Friday, July 30, 2010

The Fruits of Faith

 ...and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Jesus has been teaching in the synagogue in His home town.  While the people are amazed at His wisdom and miracles they are are also unbelieving about who claims to be, "..and they did not accept him".  The result of this unbelief?  ...lack of miracles.
There is a direct co-relation between faith and miracles demonstrated here.  Where faith is strong, miracles happen and where faith is weak, they don't. Miracles are the fruits of faith in Jesus.
I want to live in a place where miracles do happen.  The key to this happening? ...accept Jesus.

Jesus, I place my trust in You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turn to God

O my Strength, I sing praise to you; 
 you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
Psalm 59:17

The psalmist turns to God in his distress.  What does he find in this most simple of acts?  

  • He finds the source of his strength.
  • He finds his wellspring of praise.
  • He finds his surety of protection. 
  • He finds his source of love.
All this is mine today, as I turn to God.

Abba Father, thank you for always being there, just waiting for me to turn to You.  Today I walk with confidence in You, my source of strength, my praise, my protection and my love.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Burning or Shining

So it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather... all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!

Jesus is explaining the parable of the weeds to His disciples.  He explains very clearly how the parable is a description of Judgement Day, what will happen at the end of time.

There is a tenancy in me to think of Jesus as a big huggy-bear in the sky who is not going to judge and will let everyone into heaven no matter what.  There is nowhere in scripture that says this of Jesus.  In fact He says the very opposite, this being only one of many occasions.

When I realise there IS going to be a judgement day, that some WILL go to hell where there is weeping and grinding of teeth, it places a whole new urgency on the choices I make about how I live.  Virtuousness changes from being just a nice way to live here to being the key to eternal life with Jesus in heaven.  Lord, may I have that key!

Holy Spirit.  Give me ears to hear that I may live a virtuous life and enter the kingdom of my Father.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wheat among the Weeds

But Jesus said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”

Jesus is giving His famous parable teachings, today's Gospel being the parable of the weeds.  There is a message I hear when ever I read this parable.  It describes how I am to live in today's world as a follower of Jesus.  We are a secret army, wheat among the weeds, yeast in the dough, salt of the earth.  We are small and secret but we make a huge difference to the environment we live in.  We work from the inside out. 
We live among the weeds but sanctify them by our holiness.  To what end? The promise of Jesus is at the end of time we will be gathered into His barn.  What a promise by which to live out this day, as wheat among the weeds.

Lord, this world is not perfect but you have placed me in it to sanctify it.  Help me be true wheat among the weeds today.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, July 23, 2010


... the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest ...

Jesus is explaining  the meaning of the Parable of the Sower to His disciples.  The lesson is important enough to be explained carefully and recorded in detail in Matthew's Gospel.  And the lesson?  The rich soil is the man who has understanding.

Jesus infers here that understanding is a treasure to aspire for.  It sounds like hard work involving reading and study and disciple.  Well, yes it does involve all this but there is a joy that comes with it that makes it NOT hard work.  That's why it's a joy for me to be spending this Bible study time this morning.  The harvest always makes it worth while.

Holy Spirit.  Give me understanding that I may be rich soil and produce a harvest worthy of Jesus.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Answer lies in the Soil

'Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

Jesus is teaching to such a large crowd that He has to sit on a boat in the lake while the crowd stands on the shoreline. He is the consummate teacher, using parables to give His teachings.  Today's Gospel has Jesus telling His famous Parable of the Sower.  The answer seems to lie in the soil.

I am a seed sower when I think of my five children.  How rich is the soil that I have planted my seeds in? Even though most of my children are now adult, I know they still look to me for spiritual nourishment.  This can be a scary thought, especially on those days when the well is dry.  If I am to provide rich soil for my family I must be well fed myself.  These morning times I spend with God take on a new significance.

Holy Spirit, feed me that I may be rich soil for my loved ones and they may produce their crop.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Follow the Crazy Man

‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

Jesus is starting to concern His family.  His talk is getting darker, more on the fringe.  He has been referring to dieing and rising, calling people a "brood of vipers".  He's being accused of working with the "Prince of Demons".  He's starting to act a bit crazy and His family is worried.  A scene is created by His family wanting to call Him away.  In the midst of this turmoil Jesus makes a beautiful statement.  'Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

This is a call to intimacy from Jesus that I can't refuse.  He want's Him and me to be more that friends.  He's inviting me to be His brother.  Today I choose to follow the crazy man. His craziness makes more sense than the greatest wisdom of the world.

Jesus my brother. As I recommit to You I know I'm recommitting to Your craziness. But You are the only one who makes sense to me. I love You Lord, my brother.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Love and Mercy

If you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Man is master of the sabbath.

During a Sabbath Jesus' disciples picked and ate ears of corn as they were hungry while traveling.  This earned a rebuke from the watching Pharisees but Jesus defends His disciples actions, calling on a higher law, the law of mercy.

There is a little Pharisee within me that is very quick to criticise those whom I judge are breaking the law, especially breaking the laws of the Church.  Jesus reminds me today that there is a greater law to apply to such people.  A greater law to apply to myself.  The laws of love and mercy transcend petty squabbles and judgments, blessing both the giver and receiver.

Lord Jesus. Today help me be a dispenser of Love and Mercy above all else.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Jesus exclaimed, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

The dictionary defines "exclaim"as follows: "to cry out or speak suddenly and vehemently, as in surprise, with strong emotion".  Jesus literally Jesus shouts out his wonderful promise that still reverberates down through the ages.  Ask anyone what a heavy burden is at they will tell you.  We've all experienced it. This is the great promise that gained my attention as a non-believer and drew me to Jesus.

So here is that wonderful promise before me again.  The rest that Jesus gives is the peace beyond understanding, the peace that doesn't rely on my circumstances, the peace that his mine for the taking... today.

Jesus, You are my peace.  Thank you Lord.  I gain my rest in You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Revealed to Mere Children

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.

What are "These things" that Jesus refers to? A quick look over the earlier chapters of the Gospel of Matthew shows:
  •  things He taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
  •  things He instructed the twelve while commissioning them.
  •  things He rebuked in the Scribes and Pharisees.
  •  things He demonstrated in His miracles.
These are all things that were plainly revealed by Jesus, but they were only perceived by the simple-of-heart.

Theology has its place but, according to Jesus, it is not what is required to see the "things" of Jesus.  The beauty of my faith is its simplicity.  The more child-like I become (spontaneous, now focussed, uncomplicated, transparent, guileless, fun-seeking) the more I will see and understand Jesus in my world.

Perhaps I need to spend more time with my eleven year old daughter today and learn from her the ways of Jesus.

Jesus my Lord. You know how I intellectualise.  Help me simplify my life.  Help me become a mere child that I may see you.
Little Flower, Sister Therese of the child Jesus, pray for me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent.

The hard-hitting side of Jesus is starting to be revealed.  He has just refuted criticism from the Pharisees. "we played the flute, you did not dance... We sang a dirge, you did not mourn". Mt.11:17  Now the unbelief of the towns He had visited earns His reproach.  Hypocrisy and unrepentance earn His rebuke.

The main message Jesus preached and had is disciple preach was, "repent and turn back to God". In today's Gospel Jesus clearly lays out the result of unrepentance... hard judgement and hell.  This is serious consequences from a serious omission.  The escape route? ...turn from sin and turn back to God, then all joy can be mine.

Lord Jesus, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fear Not.

Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

Jesus is commissioning the twelve disciples.  He is confronting what He knows is their greatest obstacle to becoming effective witnesses... fear.
If proliferation of numbers was the measure of a species success, the common sparrow would have to be up there.  There is not a land mass (save the polar regions) that does not have them teeming. Two for a penny means worth next to nothing, yet Jesus says even these have the attention of God the Father.
And here am I, according to Jesus worth more than hundreds of sparrows.  What a comfort to know that I am worthy of God's loving attention, that I am never outside of His protection.
That's enough to make me step out in the name of Jesus without fear... today.

Father in heaven.  I walk into this day knowing you are with me.  I have no need to be afraid.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves.

Jesus has taught His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount.  He has displayed His authority by miraculous healings.  He is now commissioning the twelve disciples to go and do the same.
Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd and yet here He is sending His sheep out among wolves.  What shepherd would do that to his sheep?  Surely he should be protecting his sheep from the wolves?
There is a time for shepherding and a time for commissioning.  In today's Gospel, Jesus is commissioning, sending out.  That is how the Kingdom of God is proclaimed.
The inference here is this is what every follower of Jesus must eventually do. ...What I must do.  Go out!
The twelve, and all followers by default, are promised nothing but hardship from their apostolic endeavors.  Indeed all but Judas and John are eventually to die a martyrs death.
But Jesus promises, "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven". Mt.10:32 What a promise!  To have Jesus Himself be my advocate before God the Father.  There's a motivating force to go out among the wolves.

Jesus, You know my fears, my reluctance to go out from my comfort zone.  Fill me with courage and zeal that I may boldly be Good News to a world starving to be hearing about You... today.
Saint Matthew, pray for me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Courage my Son

Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health.’ And from that moment the woman was well again.

Jesus is at the height of His public healing ministry.  A man asks Jesus to come raise his daughter from the dead and Jesus responds without hesitation.  While on His way to the man's daughter, Jesus is deliberately touched by a desperately ill woman who is instantly healed.
It seems at this period of His ministry, Jesus can't stop the healing power flowing out from himself.  Wherever there is need He automatically responds.  Even just a touch of Jesus in faith is enough to cause spontaneous  miraculous healing.
The two people in this reading have two things in common; an all-consuming need and an unshakable faith in Jesus;    "...her life will be saved".    "I... shall be well again".     They also shared a common result, their request was fulfilled by Jesus.
The word of compassion to the sick woman resonates for me... "Courage my daughter, your faith has restored you...".  Courage my son, your faith has restored you.  This is good news for me today.

Lord Jesus.  I thank you for the healing you have done, the healing you are doing and the healing you have yet to do in my life.  I take courage from your promises.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blind Happiness

Feast of Saint Thomas

'Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:  ‘You believe because you can see me.  Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

The resurrected Jesus has revealed himself specifically to Thomas to allay his doubts.  Thomas is transformed from a doubter into a worshiper, being the first to publicly acknowledge Jesus as his Lord and his God.  Yet, as elevated as Thomas has become, Jesus infers that those who believe without seeing are more blessed.

This indeed is good news for all believers two thousand after Jesus' ascension.  According to Jesus, our belief without seeing Him automatically makes us blessed.  And this ties in with Jesus' constant message that we are better off without Him physically present.  "It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you". Jn.16:6

Today I live as one blessed, happy because I believe and yet have not seen.

Lord Jesus, You are the source of my hope and my joy.  I place my trust in You.
Saint Thomas the doubter, pray for me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

He Came for Me

‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

Jesus has just called Matthew the tax collector to follow Him, which Matthew immediately does.  In typical Jesus fashion, the next scene has Jesus eating with Matthew, and of course Matthew's not so virtuous friends.
The Pharisees, misreading why Jesus has come, criticise  His association with such sinners.  Jesus' reply sets the picture straight; "I came for sinners", which means He came for all, including the Pharisees if they would but see it.  The ones who receive Jesus more readily are always the ones who are painfully aware of their own brokenness.

This is good news for me.  There is a sick man within me that needs the Doctor.  He came for me.

Lord, I am a sinful man.  Heal my wound that I my be restored and then dine with You.
Saint Matthew the Apostle, pray for me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Sins are Forgiven

Then some people appeared, bringing him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, my child, your sins are forgiven.’

Jesus is at the height of performing His public miracles "to prove the Son of Man has authority".  Here it is the faith of the paralytic's friends that motivates Jesus, firstly to forgive his sins and then almost as an after-thought, heal his paralysis.

Two things speak to me here.  Firstly, my faith is enough for Jesus to move in another's life.  Secondly, the most important result is the forgiveness of sins, not the physical healing.  This reminds me that my flesh is temporal while my soul is eternal.  It is the health of my soul that requires attention.

I need to make Reconciliation as soon as possible.  The health of my soul depends on it.

Lord Jesus, thank you that your healing power is available in the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Holy Spirit, give me courage to make a good confession.

Little Flower, please pray for me.