Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Confess and Believe

If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved.

Saint Paul is writing to the Church of Rome, a church he never founded.  It was a church comprising of a mixture of Jews and Greeks and there was danger of each group looking down on the other. Paul emphasises how  God's Word makes no distinctions between Jew and Greek,  "for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Rms10:13 .  Confession of Jesus' lordship and heart-felt belief are enough for salvation to be claimed.

Our faith is uncomplicated.  God likes things simple. Today I confess with my lips the lordship of Jesus.  In my heart of hearts I know this to be true.

Jesus, You are Lord of my life.  I submit to Your authority.  You are my God and my King.  I worship You alone.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Heart Cries Out

How lovely your dwelling, O LORD of hosts!  My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.

Today's reading from Apocalypse and the Gospel from Luke both have us looking deeply into end-time mysteries.  In Apocalypse we see the opening of the Book of Life and judgment. In the Gospel Jesus tells that heaven and earth will pass away but His words will remain for ever.

For me, the answer to these deep mysteries lies in the very human response found in the Psalm.  It talks of longing and yearning for God's dwelling place.  It promises happiness for those in God's presence.  The catastrophic events of end-times are not the end of the story, but just the cover page of the greatest story that I will then be entering into, the beginning of the never ending journey into the infinite love of God.

Marantha! Come Lord Jesus, come!
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Joy and Hope

"And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."

Jesus is in the Temple of Jerusalem and gives His end-times prophesy to His disciples. He foretells great destruction and horror but finishes with the beautiful promise of His return for those who trust in Him.  For this reason alone I am not to be overtaken by fear but indeed I am to stand up with confidence and joy.  Why?  Because the end of time is just the beginning of the never-ending journey into the infinite love of God.  Such is the promise of Heaven.

As we say at every Mass;  "...we wait in joy and hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ."  This is how I choose to live out today.

Lord Jesus.  Thank you for your promise to return.  For this reason alone, I live out today in joy and hope.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jesus Riding on a White Horse

"Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth's vines, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth's vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God's fury.

Mother Church has our gaze firmly fixed on end-times.   As we are led up to the end of the Church's year the daily Mass readings repeatedly foretell of the Day of Judgment.  I am going to measured by the infinite love of God.

Praise God that He sent His Son Jesus to be my advocate.  I am surely going to need Him.  Today I live as one aware of his sin but whose source of joy and hope is firmly placed in Jesus Christ, my Savior.

Thank you Jesus that You are my advocate.  I place my hope in You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recognise Your Opportunity

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it... '...all because you (Jerusalem) did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it!’

Jesus is overcome with grief for Jerusalem as He prophesy's its coming destruction, the result of not recognising Him and in fact plotting against Him.

There is a somber reminder here for all who do "not recognise your opportunity when God offers it".  This nothing to do with a lack of love or mercy from God.  It's to do with us choosing not to make a response to that love when it is offered.  Everyone is presented with God's love.  Many choose to turn their backs on it.

My role today is to present an authentic and compelling witness of God's love to my world so God's opportunity is grasped by all I meet.  Their destruction is then averted.

Lord Jesus, may my heart break with what breaks Yours so I can witness Your mighty love today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mike, come down quickly!

When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully.

Jesus is passing through Jericho when Zacchaeus the tax collector climbs a tree in his anxiety to see Jesus. Jesus, knowing the sinful yet potentially pure heart of Zacchaeus, stops under his tree and calls him down to invite Himself to Zacchaeus's house.  Zacchaeus welcomes Jesus joyfully and is radically converted.

This Gospel story has visited me repeatedly during Communion at Mass over the past year.  I see Jesus stopping under my "tree", looking up into my eyes and calling me down so He can stay with me in my house. "Mike, come down quickly!"  And I welcome Him joyfully.

The tree represents all my fleshly and prideful efforts to get closer to Jesus.  Jesus wants me to step down out of all that I think makes me "taller", be the authentic me that God has made me.  It is down out of my tree that Jesus meets with me and in fact stays with me and I am radically converted.

Thank you Lord Jesus that You accept me in my "shortness".  My sinful imperfections don't stop You from desiring to stay with me and change me with Your love.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today I Love

I am writing now, dear lady, not to give you any new commandment, but the one which we were given at the beginning, and to plead: let us love one another.

Saint John's second letter is the briefest book in the Bible.  It was written to refute the heresy in a local church that Jesus is not incarnate, God made flesh.  Typical of John, although the letter is written to refute a serious heresy, it is surrounded with the Gospel of love.

John's clarion call to love is still needed today, especially in the Church.  It is the fundamental call that John was given by Jesus and that he was so fervent in passing on to the early Church.  It is the call I accept today to exercise in my Church.  Today I love.

Lord Jesus, help me be a great lover today.
Saint John, please pray for me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turn Clay into Gold

Who may go up the mountain of the LORD? Who can stand in his holy place? "The clean of hand and pure of heart, who are not devoted to idols, who have not sworn falsely. 

Psalm 24 is a Psalm of David, a worship song to the King Of Glory.  David of all people knew what it meant to have unclean hands and an impure heart.  His adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah have been recorded in detail in scripture to remind us of this. Yet, David obviously wrote these lines with an expectancy to go up the mountain of the Lord and to stand in His Holy place.  He served a God of transformation, a God who makes gold out of clay, who turns sinners into saints.

The story of David gives me much hope. My unclean hands can be washed clean, my impure heart can be sanctified. David's transformation came with his honest confession.  This is the key for me. Thank God for the sacrament...

Lord Jesus, You know my desire to climb Your Holy mountain, to stand in Your Holy place.  You know Lord my unclean hands, my impure heart.  I confess these to You my God, trusting in Your mercy.  Turn this clay into gold, this sinner into a saint, that You may be glorified.

Little Flower, please pray for me.