Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Here Comes the Judge

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I have come not to condemn the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

Jesus is confronting the unbelief of the Jews. He emphasises that while he has come to save the world it is the word he has spoken that will judge the world.

It's sometimes tempting to take Jesus' words "I have come not to condemn the world, but to save" out of context. That would mean there is no judgement. However, Jesus is very clear there is to be judgement and the judge will be the word of God he has spoken.

It's good for me to be reminded that I will one day stand before the Judge as the book of my life is being read out and measured against God's Word.  God of Mercy, have mercy on me.

Jesus, help me hear your words and keep them faithfully. May your mercy triumph over judgement.
Little Flower, ,please pray for me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Absence of Fear - Presence of Joy

They had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name. Acts 5:40,41 

The apostles persistent preaching of the Good News of Jesus' resurrection has them arrested and punished by the Sanhedrin. This does nothing to stop their joyous zeal in proclaiming the Word.

What a transformation! The apostles only a few days earlier had been hiding and even speaking denial of Jesus for fear of the Sanhedrin. Now they are joyously and courageously proclaiming the Good News of Jesus everywhere, including in front of the Sanhedrin itself.

What has happened? They had encountered the risen Lord Jesus and received the Holy Spirit from him. The first result was that fear left them and joy entered, a joy that couldn't be contained.

Absence of fear, presence of joy. This is something I desire for my life. This Eastertide leading up to Pentecost is a god time to seek this state of grace. How? Encounter the risen Lord Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit.

 Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. Come Holy Spirit.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Weakness is Strength

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save. Many are the trials of the just man but from them all the Lord will rescue him.

King David writes this psalm after escaping from the clutches of King Abimelek.  He has been rescued by the Lord.

David is so vulnerable and weak at this time of his life that the only way he could escape from King Abimelek was to pretend to be insane. It was demeaning to pretend to be so mad that the king was repulsed by him and drove David away. This was no great victory on the battle field, yet David saw the Lord's hand in his escape.

David saw that in his brokenness he was actually close to God. A crushed spirit is an honest spirit.  It has nowhere else to hide. The Gospels are full of instances where the naked and ashamed are healed by Jesus and the arrogant and prideful are left with their wound. Jesus himself says,
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" Mt.5:3

When my pride is stripped away and I am naked in my weakness before God, then and only then can he reach out and heal me.

Lord Jesus, help me stand naked before you, be real with you, that you may reach out and heal my brokenness.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hearts Aflame

Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

Two disciples are walking dejectedly to Emmaus, their dreams of a liberated Israel killed with the crucifixion of Jesus. The risen Lord joins and engages with them on the road, unrecgnised until he breaks bread with them. The realisation of Jesus' resurrection has them running back with the news to their fellow disciples, transformed from crushed defeat to joyful victory.

This wonderful story is one I associate with so readily. Normal life seems to have so many disappointments, great and small. Even the process of growing old is a defeat of sorts.  But Oh what a wonderful antidote is given me. This time in the morning is my "on the road with Jesus" time, a time when my "heart burns within me" as the scriptures are revealed. I am transformed from disappointment to hope and joy.

Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness and patience with me as we walk together in the morning. This is the day that you have made and I rejoice and are glad.
Saint Cleopas, please pray for me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, Alleluia!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The first verse of the Bible lays the foundation for the rest of Holy Scripture. In the beginning was God....

Tonight in the Easter Vigil we hear the history of mankind as recorded in the Bible. It's a story of love and betrayal, faithfulness and infidelity. It's my story and it starts with God the beginning.

The beauty of acknowledging that God started it all is that it then places the "end of it all" back in His tender, loving hands. No need to fear. Death has been absolutely, completely and finally defeated. Resurrection and eternal life await.

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Oh my Lord, you conquered death and rose again. I place my trust in You!
Mary Magdala, the first to spread the Good News of resurrection, please pray for me.