Friday, March 30, 2012

The Friend of God

The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’

The Jews are so infuriated by Jesus that they attempt to stone Him.  The reason for their fury?  Jesus' constant assertion that He is the only Son of the Father.

It's the divinity of Jesus that continues to upset people today.  Many would happily call him a good man, a powerful teacher, a prophet even, but he Son of God?  No!  The work of the spirit of anti-Christ is very active in this age.  

So, I continue to testify what I know is true.  Jesus is the Son of God and so He has a divine nature.  And yes, as the Son of God He suffered and died for all.... died for me.  It's good for me to remember this.

Jesus my Lord and my God.  To know You is to know the Father.  Help me become more your friend that I may be the friend of God.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hail Mary

‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’

The Annunciation of the Lord

The Angel Gabriel has just announced to a young Jewish girl that she is to conceive a child placed in her womb from God.  In response to this startling news Mary simply says, "I am God's slave, I'll go with whatever He plans".  Such courage.

The yes to motherhood is a courageous thing.  I have recently been focussed on mothers in my life.  My own mum who has recently battled with the news that she had a melanoma; my daughter being swept away with love for her own first-born; my wife's superlative mothering of our five diverse children.  Their "yes" to motherhood has drawn out deeper character in each of them, much to their surprise I would guess.

Mary's yes was a yes for me.  Her Son has become my Lord and my Saviour.  If Mary had said no I hate to think what the consequences would have been in my life. But she said yes, and Jesus was brought to me. I have so much to be thankful to Mary for. I carry this gratitude with me into my day today.

Hail Mary, full of grace.  The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Place

Does a woman forget her baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son of her womb?  Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you.

Isaiah the prophet is delivering God's message of love and compassion for all people.  He chooses the image of a baby at the breast of its mother to convey the nurturing love of God, an image that all people can relate to.

My son-in-law, daughter and baby granddaughter live immediately next door.  This gives me the opportunity most days to see my daughter mothering her baby.  She breast feeds and this is so obviously baby's happy place.  No matter how distressed she may be, mother's breast gives her peace, security and happiness.

God is telling me His compassion for me is even greater than my own mother's love.  When I am distressed, worried, hurt or upset, it is His loving arms that I can rush back to.  He is my happy place today.

Loving Father, thank you for your promise of love.  I lean into Your arms today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The River of Life

Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows.

The prophet Ezekiel is led by an an angel in a vision of the River of Life flowing from the temple.  Because of its source, the river brings healing and life wherever it flows.  The source is what makes this river different.  It flows from the holy temple of God.

My mother has been diagnosed with a melanoma.  Suddenly death and life are in sharper relief.  The promises of  Jesus and what He did to defeat death now take on a very relevant meaning.  God is the source of all life.  When I surrender any claims I have to giving and taking life, there is peace.  Death as we see it is only a veil to pass through to a far better place, free from pain and fear.  What a wonderful promise to take into my day!

Lord Jesus, You are the River of Life.  Flow through my family, through my mother, that healing and eternal life may reign.
Little Flower, please pray for us.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

You just can't Escape

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’Luke 15:1,2

The scandal of Jesus has reached the notice of the Pharisees and Scribes as well as the outcast sinners.  They each respond so differently.  The tax collectors and sinners respond with joy, the Scribes and Pharisees respond with condemnation.  Jesus responds to both groups with love, much the same way the father of the prodigal son responds to his two sons.

The joy of the outcasts and the condemnation of the Pharisees both bring good news.  That Jesus should welcome those who have patently broken God's Laws is good news for me.  Why?  Because that is the group I belong to.  However, there are times when the Pharisee within me rises up and I find myself condemning and judgemental of  the very group to which I belong.  Good news!  Jesus loves me even when I am in that place.

Basically, there is no escaping from the love of Jesus.  It pursues me wherever I go.  Now that is good news.  It means I have the love of Jesus with me today, with me now...

Thank you Jesus that You accept me where I am today and love me so much that You won't leave me here.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life Saver

Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”

Jesus is telling the parable of the rich man and poor the man Lazarus to the Pharisees.  The rich man in Hell wants to warn his brothers of their approaching doom, but Father Abrahan says they have received warning enough from Moses and the prophets.  The parable tells how faith on the Word of God, the law and the prophets, predisposes a man to accept the message from God.

How can I listen to Moses and the prophets if I do not even hear them?  Sacred Scripture is not just an option, it's essential for my salvation.  As today's Psalm says, "Happy indeed is the man... whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders his law day and night." Ps.1:1,2.  My daily reading of scripture is actually a life-saver.

Holy Spirit of God.  You inspired all sacred scripture.  Inspire me as I read it so I may be convinced of Jesus when I meet Him.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hope for Numbskulls

When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you.

Jesus is approaching Jerusalem for the last time and has just warned His disciples of His coming passion, death and resurrection. Still not comprehending what this means, the disciples, goaded by the mother of James and John, squabble about who is to hold positions of power in the new kingdom.

The humanness of the disciples is both head-shakingly sad and inspiringly hopeful.   These three-year companions of Jesus still don't get it, even after Jesus plainly explains what is about to happen.   However, these numbskulls are soon to be transformed into saints and there lies my hope. 

You see, I am a numbskull as well.  I vacillate between holiness and sinfulness, wisdom and stupidness.  But, just as Jesus never gave up on His numbskull disciples, my hope is that He doesn't give up on me.  What a great hope to carry into this day.

Thank you Jesus for not giving up on me.  Please walk beside me today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ask Seek Knock

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him.

Jesus is giving His Sermon on the Mount, the greatest record of His teaching.  In today's Gospel verses Jesus focuses on how to be a disciple.  It appears that a disciple must be active in his searching for God.  He must ask, seek, knock.

When I look back over my faith journey I see it is the times that I am actively asking, seeking and knocking that I am closest to God.  Conversely, the times when I am passive, just cruising in my faith-life, gravity always takes over and I start to drift down and away from God.

Lent is a good time to re-energise my faith.  I think it is time to recommit to a daily Asking, Seeking and Knocking time.

Lord Jesus, please walk beside me during these forty days to Easter.  I have things to ask, thinks to seek and doors on which to knock.
Little Flower, please pray for me.