Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Welcome to da Family

And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

Jesus is teaching inside when a concerned family delegation, including his mother Mary, arrive outside. On being told, Jesus uses the moment to define who his family really is.

Were Jesus' family there to tell him dinner was ready? I don't think so. It was becoming more obvious that Jesus was making dangerous enemies. They would be wanting to tell him to calm down, stop making so many waves. And fair enough. A family does have speaking rights.

But Jesus Jesus shows no sign of slowing down. He pushes his agenda forward by gently pushing his family back. In so doing, he redefines his family. It includes everyone who does the will of God. That's good news for me as it opens the possibility of me becoming a member of Jesus' family. The membership fee? Doing the will of God.

Jesus, thank you for extending an invitation for me to join your family. Help know God's will and then have the courage to do it.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It's Simple

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.

Jesus has just denounced the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. He then praises God for revealing great mysteries to the simple.

The message of God is always simple. It's just that I can complicate it unnecessarily. I'm scheduled to lead children's liturgy this Sunday and I'm looking forward to it. In preparing the gospel message for children I simplify it and in so doing, I come to understand it. This process works every time.

Thank you Father for your simple but powerful message of love and life. Help me be like a child in my understanding, so that it may be truly revealed to me and through me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Sparrow

Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

Jesus is instructing the Twelve prior to their first missions trip. After outlining the perils of their mission, he addresses a very human condition. Fear. The antidote to fear is knowing that our Father in Heaven knows us intimately.

There're times when I feel very small and insignificant, like a sparrow. Jesus refers to the commonness of the sparrow by inferring that is a false world-view. The sparrow is so precious to God that not one, from all the multitude, falls without him knowing. Today,, when I see a sparrow, and I will see many, I will be reminded that I am under God's loving gaze and are so very precious to him.

Thank you Father for your great love for me, despite my smallness. Help me be a channel of your love today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Know God Know Peace

And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’

Jesus is travelling through the towns and cities teaching and healing. He attracts huge crowds and is moved by pity for them. His strategy is to engage his disciples to pray for workers who will minister to the harassed and dejected people.

Harassed and dejected. That describes so many people I meet today.  Our modern times have meant to release people to more leisure time but has done just the opposite. Why? Because more of the world means less of God. As the bumper sticker says, "Know God know peace. No God, no peace".

I can be just as susceptible to this seduction of the world. The antidote? Prayer.

Lord Jesus, you are the source of my peace. Help me build the discipline of daily prayer, that I may know your peace and your joy.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Bearer of Life

When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him.

A father pleads for Jesus to give life to his dead daughter. Jesus immediately responds. At the man's house are a crowd making a noise over the child's death. Jesus rebukes them and drives them out as they scoff at him. Once the harbingers of death are removed, Jesus brings life back to the little girl by his touch.

The commotion of the crowd over the girl's death seems like a celebration cacophony. They turn vicious and mock Jesus when he speaks against the victory of death. They are agents of the devil that have to be expelled by Jesus before he brings life back to the little girl.

There can be a lot of noise celebrating the works of the devil. My job, as a follower of he who brings life and life in its fullness, is to tell the noise-makers to shut up in Jesus' name. Then I ask Jesus to bring in his fullness of life.

Lord Jesus, you are the source of abundant life. Make me a bearer of that life into my day today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fresh Skins

Nor do people put new wine into old wine skins; if they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No; they put new wine into fresh skins and both are preserved.’
Mt. 9:17

John the Baptist's disciples question Jesus on his new way of doing things. Jesus uses the analogy of new cloth and fresh wine skins. The new has to be treated differently or what they contain is lost.

There is talk again of our parish being relocated to co-site with a local Catholic boy's high school. This has come up time and again over the years but has been scuttled by a reluctance in the parish to move. The new cloth would mean a new cloak, the new wine skin a fresh wine. All very scary.

Jesus is always new, always fresh, never old or worn out. I think a change is coming for our parish and we are not to be an impediment. Wise and discerning yes, ensuring that we are hearing God rightly, but not clinging onto the old as a child clings to a comfort rug.

Lord Jesus, you are always fresh and new. Help me to be fresh and new in my walk with you, always following you in the new paths you forge.
Saint Matthew, pray for us.