to pray then we cease being in touch with God and also loose a clear understanding of who we are. Would not our Loving Father provide for us because we ask Him? Silence in prayer of God’s response is not to spite us but to draw out Faith in us. Will Christ find faith in your heart when He comes? Or will he find an empty space that should have been filled with faith, hope and love?

(Wisdom 18:14-16, 19:6-9 Psalm 105:2-3, 36-37, 42-43, R:Remember the Marvels the LORD has done. 2 Thessalonians 2:14 Luke 18:1-8)

Be Ready

We find God in beautiful nature and we find him when he decides to show Himself. Today we have a detailed description of when Jesus will come again. That it will come with a suddenness of labour ¬†pains. It will be that man continues in His sin right up until the last moment. It keeps getting darker. Perhaps we have come to the end of the age or perhaps not. I want to live in a manner pleasing to Him either way. The end will come. We don’t know when. But I don’t want a servile fear of judgement but a deep love as child and brother. Jesus also gets after the Pharisees for seeing the signs of the weather and not the times. May we be awake and ready!

(Wisdom 13:1-9 Psalm 19:2-5AB Luke 17:26-37 Luke 21:28)

The Coming of Christ

 

I have to chuckle when I hear people begin to tell me, “The end of the world is coming! We are in the End Times!” It reminds me completely of today’s Gospel. Jesus is asked, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” He replies, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” He goes on to tell the disciples to be weary of those who say, “Look! There it is!” don’t run after and pursue them. Jesus says it will come but you will not see it. It will come at an unexpected time and hour. Be watchful and ready. In other words, live your life as if He were coming tomorrow. We are already in the End Times since the day Jesus ascended into heaven. And yes we should watch for His second coming.

But how am I supposed to know it if I’m not to trust when people say, “There it is!”? For that I want to remind you that Jesus promised, “I will be with you till the end of the age.” How does He do that? Two ways. In the Eucharist and by the Holy Spirit who comes to us in the sevenfold gifts; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord (holy awe). Let us go to the first reading to see how that looks.

In Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, Manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, Not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficient, kindly, Firm, secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing, and pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle. ¬†That is a very long list to go by. We should test everything by these words. You might be thinking, that is very long list how am I supposed to remember everything? There is a basic principle that shouts out above all things, “It will be good, true, beautiful, peaceful, constant, and holy.” Yes, things may be peaceful beautiful great but something may not feel right. Listen to those checks. Our spirits are made to know authenticity and there will be an ever present hunger and persistence for the truth. We will have sorrow and something pushing and pursuing us with restlessness if we don’t.

We may convince ourselves everything is just fine, but deep down it is not. This is the process of discernment. All of us go through it. We all make mistakes and are fallible. That is where we can be so thankful for the authority and protection of the Church with the Magisterium and the Holy Father. Christ is coming. Are you ready?

(Wisdom 7:22b-8:1 Psalm 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175 Luke 17:20-25 John 15:5)

Finding God

(Wisdom 6:1-11 Psalm 82:3-4, 6-7 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Luke 17:11-19)

Whoever would be greatest among you must be your servant. This is a scripture passage that went through my head as I was reading the word today. But to those of us whom have any authority (parent teacher CEO employee manager) it isn’t at all about being great but about being in God’s command; in desiring God’s word and longing for it. For this He promises instruction.

Yet it is not even about just being great either. For the Lord shows no partiality for the great and the small alike. He cares for both. I say to you with the lowly he pardons them by mercy. Even if you consider yourself as the great one, it is not at all about being great but being lowly and humble before God. Perhaps we are in a place of feeling under thanked for all our effort in this regard and we can’t hear God’s voice. Let me show you what will bring healing and mercy.

In the Gospel we have 10 lepers begging for mercy. They were the outcasts, lowest on the totem pole and separated from the brethren. They wanted to be brought back to communion and begged for the Mercy of Jesus. One man out of these 10 saw he was healed and ran back to Jesus. He was a Samaritan (even more of an outcast). Scripture says, “he threw himself at his feet and thanked him.” God blessed Him…Your faith has saved you go!

Sin is a far greater leprosy and has wounded our hearts deeply in one way or another. We must cry out for healing. God wants to give it. Yet here is the secret. Perhaps we have been at this healing giving living stage for awhile and growing tired. Throwing ourselves at His feet in thanksgiving for the little things we receive from him opens¬†God’s mercy on a whole new level.

It is not that we are oh so great but that we are trying to acknowledge what God is doing even when we can’t see him as clearly. God can do nothing but give to the one who makes himself lowly in this fashion. He is deeply touched and will bless you. He recognizes your desire but wants you to act on it in the way that you¬†can. He wants us to desire so we can be instructed. It is in these little things that we will find Him and gradually open ourselves to receive more graces and knowledge of Him even in the darkest time.

The Souls of the Just

 

(Wisdom 2:23-3:9 Luke 17:7-10 Psalm 34:2-3, 16-19)

We are in the month of remembering those who have gone before us. Today’s readings really caught my attention as they deal with death. What is spoken? God created man to be imperisible and then by¬†the Devil’s envy death enters the world.¬†Those ¬†who are in his possession experience it. But the souls of the just are in the hands of God. Interesting concept, no? It is as though it doesn’t exist.

Yes there is a day we will pass from this earth and yet it is not utter destruction and affliction. We will be at peace if we live a life of being one of the just, a holy one of God.

What is this life then? What should have been accomplished? We experience the punishment of men and many afflictions or trials and yet are undaunted. This is God’s allowance to be tried in the furnace and found worthy. We are to be sparks among stubble. Our passing is not utter destruction but a visitation of hope. For we are indestructible.

What is this life but a reflection of God’s mercy and love? Is it not to show God has us in hand? A life worthy that is lived in trust. ¬†Undefiled pure. For it is lived by following the commands of the Lord. Yet what¬†is that? Humbly we acknowledge not that we are so great but that we were obedient.

It is as if death melts away. ¬†Don’t get me wrong. The passing of a loved one is very difficult to go through. Pain doesn’t disappear. But what do we have? Hope. This does not diminish. Faith will be fulfilled. Is not this life believing in the unseen and not what we see?¬†What remains? Love. For we must come to the point of seeing God as He is. Can there really be separation?

We don’t see our loved one because we hope by God’s grace they are with Him. Yet in God all are one. God still allows participation. In Him we are not alone. This is not to say we might at times feel lonely for them. I still cry. But is not our vision Heaven? Is not that our true home?

Little Things

 

St. Martin of Tours

Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27

Psalm 145:2-5, 9-10

Luke 16:9-15

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones. So we have another encouragement for living out the daily little things with great love. I say that a lot, but it is very important. It is in the little things that we show our capability for larger things. If we make a habit of dismissing the little things with “It is so small it won’t matter if I skip it,” then how can we be found worthy for the larger more amazing ones? God counts these little things as great acts of love. As a mother, I am encouraged that all the little acts of my day are worth something and so can you in whatever ¬†state in life you find yourself.

The story of St. Martin cutting his cloak for a poor man wonderfully fits in. It was very cold and as he was traveling and came upon a poorly clad man. He gave part of his cloak to cover him and the man was transformed into a vision of Christ wearing part of Martin’s cloak. Whatever you do to the least of those you did it onto me. To think that when I care for each of my daughter’s needs my station is elevated¬†because I am doing it to Christ. Life is no longer mundane when seen in this light.

St. Martin, pray for us that each little act is done in love.

By Word and Deed

download(Romans 15:14-21, Luke 16:1-8, Ps 98:1-4)

For I will not dare to speak of anything
except what Christ has accomplished through me
to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed,
by the power of signs and wonders,
by the power of the Spirit of God.

My life in Christ must bare fruit. My life in Christ should bring others into the fold. How? By word and deed. My life is precisely what others have to see Christ. So it should be a bold proclamation of the work of Jesus Christ. In the simple day to day we should be willing to share what God has and is doing. Also we proclaim by living out faithfully the commands of the Lord in our simple ordinary tasks. In other words, what we say and what we do should be the same as Christ whether in joy or sorrow. It is a question of embracing, by allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us in powerful ways.

In the Gospel today we have someone working hard to make for himself a reputation and a name amongst the people. The way in which he acts is dishonest and yet he gets the praise of the Master. The Master says if only the children of light would act such in the Kingdom! The children of the world are said to deal more prudently with their own than believers. That should be the challenge to step up the anty honestly by how we live. To deal just as strongly for honest gain as the other side deals for dishonest gain. How much more beautiful would this world be if we could honestly live what we say. How many more would become believers. The task? Live authentically every aspect of our lives.

Living Water

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Lectionary: 671
Reading 1 EZ 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
Responsorial Psalm PS 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
Reading 2 1 COR 3:9C-11, 16-17

Gospel JN 2:13-22

 

Does God’s water flow through me? How can it be that each encounter with this living stream make the salt waters of my soul clean? This is the beautiful mystery that Christ makes us whole and entire with his gentle touch. Yet we are a living work made of living stones being built into the temple of the living God. We each are the dwelling place of God and that temple which he built with Jesus as the the foundation and cornerstone.¬†I couldn’t help but ponder as I read the first reading that Jesus comes to me and makes me cleaner each day. Of course the challenge is this: do I walk with Him and respond to that grace? The life giving water is always there but do I plunge into its depths? Do I let it flow over me and clean me? This stream bears fruit in my life. Each patient day brings with it more beautiful foliage along the banks.

The fresh water makes the salt clean. Jesus does this in the Gospel today. He cleanses the temple. And what sign does he give? The destruction of his body and the resurrection after three days. That is a powerful sign! It does prove His place and authority in my heart. What action does He desire in my heart? Am I resistant like those in the temple or am I like His disciples that realize the significance of His words and His works? Sometimes the Lord is dramtic in his work and allows amazing things to happen to both form and shape me but most of the time His work is the gentle stream flowing into mine. My life is transformed by the ordinary happenings each day and with each encounter of His flowing water.