Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Giver not Grabber

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Saint Paul is writing to the Church of Corinth encouraging generous giving.  Why? Because loves a generous giver.

There something about the act of giving away that denies worldliness and promotes Godliness.  The world says grab, God says give.  Not only are we encouraged to give but we are to give not begrudgingly but cheerfully. I've heard it said the original word Saint Paul used in this letter was "hilariously".  We are to be hilarious givers.

Jesus reinforces this message in today's Gospel saying we are to give alms secretly, without trying to gain man's admiration, hoping instead on the admiration of God who sees all that is done in secret.

Today I am to look for an opportunity to give, secretly and hilariously.

Lord Jesus, you know my natural instinct is to grab.  Help me be a cheerful giver today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The High Bar of Love

But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven.

Jesus continues the Sermon on the Mount, his great teaching on how to live a Christian Life.  He has started with the encouraging "be-attitudes", followed with exhortations on being salt and light, don't commit murder, adulatory, divorce, don't make oaths... all relatively easy stuff. Then comes the toughies; be meek, give more than is asked.  Then the ultimate call... love your enemies.

I imagine at this point some of Jesus' listeners would be shaking their heads.  The beatitudes tickled their ears. But turn the other cheek, walk the extra unasked-for mile... love your enemies!  No, this is too much!

I have the same struggles.  This sets the bar so high that it seems futile to try and jump it. Loving my enemies falls into my "impossible for man" category. But that quote of Jesus' goes on to say, " possible for God".

Maybe this is why Jesus sets the high bar of love before me, to force me to turn to him and plead for his help. On my own, I can't do it.  There will be "unlovely" people I will meet today. Maybe, with Jesus' help, I will be able to love them.

Lord Jesus, you know my love limitations.  Help me jump the love high-bar today when I am called to.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Mirror

‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.

Jesus continues his great Sermon on the Mount.  He states plainly his teaching is not eliminating the existing Law of Moses or prophetic revelation, it is fulfilling them.

There is a temptation to minimise the Old Testament simply because it is "old".  But Jesus doesn't recommend this. He says to look to the Law and the Prophets as pointing to him, as portraying him the perfect man.

I see the Old Testament as a mirror in which the image of God can be seen.  When I try to meet the law and become the image of God, I fail. The law is impossible for me to perfectly keep and so it shows that I am worthy only of death. But when I look into the mirror and see it pointing to Jesus who fulfills the law perfectly, then I see the image of God.

Give me that mirror. The more I see of Jesus, the more I know him.  The more I know him, the more I love him. The more I love him the more peace and joy are mine... today.

Thank you Jesus for revealing yourself in scripture as you did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Reveal yourself to me today as I read sacred scripture.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Warm up a Room

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."
Mt. 5:16

Jesus has just started his public ministry by giving his great Sermon on the Mount, his blue-print for the christian life. He tells his followers they are to be salt and light, that they are to make a difference in the world they live in.

Salt and light. They are essential elements that are only really noticed when they are absent. Am I noticed by my absence or am I irrelevant whether I'm present or not?
I think the best way to be present is to love. Love warms up a room when it is present and is longed for in its absence. let me be a lover today.

Lord Jesus, you are the salt and light of my life. Let your love work through me today. 
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Could Be More Fun

O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways! By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.

Psalm 127 is a Song of Ascents.  It was sung as a pilgrim made his way up Zion's hill to worship at the Temple. It is a song of grateful heart.

I have a poster on the wall of my work office that states:  "To love what you do and feel that it matters... what could be more fun!"  It then quotes Psalm 127:1,2.

Most days at work I love what I do and feel that it matters, that it makes a difference.  A couple of days out of ten wish I was at the beach, but that's not a bad average.

The key to this "having fun" in life is fearing the Lord and walking in his ways. This morning's prayer time is going to have its fruit in me having fun today!

Thank you Jesus for being The Way for me today. 
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Give Back to God

‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ 

The Pharisees have tried to trap Jesus with a question on taxes paid to the hated Romans. Jesus sees their obvious plot but answers them none the less. In his answer Jesus shows we have a duty in all things but over arching all is our duty to God.

We live in a fallen world.  Tax money we pay gets spent on things we don't always agree with (e.g. publicly funded abortions).  The Romans used their wealth to increase their power as cruel foreign occupiers of Palestine. Yet, Jesus said to pay them their due. However, this is always countered with our due to God.

What of mine belongs to God today?  Everything, even the very beat of my heart, my life.  There will be opportunities that come before me today where  I can give back to God what belongs to God.

Holy Spirit of God, help me see the times today where I can give back to you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.