Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life and Light

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 

John starts his Gospel placing Jesus, the Word, at the beginning of time working beside God the Father in the great act of creation. Jesus role then was to give life. His role today is unchnaged.

I love the picture this reading gives of Jesus and God the Father working side by side creating the world that I was destined to live in. I belive Jesus had me in mind at this time and interceded for me to the Father. "Dad, Dad! Create a beautiful lake just here, fed by streams from those those mountains over there. Mike will look at those and think of You as his spirit is being refreshed by the view.  Dad, Dad, make a sandy beach along this coastline with Pohutukawa trees leaning over it. Mike will swim in these waters and be grateful to you for creating it".

Today is a day to look again at the world God has created for me to enjoy and be thankful.

Thank you Jesus for the life you have given me and for this beautiful world in whch to enjoy it.
Saint John the Apostle, pray for me.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Sign

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Lk.2:35

Simion gives his prophecy over the infant Jesus. God reveals through  Simion the role Jesus is to play in the affairs of men; the rise of some, the fall of others, a sign from God and the revealer of hidden thoughts. In short, Jesus was destined to someone no one could ignore.

We have just celebrated Christmas Day. Even our secular nation stopped to observe the Holy Day. Jesus cannot be ignored. As the bumper sticker says, wise men still seek him.

Jesus, I place you in the center of my day. May my life today prophesy as to who you are. 
Saint Joseph, pray for me.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Submit and be Saved

You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. Mt.10:22

Jesus warns his disciples that being a follower is not to be chosen for a popularity vote. In fact it incurs the opposite; persecution.

Being a Christian automatically invites opposition. Why? Because the Good News we proclaim invites, no, demands change.  Not everyone wants to change.

Often, I don't want to change. Change means putting my agenda aside, acknowledging that my agenda is not the best agenda. Sometimes it means acknowledging that my agenda is down-right sinful. All this is very counter-cultural.  The world says my agenda has a right to claim its space under the sun.  My faith says my agenda can only exist if it is under the Son.

Jesus adds that my very salvation is dependant on this submission. Yikes!

Lord Jesus, you know my struggle with Me. Help me submit to you joyfully, trusting in my promised salvation.
Mary, Mother of the infant Jesus, Mother of mine, pray for me.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Righteous Man

Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 

The miraculous virgin birth of Jesus is the focus of the Church today.  Center stage for his brief but crucial role is Joseph, a righteous man.

The dictionary lists the following synonyms for righteousness: good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent, worthy. Joseph is mentioned much in scripture but what is said of him paints a picture of true manhood. As the man who raised Jesus from boyhood, I suspect we see much of his chracter reflected in the man Jesus became.

All of Joseph's characteristics are very human and obtainable. They are within my grasp, should I choose them. That's the key. Today I choose righteousness.

Lord Jesus, you were born into the Holy and loving family of Mary and Joseph. Help me become a righteous man today.
Saint Joseph, please pray for me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.' He said in reply, 'I will not,' but afterwards he changed his mind and went. Mt.21:28,29

Jesus is telling a parable to the Pharisees of two sons, one whom says no to his father and then changes his mind, the other who says yes but does not do what he agreed to. Jesus tells the Pharisees they are like the second son who is unrepentant.

It seems every authentic response to Jesus involves repentance. We all have sined, so turning to God involves confessing that sin. This third week of Advent seems like a good time to go to confession.

Jesus, you know the sin that hides in my heart. Lord, I want to be a fervent follower. I place my stain before you and embrace the sacrament of reconciliation your Church gives to help me do that.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Voice in My Ear

No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: "This is the way; walk in it," when you would turn to the right or to the left.
Isaiah 30:21,22

Isaiah prophesies on the life to come when the Messaiah returns. One of the blessings will be "a voice in your ear" guiding the way we should go. No longer will we ever be lost.

Being lost is a horrible place to be. I remember coming up out of Central Station, Sydney for the first time. The crowd was immense and I was feeling small and alone. It took me a while to even discern where north was and get my bearings. Once I found Pitt Street and figured out which direction would take me down to the harbour, I started to feel more at peace.

Being morally lost is like having no spiritual compass, no point of reference. Jesus is the rock to align myself with. He is there all the time, I just need to remember that and get back in line.

Jesus, you my teacher, my rock, the voice in my ear. Speak to me today so I know when to turn to the right or to the left.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

False Discipleship

Jesus said to his disciples: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 

Jesus is giving warning that it is possible to be a false disciple. He says his treatment of such people will be harsh; "Then I will tell them plainly, away from me you evil-doers. I never knew you."

Leading up to Christmas you be forgiven for thinking everyone is going to heaven and hell doesn't exist. Today's Gospel is a wakeup call from that falicy. So what is the antidote to false discipleship? According to Jesus, doing the will of my Father.

Knowing the Father's will and then doing it. Sounds simple but could prove radical. I need help from the Church, the Saints, the Holy Spirit of God no less for this assignment. Come Holy Spirit...

Lord Jesus, I want to be an authentic disciple of yours. Help me to hear the will of the Father and then have courage to do it.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Still Waters

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. Psm23.1,3

The first reading today has the Prophet Isaiah singing of the victories associated with the Messiah's coming; rich food, choice wines, no more death, no more tears. The Psalm response is the well loved 23rd Psalm, this time singing of what Emmanuel, God with Us, does for us here and now.

The thought of being led by Jesus beside still waters is very calming and peaceful. I have walked beside restful waters while tramping . Water has that strange affect on my spirit. When it's angry and turbulent as in a storm at the beach, it can be frightening. When it is still and quiet as in a lake on a calm day, it is refreshing

This is a wonderful promise for me to take into my busy day. Peace and refreshment are mine from the Lord. He leads me beside still waters.

Thank you Lord Jesus that you are Emanuel, God with me today. I receive the peace and refreshment of still waters from you now. Let me be a man of peace and refreshment to others today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Focus on the Child

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.

The first mission trip of the seventy-two disciples has returned, reporting to Jesus tremendous success. "even the demons submit to us in your name.” Jesus rejoices that the Kingdom of God is starting to establish itself on earth, not to the wise but to the childlike.

Repeatedly, Jesus points to children as examples of the type of person that is most receptive to the Good News.  It seems human wisdom, rather than being an aid, is an obstacle to the conversion of hearts.

The temptation for me to theologise faith to death is something to supress. A childlike heart is desirable for me to attain. Focussing on a pregant girl on a donkey, riding slowly towards Bethlehem seems a simple but profound enough place to start.

Hail Mary, full of grace. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb...
Little Flower, please pray for me.