Friday, May 29, 2015


And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too.’ But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.’

Jesus and his disciples are just leaving Jerusalem after having driven the money-changers out of the Temple. They pass by the withered fig tree that Jesus had earlier cursed and the disciples point this out to him. This prompts Jesus to teach on how to pray with faith. The first thing a faithful prayer does is forgive.

Jesus has just carried out what could be termed unforgiving acts. He drove the money-changers from the Temple and cursed an unproductive fig tree. This tells me there is a time for righteous anger. The trick is to make sure the anger is righteous and not selfish.

I think this is where forgiveness comes in. Jesus raised the necessity of forgiveness while the clamor of over-turned temple tables was still in their ears.  It seems an attitude of forgiveness to everyone and all tempers my anger, purifying it so that any anger that is left is not mine but God's. It is righteous.

Of course, the inverse is true. My non-forgiveness falls on my own head, denying myself forgiveness from God for my own failings. What a terrible thought.

Lord Jesus, source of all mercy and forgiveness. Help me have a forgiving heart that I may be forgiven my many failings.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To Be Like Jesus

'Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

James and John have just asked for positions of honor in what they perceive to be the coming Kingdom of God. The other disciples are indignant at James and John. To clarify things, Jesus explains what true greatness is.  To be a servant.

The term "servant-hood" in today's language infers something inferior, something demeaning.  In the christian world however, servant-hood denotes greatness.  When I serve others I am the closest to being like Jesus that I can ever be.  "For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve," Mk.10:45.

There will be people I meet today that I can be Jesus to.  How? By serving them with a cheerful heart.

Lord Jesus, you have served me to the point of giving your life. Help me have a servant's heart that I may be more like you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Landscape View

This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true. There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.

John completes the last verses of the last Gospel with a statement as to their authenticity and a comment that what has been written is just an ink-spot to what would need to be written to cover everything Jesus had done.

It seems the Bible gives us just an arrow-slit view of Jesus' life and ministry rather than a landscape window.  A warning I guess to those who would hold to the view of "sola scriptura".  So where can we gain a wider view? Saint Paul gives direction when he wrote, "I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you." 1Cor.11:2.

Taught tradition can be right, as from Saint Paul and the Apostles, or wrong as from the Pharisees. Mother Church is the safeguard of the traditions of the Apostles. From her I gain the "landscape view" of Jesus' life.  Praise God that he established the Church for my nurture today.

Lord Jesus, I want to know you more that I may love you more. Reveal yourself to me I pray.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Love for Hate

I passed your word on to them, and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world. I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the evil one. 

Jesus continues his last great parayer of intercession for his disciples, for his Church, for us. The landscape is clearly defined. We are in a world that hates us but Jesus wants us to stay in the world. Protected, yes, but still in the world that hates us. To do what? To love in return.

By Jesus' definition, we live in a tension. We love, the world hates. If I ever start feeling liked by the world then I should be concerened. It means I am no longer diferent, no longer a threat, no longer an enemy to the world's way of life.

Osmosis can work both ways. The world can seep in and take over before I have realised what has happened. The antidote? Well, Jesus says what makes the world hate us is his Word alive in us, alive in me.  Daily soaking in God's Word keeps my identity in sharp focus... and keeps the world hating me.  Alleluia!

Lord Jesus.  Help me exchange hate for love in my world today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gold in the Clay

I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they belong to you: all I have is yours and all you have is mine, and in them I am glorified. I am not in the world any longer, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.

Jesus gives his last great intercessory prayer for his disciples before leaving for the Garden of Gethsemane and his Passion and death. Knowing they were about to desert him, Jesus still said that in his disciples he would be glorified.

Jesus could see beyond the present fearful and confused knot of men his disciples were to the martyrs for him that they would become. Jesus can see beyond the common sinner, the stumbling follower that I am. His eternal vision has a place for me that glorifies him.

This raises the bar of my own vision of myself. It prompts me to do my utmost for his highest... today.

Lord Jesus, thank you for seeing gold in my miry clay, a saint among my sinfulness.  Help me see myself rightly as you do.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Complete Joy

If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.

Jesus continues his final discourse to his disciples at the Last Supper. He reinforces the style of life the disciples are to live once he is gone, a life that fulfills the commandment to love. Why live this life? So their joy may be complete.

Complete joy. O how my heart longs for this. A joyous life is a life lived to the full. The disappointments, hurt, pain and fear of daily life cannot rob complete joy.

How to obtain this joy? Hear God's commandments and keep them. This places me under the love of Jesus and then my joy is complete.

Lord Jesus, help me hear your word and do it, that my joy may be complete.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gift of Peace

‘Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

It is the Last Supper and Jesus is speaking his final words of comfort to his disciples. Knowing his excruciating passion was just a few hours away, Jesus gives a gift, a gift that quiets a troubled and afraid heart. That gift is Peace.

A couple of weeks ago my darling wife of thirty-six years had an operation to check on symptoms that could have pointed to something sinister or something benign. My heart was in fear and trouble, something I didn't realise was happening until I experienced a rush of relief when good news came from the hospital.  Yes, I had prayed and yes I firmly believed that Jesus' hand is over Kate, yet fear and trouble was in my heart.

It seems our human condition has this vulnerability of heart and it can overwhelm and crush us. But, Jesus gives a gift, a gift of peace.  It takes a conscious effort to pick up and receive a gift. I need to consciously receive the gift of peace from Jesus each day, no matter is happening. It's a gift that is out of this world.

Thank you Jesus for your gift of peace for me. I claim it and possess it now.
Little flower, please pray for me.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Way Truth Life

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’ 

Jesus is comforting his disciples by giving the "Big Picture" i.e. ...big house ...many rooms ...a place prepared.  Thomas asks "How can we know the way"? Jesus replies decisively.  "The Way, the Truth, the Life... Me, Me, Me".

What is the Way?  What is Truth? What is Life?  These are big questions to which everyone has to come up with an answer, believer or non-believer. I remember as a young man seeking answers to these questions, looking into Eastern religion, humanism and straight-out hedonism. It was exhausting. It wasn't until I found that Jesus covers them all that found peace and with that peace, joy.

It's good for me to remember with gratitude what a gift faith in Jesus is to me.

Lord Jesus, you are my Way, my Truth and my Life.  Thank you for the peace and joy you give me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.