Sunday, March 13, 2016

Isaiah 43:16-21, Philippians 3:8-14, Psalm 126:1-6, John 8:1-11


Isaiah 43:16-21, Philippians 3:8-14, Psalm 126:1-6, John 8:1-11

Isaiah 43:16-21

My Beloved, You have formed us for Yourself, we who belong to You are happiest when we, rejoice in Your kindness and goodness and sing praises to You. The more we praise You the more we understand how generous You are in providing us all we need to live happy lives. You have called us out of darkness to walk in Your light. We have a new beginning with You who always wipes the slate of our sinful past clean. You do not desire us to get bogged down with memories of the past. The experiences of the past are only useful in as much as they teach us not to make the same mistakes again and to look ahead with confidence for You are at work in us to give us a great future and a joyful hope. You are the Way the Truth and the Life and You make us partakers of Your great bounty and of Your inheritance.

Philippians 3:8-14

My Beloved, You desire us to conquer You through obedience and humility as we are conquered by You through Your infinite goodness, mercy and love. I possess You as You possess me. You are as much Mine as I am Yours; completely, totally, fully. Do with me my Beloved just as You will.

My Beloved, St. Paul had an incredible journey; he who once hated the Church and persecuted her members was privileged to encounter You in such a dramatic way that his life was never again the same. You had an awesome mission for him and through grace and cooperation with Your will, he completed it, leaving for us all a shining example of all that is possible if we only allow ourselves to be led, guided and inspired by Your Holy Spirit. He was given wisdom and understanding in order that we may profit from all that was revealed to him. The insights are phrased in language that has power to stir the heart and enkindle the spirit. We come to appreciate the power of grace and the work of God in those who yield in loving submission to the Holy Spirit.

Nothing that the world offers can compare with the riches of knowing You as the Father desires us to know You. The world is well lost if we have found You. The more the Holy Spirit reveals the more there is to discover; layer upon layer of fascinating truths about God, about His Love, and about the lengths that He was prepared to go in order that we may desire to grasp Him, conquer Him, possess Him as He has taken hold of us and will never let us go.

The race is not over, the Prize not won – as long as I am in the world my frail flesh will continue to be beguiled by sin as it presents itself to me in various disguises to allure my senses and weak as I am I will fall. Thanks be to God I have a Savior who understands, a Beloved who has compassion, a God is always merciful and who forgets my sinful past so completely that He no longer recalls it but gives me every opportunity to start over, begin anew and continue to press on toward You my Lord and my God.

Psalm 126:1-6

My Beloved, we are living in an age when Christians are being persecuted in many parts of the world. Countries that were once Christian and have a Christian heritage have succumbed to the spirit of the age and those who are faithful are denigrated, face discrimination, are taken to court, imprisoned, tortured, belittled, lose their possessions and are denied their rights. The world refuses to acknowledge that there is a real threat to Christians everywhere. The psalm today encourages us and gives us hope. Even if we have to go out and sow in tears as we witness with courage, perhaps even to the shedding of our blood, the seeds that have been sown at such great cost will yield a plentiful harvest. A day of rejoicing and thanksgiving will come and we will all praise the great deeds of the Lord and how He rescued us and brought us to safe harbor.

John 8:1-11

My Beloved, You spent the night on Mount Olives with Your Father in prayer, in close communion with Him and at daybreak, filled with the power that comes from God after being in intimate union with Him You went to the Temple where God makes His dwelling place among men. You waited for the people who would come to You that day to listen to You. They came in large numbers eager to hear You for until now they had never heard such powerful preaching and teaching for You spoke with the authority of God unlike the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees who instead of being edified by You and learning from You were jealous and sought every opportunity to harass and threaten You. On this occasion they dragged in a poor woman who had committed adultery and accused her in public demanding that she be stoned to death according to the Law of Moses.

Her accusers had neither pity nor mercy, they were eager to see how You would respond for You preached forgiveness and mercy. Here was an opportunity to trap You, to test You for the Law was clear, an adulterer was to be stoned to death. You turned the tables neatly on them and said that anyone who was without sin was to cast the first stone. And as You wrote in the dust they all left one by one beginning with the elders. No one would dare to say that they were without sin for only God is sinless. You were left alone with the woman and when You stood up and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one.” And then You spoke those beautiful words that were balm to her soul and washed away every sin she had ever committed, “Neither do I condemn you; go in peace and don’t sin again.”

I will sin again Lord because I am a sinner – but I take comfort from the fact that You love the sinner and that there is a beautiful remedy for sin in the Sacrament of Healing and an awesome antidote to the poison of sin in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Thank you.

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