Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Guard over my Mouth

Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defense, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict.

Jesus knows his time of passion is near and is giving final instructions to his disciples. He instructs them not to concern themselves about preparing great arguments in their own defense. Eloquence and wisdom will be given to them from him.

I have a motor-mouth problem. I speak too much and listen too little. It gets me into trouble at times. An avalanche of words is not a sign of eloquence and wisdom. I need to trust that Jesus will give me the words to say and the prompt for when to say them. Until then, I listen...

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Stay Calm

‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’

Jesus has just prophesied the destruction of the temple. Understandably, the apostles want to know when is this to happen. Jesus' advice is to stay calm. Yes, the end of time will happen and it will be obvious but we're not to be spooked by it.

 As the end of the Church's year draws near she calls us to focus on that other inevitable end, the end of time.  There's a wisdom in this. When I acknowledge that all of creation is one day going to finish, my own earthly mortality is not such a scary thing. I am reminded that God has this all in hand. He is the Creator so all of creation is under his control, including me. What a relief.

Thank you Father, God of all creation, that you have a plan and that plan includes me. Give me faith Lord to trust in you when calamity seems to have the upper hand. Help me have your eternal vision and stay calm that I may pass on that calm to others.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Death, Where is your Victory?

Alleluia, alleluia! 
Our Saviour Jesus Christ has done away with death and brought us life through his gospel. Alleluia!

Today's Gospel Acclamation is taken from Saint Paul's second letter to Timothy. It describes the grace, the free gift, that is given to us by Jesus. And what is that? The defeat of death and in its place, eternal life.

Death has taken the headlines this past week. France is still in grief over the Paris slayings Friday week ago. Reports are just coming in of a similar attack at a hotel in Mali. Paul's words fly in the face of such news. This Gospel, this Good News, is what robs the terrorist attacks of any victory. We know that earthly death is not the end of our story. There is much more, oh so much more, so our hope and joy remain intact.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Today is a good day for me to be the bearer of this Good News. And with this Gospel quickly follows the fragrance of Joy and Hope. Alleluia!

Thank you Jesus for the the free gift of victory over death by your promise of eternal life. I claim that promise my myself and my family today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Give Thanks

‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Jesus has just healed ten lepers of their affliction. One, finding himself cured, turns back praising God at the top of his voice and throws himself at Jesus' feet thanking him.

People who have an "attitude of gratitude" are good to hang around.  They have no false pride, they are joyful and they know God for who he really is.

I've just come off a Men Alive weekend retreat. At the end of the two days there was time for men to stand up and give a testimony on what has happened for them over the previous two days. This was a very moving time as man after man came up to the microphone and shared what the goodness of God had just done in their lives. Boy, were they thankful and boy, were they joyful!

I am so blessed by my wife, my children and now my grandchildren. I have health, a job, I live in the most beautiful land on the planet. I have experienced my God alive in my life and I'm free to worship him.  The list goes on and on...  Today I am a man who is thankful to God. Let that be my hallmark.

Lord Jesus, I have been no-less cured than the leper who returned to praise you. Thank you Lord for what have done and are doing in my life. I love you Lord.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord.

Saint Paul is encouraging the Roman Church to live in harmony and peace with each other, accepting, not judging each others "funny ways". The source of their unity is Jesus. When they are strong on that, all other differences melt away.

I like to remind myself that the parish I belong to is full of odd-balls, which is why I feel so at home there. We are so very different in so many ways but Jesus is the one who calls us together week after week, month after month, year after year. Our unity, and we are a unified parish, is in Jesus.

My living or dieing has its influence on others in my parish, in my family, for better or for worse. When I live for Jesus it follows that I will die for Jesus and then, only then, will my influence be good. I can start living that way today.

Lord Jesus, you have placed me in this time, this place, among this people. Help me influence others for you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Small Daily Deaths

If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Jesus turns to the large crowd that is following him and stuns them with a challenge... drop everything that hinders you and then, only then, come follow me.

It seems as though Jesus waned to put and end to the populist movement that was growing about him. People were following the miracle man, wanting to be fed, wanting to be entertained, wanting to be wowed by the next trick.

These were no reasons for following him. Even following Jesus for relief of a a burden, a cross, is not reason enough. Following Jesus involves a far greater conversion, a surrendering of everything, no, a "dieing " to everything that hinders.

Sometimes being Catholic for me can be a cosy convention, replacing an intimate relationship with Jesus. I can forget there is a cost to following him. But oh, what great joy when I do surrender all to him. Even surrendering this time now to him is a small death. Perhaps that's the secret. Small daily deaths of me to gain great life in him.

Jesus, I again surrender myself and place my trust in you. I lay down the god of "me" and pick up my life in you.
Little Flower, please pray for me.