Thursday, February 26, 2015

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 continuing his great sermon on the mount, the blueprint for christian life. Here he emphasises that we have a God who is just waiting for us to reach out to him. Ask, seek, knock. These are all initiatives that must come from us. We only have to do them in faith.

Today's first reading from Esther shows a gutsy young woman who asks, seeks and knocks on behalf of the Jewish nation. We know the story. God answers her petitions spectacularly. What a great encouragement for me today, whatever my need.

Lord Jesus. I ask for courage today to do what is right before your eyes, to be the man you can be proud of today in all that I say and do. Most of all, give me the humility to ask, seek and knock a t your door.
Little Flower please pray for me.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Choose Life

I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life consists,

Moses is giving his last prophetic instruction to the Hebrews before they cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Choosing life meant choosing God, for this their life consists.

The choice is just as stark today. Choose God or reject God. Choose life or choose death. The seduction of the world is such that it can seem rejecting God is gaining a fuller life. I remember my worldview before I met Jesus. I thought the world was mine for the taking and that I was in the center of it. After my conversation I saw how puny and miniscule my view on life had been. My world had a population of one; me. Suddenly other people's happiness was more important than my own and my world expended dramatically. It was like coming out of a dark canyon into a wide open prairie.

Life is like that. It makes me outward focussed rather than inward absorbed. What a great way to walk into today.

Lord Jesus, you are the giver of life. Help me choose life by choosing to love others today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In Secret

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.

Jesus is instructing the disciples on Christian life.  It's a given that followers of him will pray, fast and give alms. What Jesus gives specific warning against is the attitude by which these good deeds are exercised. Pride will rob the good deed of its grace.

Lent is the season for prayer, fasting and alms giving. Yet, there was no lenten season in Jesus' day. These virtues were expected as a normal part of everyday christian life. That in itself is a challenge for me.

Repentance, prayer, alms giving and fasting. I never find these easy. This is where the rubber hits the road for the christian life, where the rubber hits the road for my life.

Lord Jesus, help me have a generous spirit this Lent and let it be for your glory alone
Little Flower, please pray for me. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Solution to the Problem

‘This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man.’

God gives Adam the task of naming all the creatures in the Garden of Eden. In the process Adam realises how unique he is and how alone he is. God comes up with the most beautiful solution to Adam's loneliness; sex.

The gift of Eve was the most creative solution to Adam's loneliness. Adam immediately recognised Eve as the gift she was. He liked what he saw: "Bone of my bones, flesh from my flesh". It was from the first a very physical attraction.

I keep being reminded that sex is God's idea, not the Devils. As such, sex is blessed, is a good thing but only when engaged in the way God intended. How was this? The husband and the wife becoming one flesh. Every other use of sex is a perversion from the devil who is very good at perverting things of God.

So today I kick the devil off his pulpit where he preaches perversion of the gift of sex and I turn instead to listen to God's beautiful plan of sexuality which has no shame.

Thank you Father for the gift of sex, for the gift of marriage. I turn from perversion of this gift and receive my wife with no shame.
Little Flower, please pray for me

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Good Fruit Bad Fruit

The LORD God gave man this order: "You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die."

Man is created from clay and given life by God. Then God gives man a task to take care of the garden. All of the garden is given for man to enjoy, except for the Tree of Knowledge. This is forbidden on pain of death.

What was so different about the Tree of Knowledge that to eat its' fruits was fatal? Adam already had knowledge. He had knowledge on how to tend the garden. He had knowledge of all the creatures, knowledge enough to name them all. He even had knowledge of God. But the fruit from the tree of knowledge was fatal. Why? Because the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge for the first time introduced pride. "You shall be like God" promised Satan and for the first time in creation's history, man placed himself above his creator.

Pride was the sin that opened the Pandora's' Box of all sins. Jesus lists these sins in today's Gospel:

"For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean." Mk.7:22,23

 Pride is the sin I wrestle with the most. It's antidote? Humility. A great act of humility is confession. I need this grace today.

Lord Jesus, help me conquer the pride within me.  Thank you for the source of grace offered in Confession. May I meet you there today. 
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Do Nothing Day

On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested after all his work of creating. Gn.2:2,3 

 Today's first reading from Genesis tells of the completion of God's creative work at the beginning of time. Days five and six were spent filling the world with life, crowned by the creation of man and woman. Then God did a strange thing. He allowed a day to pass where he deliberately did nothing and then blessed that day as a sacred "do nothing day".

God rested but he didn't need the rest. He was setting in place a rhythm of life for us to follow. Work and then rest. The resting aspect of life is so important that God sanctified it, made it holy. Why? It's the day I reconnect with him, reconnect with my family. It's the day that life is given its full meaning.

This coming weekend I will be working on Sunday. It's the first game of the Cricket World Cup in Hamilton and I'm called to be there to help make it happen. This is an aberration to my normal Sunday rest. I need to make sure that holy day is the norm in my life so my life is kept in correct perspective.

 Jesus, you observed the Sabbath and kept it holy. Help me spend this day with you and those I love that I may enjoy life in its fullness. Little Flower, please pray for me.