Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1 Samuel 17:32-33,37,40-51, Psalm 144:1,2,9,10 , Mark 3:1-6

1 Samuel 17:32-33,37,40-51, Psalm 144:1,2,9,10  , Mark 3:1-6
1 Samuel 17:32-33,37,40-51

My Beloved, we see from these verses that all we need is faith that God is always with us. No matter how great the problem may be the power of the Lord will deliver us from every evil. David was a young lad who believed that it was the hand of God that protected him from the wild beasts as he cared for his sheep. All our problems when viewed without faith look insurmountable like Goliath until we discover that nothing is impossible with You. We do not need to clutter our faith and impede our walk with God with the things of the world which will only slow us down. Armed with faith, hope and trust in the Lord no enemy can or will prevail. God works mightily on behalf of those who believe that You are the Son of God sent into the world to reveal the Face of God our Father. When the Holy Spirit unleashes the power of God we receive all the graces we need to combat evil.

You my Beloved are the God who saves. The great I AM who is with us always.

Psalm 144:1,2,9,10

My Beloved, with  one single stone from his sling and aimed at the forehead of Goliath, David was able to knock the mighty enemy to the ground and with the enemy’s own sword David beheaded him. You are the Rock of salvation. We need only the power of the Holy Spirit to unleash the mighty power of Your Word and we will be able to disarm and destroy the enemy. No power is greater than the power of God who fights our battles for us. You are our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer and our shield. You keep us safe from evil and we exult in Your great love for us. Thank You for Your abiding Presence in us and for making our heart your home.

Mark 3:1-6

My Beloved why is it that good stirs up such hatred in the hearts of evil men? The synagogue is a place where men gather to pray and on this particular Sabbath there is a man with a withered hand. A useless hand that prevented him from working up to his full potential. What caused it we do not know. Was he born that way or did he have an accident that rendered his hand useless the passage does not say. We only know that You were the only one present who could cure him – the Pharisees knew this as well but they were more concerned with catching  You break the Sabbath  law. It was their ah ha moment to condemn You before those who were present. They had absolutely no concern about the man who needed help. What an irony – they knew that You had power to heal and such power could only come from God and yet their sole concern was to accuse You of breaking the law.

You were unafraid – You challenged the Pharisees with the question, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Their silence condemned them for there was no defense against their evil intent. You grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man was healed. Instead of rejoicing the Pharisees plotted to kill You. Before we rush to judge them let us pause for a moment and see how we too like the Pharisees prefer self-righteousness to compassion. We would rather cut off our nose to spite our face than admit that we are wrong and that we are sinners. We are also like the man with the withered hand which has become useless because we do not stretch it out in service. If we do not use the gifts that God has given us they will atrophy and we too will become spiritually withered.

Monday, January 18, 2016

1 Samuel 15:16-23, Psalm 50:8,9,16,17,21,23, Mark 2:18-22


1 Samuel 15:16-23, Psalm 50:8,9,16,17,21,23, Mark 2:18-22

1 Samuel 15:16-23

My Beloved, I too have been anointed priest, prophet and king by virtue of my baptism and I have been given a mission to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of salvation.  To this end You have equipped and empowered me, You fill me with Your Holy Spirit and You have given me the Sacraments Food for the journey in the Holy Eucharist and forgiveness and cleansing from sin and renewal, restitution and new life in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Obedience to God in all things is more pleasing to you than any sacrifice. In obedience I act in humility giving You rightful authority over me. Beloved Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours.

Psalm 50:8,9,16,17,21,23

My Beloved, no offering is pleasing and acceptable to God if I do not offer it in a spirit of obedience and humility. Your will before mine. What you ask of me each day is to live out my vocation every moment aware that in all things I must glorify God. When You correct me help not to be rebellious. You love me and desire to remove from me all that displeases God. Help me to accept all the little difficulties that I experience each day gladly knowing that in all things God is working for good.

Mark 2:18-22

My Beloved, just like the people who questioned You we too can become so absorbed nit picking self righteously that we fail to see the larger picture. It is more important to seek God’s will in all circumstances and do it than to spend time finding fault with everything. We get so caught up in doing things the way they have always been done instead of listening the Holy Spirit and being led and guided by Him. We ought never to lose the wonder of a child. You are with us, Emmanuel, and the Church recognizes that there is an appropriate time to fast and to feast and we must do both.

We are living in the Day of the Lord. You are the Bridegroom. You have given us a new commandment and You, His Son, are the New Covenant of Love that God has established between Him and we who are His people. We are born of water, fire and the Holy Spirit the old has given way to the new. We are no longer guided by the Law which brings death but by Love which gives life.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13, Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23, Matthew 21:28-32


Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13, Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23, Matthew 21:28-32

Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13

My Beloved, we are reminded today that the proud, the rebellious, the hard of hard, the willfully disobedient who have refused to be drawn to You will perish. But those who are repentant You will purify. Those who call on You will be heard and those who hear and obey will be forgiven. The wicked will be destroyed but the meek and humble will be privileged to come into Your holy Presence and offer You praise and worship and You will fill their hearts with joy and peace. You will lead them to pasture and feed them and in You they will find rest.

Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23

My Beloved, anyone who calls out to You in distress, sorrow and pain You will hear. You will rush to our help and save us. You who are our Savior have redeemed us. You have taken upon Yourself our guilt, our punishment and our shame and we are now free of guilt for by Your wounds we are healed, forgiven and restored to the glory we had lost through sin. We are a people whose song is Alleluia, we rejoice because God Himself has come to our rescue and has delivered us from the jaws of death and from the traps set to ensnare us by the enemy. You hear every sigh. You wipe away our tears. You have turned our sorrow into joy for You are God who dwells with us and delights in us.

Matthew 21:28-32

My Beloved, God loved us so much He sent You into the world so You could restore what we had lost forever. You came to show us the way to the Father. You revealed the immensity of His love to us in not withholding His only Son but offered You up as the only perfect Sacrifice that could pay a debt we incurred through sin but could not pay. To every man, woman and child is offered salvation at no cost. All we have to do is accept what God has done for us. Turn away from the way that leads to death and eternal separation from You and enter into the Kingdom of God and take the place that God has prepared for us from eternity.

You warn us today that God is not fooled by hypocrites whose lips say a pious yes but whose hearts are far away from You.

Friday, January 8, 2016

1 John 5:5-13, Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20, Luke 5:12-16


1 John 5:5-13, Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20, Luke 5:12-16

1 John 5:5-13

My Beloved, this truth which is revealed by God to us is this, that we receive eternal life through faith when we believe in our hearts and acknowledge with our lips that You are the Son of God, sent by God to become the means by which we are saved. God sent You into the world to reveal to us that although we are sinners, we are weak and we are unworthy, deserving of death yet, God loves us so completely that He sent You, His only Son into the world to take upon Yourself the our burden of sin and its consequences which is death so we can become a new creation and have new life in You. Through the Sacraments of Baptism (water), Holy Eucharist (Blood) and Confirmation (Spirit) we testify that God indeed sent His Son into the world to bridge the chasm that sin had created between God and mankind.

Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20

My Beloved, all of us who believe in You and nestle in the bosom of Holy Mother Church should live each day exulting in all that God has accomplished for us in and through You. He grants us sonship through the Sacrament of Baptism, He feeds us on the finest wheat in the Holy Eucharist which is Your Body and we are sanctified through Your Holy Spirit whom You sent into the world once You ascended to Your Father. We have Your Holy Word in Scripture which is the Word of Life and Truth and reveals God’s plan for us from the moment He created the world and until it comes to an end with Your second coming when You will reconcile all things in You and present us Your Bride, the Church, without wrinkle and stain for the glory of the Father and receive a place in the Kingdom that He has prepared us so that we too may remain with Him for all eternity.

Luke 5:12-16

My Beloved, the most effective way to always live a life pleasing to God is to ensure that we strive to imitate You always. Everything we require to achieve this purpose You have given us. In the Sacraments of Baptism,  Holy Eucharist and Confirmation we are made children of God, we are strengthened by Your Body and Blood and we are empowered to carry out our mission by the outpouring and infilling of Your Holy Spirit.  But as today’s Gospel passage points out we are sinners and we are constantly battling against the world, the flesh and the devil. Because of our own sinful inclinations we choose to sin and we become untouchable with the sin of leprosy. We are ostracized from the community of God’s people and we would despair had You not given us the most wonderful Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Every time our weaker inclinations draw us into sin You invite us to repent and confess our sins in a spirit of humility and sorrow and You wipe our sins which although they may be like scarlet are removed and cast into the depths of the oceans of Your merciful, forgiving love. Having experience such wondrous love we must spend our entire lives telling everyone about You so they too can come to know, love and believe in You as we have.

Finally, we are reminded of the important of spending time alone with You in pray. Withdrawing from the world and its many distractions we are called to listen to You, talk to You and spend time in intimate silence with You and return to our daily life with renewed spiritual vigor.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

1 John 4:19, 5:4, Psalm 72: 72:1-2, 14-15, 17, Luke 4:14-22


1 John 4:19, 5:4, Psalm 72: 72:1-2, 14-15, 17, Luke 4:14-22

1 John 4:19, 5:4

My Beloved, You desire us to love everyone because You loved us who are undeserving of love such as Yours. You loved us while we were still sinners and You lay down Your life for us to save us from eternal death and damnation. I cannot say I love You Beloved if I harbor resentment and dislike in my heart for anyone. Love of God demands that I keep His commands and Your commandment is this. Love of God is so all inclusive that no one remains outside the circle of love. The natural and true outcome for loving God is a love for self and neighbor because You first loved me. Born of love which has overcome the world I have received victory which overcomes the world through faith in You. Faith is a divine gift given to those who believe.

Luke 4:14-22

My Beloved, the reading taken from the Gospel of Luke reveals Your mission. It is a mission that is handed down to all Your anointed. I am called to imitate You in all things and You who have called me have empowered me to do all that You have done and even greater things because You have given me Your Holy Spirit – He is Your Gift to me. I can do all things through the power of God working in me.