Wednesday, July 23, 2014


But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. 
Whoever has ears ought to hear." 

Jesus is preaching to the crowds and he teaches using parables, that is, stories with a point. Here he is telling the famous parable of the sower and the seed. The point of the story? What's my soil like?

In this parable all the ground, irrespective of its condition, gets given seed. It's the condition of the soil that determines the size of the crop.

I'm reminded of a conversation I had yesterday with a friend who was concerned about his young son's fledgling faith. Would he grow up to be a strong man of faith or would the lure of the world choke that faith in him? The analogy to today's Gospel is clear. What's the condition of the "soil" of the family home? It's is the role of the Dad to make sure the home - soil is rich and clear of weeds.

This is a timely reminder for me to keep ensuring that our home remains a sanctuary for my family, a place where God's Word finds rich soil. I only have one go at this.

Jesus, help me be a good "tiller of the soil" of my home that your Word may yield a mighty harvest in my family.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


You do see, for you behold misery and sorrow, 
taking them in your hands. 
On you the unfortunate man depends; 
of the fatherless you are the helper.
Ps. 10:14

The Psalmist laments on the apparent victory of evil doers but finishes by a statement of faith; On God we depend.  He helps the fatherless.

Yesterday I attended the Requiem of a good man who died after a year long battle with cancer. He leaves a widow and seven children. I was helped to see this apparent tragedy in the right way by the beauty of the Requiem Mass.

The Church puts on Her most beautiful face at a Nuptial Mass and at Requiems. Yesterday She was radiant. Death lost its sting as we were led to lift or eyes from the casket to the horizon of heaven. I was given hope for my own immortality and left the service feeling so glad I am a Catholic.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of Your Church. I recommend the soul of Peter to Your mercy.
Little Flower, please pray for us.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Greater

I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."
Mt. 12:6_8

The Pharisees have accused Jesus' disciples of breaking the law by them picking grain to assuage their hunger on the Sabbath. Jesus defends his followers by saying something bigger than the law makes their action innocent.

I'm so glad there is something bigger than the law. Last Sunday I received a work call out to resolve a problem on a marine distress radio channel in  the Bay of Plenty. A safety of life service was at risk while this problem remained unresolved.  Of course, I responded to the call.

Now, I'm a firm believer in Sunday being a day of rest. But there are times when a greater law comes into effect and last Sunday was such a time. Jesus says he desires mercy not sacrifice.

The law can be very seductive. I need to check my motivation. If mercy and love aren't the drivers then it's time for me to look for the higher law.

Thank you Jesus that you are the Lord over all the law. Help me always keep my eyes on you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rest for my Soul

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Mt. 11:28

Jesus is addressing the crowds, giving a message for all to hear, not just his disciples.  He sees tired people, people exhausted and he offers them what they are all longing for,

This offer from Jesus is almost too good to be true. Rest. That freedom from striving, from having to be the source of all things is on offer. Jesus is telling me to stop, turn to him, put my hand in his and rest.

Thank you Jesus for your easy yoke. I accept your offer.
Little Flower please pray for me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.


Jesus is rebuking the towns where His authority has been displayed for all to see but no change of heart has taken place. How could He tell? There was no sign of repentance.

The opposite of repentance is pride. I've heard a wise priest say that behind every sin, every sin, is pride. It was pride that led to Lucifer's fall. It was to Eve's pride that Satan appealed (you shall be like God).

Pride, believing my needs are greater, is behind my every sin of lust, greed and judgementalism. What's the antidote to this fatal disease in me? Repentance. It's time I went to confession.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New Wine

People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved." 

Mt. 9:17

John's disciples ask Jesus what appears to be a fair question. We fast. Your followers don't. Why? Jesus knows they have no malice, just a genuine quest for understanding. So He gives a straightforward reply. New wine, new wineskins.

The wine of the Old Testament wasn't being replaced with something different, just with something new. It was still wine, but a fresh wine.

I want to be open to new ways of living the same Gospel lifestyle. New ways of being good news to people. As my darling wife says, not being boring.

Jesus, you are expert at turning common water into the best of new wine. Make my life a new wine for others today.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Dirtbag full of Gold

While he was at table in his (Matthew's) house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,

“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus has just called Matthew the tax collector to be a disciple. A spontaneous party seems to erupt with all of Matthew's no-good friends turning up. The affront of sinners mingling with saints is too much for the Pharisees, but not for Jesus.

This is one of those great stories that displays the focus of Jesus' mission. He came for dirtbags like me. When I'm tempted to judge someone, this is a good thing to remember.

Jesus, thankyou for seeing gold in amongst my mirey day. Help me see others as you do.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Things of the Heart

Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me holocausts, 
then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream. 
Amos 5: 23,24

Hypocrisy: The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.
The prophet Amos is highlighting the hypocrisy of loud, showy worship. Things of the heart such as justice and goodness are what pleases God.

It's always tempting to end up pleasing the crowd rather than pleasing God. The call of the flesh is powerful. But, in my experience, there's no peace or joy in it. But good things done in private, where the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing, are true worship to God. And consequently, that is where joy and peace are found.

Lord Jesus, help me grow in things of the heart, that I may always please you.
Little flower, perfecter of things of the heart, please pray for me.