Thursday, June 14, 2018

Guard your Mind

‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it.’
Mt.5:21,22


Jesus is now getting into the tough talk in his sermon on the mount. Here he focuses on inner thoughts, showing they are as bad, if not worse, than outward sinful actions.

Every sinful action starts with a sinful thought, and I’m thinking all the time, except when asleep. My thoughts are where the battle lies. Control my thoughts and actions are controlled. Stinking thinking makes me stink.

Set your mind on things from above, writes Saint Paul, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Today I will be conscious of my thoughts. Then peace will be mine.

Lord Jesus, you know my thoughts are unconstrained. Help me control my thinking so your peace may be mine.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Keep Them, Teach Them

Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’
Mt.5:19

Jesus is starting his Sermon on the Mount, stating he has not come to replace the Law and the Prophets, rather, to fulfill them. He underscores this by showing what becomes of those who infringe the commandments and those who obey and teach them.

There is an eternal consequence to my attitude to the commandments of God found in the Bible, even the least of them. To keep them and teach them is to gain greatness in heaven.

I'm leading Children's Liturgy at Mass this Sunday. I'd better get it right.

Lord Jesus, I am just a stumbling follower. I trip and fall but get up again to follow you. Give me wisdom and joy as I teach the little children, the very ones you called to be brought to you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Authentic

The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’
Mk.12:32-34

A Scribe asks Jesus what is the greatest commandment and in reply Jesus defines the Golden Rule; Love God and love others.

When Jesus senses a genuine question he gives a deeper, meaningful response. The Scribe wasn't trying to trap Jesus and he recognised the truth of Jesus' answer.

Authenticity is a state of grace. Having no guile, no ulterior motive is a very attractive feature in a man. Honesty begets honesty. People like being around such men.

Today I can be authentic with those I meet, no judgement, no ulterior motives.

Lord Jesus, give me the grace today to meet others where they are at, to love them as myself.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Leaping and Dancing

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.
Zeph.3:17

The Prophet Zephaniah foretells the restoration of Israel’s remnant. The Lord will no longer be a remote, distant God but will be living in their midst dancing and shouting with joy.

This prophecy is fulfilled when a Jewish girl said yes to God and a baby was conceived in her womb. The first to recognise this was John the Baptist in his mother Elizabeth's womb. He leapt for joy and was baptised in the Holy Spirit as pregnant Mary approached. Joy is the hallmark of Jesus' presence.

Oh how I love that our God is called Emmanuel, God with Us. Jesus is intimately present and involved in my life, even today. I shall live out today with him at my side, leaping and dancing and shouting with joy.

Lord Jesus, I welcome you into my day. May your joy be contagious through me to those we meet.
Little Flower, please pray for me.





Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ranked on Servanthood

Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Mk.10:43-45

Jesus has just foretold his passion and death for the third time. Still the disciples don't get it and they squabble over who is going to have prize seats in the new kingdom. Jesus sets them right with a clear description of how order will be in his kingdom. Instead of being ranked on power, people will be ranked on servanthood, indeed, the first will be the slave of all.

Ranking on servanthood continues be a difficult concept. My human nature wants to be top dog and in control. There's also a bit of pride in there that wants its day in the sun as well. The Church continues to model the upside down world of Jesus, the Pope being called the servant of the servants of the Lord. And of course, Jesus remains the Servant King.

Lord, you know my lust for power and control. Help me be a servant and so an authentic witness for you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The World to Come

’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life. ‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’
Mk.10:29-31

Peter remonstrates with Jesus, "What about us, we have left everything?" Jesus explains the new law he is introducing, the first will be last, the last first.

The world struggles with this concept. It promotes the first being first and last staying last. Jesus turns that all upside down. The fullness of Jesus' law isn't complete until "the world to come" has been experienced. Only then will the full and final payment be made.

The operative words are "will be". Many who are first will be last, the last first. I have to remember to look at the world with all its injustice through this lense.

Lord Jesus, give me and eternal perspective in my dealings with the world, so I do not become captive to its temptations or despondent over its triumphs. Eternal life is ours through your grace, mercy and love.
Little Flower, please pray for us.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cup of Water

‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
Mk.9:41

John has just complained that he saw someone driving out demons in Jesus' name but was not one of the apostles. Jesus replies, do not stop him. Whoever is not against us is for us. Even a person giving a cup of what to a believer will gain a reward.

I remember informing Father Brian Playfair that his old housekeeper, Rita, had just died. His spontaneous response was to quote the above scripture. He was convinced Rita was receiving her reward from a lifetime of serving priests.

This promise gives an increased glow to service in the Church, if that were needed. There's a special grace given to servants of the Church. Even serving children in Children's Liturgy holds this wonderful promise.

Thank you Jesus for taking note of the insignificant acts of service and kindness that happen in your Church. 
Little Flower, please pray for us.