Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Everybody should be proud of their country.  Don't you think so?

Read Psalm 66.

You think this patriot is proud that his country won a soccer game?  You know soccer fans!
Whatever.  This psalmist is thankful for what God has done for his nation.  We need to be likewise.  If ever a country needed to give thanks to God, it's the USA.

God is concerned with not only every individual but for every country in this world.  "Let all the earth cry out God with joy."  Note that while the psalmist is thinking of his own nation, he also calls upon all nations to praise God.  Remember God had saved the Israelites during the Exodus.

But we have much to be thankful for, also.  Rejoice in the fact that we are also part of God's covenant.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Answer Me!

Sometimes God seems distant. We pray but God stays silent and you just have to wonder if God's promises "To ask and you'll receive" are false.  We all have experienced this.

Read Job 30: 16-20.

Talk about silence!  Job could tell us stories!  Job was a good man, yet God allowed evil to harass him.  Job prayed but received no answer, just silence.

Then God does speak to Job (Job 40: 1-5)  Note Job's response.

Finish by reading Job 42: 1-6.

There's something to be learned from Job's story, especially in our prayer life.

Sometimes prayers aren't answered because they're wrong or we're not ready to understand.  God's time is not our time.  Maybe it's the way we're asking.  Is there sin in your life?  Well, tell God, what's bothering you. Go to Confession--get rid of what's stopping that loving relationship with God.

And then, there are times, after periods of silence, where we are rewarded by a far greater gift that what we were asking for.  I guess it all comes down to perseverance and trust.  And trusting means learning to bear the silence because He is always there, even when he doesn't answer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Where Are You Going?

Could you leave everything to follow someone you love? 

You could when you were a teen.  So what's difference between then and now?

Stuff.  You own much too much stuff now; you didn't have much as a teen.  Read  1Kings 19:19-21.

Here Elisha is a young man, maybe a teen, and leaves all.  The fact that he's driving 12 oxen tells us that his family is rich.  He burns the yoke to make a good fire to cook all the oxen.  This was to prove to Elijah that he was ready to follow God.  He was leaving his old life behind. 

I don't think Elisha's father could have done the same.  Actually, having stuff means you have responsibilities.  It was easier for Elisha, and that's not taking away the fact that Elisha's leaving it all behind wasn't virtuous.  It was difficult to give everything up; it would have been impossible for Elisha's father. 

Now read Luke 9: 57-62.  Same situation.  We don't know anything about this young man.  Would leaving mean leaving a wife and children?  Yikes! 

God wouldn't ask that.  Let's look at the point of the story.   The point being to trust in God.  What surrendering means is different for each of us.  But we all are called to follow God.

Where Are You Going To, My Pretty Maid?

"Where are you going to,
my pretty maid?"
"I'm going a-listening,
Sir," she said.

"May I go with you,
my pretty maid?"
"You're kindly welcome,
Sir," she said.

"What will we listen to,
my pretty maid?"
"My Father's good Words,
kind sir," she said.

"Where will we listen,
my pretty maid?"
"Within Father's house,
kind sir," she said.

"How will we listen,
my pretty maid?"
"With all of our heart,
kind sir," she said.

"Who is your Father,
my pretty maid?"
"The Lord God in Heaven
kind sir, she said.

"How can we reach Him,
my pretty maid?"
"I'll show you the Way,
kind sir," she said.

"Jesus, The Way, The Truth
and The Life,
will lead you to Him,
kind sir," she said.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Cross

Read Luke 9:18-24

I don't know whether it was Ben Franklin, or my mother, who told me that God gives us our own individual crosses, made especially for us.  One's person cross is not an other's. 

There are many times when I've encountered a person with an illness, or in a terrible situation, or some other such horrific occurrence, and I've wondered how they could carry such a cross.  And then (in the few instances) when I've had the opportunity to talk to them, I see that they carried their cross well.  In fact, they'll turn the tables and ask me how I handled my illness, my personal tragedies, my situational woes, etc.  We wonder at ourselves, others, and how God matches our crosses to ourselves. 

Would we swap crosses with another, if we could?  Pretend.  So whose and what  would you chose?

Yeah,  I thought so.  God matches our crosses to us.

And believe this; you can turn your cross into a blessing.  You can use your cross to help others: in prayer, in emphatic overtures, in offerings. 

The Christians took the Cross--an object of shame and death, and turned it into a triumph--an object of hope and the Resurrection.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Do gifts give you delight?  Happy experiences are delightful, also.  What about God?  Would you characterize your relationship with God as delightful?

Seriously.  Why wouldn't your relationship with God be delightful?  If you can delight in any loving relationship, then certainly, you may delight in God.  You should.

Read Psalm 37:4

God wants our happiness.  That precludes that what makes us happy are things that are good for us.  IOW, we must delight in what God delights in.  Sometimes we pray for things that are just selfish.  God is omnipotent so He sees the overall picture--the future, affects, effects, etc..  So we should always be sure to pray according to the will of God.  There is nothing wrong in telling God what we desire, but we should ask in the context of His will.  Remember Jesus, at a moment where His wits were rampant, still prayed," yet not My will, but Thine be done."

Focus on what pleases God, not what pleases you.  Pray to have no delight except what delights Our Lord.
You can't go wrong, there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trying to be Serious

Do you remember as a child, having fits of laughter, especially in places where you were suppose to be quiet, i.e., study hall, library, church (God forbid)?  Does that ever happen to you as an adult?

Not quite.  The fits have matured.  I'm having one tonight.  You have to read Luke 7:36-50.

For some reason, I can't get into this story.  Everything strikes me as "hifreakinlarious."

  1. How did the sinful woman get into the Pharisee's house?  Was she there all along?  Didn't anyone notice?  Did she crash the party?
  2. The Pharisee asks himself, "If this man were a prophet..."    Does he think prophets predict the future?  No wonder no one listened to the prophets.
  3. If the sinful woman came prepared with jars of ointments, how come she forgot a towel?  There are times when I've been in restrooms where there are no towels.  Not once, never, ever, did it ever occur to me, to wipe my hands on my hair.  Furthermore, I don't think hair is a very effective drying agent.  Why didn't she use her skirt like a normal woman?  Didn't they use napkins, back in the day
I know.  I'm bad.  Time for a visit to my Spiritual Director.  Lord, help me.  But I do realize that this Reading is about love.  This sinful woman (Mary Magdalene?), must have loved Jesus very much.  And Jesus proves that He loves us, by forgiving her, her sins.  He uses the woman's sinfulness as an opportunity to show us His great mercy.  We learn the true meaning of mercy when we are forgiven, even though we don't deserve it.  We don't earn it; it's freely given.  Jesus tells us that our faith will save us.

Can't help wonder if she also gives manicures, along with the pedicures.....

h/t to Kat

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Divine Intervention

This morning on WBZ TV was a story about a family being saved by an angel. They were outside looking at an approaching storm, commenting on the sky, when the thought/urge to go inside, (exactly at that moment) came. Once inside, they heard a large noise and the earth shook like an earthquake.

A tree had landed on their house. Piercing the roof, and crashing right where the family had been.

"When the family thinks about what made them move just in the nick of time, they point to a shrine in their home, with candles around pictures of their infant that died of meningitis last year. 'I feel that it was him that gave me that thought that it's time to just go inside and leave this place and go inside just for whatever reason,'" said the Dad.

This story reinforced the line of thought I was meditating on this morning. You have to read Luke 7:11-17, to see what I'm talking about.

This is the story of Jesus raising the widow's son, from the dead. Now, of course I'm impressed that Jesus raises people from death. But He does that. What I focused on was the fact that the widow never asked Jesus to do that.

Well, does she? Read Luke 7: 11-17, again.

The widow doesn't ask Jesus to intervene, but He choses to do so. Can you think of times when Jesus has intervened in your life, to help you? Read the story of the family in Revere where Jesus intervened.

How about thanking God and throwing in a few praises, too?

Deo Gratias.