Sunday, February 28, 2016

Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15, Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-8, 11, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12, Luke 13:1-9


Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15, Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-8, 11,
1Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12, Luke 13:1-9

Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15

My Beloved, when God called Moses from the burning bush and he responded, “Here I am,” as he approached it, God said, “Do not come near, take off your sandals because the place where you are standing is holy ground.” When You call my Beloved, You do not stop me from approaching You and touching You because as God made Man You make possible for me to encounter God intimately and personally. I do not need to hide my face because in perfect humility Your divinity is hidden in Bread and Wine so I can approach You without fear. If we beheld Your glory we too would be too awe-stricken to come close to You and You desire intimacy with us.

I too am given a mission. You have sent me to make known to those I encounter my personal experience of You. Just as God assured Moses that He would be with Him so too You assure me that You are with me. You abide in me and made my body Your temple. Thank You for being so closely united with me always. 
You will be my spouse forever,
betrothed in justice and integrity;
we will be united in love and tenderness.
I will espouse you in faithfulness;
and you will come to know Yahweh
                                           Hosea 2:21-22

Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-8, 11

My Beloved, how much do You love me? Verse 11 tells me that as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is Your love for me

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32


Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, 
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20

My Beloved, You are our Good Shepherd and You guide us with the staff of Your Word. We are the flock who are called by Your Name. We belong to You. You keep us safe from the enemy. You guard us and feed us with Your Flesh. You cover us with Your precious Blood and we are protected from the wiles of the destroyer. You freed us from our guilt. You pardon all our offenses; You shelter us under Your wings for we are Your people. We are members of Your Body. You have washed away our iniquities and cleansed us from all ours. You have set us free as children of God and we are free indeed. Grace, joy, love and peace is our inheritance.

Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12

Grant my Beloved, Savior of the world and Savior of my life that I may bless and praise You every moment of every day for as long as I live. You have been exceedingly gracious to me and I am aware that I have not deserved such loving, kind and tender consideration. For I have sinned often and greatly but You have forgiven me. You have washed me and bathed me in the flood-tide that gushed forth from the wound in Your side. Not only am I forgiven and restored to the family of God. Thank You for not remembering my many sins but washing them in the ocean of Your mercy and forgetting them altogether.

Thank You for Your kindness in not judging me according to my guilt but in the measure of Your love. I love You.

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

My Beloved, how often I have squandered the treasures of my soul in sinful ways. Yet, You never abandoned Me. I could have died while wallowing in my sins but You did not call me to account, You did not abandon me and You did not let me die in my sins. You have always made provision for me giving me so much more than I have ever deserved. You made sure that at no stage in my life I lacked anything. There was always someone to reflect God’s love for me. Even in the days when I had turned my back on You to did not take Your gaze from me. You let me go but You kept me in sight waiting for me to come back to my senses like the prodigal son and to let my own hunger and thirst for You bring me back home into Your heart. Thank You for not treating me as I deserved but for embracing me and restoring to me my dignity as a member of the household of God. I love You. Thank You for loving me when I was at my worst and thank You for encouraging me to try to do better.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a, Psalm 105:16-21, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46


Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a, Psalm 105:16-21,
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a

My Beloved, Joseph had to be aware that he was his father’s favorite son. He was the youngest of the brothers. When he started having these unusual dreams of his brothers bowing before him perhaps he did not imagine that their jealousy of their father’s love for him would rouse them to anger when he narrated his dreams to them. In fact they were so furious they were plotting to kill him.

So it was with You. The Father sent You into the world, His well-beloved Son to the people He had formed from the seed of Abraham to reveal His love but they were jealous of You and plotted to kill You. Joseph was sold for 20 silver coins, You were sold for 30. God was with Joseph and He raised him to become the second most powerful man in Egypt and to be the means by which God would feed His people during the severe famine. In the same way my Lord, You were raised on the Cross and through the Cross You would free us from our sins taking them upon Yourself and in exchange giving us Your life.

Psalm 105:16-21

The psalmist reminds us to recall the marvels that You have done. Truly my Beloved, when I am despondent all I need to do is count my blessings and my soul will revive for I know how You have cared for me. You have redeemed me, called me by name, You paid the ransom for my freedom with Your life. You give me new life through the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit. You offer Your Body and Blood as food and drink so I can live a life pleasing to God whom You have taught us to call Father. Thank You Beloved, thank You.

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

My Beloved, the Father knew perfectly well what would happen when He sent You into the world. He sent You to die because the world is wicked and the world prefers to wallow in sin foolishly believing that pandering to the cravings of the flesh is what life is all about. Anyone who shows them otherwise is rejected, persecuted, ridiculed and ostracized. It is easier to give in than to resist. The Old Testament prophesy has been fulfilled:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Thank You Beloved for the Church and for the privilege of being born and baptized into Your Body. Thank You for the rich treasures of grace and mercy available to me through Your Church.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Luke 16:19-31

Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Luke 16:19-31
Jeremiah 17:5-10 My Beloved, You tell it like it is through the mouth of the prophet. How foolish we are when we trust put our trust in people who are just as flawed as we are, instead of having unshakeable confidence in You alone and trusting only You. There are times when we also look to our own selves and trust our strength instead of just throwing ourselves in utter abandon on You. If we choose to live without You our lives become a barren waste and even though Your love for us never wavers we are unable to receive it.

Thank You Beloved that with true contrition and repentance there is always a new beginning. It is the Holy Spirit who gives new life and helps us put out new roots in You giving us access to Your grace and love. No harm can come to those who are grafted to You. Those who are fed on the sap of the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments are alive and fruitful, the bear fruit no matter what difficulty they may have to face. Their faith in You gives them confidence for they know that possessing You they possess all.

Psalm 1:1-4 and 6 My hope is in You Lord. I trust in You and Your Word is my delight. It strengthens me, increases my faith and gives me a greater awareness of Your love. Rooted in You I have access to life giving water that never dries up, I am fed with the Bread of Angels receive grace upon grace to meet any challenge I may encounter. Your Word O Lord assures me that even in the face of challenges You are always in total control. As long as I fix my gaze on You with unwavering faith I am safe for You watch over those who belong to You and I know I do.
Luke 16:19-31
My Beloved, may I never be so hard of heart that I am deaf to the Voice of Love. Keep me sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. May the power of Your Word give me wisdom and fill me with wisdom to always choose good over evil. Give me a heart that is sensitive to the cries of those around me do not let me become callous and indifferent. Lord God You have said that You came to serve not to be serve. Grant me the grace that takes me out of my selfishness so that I may see those who are suffering and in need and may I be moved to be of service.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Jeremiah 18:18-20, Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16, Matthew 20:17-28


Jeremiah 18:18-20, Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16, Matthew 20:17-28 

Jeremiah 18:18-20

My Beloved, the world has always hated those who held a mirror to their wickedness. The good have always been persecuted. Those who fear God and constantly warn people of that their sins will lead to their eternal destruction are never popular. This is why You cautioned us saying that if the world hates us to remember that it hated You first and if they try to kill us they tried to kill you too and succeeded. Let us rejoice then if we are counted worthy to suffer for Your sake and for the sake of the Good News.

Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16

Save me my Beloved, for I am weak and I stumble at the smallest temptation. Keep me from being snared by the traps set for me. Hide me Lord, let me take refuge in Your Sacred Heart. I give You Lordsiip over my whole being. Save me from myself. Shut my ears to the clamor of my senses; grant me the grace to master my will. You are God and I trust in You to come to my help and save me.

Matthew 20:17-28

My Beloved, so often I am as obtuse as the Apostles were. I am so caught up in my own selfishness that I fail to pay attention to what people are saying. I am oblivious of their needs. In these verses You are revealing to the Twelve the reason why You are going to Jerusalem and what awaits You there. You know exactly what is about to take place and You speak bluntly about the abominable horrors that are to be inflicted upon Your Sacred Person. You will be handed over to evil and be condemned to die. Gentiles will then take over to begin what the Chosen people had begun so there will be blood on the hands of all those in authority on both sides Jews and Gentiles who will conspire together to commit Deicide. One can only imagine Your own troubled thoughts as You list the unspeakable tortures that are to come ending with the awesome promise that You will rise again on the third day.

The mother of James and John comes and kneels before You to ask a favor on behalf of her sons. Did they put her up to it or did she come of her own accord? As all mothers she wants the best for her children sometimes selfishly without too much thought about anyone else. You ask that they be seated at Your right and left in the Kingdom of Heaven. You tell her that these positions are not Yours to allot but You Father will decide who will be seated beside You. They will however have to share in Your suffering.

When the others heard that the two were lobbying for important positions they were angry. You then teach an important lesson for life.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

It would do us well to remember that the Kingdom of God belongs to the little ones.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23, Matthew 23:1-12


Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23, Matthew 23:1-12

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20

My Beloved, Lord and my God, today You remind me once more that it is not enough just to hear Your Word but I must listen attentively and heed Your instructions. Repentance and metanoia are at the heart of the You message today. You invite me to wash my sins away and cease to do the things that distance me from You who are my only good. I must be sensitive to the cries of those less fortunate than I. A willingness to obey You in all things disposes me to receive all the good things that You desire to give me. But hardness of heart, resistance to Your call and a refusal to obey will surely lead to eternal death. As long as today lasts my Lord let me take refuge in You. 

Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21, 23 

  My Beloved, if I am to be counted among those who are saved then I must be willing to be disciplined when I choose to evil rather than good. When You make my sins known to me help me not to deny them but to confess them and accept the correction I deserve. A good father disciplines his children, leads them on the path of righteousness and encourages them to do good. Those who obey He will bless and save.

Matthew 23:1-12

  My Beloved Jesus, to be honest I must admit that I like being acknowledged, being singled out and praised. I like being patted on the back and hearing the words, “Well done!” In fact I am often disappointed when I hear nothing after I have taken pains to do what was asked of me. I like being noticed and like a child I revel in the nice things that people say of me. But the truth is my Lord that I am flawed, weak, sinful, prideful, self-righteous on occasion, critical most of the time and hideously aware of everyone else’s missteps which are often understandable. What may be acceptable in others due to ignorance is unacceptable in myself because I know better and therefore in me is inexcusable. 

When You point out the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law and warn Your hearers to do as they say not as they do it is indeed sad because when we are placed in positions of responsibility we are called to be vigilant always so we do not lead anyone astray by the bad example we give to those who look up to us. “Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great.” As often in Your teachings, here too we have a clear contradiction from worldly wisdom which considers the sin of pride a virtue. Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Your Own. Amen.