Friday, April 27, 2012

Eat Drink

The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’

Jesus is teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum and insists that eternal life comes by eating His flesh and drinking His blood.  To those who rejected this teaching it was a repugnant act of cannibalism.  To those who accepted what Jesus was saying, it was a mystery that carried the promise of all they yearned for; eternal life with God.

This is what sets the Catholic Church apart from all other religions, even within Christianity.  "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" is still the question that rages.  It was the question that stopped me from entering the Church for at least five years.  I remember reaching the point where I simply said, "Jesus, You said it so I believe it", and I stepped out in faith.  Receiving His body and His blood is now the central act of my faith that feeds my spirit.

I need to go to Mass today...

Lord Jesus, thank you for Your insistence and Your patience; Your insistence on teaching the necessity of eating Your body and blood and Your patience in waiting for me to come eat, come drink.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Born From Above

'Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases;
you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’

Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, who recognises Jesus is sent by God but still doesn't understand the fullness of what Jesus is saying about the Kingdom of God.  Jesus explains to Nicodemus what is required of him next; to be "born from above", that is, filled with the Holy Spirit.

As Jesus explains, there is a mysterious power in the Holy Spirit.  Like the wind, you can tell when He is there but where and how He works is a mystery.  The first reading today from the book of Acts tells how the house shook as the believers prayed and were filled with the Holy Spirit.  Mysterious indeed!

When did the house last shake when I prayed? Like Nicodemus, I need to be born from above, open to the mysterious power of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me.
Fill me with Your power, satisfy my need.
Only You can make me whole,
give me strength and make me grow.
Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Be a Foot Washer

If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet.
I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

Jesus is in the upper room with His disciples at the Last Supper and, to their shock and discomfort, is washing their feet.  This last act of servitude sets the role His Church is to play from that day forward.

I've heard it said that the Christian Church is unique in that its sole reason for being is for the benefit of those who don't belong to it.  The Church is meant to serve the world.

This mission is only fulfilled when each member of the Church is serving... when I am serving.

Lord Jesus, You know how I struggle to remove myself from my center-stage.  Help me to serve others as You have served me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Glimmer of Easter

And while they were eating, he said, "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?"

Jesus is in the upper room sharing His last Passover meal with His twelve closest friends, knowing that one of them is about to betray Him.  This shocking revelation is denied by all twelve, yet within twenty-four hours all but John will deny Him for fear of their lives.

"Surely not I Lord?"   I can hear myself saying these same words, yet to my shame I have denied my Lord each time I have chosen to sin.  But the story does not stop there.  Each one of those twelve, barring Judas, went on to become great saints.  This gives me great hope.  The resurrected Jesus appeared to them and gave them the Holy Spirit to empower them into sainthood.  The glimmer of Easter can be seen just around the corner.

Lord Jesus, You know my denial and my betrayal, yet You love me all the same. Lord, You are my help, come help me through this day.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Take the Bread

So he took the morsel and left at once.

It is the Last Supper and Jesus has just indicated who is to betray Him.  Judas takes the piece of bread offered by Jesus and leaves into the night to commit his betrayal.  Even knowing that Judas was His betrayer, Jesus' very last act towards Judas was still to serve him by offering him the piece of bread.

As one who has betrayed Jesus, this is heartening for me.  No sin I commit is a surprise to Jesus.  On the very first day I received Jesus with that sweet rush of love that I will never forget, even then Jesus knew I would betray Him.  Yet He still serves me, still offers me the precious piece of bread that is His body in Holy Communion.  Judas couldn't receive that unconditional love.  Peter could.  Today I pray for the heart of Peter, that as broken as I am I can still let Jesus transform me from sinner into saint.

Lord Jesus, I accept Your unconditional love.  Help me be open to Your transforming power.
Saint Peter the Apostle, please pray for me.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Betrayed by a Kiss

His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely."   He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him.



Today is the start of Holy Week.  We are faced with the betrayal, passion and death of Jesus.  Today we are faced with what we have done to contribute to Jesus' betrayal, Jesus' passion and Jesus' death.

The song writer Michael Card was written a song "Why" with the following opening verse:

Why did it have to be a friend
Who chose to betray the Lord
Why did he use a kiss to show them
That's not what a kiss is for

Only a friend can betray a friend
A stranger has nothing to gain
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain

I am the friend who has betrayed by a kiss....

Lord have mercy...
Little Flower, please pray for me.