Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Bigger Picture

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.’ But they did not understand him when he said this;

Jesus is at the height of His public ministry.  The twelve have just returned from their first successful missionary outreach, He's fed the five thousand, Peter has just had divine revelation as to who Jesus is, everyone is full of admiration for Him.  But Jesus has the bigger picture.  He knows the main purpose and destination of His life on earth.

The bigger picture.  Today can be seductive.  It can make me joyful when all is well or despondent when things are going badly.  Today does need my attention but I should always have the bigger picture before me also.

So, what is the bigger picture?  I guess I would distill it down to; God loves me and heaven is my home. This puts today into right perspective, no matter is happening.  This gives me my joy and peace that can't be taken away.

Lord Jesus, You were always totally present but fully aware of where You were going.  Give me insight and wisdom that I may be heavenly minded and earthly good today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

He Gave Them Power

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

Jesus commissions His first evangelising team.  He equips them not with physical resources but spiritual.  The Good News from the very first has been accompanied by authority over devils and the power to heal.

It seems the Kingdom of God always brings with it deliverance and healing. That has certainly been my experience when I first heard the Gospel of Jesus proclaimed.  I was both delivered and healed.  It's good to remember, to expect signs and wonders even today... especially today.

Lord Jesus, may deliverance and healing be the hallmark of Your love proclaimed through me today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hear and Do

He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’
Luke 8:20-21

Jesus is attracting huge crowds.  He is a healer to some, a curiosity and freak-show to others.  His family, in their concern, come to take Him home.  In a sense, Jesus rebuffs them with His response, but expands the meaning of "Family of God' by including all who genuinely follow Him by acting on His word.

"Hear and do".  This is a simple but life changing command.  First I have to hear.  Morning prayer, Mass, the sacraments are all places I have heard God.  A men's retreat is coming up for me, another place where I can hear the word of God.  Then comes the scary part, the doing...

Lord Jesus, sometimes I find it scary to do what I hear from You.  Give me courage to trust in Your love.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Naked before Him

"For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love."

Jesus is at a Pharisee's house for a meal when a woman "who had a bad name" attends to Him with tears and acts of love.  The Pharisee is indignant but Jesus defends her by highlighting what her great acts of love reveal... faith in the one who has forgiven her and set her free in peace.

This is such a beautiful story .  The woman is transparent about her sinfulness and is set free.  The Pharisee is obscure about his sins and remains bound up in them.  The Gospels are full of stories like this.  Those who are open about heir brokenness Jesus is able to heal.  Those who hide behind pride, judgement and legalism distance themselves from Jesus and remain prisoners.

What areas of sin do I need to be transparent with Jesus?  It's time for Confession...

Jesus, you know the Pharisee within me that is bound up in pride.  Help me crucify him and come before for You naked and in hope.  Jesus I trust in You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Look and Live


So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

The Israelites are following Moses in the desert and are growing impatient and complaining.  God gave them something to really complain about (venomous snakes) and they begged Moses to intercede for mercy.  The snakes weren't removed but an antidote was supplied.  The bronze fiery serpent on a standard gave life to all who looked upon it.

Today we still live among venomous snakes.  Sickness, disease and evil give us plenty to complain about.  God doesn't remove the source of our malady, ...yet.  But, He has given the antidote, His Son on a cross.

I'm looking at the Crucifix in our lounge.  I like it.  It's big.  It constantly reminds me and my family who we are following.  Each day I place a worship offering of our family prayers at the foot of the cross so that all whom we have prayed for may live.

Lord Jesus, I exalt Your Holy Cross.  Thank you for dieing that I may live.  I place my trust in You.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Faith

Now you are able to appear before him holy, pure and blameless – as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith.
Colossians 1:22-23

Paul is in a Roman prison, writing to the church in Colossae.  He is writing to warn against false teachings he has heard the church has been exposed to. The antidote to false teachings, suggests Paul, is to "stand firm on the solid base of the faith".

"The Faith".  As a Catholic Convert I often heard this expression and found it quaint and a little archaic.  I asked various Catholic friends what "The Faith" actually was and, true to Catholic form, they couldn't tell me.  For a while I was quite dismissive of it, thinking that it seemed to exclude Jesus.  However, my attitude has changed over time and exposure to Catholicism.  As Saint Paul seems to allude to in his letter to the Colossians, The Faith is something all-encompassing of an authentic Catholic life.  It includes the Bible, Catholic teaching and traditions, liturgy, daily devotions, the lives of the Saints and the sacraments all focused into a day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute following of Jesus.

Even this definition doesn't fully satisfy me.  I guess I'm still discovering the richness of what The Faith truly is.  All I know for sure is that The Faith is something that can be lost, its is something that can be found and it is something to treasure.

Jesus my Rock and Foundation.  Thank you for the gift of Faith.  Teach me the fullness of what it is that I have received.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man... 
But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.
Luke 5:8-11

Jesus has just finished teaching the crowds from Peter's boat.  Almost as a way of saying thank you, Jesus tells Peter to throw his nets over the side for a catch.  Reluctantly, Peter does so and then is overwhelmed by the biggest catch of his life. Peter is confronted with the reality that Jesus is someone different, someone from God.  His response is to fall to his knees and repent and then leave everything and follow Him.

I remember the time when I finally recognised Jesus for who He really is.  It involved tears of sorrow mixed with tears of joy as my world was turned upside down, or should I say right way up.  I experienced my abject poverty and incredible worth simultaneously.  I guess I was going through what Peter is shown going through in today's Gospel.  Peter stammered "Leave me Lord" then got up off his knees and followed Jesus for the rest of his life.

It's good for me to recall this turning point in my life.  It refreshes my love for Him who loves me.  It encourages me to keep on stumbling along and follow Him.

Jesus, thank you for loving me.  Help me as I stumble along behind You.  You are the beggars friend.
Little Flower, please pray for me.