Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Hard Road

Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Jesus is closing his great sermon on the mount warning that the path to destruction is easy and wide while the way to life is narrow and difficult.

Perdition: Complete and utter ruin.

The wide easy road is mesmerising. It promises happiness and fulfillment. In no way to does it seem to be a road to complete and utter ruin. Hence many take it.

The way to life is more adventurous. I remember climbing the Tongariro Crossing earlier this year. There's a section called "The Devil's Staircase" where you climb from 1400 to 1600 meters above sea level. It's a killer, but the view at the top is spectacular and the glorious alpine walk starts to become surreal, like you're on another planet. It's thrilling.

This is how I think of the way to life. The devil tries to obscure it with threats of hardship. Yes it is hard but the destination is worth it!

Lord Jesus, give me the grit, the courage to take the hard road leading to life today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Wonder of my Being

Birthday of John the Baptist

For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation.

David writes a song glorifying the wonder of God's creation, starting with himself. The wonder of who he is reflects the wonder of all of God's creation and that in turn reflects the wonder of God the Creator.

Wonder:   A feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful.

Some days I have this feeling of amazement and admiration about myself. On these days indeed the whole world appears wonderful as I see the fingerprints of God everywhere. On other days amazement and admiration are replaced with disappointment and revulsion. These are grey days where my world is small and self centered.

God knows all my beauty and my ugliness yet he sees me as something beautifully made, indeed made in his own likeness. The key here is to see myself rightly, to see myself as God sees me, warts and all. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Saint John the Baptist, please pray for me.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Radical Day

We beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation.

Paul is pleading with the Corinthian Church to live a radical life of holy example, using his own life as a template. And this radical life is not something to be attained in the future, it is to be lived today.

The different drum we are to march to is exemplified by Jesus in today's gospel; walk the extra mile, turn the other cheek, give the extra cloak.  There's something liberating in this generosity. It shows our hearts are fixed on other things, spiritual things.

There is a joy in this sort of detachment, a joy obtainable today, the day of salvation.

Lord Jesus, you call me "further up and further in" to this radical life. Help me let go and be generous with those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cheerful Giver

‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury;

Jesus has watched people placing offerings in the temple treasury. He calls his disciples and singles out the poor widow who has given two small coins, all that she has, and exalts her as the most generous giver.

There's a couple of lessons here. Firstly, Jesus observes all that we give. Secondly, he's not impressed by quantity but by commitment. Someone who gives all is totally committed. Like the chicken who supplied an egg for breakfast and the pig who supplied the bacon. Who is committed?

There's times when I've given like a pig, without counting the cost and times when I've given like a chicken.  I've been quite miserly. The miserly times leave me miserable. The generous times leave me with a sense of joy. Let me be a cheerful and generous giver today...

Lord Jesus, you gave your all for me. Help me do the same for you in those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.