Saturday, May 21, 2016

James 5:12-20, Palm 141:1-3, 8, Mark 10:13-26


James 5:12-20, Palm 141:1-3, 8, Mark 10:13-26

James 5:12-20

My soul’s beloved, the words of today’s reading echo Your message to me in Your Word for me today. Of all the things Your Word reveals through the Apostle James we are made aware of what true believers’ lives are like. They do not swear, taking the Name of God lightly, for they know the power of the Name. When they are discouraged they pray. When they are happy they sing songs of joy and gladness to You for You are the source of all joy. When they visit the sick, pray and lay hands on them in faith, You assure them that they will be healed in body and in spirit. 

You urge us to forgive those who have wronged us and whom we have wronged – healings take place through confession of sins  and subsequently being forgiven and absolved. The prayer of the righteous has power to accomplish signs and wonders. And finally we are assured that ifwe bring  a sinner back home, and save his soul from eternal damnation, we in turn will experience the rich mercy of God who will forgive all our sins.

Palm 141:1-3, 8

My soul’s beloved, Your Name is always on my lips, and it is echoed by my heartbeat, my pulse and the rhythm of my life; this is why You have heard me and answered my prayers. I know that I am your little nothing. Infinitesimally small, less than a speck, but You love me passionately and You draw me into Your infinity and make me one with You. 

Loving Lord grant that I may never utter a word that could be offensive to You. May the Holy Spirit encompass me every moment of the day and night, so awake or asleep I may never cause You to withdraw from me. If You do I would die. Keep my gaze fixed on You always and do not cast me away from Your Presence for You are my refuge and without You I would be orphaned.

Mark 10:13-26

My soul’s beloved, there is so much that You reveal in today’s Gospel verses. You begin with revealing to us that it is good to bring our children to You so You may touch them. Children who were thought to be of no importance in the Jewish world at that time but not to You. You were never too tired to welcome children, to You, draw them to Your knee, lay Your hands on them and bless them.  When the disciples tried to keep them from You the Word of God says that You were angry and rebuked them. You then reveal to the disciples that Only those who are humble and childlike with enter the Kingdom of God.

Immediately the scene shifts to a young man running hastily in order to meet You. He knelt before You and revealed the desire of his heart, he wanted eternal life. However we see as the scene unfolds that our desires for the good, the true, the noble and the beautiful, often are not strong enough to withstand the lure of the world and the flesh. You told him that keeping the commandments was necessary in order to gain eternal life the man responded that he had kept these since childhood. You knew that it was true and You loved him. He was ready now to take the next step in discipleship and You told him how he could have the one thing he lacked – he had to let go of the things that enslaved him, his vast, personal wealth. Sell it all, You said to him, give the money to poor and having set himself free feom all material things, he was invited to follow You with an undivided heart.

We see from his response that he was far too attached to all this worldly possessions and did not have the strength of will or sufficient love for God to give it all up and while he kept his wealth, he lost a Kingdom.

The disciples were  shocked when You told them that entering the Kingdom of God was not easy for any man especially the rich. They wondered aloud who then could enter it. You said that for man it was impossible to bridge the chasm between God and man that sin had created; but not for God. An incarnate God alone could restore what man had lost through deliberate disobedience to the will of God.

Thank You my soul’s beloved for restoring the Kingdom of God to men and making it possible for us to enter it through You .

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