Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2 Samuel 7:4-17, Psalm 89:4-5, 27-30, Mark 4:1-20


2 Samuel 7:4-17, Psalm 89:4-5, 27-30, Mark 4:1-20

2 Samuel 7:4-17

My Beloved Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, Son of David and Redeemer of the world, in You every promise made to David is been fulfilled.  You have established God's Kingdom on earth.  The Eternal City is in our midst in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  You make our body the temple of Your Holy Spirit. Your house and Your reign, O King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is eternal. You are enthroned in heaven, on earth and in the hearts of all men.  You have routed the Enemy saved Your people.

Psalm 89:4-5, 27-30

My Beloved Lord and my God, in You every promise made by the Father is fulfilled in the power of Your Holy Spirit.  You have established the Kingdom of God on earth, it is both visible and invisible in the Church You established with Peter as its head and his successors.  It has Truth as its cornerstone and foundation and You have rendered the gates of hell powerless over it.  It is an everlasting Kingdom and Your rule is eternal.  You govern us with the law of love and You make Your home in our hearts.

Mark 4:1-20

My Beloved, once more You are beside the lake and the crowd is pressing around You forcing You to step away and into a boat.  You move a little away from the shore so all can see You and listen to You. They are hungry for that which only You can give.  You speak of familiar things they can relate to.  

Today's Gospel reading is the oft heard parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil.  We can either switch off as the priest reads it or we can be alert for You always have have something fresh and to say and we will hear You if we listen with eager hearts.

What do You say to me as I read this parable today my Beloved? 

The first word You say to me is, "Listen!" 

I am the sower and this mission is given to all the baptized.  Each day I am called to out out and sow the seed of Your Word.  It is not important where the seeds fall, my task is to do my part.  Wherever I go, whoever I meet, whatever I do, my part is to sow.  Whether hearts are receptive or ought never to be my primary concern.  What ought to concern me is - am I faithful to this call?  Do I sow the seeds of Your Word in all I do and say every moment that I am awake as I go about my daily duties in the world?  Am I guilty of idleness, self-indulgence, silence for fear of rejection, constantly excusing my negligence in being active and zealous for the Kingdom?  You will ensure that the seed will bear fruit, You will send the sun and the rain and the Holy Spirit will ensure the yield for the Kingdom, my sole aim is to be faithful the call which lies in doing what You will me to do each day.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19, Psalm 24:7-10, Mark 3:31-35



2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19, Psalm 24:7-10, Mark 3:31-35

2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19

My Beloved, the Ark of the Covenant contained the Law, Aaron's rod and a jar of manna the food God had provided His people with in the desert.  The Ark was kept in the house of Obededom and he and his family were blessed.

Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.  For nine months, You who are the Word of God, the Good Shepherd and the Bread of Life lay in her womb and everyone she met was blessed, most especially her cousin Elizabeth with whom she stayed for 3 months.

Thank You Lord for remaining in our tabernacles - silent and humble, waiting patiently for us to come and keep You company.  Thank You for making us the Ark of the Covenant each time we receive You in the Holy Eucharist.  Thank You for the rich blessings You give us each time we are made one with You in this Sacrament of Sacraments.

Psalm 24:7-10

My Beloved Jesus, my Lord and my God, I open my heart to receive You today.  Stay with me Lord.  Be my strength, my Guide, my Deliverer.  In You alone I place all my faith, hope, trust and love.  You are my Lord and my God and I adore and worship You.  Stay with me Lord today and always.

Mark 3:31-35

My Beloved in these verses You hold up for us the model of a perfect disciple, one who is a true believer in the Good News, "Whoever does the will of My Father is brother and sister and mother to Me." 

The model par excellence is Mary, Your Mama and ours.  Her response to God was always, "Let it be done to me according to Your word." May I imitate her always and thus always be pleasing to You my Lord and my God.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10, Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26, Mark 4:12-23


2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10, Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26, Mark 4:12-23

2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10

My Beloved, David was 30 years old when he began  his reign as king over Israel.  You were 30 years of age when You began Your public ministry.  Israel was united under David's rule and Jerusalem was called the City of David.

The New Jerusalem is the Church You established on earth.  It is the image of the Kingdom of God and Your Mystical Body as well.  You are the Head of Your Church and we are its members.  Under Your rule all nations and people are united in Your One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  God was with David making him the most celebrated and famous king of Israel until You O Lord who are God with us, Emmanuel. You reign over all creation and in heaven as King of kings and Lord of all.

Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26

All that God accomplished for His people through David His servant and anointed was but a prefigurement and foreshadow of all God would do through You His Beloved Son, in order to redeem His creatures.  He sent You among us as one like us.  He crowned You with glory, honor, wisdom and power.  You are all that He is for You are God and begotten by God.  You were anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit as Priest, Prophet and King and Your Kingdom, unlike David's, is everlasting. 

You are the Rock, the Cornerstone, the Foundation on whom the Church rests.  Through You we are made holy and acceptable to the Father and we are privileged to call Your Father, our Father for You have made us son, daughters and heirs through Baptism. 

Mark 4:12-23

My Beloved You unite, Satan divides.  In unity is strength in division we lay ourselves open to the wiles of the enemy and he strikes with impunity.

The Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.  She is strong and invincible.  Her fortress is impenetrable by evil.  She is Your Bride and You her Bridegroom.  She is animated by Your Holy Spirit and is empowered by Him.    You have promised to remain Your Church until the end of time and You also guarantee that Your Vicar on Earth, the Holy Father, will teach without error in all matters concerning faith and morals..

Those who remain in Your Church have You as Brother and Spouse,the Holy Spirit as Paraclete and Guide and Your Father as Abouna (our Father). We are one in You as You are one in the Father and the same Holy Spirit who unites You to the Father and the Father to You in love, is the the same Spirit who unites the Church to You and You to the Church - making her one with You as her Head.  Thank You for Your promises which give us hope for a future united to You in eternity and joy in this life as well as perfect joy in the next.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51, Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10, Mark 3:1-7


1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51, Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10, Mark 3:1-7

“Stretch out your hand.” (Mk 3:5)
1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51

My Beloved, trusting in You and Your Word, we can do all things, yet, there are the worldly-wise who will discourage us from stepping out boldly in faith.  Their fear hinders them and they in turn put impediments in our path.  No matter how well-intentioned they may be, they hold us back from realizing all that You call us to be in You.  

David was fearless because he did not rely on his own strength, rather he counted on You as his Deliverer and His Help, he knew that he could trust You to come to his aid.  Saul's armor, helmet and sword were much too heavy and cumbersome for David, just like all the baggage we lug around will always be impediments to our ability to carry out Your will.  He got rid of them, went outside, picked up five smooth stones and went to face the enemy.  It took a single stone shot from his sling to fell the huge, heavy burly Philistine Goliath for God was with him.

In our daily struggle we must lean on You and look to You for help with confidence for You never forsake those who belong to You.  We must remember that the battle belongs to You as does the victory.  You struck Satan with one single blow and he has been cast into the outer darkness.

You have triumphed and we rejoice for You have won our salvation.

Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10

You my Beloved are my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer, my Refuge and my Shield.  I hide in the shadow of Your love.  You are my God who loves me and will never forsake me.  You teach and instruct me.  You walk with me.  You hold my hand.  You life me up when I fall.  No evil can touch me for I am saved by Your Blood.  You paid my ransom and set me free.  I rejoice in You and I adore You. My Lord and my God!

Mark 3:1-7

My Beloved, You entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, a holy day reserved only for prayer.  Work was forbidden and the Jews had strict rules about what was lawful and unlawful.

You noticed the man with the paralyzed hand - it was clear to You that here was a man in need however the people were watching You with pursed lips and narrowed eyes.  They knew You well enough by now to know that nothing would prevent You from reaching out to one in need.  The vultures were ready and waiting to swoop down and strike You.

Often when we come to church instead of participating in the celebration of prayer, praise, worship, adoration and thanksgiving our critical gaze is seeking to find fault and nit pick.  Everything is wrong the celebrant, the lectors, the altar services, the homily, the choir, the sound system, the children, the people.  We have sour expressions on our faces and we look like we would rather be any place else and it is only out of duty that we come to God's house on the Lord's Day. We have absolutely no clue about the purpose of our presence in the House of the Lord.

You were not constrained by the lack of charity of those around You.  You did not desire to be politically correct, instead, in front of all those gathered there, You called the man and right before their feigned scandalous gaze You did the good that God always wants done irrespective of the circumstances and the consequences.

You see the hearts of men and You know their secret, innermost thoughts and more often than not my Beloved You are grieved and full of sadness at the duplicity of those who profess to be Your followers.  We are close minded and lacking in generosity.

You teach by example that we must not let anything stand in the way of doing good no matter what the consequences.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28, Mark 2:23-28



1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28, Mark 2:23-28

1 Samuel 16:1-13

 My Beloved there are many things that You reveal in these verses.
  1. We are not to lock ourselves and grieve over the past but we  must always be ready and alert to hear what You desire us to do next.  Putting past failures behind us we must look to You with hope and expectant faith.
  2. We must be unafraid when we are doing Your work in obedience to Your call.  We must be have confidence in You knowing that You will reveal to us what needs to be done.  We must take time to listen to what You have to say and how You desire us to act in any given situation.
  3. We cannot offer You a sacrifice pleasing to You if we approach You with unclean hearts; this is why the Church invites us in the Penitential Rite of the Liturgy to ask for forgiveness and pardon for our sins, only then will our sacrifice be pleasing and acceptable to God.
  4. You remind us that You do not judge as man judges by outward appearances, rather You look at the person's heart.  We are called to do the same.
  5. God's choice must be our choice as well, in this is wisdom.  We must not rest until we discern God's will and then we must act on it.
  6. Once we have acted in accordance with the will of God blessings will surely follow.
Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28

 My Beloved, the kingship of David and his reign over Your people was a foreshadow of Your own rule and Kingship over all nations.  You are the Chosen One, the Anointed, the Christ, the Light of the Word, the One who redeems all.  God has given You the Crown, the Shepherd's Crook and the Scepter.  To You is given all glory, power, honor and authority. Your Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom and Your rule is eternal.  You are the Firstborn of all who through the waters of baptism have become the adopted children of the Most High God.  You are our God, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Hope, our Peace, our Love and our Life.  You are the Light that illumines the world, we no longer walk alone in the dark.  Your Light has made the darkness flee and the terrors of the night are no more.

Mark 2:23-28

My  Beloved, sometimes we become rigid and hidebound by rules and regulations.  We become obsessed with theories  and get caught up in man made traditions, laws and customs and we forget to see what is most important - the person who is need of our compassion, understanding and charity.  There are times when we must cast aside all the externals that we stubbornly cling to and get down on our knees and serve.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20, Psalm 40:2, 7-10, Mark 1:29-39


1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20, Psalm 40:2, 7-10, Mark 1:29-39

1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20

May I like Samuel stay close to You my Beloved.  Awake or asleep may I remain by You.  May I be attuned to the sound of Your voice and each time You call me, may my response like Samuel's be, "I am here."  May I desire to hear all You have to say to me attentively.  

Through the years that are granted to me before You call me home, stay by me and grant that I too remain by You.  

Just as the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel by giving him His word, so too has God revealed Himself to me through His Eternal Word.
Psalm 40:2, 7-10

May my attitude be like that of the Psalmist in verse 2, 

With resolve I waited for the Lord; he listened and heard me beg.

You always hear the prayers of Your faithful and I know that You hear my prayers as well.  What pleases You is a heart attuned to Your voice and a will ready to yield to Yours.  Your law, my Beloved, is the law of love, may I delight in obeying it gladly for this law is written on my heart.  Grant me the grace to witness gladly and openly to all that You have so graciously and lovingly done for me.

Mark 1:29-39

These verses are a snapshot of a typical day in Your life when You walked among Your people and should be a typical day in the life of Your disciples and followers, in short every Christian's life.  After You left the synagogue You did not go off for some downtime on Your own, rather You went to the home of Peter in the company of the other disciples.  On entering Peter's home and discovering that his mother-in-law was sick, they had the good sense to bring their concern to You knowing that You would not be indifferent to her need.  They were right.  You reached out and took the woman by her hand and instantly Your power, strength and health poured into her and infused her body with it.  Immediately all that ailed her vanished.  Her response must be ours as well. Once we have encountered You, are touched by You, we must get up at once and minister and serve You who are present in those around us.

Your concern was not limited to those closest to You but reached out to all who came to You and each received healing.

At the end of a physically and emotionally exhausting day it would have been understandable if You sought rest for Your body instead You woke up before the sun and went away from the crowds to pray.  This is a reminder to us that without God we can do nothing.  We need You as much as we need air to breathe, food to eat and water to drink.  We must not linger after we have served in order to receive praise and thanks for what we have done, rather, we have to move on and continue reaching out touching others too that they may also encounter You through us.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1 Samuel 1:9-20, 1 Samuel 2:1,4-8, Mark 1:21-48


1 Samuel 1:9-20, 1 Samuel 2:1,4-8, Mark 1:21-48
1 Samuel 1:9-20

My Beloved, there is so much in these verses.  The place of the priest is beside the doorpost of God's house.  In distress when we run to You and our poor hearts cry out to You, You will hear for You are a God of tender compassion and merciful love.  No one knows the heart of man as You do for we are Your creatures and the work of Your hands.  You are moved to pity when we cry out to You in distress. The cry of a wounded heart reaches Your heart as  as an arrow and You my Beloved hasten to hear and answer.  Thank You.

1 Samuel 2:1,4-8

"My heart exults in the Lord."
Mark 1:21-48

My Beloved, it is no wonder that You acted and spoke with authority - evil spirits recognised who You were, the Author and Creator of all life.  The Word of God through whom all that is came to be.

Evil always recognizes good because it is the antithesis of good.  It is those who live in gray areas, who are neither hot or cold, who do not see and recognize You as the beloved Son of the Living God. You are God and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Monday, January 13, 2014

1 Samuel 1:1-8, Psalm 116:12-19, Mark 1:14-20

1 Samuel 1:1-8, Psalm 116:12-19, Mark 1:14-20

1 Samuel 1:1-8

God's love is not dependent on what we have or what we can give Him.  He loves us just as we are.  In fact it is the one who has nothing that God loves tenderly.  It is our very helplessness that so moves the heart of the God of love to hasten to our side and help us.

My Beloved, I have nothing and I am nothing but with You I am all things and have all things.  Stay with me Lord and be my strength, my hope and my courage.

Psalm 116:12-19

I can repay the goodness of God our Father by offering up to Him the Cup of Salvation, the Sacrifice of His beloved Son.  There is no offering more pleasing to Him.  It rises upwards as fragrant incense more pleasing than any other sacrifice I can offer.

What is pleasing to my God is that I faithfully fulfill all the promises that I make to Him and by living out my life before Him and before the world in a manner that gives Him glory and honor.

Beloved, may I do nothing to kill the life in my soul and thus wound my God.  Grant that I may be faithful all the days of my life.

Mark 1:14-20

The lesser must give way to the greater.  Each fulfills the task that they were created to do and then passes on.  John prepared the way for You and once he fulfilled all that God desired, it was time for him to decrease.  The time had come - Your time my Beloved to bring about the Kingdom of God among men.  

It is not enough to repent and believe, there has to be a radical conversion of life.  A turning away from evil and a turning towards good.  

You call us where we are, in the midst of daily living.  We must be aware and attuned to God so we can hear You and hearing be prepared to leave everything and anything that may hinder us from answering Your call promptly, obediently and joyfully.

A hired man is paid a wage but to the children of God belongs the inheritance.