Thursday, July 27, 2017

Soften my Heart

You will listen and listen again, but not understand, see and see again, but not perceive. For the heart of this nation has grown coarse.
Mt. 10:14,15

The disciples have asked Jesus why he talks in parables to the people. Jesus says it is because they have no knowledge and that they have no knowledge because of their hard hearts.

Listening and not understanding. Seeing and not perceiving. Nothing has changed in two thousand years. The hardness of heart disease still exists today. This is why a non-believer can attend Mass and walk out saying "What a load of mumbo jumbo", while a believer can leave having experienced the  shekinah glory of God.

The antidote? A softening of the heart. Those disciples who picked up their crosses and followed Jesus had heart surgery and were changed. Those who came to have their ears tickled or to judge went away in the same condition they arrived, with hard hearts and deaf and blind.

I will only help a person see Jesus if I first soften his heart. This is an inside job that comes about through relationship. It takes time and it costs but it works. That's how my heart was softened, by friends and family entering into relationship with me, where I was at.

Lord Jesus, my heart starts to re-calcify at times. Help me keep a soft heart towards others so they see and hear you in me.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bread from Heaven

Alleluia, alleluia!
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.
Gospel Acclamation

Today's first reading tells how God provided manna to feed the fleeing sons of Israel in the desert. The Gospel is Jesus telling the parable of the sower. Both highlight how God feeds his people, both physicaly and spiritually.

All nourishment for my healthy living is provided by God. His most precious food is that which I am now consuming. His Word. Jesus says if the soil of my heart is fertile, Gods Word will produce a bountiful crop., today.

Lord Jesus, thank you feeding me this morning. May I produce a crop worthy of you.
Little Flower please pray for me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Earthenware Jar

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us.

Saint Paul writes to the fledgling Church of Corinth, describing how the Christian life is not to be judged on temporal appearance but on spiritual truth that comes from God.

The world and all its tinsel constantly tries to seduce me. From my receding hair line to the latest IT toy, they all call for my pampering. My abilities and gifts strain to be noticed and stroked, screeching "look at me, look at me!".

This clamour crowds out God. I am reminded I am simply an earthenware jar, any abilities are from God, all trinkets are reconstituted dust. What a relief! I don't have to constantly worry and strain about appearances. My true treasure is from heaven, freely given out of love. My true worth is revealed in the eyes of God.

There is a peace in knowing the only opinion about me that matters comes from God and that he is head-over-heals in love with me.

Thank you Jesus that I do contain treasure. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Help me see others in the same light today.
Saint James, please pray for me.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

He is Alive!

I found him whom my heart loves.
Song of Songs 3:4

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalen

The anguished yearning of the the seeker in the Song of Songs is consummated when she finds him whom her heart loves.

This seeking of a lover for her beloved beautifully represents Mary Magdalen outside the tomb. Finding the tomb of Jesus empty, she is distraught until she meets and recognises him as risen from the dead. She had followed his brutal killing. She knew he had truly died. Now she knew he had truly risen.

Then, as it is with great joy, she had to share the good news with the disciples. She could not contain it.

Joy is contagious. That is its great power. I contain the same good news that Mary had . "Jesus is alive!". I can spread that Good News with those I meet today. How? By being joyful. I have the best of reasons to be so.

Lord  Jesus. You died. You rose. You will come again. Alleluia!
Saint Mary Magdalen, please pray for me. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Rest for my Soul

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Jesus has just condemned the crowds for not listening to John the Baptist and the towns for remaining unrepentant. He then softens and invites the wearied and the labored to come to him for relief.

This is one of the most read verses in the Bible, and for good reason. We've all been wearied and labored, I'm feeling a bit that way now. Jesus himself must have been feeling that way after dealing with the obstinacy of the people.

Jesus knows what we are suffering and so he offers the solution, himself. He doesn't remove my yoke, he puts it in perspective by replacing it with his one that is light and easy. His gentleness and humbleness gives rest for my soul, today....

Thank you Jesus for understanding my burden and offering to exchange it for your easy yoke. I accept your offer and claim rest for my soul.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Part of the Plan

Among the reeds she noticed the basket, and she sent her maid to fetch it. She opened it and looked, and saw a baby boy, crying; and she was sorry for him.

Pharaoh's daughter has found the basket holding Moses amongst the reeds in the river. Her compassion for the the crying baby moves her to save him and in so doing sets in motion events that would culminate in the birth of Jesus and the salvation of the world.

A diverse range of women are involved in this history-making drama, from slave girl to princess. The courage of Moses' sister Miriam, the desperation of Moses' mother, the compassion of Pharaoh's daughter all played their role in God's plan. If either one of them had not been so moved, Moses would have died and God's plan would have been thwarted.

That seems to be the way God works. He entrusts his great vision into the trembling, dirty hands of mere common clay like me. Look at the eleven disciples that made up the core of the Church when Jesus died. They were trembling, confused betrayers hiding in an upper room. Yet into their tremulous hands Jesus entrusted His Church and mission to preach to the ends of the earth.

This gives me hope. Despite my many imperfections, God can still use me for great things in his Kingdom.

Lord Jesus, give me the motivation of Moses' mother, the courage of Miriam and the compassion of Pharoah's daughter to be part of your glorious work today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Worthy Cross

Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.

Jesus is instructing the twelve disciples before moving off to preach in their towns. He warns them that following him will involve attack, division and hardship. But he finishes with the promise of finding life.

Here Jesus speaks of the cross knowing its shadow lies across his life. He would not say it lightly. To be worthy of him I must not try to avoid hardships, crosses, in my life. Embracing them seems to make me grow in stature before Jesus.

This is not an attractive spin, yet there it is. This contains a hidden truth, that fullness of life can be found in suffering and it is not found in trying to avoid it. The crosses I face today are a path to fullness of life.

Lord Jesus, crosses frighten me. Give me courage to embrace the crosses in my life so I may be worthy of you and find life.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Authority and Power

Jesus summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.

Jesus commissions the twelve disciples for their first mission trip. They are given authority and power, then instruction to proclaim the Kingdom Heaven is near.

The mission of Jesus continues today. I, as a disciple of Jesus, am given authority and power. Authority over unclean spirits and power to heal. I can start exercising this authority and power, starting with myself.

Lord Jesus, in your name I cast out unclean spirits from my life. In your name I claim healing for my body, soul and spirit. In your name I proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is near at hand.
Little Flower, please pray for me.