Looking Through His Window

Luke 12:35-36 by Mickey-Mouse on DeviantArt
Daily Reflection – 10/20/2020

Sacred Scripture

Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.” (Luke 12:35-38)

Reflection

Jesus’ master-servant parables seem to extol the virtue of preparedness.  But I think there is something deeper and equally as important behind it. 

There is a lesson here of fidelity or faithfulness which allows us to persevere in living out an unswerving commitment. The Lord is committed to us in a bond of unbreakable love and fidelity.  Faithfulness is a key character trait of God and one that He expects of us. 

Why ten  is fidelity, commitment, and faithfulness so difficult today?  Perhaps because modern society extols freedom over fidelity and doesn’t want to be bound to an unknown or uncertain future.  It’s also inconvenient and a burden to the pursuit of one’s own interests.  But followers of Christ are expected to rise above self-interest. We are expected to live up to our covenant with Him. We live up to our covenant by living out that faith. At times, that seems difficult for us.  

Then perhaps we need to think of it this way. Jesus is as a house, and we are inside, and from the windows of this house we look at the world. If we are to continue to dwell in that house, we do not close in on ourselves, we do not long with melancholy for a supposedly golden past.  Instead we look ever forward to a future that is not only our handiwork, but one which we are asked to helpco-create with our God. All that seems dark will one day become light. That is why we can’t abandon ourselves to the events of the world with pessimism, as if history were a runaway train. Resignation is not a Christian virtue !

And just as it is not Christian to shrug one’s shoulders or bow one’s head before a seemingly inescapable destiny, we are reminded to be his hands and feet in bringing hope to the world. One who brings hope to the world is never a submissive person. A submissive person is not a peace-builder but is an idler, one who wants to be comfortable. Meanwhile a Christian is a peacemaker when he/she takes risks, when he/she has the courage to take risks in order to bring good, the good which Jesus has given us, given us as a treasure. It’s not a one-and-done occurrence nor reserved just for the Last Day.

Jesus is knocking on your heart. He is continually coming to you seeking to come in and recline with you so as to converse, strengthen, heal and help. Reflect, today, upon how ready you are to open immediately every part of your life to the grace and will of God. Let Him in with great joy and enthusiasm and let His plan continue to unfold in your life.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, you are faithful even when I fail.  Help me to remain ever faithful to you and to not shrink back when I encounter difficulties.  May always live in your presence and be ready to meet you when you call me on the day of judgment.”

Daily Note

What a great arrangement we have here! We participate in kingdom work and Christ promises to serve us. You may wonder whether you have the time, strength, or ability to serve Christ, but you must remember this: You do not serve Christ, you do not do kingdom work, by your own strength. You do kingdom work with the strength Christ provides (1Pet. 4:11). Remember the words of our Lord in Mark 10:45: the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many “.

How Much Should A Dollar Cost?

Bible Truth & Prophecy | Thought for March 21st
Daily Reflection – 10/19/2020

Sacred Scripture

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”( Luke 12:13-21)

Reflection

The rich man’s fault was not in planning ahead; he was perfectly right to provide for what we would call “the rainy day.” Where he went wrong was in thinking only of himself, of his personal comfort and well-being. He forgot the responsibility we all have to the community at large.

We cannot forget a basic premise of Christian thinking and living. When we go down to the deepest level of where everything comes from, it’s all a gift from God. Our whole universe is a gift from God. So, everything we have is a gift. All of this gift is not just for you or me or any one of us, it’s for all. It’s to be shared. (I guess in today’s political climate, that might even sound socialistic!)

The second lesson in today’s parable is what greed has done to this man. He doesn’t understand that he lives closed in on himself, prisoner of a logic that dehumanizes him, emptying him of all dignity. He only lives to accumulate, store and increase his material welfare:

He builds his barns bigger, but doesn’t know how to broaden the horizon of his life. He grows his wealth, but diminishes and impoverishes his life. He accumulates goods, but doesn’t know friendship, generous love, joy or solidarity. He doesn’t know how to give or share, only hoard. What of humanity is there in such a life?

He failed to build up a relationship with God to start with. Our whole relationship to God should be one of thanksgiving. We are receiving it every moment from God. We are  being blessed at every instant because we wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for God. All that there is in this world is a gift from God and it’s intended for all and not for a few.

St. Paul in one of his letters says, “Be eucharists,” which is a Greek word meaning, be thanksgiving. So each of us, our whole being should be thanks — thanks for all that we have, all that we are, all that we can be. God has gifted you and me. When we get that sense and then we begin to understand that it’s the same for every person, we begin to build up a sense of yes, we have to share, we have to work for the common good, we have to try to bring about a fullness of life for every person. 

What happens to a society that erects a “god” focused solely on the mighty dollar or the economy? What does it say about the primacy of the value of life when  a dollar is prized more? If we try to store up riches only for myself, build more new barns, have it all for me, we destroy all our relationships with God. Isn’t maybe that the reason why we live in a world where there’s so much violence, hatred and war?

We can share what we have with others and look to God for our security. Let us do our work as God’s work, do it well for God’s honor, and do it in gratitude for God’s gifts to all of us. Ultimately, like the rich man in the story, one day, God will call each of us to His heavenly home and we will have to leave everything behind that we had achieved in this world.

Prayer of The Day

Lord Jesus, free my heart from all possessiveness and from coveting what belongs to another. May I desire you alone as the one true treasure worth possessing above all else. Help me to make good use of the material blessings you give.

Daily Note

To seek the Kingdom of God means more than just taking part in worship. It includes the service of others. demanded by membership of the Church. By giving of oneself we make treasure in heaven and become rich in the sight of God. The fault in the man who came to Jesus with the grievance against his brother, and likewise in the rich fool, was that they were thinking of nobody hut themselves, whereas the Kingdom of God is reached by sharing one another’s burdens. Whatever we give to others is not lost, but becomes treasure for eternity, drawing us forward into the Kingdom.

The Folly of Following Fear

Nothing remains secret or... | Quotes & Writings by Kiran Swain | YourQuote
Daily Reflection – 10/16/2020

Sacred Scripture

At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. He began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven—that is, the hypocrisy—of the Pharisees. There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:1-7)

Reflection

Jesus, once again, cites the Pharisees as those whom we should never emulate because of their hypocrisy. Why so much emphasis?

It was meant to remind us that the principles of the Pharisees are deeply ingrained in human nature—and that Christians should be always on their guard against them. Hypocrisy is a subtle leaven which the heart is always ready to receive! It is a leaven which once received into the heart, infects the whole character of a man’s Christianity.

Where is it’s root? That’s a simple answer. It’s the fear of man which produces hypocrisy. It’s living for the approval of others that makes a person bend, more and more to seek that approbation even to the point of bending their principles.

Therein lies the folly of fear.

Fear robs us of the blessings God wants to bestow upon us in the present moment – his peace, his love, his joy. No wonder the evil one, and those who follow him, want to keep us fearful! Evil doesn’t want us to experience the multitudes of blessings God so deeply desires to bestow upon us right now. So we are fed a diet of fear – fear of others, fear of warnings of an ominous future, fear that if we let our guard down, we will be overcome. Think about that.

I believe we have the ability to create a life of happiness and wholeness when we align our heart with the heart of God – a place where fear is obliterated. This does not mean life will be easy, it does not mean we will not experience pain and heartache; no, it means we can become virtuous and our heart can become filled with love.

When we co-create with God, we serve others because it is about the other – our fellow brother or sister in need. We turn our life over to God, surrendering all to him, giving him control. Then what could we possible fear? God, the creator of the entire universe, most certainly has the power and ability to direct our life.

That is the remedy which our Lord recommends. We must supplant the fear of man, by a higher and more powerful principle—the fear of God. We must look away from those who can only hurt the body—to Him who has all dominion over the soul.

Armed with this mighty principle, we never have to revert to being a  coward. Seeing Him who is invisible—we shall find the lesser fear melting away before the greater, and the weaker fear disappearing before the stronger.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, your perfect love casts out fear.  Give me a passion for your word and for your righteousness and a resolute hatred for sin.  Help me to cast aside anything which would hinder full union with you.”

Daily Note

God knows us even more intimately than our mothers, because God knows our entire story. And even though God knows each of our sinful thoughts, words, and actions, God’s offer of love and mercy is unwavering. When we finally meet our Creator face-to-face, all of our struggles and successes will be accounted for. Our divine parent will sweep up the neglected, the disabled, the poor and the heartbroken, and will tell them: “I have been with you all along, I have loved you the whole time.” The deep pains of rejection that we have all felt in our own way and the injustices that the least of our brothers and sisters have experienced on Earth will all be recognized and revealed in the end when our Father looks at each of us with loving recognition. 

Not Only You But Me Too

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Daily Reflection – 10/15/2020

Sacred Scripture

Woe to you! for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, `I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things, lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say. (Luke 11:47-54)

Reflection

In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues to chastise the Pharisees and the scholars of the law. He chastises them because they “have taken away the key of knowledge” and have actively tried to keep others from the knowledge God wants them to have. This is a strong accusation and reveals that the Pharisees and scholars of the law were actively hurting the faith of God’s people.

The key of knowledge?The religious lawyers and scribes held the “office of the keys” since they were the official interpreters of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, their interpretation of the Scriptures became so distorted and difficult to understand that others were “shut off” to the Scriptures.

The key of knowledge is faith, and faith can come only by listening to the voice of God. The key to knowledge is to let God speak to you and reveal His deepest and most beautiful truths. These truths can only be received and believed through prayer and through communication with God. 

Faith is an intensely personal and living relationship with God. It is not, and never should be, made into an ideology. When it becomes an ideology, it is no longer faith. When it becomes an ideology, people become judgmental. There is an absolute tendency to develop the “we” and “they” way of thinking. Jesus Christ did not come for “we” and “they.” He came for each one of us, EACH ONE of us. Any “we” and “they” thinking is contra to all that Jesus Christ taught.

If you accept that then you understand that faith not only must be lived but it must be shared. But how many parents or teachers or those in authority have failed to share that faith by living that faith?  How many have subverted the word of God by substituting others as God either through their actions or their words?

There should only be one motivation for you and for me . . . to please Jesus Christ. It is people in love with Him that should prevail in all of our relationships and that is where our hearts should be focused.  If we do that then we are going about His business of building His kingdom on earth.

Prayer of The Day

““Lord Jesus, may your word take root in my heart and transform my thoughts and actions. Give me wisdom and understanding so that I may know your will for my life and have the courage to live according to it.”

Daily Note

These very sobering words from our Lord remind us that we must not only pay attention to our own salvation, but we must be concerned about the salvation of others. For it is not God’s will to save us as individuals, but in communion as the the Body of Christ. Consequently, our efforts to shine the light of Christ for others matters greatly for both their salvation and ours.

Walkin’ and Talkin’

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Daily Reflection – 10/14/2020

Sacred Scripture

The Lord said: “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.” (Luke 11:42-46)

Reflection

Jesus is angry with the Pharisees because many of them were full of pretension so that their external actions were very much different with their internal thought.Then, Jesus told the scholars of the law that they imposed too many burdens on people which were hard to live by and the scribes did nothing to help. Strong words of rebuke, indeed!

The good Lord sure didn’t make very many friends talking to the people in his own religious community this way.  Incidents like these, piled on top of each other, no doubt added fuel to the fire when the Pharisees and scribes were deciding to have him crucified.  You can feel Christ’s anger in his words, but the anger in the religious leaders of his time was just beginning to smolder.

What Jesus wants for the Pharisees then and for us now is to lead by example; let us mean what we say and live what we say. This is where we are often lacking, yes we go to church and yes we worship God. But do we translate these to living acts of faith? Do we really live what we say?

Jesus lived every word that He preached, for example Jesus preached simplicity of lifestyle, He therefore lived this simple lifestyle. Jesus preached about forgiveness and He lived His preaching of forgiveness as well.

The essence of God’s commandments is love — love of God and love of neighbor.  God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us.  Love is sacrificial; it both embraces and lifts the burdens of others.  Do we allow the love of God to transform our mind and heart? Are we willing to carry our neighbor’s burden even if it is burdensome to us?

Much has been written about “walking the talk” but sometimes we overlook the import of those words. Walking the talk does not mean doing what we say some of the time. Or living what we say when its convenient. It truly means shouldering the burden whenever it is needed. That does not mean to our own self detriment or to the detriment of our family. That would be contradictory to the great command of love.

But it does mean that there are times when shouldering the burden is inconvenient, or not opportune or not when we feel like doing it. But if we are followers of Christ, we honor that command.

If we were saints, then our faith would be so strong that even the very worst of situations would have no effect on us.  But, most of us aren’t saints.  We are influenced by our surroundings way too much. And we are influenced by those around us. That is why it is often better to surround ourselves with people who follow the great commandment.

It is true that we become like the people who are around us.   Just as our parents paid attention to what kind of friends we had when we were children for a reason.  This reason doesn’t change just because we became an adult.  The people we surround ourselves with in life will affect us.  The more we are with them, the more their values, outlook on life, faith or lack of faith, morals, etc. will wear off on us.  This is true with major sins, but it is also true with those who have a positive or negative outlook in life too.  

We should take a look at the quality of the friendships we have formed, or extended family members that constantly make us miserable, and ask ourselves if they are a positive influence in our lives?  Or do they bring out more of our sinful inclinations, or negative thinking in us?

The pharisees and the scribes were the anti-model for us. The best model we have is Jesus Christ. While few of us will ever be able to emulate his love or his self-sacrifice, we are asked to try, each day, to be like Him. Each day. We are asked to shoulder His burden and to love. Each day. To help each of us accomplish that, the Lord brings into our lives those who share our beliefs. Each day. Look inside, look around and see the love of Christ in front of you, beside you and in your words and actions.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most — love of God and love of neighbor.  Give me wisdom and courage to act with justice, kindness, and mercy in all that I do and say.”

Daily Note

“Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ.  So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ Himself.” (Ignatius of Antioch)

Here Comes The Squirm

Let's Be Hot Messes Together - Greater Than Rubies
Daily Reflection – 10/13/2020

Sacred Scripture

After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.” (Luke 11:37-41)

Reflection

It was not unusual to invite a rabbi to give a teaching over dinner. Jesus, however, did something which offended his host. He did not perform the ceremonial washing of hands before the meal. Did Jesus forget or was he deliberately performing a sign to reveal something to his host? Jesus turned the table on his host by chiding him for uncleanness of heart. It was a moment for the truth of Jesus to stand out, loudly and clearly. In today’s vernacular, it would have caused the Pharisee to squirm (more than just a little).

The words of Jesus should cause us to reflect on the authenticity of our faith beliefs. Are we more concerned with looking the part of a Christian or actually being a Christian?  Are we as concerned with holiness on Monday as we are on Sunday?  Are we a Christian example to your coworkers?  Do we uphold biblical standards when around non-believers or are we more apt to act like them?

In truth, there are those who suffer from “religiosity.” I define that as someone who loves being religious, who loves going through the motions, going to church, putting their offering in the plate, signing the songs, and listening to the sermon. But this same person who loves being religious doesn’t live out the Christian life. They don’t go to church because they love Jesus, rather they love tradition. It makes them feel good.

Jesus then strikes at an another equally serious trait with the Pharisees – the issue of giving alms to those in need. When they, and we, give to those who are less fortunate, we express love, compassion, kindness, and mercy. And if the heart is full of love and compassion, then there is no room for envy, greed, bitterness, and the like. The key for us is allowing God’s love to transform our heart, mind, and actions toward our neighbor.

Transforming the way we look at our neighbor helps us avoid being judgmental. I have lost track of the times in my ministry that parishioners would confide in me with their “evaluations” of others. How wearisome that became for me. Often, but certainly not always, these were the people representing themselves as pillars of Christianity. In their self-righteousness, they felt a “responsibility” to point out the specks in others while ignoring the planks in their own eyes.

In the end, it will come down to how well we kept the inside of our faith beliefs. If we follow His word and His spirit, there will be no need for ritualistic cleansing.

Prayer of The Day

Lord Jesus, fill me with your love and increase my thirst for holiness. Cleanse my heart of every evil thought and desire and help me to act kindly and justly and to speak charitably with my neighbor.

Daily Note

The key is to focus on interior cleansing, not exterior cleansing.  To do the latter while ignoring the former reveals the hypocritical heart.  This gospel is not meant just for the Pharisees.  It is meant for all believers of all times; it is meant for you and me today.  We need to be sure that our pious practices do not become a matter of show or a matter of score-keeping.  The ethical demand of the gospel calls us to take time every day to discern whether our “religious” actions reflect the true condition of our  hearts. 

No Rabbit In The Hat !

My God Is Bigger Than Anything I Face!!! | Christian quotes, Quotes about  god, Verse quotes
Daily Reflection – 10/12/2020

Sacred Scripture

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.” (Luke 11:29-32)

Reflection

As a child, I loved magic. I would save up nickels so I could go to a joke store which sold magic tricks. Once I mastered the trick, I would excitedly show my family my “magic.” And nothing pleased me more than to go to a fair or a carnival and watch the magician “prove” that he was especially gifted.

The Gospel today reminds us of our need to live by faith and not to depend on signs and tricks and wonders. The crowd demanded a sign from Jesus before they would believe in him. They wanted God, at Jesus’ behest, to intervene somehow, to assure them that God approves of Jesus’ words and works.  He tells them no sign will be given them except the sign of Jonah. He is referring to the fact that Jonah was three days in the belly of a great fish. So, Jesus would e spend three days in the earth after his death, but on the third day rise.

Not much has changed through the years. Too often, we demand signs from God. We ask for miracles or we barter our faith with God.  These demands for sign and miracles should not become THE criteria for proving God’s Existence or even His Presence. These demands for some external manifestations and wonders should not become THE yardstick for proving the might and power of God. We should not be holding God at ransom, by demanding signs.
 We should not be hijacking God and demanding  miracles to continue our beliefs.

Jesus preaches to us today through the gospel and through the Church. We have a greater than Jonah among us. We today have Jesus Christ who with his words and works God approved when he raised him from the dead. We have a greater than Jonah among us today.

What is a better way to strengthen and build our faith? It begins with prayer – prayer throughout the day. A prayer does not have to be a soliloquy. It can be no more than three or four words: Thank you Jesus. I love you Jesus. Prayer is our daily link to God. It enforces our faith. It strengthens our belief. It puts us into a conversational mode with God. Wow!

We strengthen our prayer with the bible. Scripture reminds us of what our faith is about. Scripture speaks to us – sometimes in the very words of Jesus Christ – and enforces our beliefs. Scripture is the word of God. Wow!

As we pray, as we study the word of God, we also need to let His presence in our life refresh us. We rather need to look back into our lives, and see the various moments and the times when He has caressed us with His affection. When He has nurtured us with His love. When He has healed our wounds by giving us strength. When He has filled us with His presence.

We don’t need to become a people which poses God with “prove that” type questions! Let us see. Let us realize. and Let us thank.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, give me your wisdom and increase my love for your ways.  Help me to resist temptation and all willfulness that I may wholly desire to do what is pleasing to you.”

Daily Note

The sign to Jesus’ generation that proved His message was the fact that although crucified and put to death, He rose again conquering sin and its consequences forever.  Truly, as Jesus said, He is the resurrection and the life, therefore whoever believes in Him will never die.
     The resurrection of Jesus is our sign of who Jesus is and that His message is true.  The resurrection of Jesus validates everything He said about Himself and the work of redemption accomplished at Calvary.

Houses Need To Be Whole

WayFM » March 5, 2016
Daily Reflection – 10/09/2020

Sacred Scripture

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.”( Luke 11:15-26)

Reflection

It seems to me that our world grows more and more intolerant. Far too often, we tend to ignore the right other people have to dissent, to be different and to have their own positions, whether different or even in direct opposition to ours. Confrontation degenerates into affront and aggressiveness. This climate of mutual zealotry and violent rejection may then lead us to the temptation of somehow eliminating he who appears to be our rival.

When that environment exists, people do not realize that their spiritual perception has atrophied from failing to use it. That happens in this Gospel passage when the Pharisees do not see the good that Jesus has done and attribute it to the Evil One.

Today, more than ever, we need to be alert to spiritual blindness. The spiritual reality is that we are in the hands of God. He is forever with us. He asks us to love Him and to build His spiritual kingdom while we are on this earth.

How do we do that? Augustine of Hippo said that our lives have a God-shaped void which only God can fill satisfactorily. If we attempt to leave it vacant or to fill it with something else, we will end up being in a worse state in the end.

The Lord Jesus wants to fill our hearts and minds with the power of his life-giving word and healing love. Jesus makes it very clear that there are no neutral parties in this world. We are either for Jesus or against him, for the kingdom of God or against it. There are ultimately only two kingdoms which stand in opposition to one another – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness which is under the rule of Satan. If we want to live in true freedom, then our “house” (the inner core of our true being) must be occupied by Jesus where he is enthroned as Lord and Savior. The Lord assures us of his protection from spiritual harm and he gives us the help and strength we need to resist the devil and his lies (James 4:7). “Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways”(Psalm 91:9-11).

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, be the ruler of my heart and the master of my home. May there be nothing in my life that works to destroy the bond that we have.”

Daily Note

We must be careful not to allow deceitful/envious and other negative emotions to takes root in our hearts for these are temptations that originate from the devil. We should instead fill our hearts and minds with thoughts that are Godly.  Of course, we must choose to be with Jesus for this is always the correct choice.  If we are not for Jesus, then we are against Jesus there’s no middle ground.

Asking Builds Dependency

Dear Lord, help me LORD to take each day at a time and help me through the  hardest time. I'm put… | Jesus quotes inspirational, Inspirational prayers,  Faith in god
Daily Reflection – 10/08/2020

Sacred Scripture

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:5-13)

Reflection

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus teaches about prayer, and he describes the image of a man who persistently asks his friend or neighbor for food, knocking on his door in the middle of the night. Jesus says, I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence (Luke 11:8).

The image is akin to a child who keeps asking her parents for ice cream. Jesus goes on: And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (11:9-10).

The imagery is especially appropriate because we are God’s children. That’s a given, a reality, before we even open our mouths and before we ever offer our coins or make a selection. The relationship already exists. That’s how Jesus begins his teaching. Prayer is about relationship and presence. We’re not telling God something that God does not know. We are reminding ourselves of what already is, always has been, and always will be.

That relationship means that our life, our existence, our very being, comes from our Father. We are too often convinced that we are or must be independent and self-sufficient. Prayer reminds us that we are inter- dependent. We ask each day for our daily bread. That does not mean we are deficient but that our sufficiency comes not from ourselves but from God. It means that God sustains and nourishes our life. That’s another way of talking about relationship and presence. Those lines about forgiveness, ours and others? Again, that’s about relationship and presence, with God and each other.

If prayer, as Jesus teaches it, really is all about relationship and presence then there is only one answer to every prayer. God. I don’t just mean God answers our prayer but that God is the answer; God’s presence, life, love, beauty, generosity, compassion, forgiveness, wisdom, justice, mercy.

Prayer brings us into a closer communion with God. The more we pray, the more we link ourselves to Him. The more we pray, the more we become conscious of our relationship with others. The more we pray, the more we allow ourselves to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit. If that is not enough, I am not sure what else could be.

Prayer of The Day

Heavenly Father, you are merciful, gracious and kind. May I never doubt your mercy and love nor hesitate to seek you with confident trust in order to obtain the gifts, graces, and daily provision I need to live as your beloved child and constant friend.

Daily Note

Jesus states very clearly and simply what we must do: Ask, seek, knock. God our heavenly Father waits upon us. Like a good  friend who comes in the middle of the night, he is always ready to hear our plea and to give us what we need. Do you ask the Father with expectant faith and confident trust in his goodness? Do you seek his guidance and help in your time of need? Do you knock with persistence at his door of mercy and favor? If we treat our heavenly Father with indifference or neglect to ask with confident trust, we may miss the opportunity we have been given to receive his grace and favor and merciful help.


A Unique Gift for You

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Daily Reflection – 10/7/2020

Sacred Scripture

He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” (Luke 11:1-4)

Reflection

The disciples watched Jesus pray often. They saw the confidence and the passion in which he prayed. They asked him to teach them how to pray. From that comes your gift and mine. The gift of prayer.

Prayer is not having special skills and saying the right words so that we can reach God’s ear. Rather, prayer is best captured in a vignette. Imagine a small child who wants to tell his dad something really important. What does dad do? He bends down, lovingly puts his arm around the child and lets the child whisper in his ear. In this sense then prayer is not so much us reaching up to God with special words or techniques, but it is God reaching down to us.

God reaches down to us in prayer because we don’t know where to find Him. God finds us. Jesus comes into our lives through the Word of God and baptism and makes himself known to us. God, the Father becomes our heavenly Father. Praying is being in the presence of God, who bends down and like a father makes his ear available. Even the whispers of the small child in a father’s ear might be soft and stammering, so infant-like, but the father hears the words of his child as the most precious things he has ever heard. He hears the incomplete sentences and funny words with the love of a father. He hears the soft requests with love when the child is hurting. In the same way, God hears our prayers.

Prayer is a gift. Prayer is possible only because of who God is and his intense love for us. And the more helpless we feel, the more we learn this to be true. Prayer is for the down and out, who finally no longer rely on themselves, but want to be helped by God. Prayer is for those that have been gifted and used to express their gratitude to God. Prayer is for those moments when life seems to have overwhelmed us– in one way or another– and we reach out to our Father and ask for His help.

Prayer is a precious gift from God to aid us on our journey through this life. God is ready and waiting to hear our prayers and to give us all that we need.

But why is it that we find it so hard to pray? I guess at the bottom of it all is that it takes effort to pray.

It takes effort to make time available every day to pray.
It takes effort to be quiet and still for just a short while.
It takes an effort to stop during a busy day and to spend time talking with God.
It takes an effort at the end of a long day to stay awake long enough to pray.

The first and often the most difficult step is to set time aside every day to speak with God. God will hear your prayer. He will answer your prayer with divine love and power. Even if the answer is not what we expected, be assured it is the best. Our heavenly Father is waiting to hear from us. He is waiting to use his power to help us.

Prayer of The Day

“Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart with your love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you. Help me to be kind and forgiving towards my neighbor as you have been towards me.”

Daily Note

That gift from Jesus also carries with it a set of reminders.

I can’t say “our” if I live only for myself. I can’t say, “Father” if I don’t endeavor each day to act like His child. I can’t say “hallowed be your name,” if I’m playing around with sin. I can’t say “your kingdom come,” if I’m not allowing God to reign in my life. I can’t say “give us this day our daily bread,” if I’m trusting in myself instead of in God’s provision. I can’t say, “Forgive us our sins,” if I’m nursing a grudge or withholding forgiveness from someone else. I can’t say “lead us not into temptation,” if I deliberately place myself in its path