And What Is YOUR Answer ?

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Daily Reflection – 1/23/2020

Sacred Scripture

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people [followed] from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mark 3:7-12)

Reflection

What attracts you to Jesus Christ? The fact that He was God or the fact that God took on the form of humanity and walked among us. I venture to say that it is the human Jesus. It is the teachings and beliefs of this God made man that is significant to us. His way, His love, His suffering, His pain.

Of all these characteristics and more, it was His love for us that is so embracing and so comforting. He loves you and me as we are. Yes, He aspires that we rise above our human nature and love one another — selflessly and in His name.

But is that what we see in the world today? Too many shun the sick, the poor, the marginalized. Populists around the world have seized upon the baser nature of humankind and exploited those divisions. There are even some who profess to preach in the name of Jesus Christ who use their congregations for their own self-enrichment.

Yes, of course there is good around us but is it enough? How many remain silent against the tide of selfishness and egoism? How often do we go about our way thinking this matter does not concern me? Or my voice will not make a difference.  Or I will lose myself in prayer and Church and maybe that will be enough. Enough for whom? Perhaps for the person but not for humanity. Or I am tired, too old, too worldly and I no longer have the energy to make this my concern?

In today’s Gospel, we see how many people flock to see Jesus and to receive His healing, love and grace. And Jesus doesn’t avoid them. He mingles with them, allowing himself to be touched and so healing them: “those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.” He makes himself accessible so they can know the Good News of God’s love for them. In this way, Jesus serves as God’s intercessor: “Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.”

He yearns to bring us into a new family that not only welcomes everyone and treats them with respect and dignity, but rejoices that they are here. He wants us to care for one another with a mercy that is befuddling curious to those who don’t believe. He wants us to build a world where others remark, “See how they love one another. They should be natural enemies, but anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord is treated with mercy.”

This is our challenge. That people all over may see a group of believers relate one another, gathering by the Holy Spirit, under the Church of Christ: “all the believers were one in heart and mind.”

As Christians, we too are called to bring others to God and to share the Good News of God’s love for everyone. Is there anything holding you back from giving yourself unreservedly to God?  How can you and make God more “accessible” to others?

Prayer of The Day

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Inflame my heart with a burning love for you and with an expectant faith in your saving power. Set me free from all that hinders me from drawing closer to you. Set a flame anew in my heart to bring others to know your love.

Daily Note

It was the human faith of Jesus in God that saved us. We are not saved because of our faith in him, but because of his utter fidelity to God – even a God he felt was absent in his greatest need. He needed to be completely human to make his work possible. Since he was steadfast to God, he gave us a way of life to emulate. Because he was fully human, not partly God while being human, we place our hope in him. His nature and identity are quite a mystery to behold.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Always About The Internals

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Daily Reflection – 1/22/2020

Sacred Scripture

Again he entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.(Mark 3:1-6)

Reflection

Jesus’ great desire to bring this man to Himself and heal him demonstrates a heart of love that we need to emulate. Then Christ turned from the “sick” to the “well”. He directed a question to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day. “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to harm, to save or to kill?” He knew their hearts and He knew the judgments that they had already formed. He was here to demonstrate that the true gospel goes beyond looking at the external.

The Good News of Jesus Christ is moved with compassion and focuses on the heart behind actions instead of rule-following. The Pharisees’ response to Jesus’s question was very revealing….”But they kept silent.” They had no answer in regards to which was better, “keeping the letter of the law” or acting in love. The hearts of the religious leaders were revealed! Their hearts did not have the compassion of Christ and therefore did not move to action. They were ensnared in their own legalism because they did not understand or see the purpose of God.

Christ knew that the greatest need of this man and all mankind is a need for a relationship with the Messiah. The Pharisees had been so concerned about their laws for the Sabbath that they had missed the very Son of God who was in their midst!

Often in our lives there is a dichotomy between what we say and what we do. Our actions do not always match our words. There are also times when we say one thing and do another. The call of the text of today is to be as consistent as we possibly can. One way of doing this is to avoid judging others too easily. Another way would be to avoid promising what we know we will not be able to deliver and to think carefully before we speak and commit.

Christ can see the heart behind our “best practices”. His greatest desire for His followers is a heart that is moved with love and acts on that love toward others. The true heart of the Gospel is love, not performance.

Prayer of The Day

Lord, in your victory over sin and death on the cross you give us the assurance of sharing in the eternal rest of heaven. Transform my heart with your love that I may freely serve my neighbor for his good and find joy in doing so.

Daily Note

With his action, Jesus also removes the chains with which the masters of the Law and the Pharisees had constrained the Sabbath while conferring it its true meaning: the day of communion between God and man, the day of liberation from slavery, the day of salvation from evil forces. Saint Augustin once said: “He who has peace in the conscience, is peaceful, and this very peace is his heart’s Sabbath.” With Jesus Christ, the Sabbath already opens up to the gift of Sunday.

 

 

The Judgement Trap

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Daily Reflection – 1/21/2020

Sacred Scripture

As he was passing through a field of grain on the Sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:23-28)

Reflection

Today, as yesterday, Jesus has to contend with the Pharisees, who are distorting Moses’ Law, by highlighting the letter of the law while ignoring the actual spirit of the Law. The Pharisees accuse, indeed, Jesus’ disciples of violating the Sabbath.

For Jesus, human need was important than the written law. Since the law came from God originally, Jesus tells the Pharisees they had not interpreted the law properly. They might be literal and superficial. In reference to King David, Jesus shows the older interpretation was right one. That is why Jesus said the Sabbath was made for the good of man; man was not made for the Sabbath.

For Jesus, as for us, the real priority is not to be slave to the law but to use the law, in the best way possible, to ease for human needs. In other words, human life has to be the measure of everything but not the law. In the same way religion is for man and not man for religion. If our religion does not enable us to do good to men, it is useless. If the laws and observances do not help a man and meaningless to observe them, better keep them aside. Because they are not justified to the human will.

The Pharisees here are the Jewish fundamentalists that Jesus encountered.  Fundamentalists appear in every denomination and they all act the same. They don’t know how to make exceptions.  They persuade themselves that they have “God’s absolute point of view” and that their mission is to bring everyone else into line “with their God.” 

But who among us owns the moral imperative? Who among us lives such a perfect life that he/she can say they are blameless in all things? No one of us !! Instead, we should constantly be looking within ourselves to see how we can live a better life by lifting up our neighbor rather than weighing them down with judgement.

Prayer of The Day

Lord, may I give you fitting honor in the way I live my life and in the way I treat my neighbor.  May I honor the Lord’s Day as a day holy to you.  And may I  always treat others with the same mercy and kindness which you have shown to me. Free me from a critical and intolerant spirit that I may always seek the good of my neighbor.

Daily Note

Jesus reminds the Pharisees that the Sabbath was given for our benefit, to refresh and renew us in living for God. It was intended for good and not for evil. Withholding mercy and kindness in response to human need was not part of God’s intention that we rest from unnecessary labor. Do you honor the Lord in the way you treat your neighbor and celebrate the Lord’s Day?

 

WHERE Is Your Image of Him?

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Daily Reflection – 1/20/2020

 

Sacred Scripture

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”( Mark 2:18-22)

Reflection

 The dominant message of this Gospel is clear …  the new wine of the gospel replaces the works righteousness of the Pharisees. The coming of the Kingdom of God requires a totally new garment, not a patch, a new wineskin for the new wine of God’s grace. If we want new life, lasting joy, we must let God change those mindsets that keep us from him and open ourselves to His presence in our lives.

We should ask ourselves whether our image of Jesus and our relationship to him have been frozen since our childhoods? Have the pious pictures on the holy cards of our youth locked us into a fixed model? Can we continue to grow closer to the risen Christ through music, through art, through scripture, by recognizing his spirit in each other, by following his commandment to love one another? Each of us should take to take a closer look at our relationship with Christ and to ask ourselves if it can be more intimate — if it can produce more joy for us in our lives. Is the risen bridegroom truly in our midst?

When we become set in our ways so that we cannot find new ways to worship, make disciples and reach out to the lost then we are like the old worn out garment or the wineskin that is about to burst. We become useless for the kingdom and waste the new wine of God’s grace in Christ, When God’s people are so stuck in the past that they fail to learn anything new it is time for the new wineskin of revival and renewal that can only come from the Holy Spirit.

The Lord gives us wisdom so we can make the best use of both the old and the new. He doesn’t want us to hold rigidly to the past and to be resistant to the new work of his Holy Spirit in our lives.  He wants our minds and hearts to be like new wine skins — open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit.  Are you eager to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s word and plan for your life?

Prayer of The Day

Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth.  Help me to seek you earnestly in prayer and fasting that I may turn away from sin and wilfulness and conform my life more fully to your will. May I always find joy i knowing, loving, and serving you.”

Daily Note

Look at your life this morning; are you full of the joy of the Lord that comes from the Holy Spirit? Or are you full of complaints, pride, murmurings and rebelliousness? Are you eager for a new work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you teachable, eager to learn, grow in grace and participate in the new works the Spirit is doing today? Or are you satisfied with your faith the way it has been for the past year, or 5, or 30?

 

 

 

 

Speak But The Word

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Daily Reflection – 1/17/2020

Sacred Scripture

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”–he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” ( Mark 2:1-12)

Reflection

It is interesting that in the Gospel today (Mark 2:1-12) Jesus first forgives the man his sins and only then does he heal him of his paralysis. Jesus knew the paralytic needed interior healing before physical healing. He had to be healed from the inside out. And the most important healing is the interior healing, and the interior healing that man needed was forgiveness. There was something in his past that had not yet been fully resolved. Jesus took away all the rubbish the man had built up over the years and this prepared him for his external healing, being able to walk again.

The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because they understood that only God had authority to forgive sins and to unbind a man from his burden of guilt.  Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give.  Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God’s redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well. The Lord is every ready to bring us healing of soul, body, and mind.  Do you allow anything to keep you from Jesus?

While we often are so impressed with the miraculous and seek out miracles, Christ offers a deeper mystery – the forgiveness of sins so that we can be in union with God. Jesus is waiting to do a “new deed” in your life anytime you turn to him. So if you have a darkness in your life – even from the past — Jesus is waiting to take it from you. He will not take it from you by force; he will wait for you to go to him or open yourself to him.

Prayer of The Day

Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, soul, and mind. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life — my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offences and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit.

Daily Note

Jesus’ offer of forgiveness is the greatest gift he could have given this man or anyone else. To be made right with God is the ultimate gift we could give to someone else. And it’s such a simple message. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Put your trust in him. Live your life for him.

 

Pray for a Cure

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Daily Reflection – 1/16/2020

Sacred Scripture

A leper came to him [and kneeling down] begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. (Mark 1:40-45)

Reflection

Jesus did not see a “leper,” but rather he saw a human being in great need. Jesus put people ahead of norms, public or religious pressures, stigmas and rumors. Jesus put God and people first, and did not succumb to the social pressures of his day. By so doing, not only did he acknowledge the man ‘s dignity and worth, but publicly restored it. Jesus took a great risk by touching this person, but this is in fact the sort of risks that love takes.

 It’s the risk that we must take, day in and day out. We live in a culture where labels abound. Political figures encourage us to use labels so we can sort out “the good from the bad”  How often do you succumb to that?  Or do you stop and consider the human being, try to understand his or her  perspective ? Worse yet, does your use of a label preclude you from even considering the humanity of another?

There is another perspective of Jesus that emerges so clearly He had been at the center of a renewal movement in Galilee, a kind of toast of the town But all this changed when he met the man with leprosy. As a result of his healing the man, Jesus is the one who has to stay in “deserted places” By touching this man, Jesus took the man’s uncleanness upon himself instead.

In a way, this switch is a foreshadowing of the cross. Jesus became an outsider, despised and rejected, so that we could become insiders in his heavenly kingdom. Can you imagine? First, the infinite and eternal God became a vulnerable, helpless baby. Then, throughout his life, he endured exclusion, misunderstanding, and ridicule. Only the purest, most sacrificial love could accept all of this for the sake of redeeming a people lost in sin.

Can you imagine yourself ever knowingly taking a role similar to that? Would you ever stand up for the marginalized, the outcast, those that stand outside of “normal behavior.” Would you stand with them? Would you stand up for them? Would you risk being called “one of them” because of your concern for them?

All who have been healed, restored, liberated, revived by Jesus Christ are called to have that same heart of compassion.

Prayer of The Day

Lord, inflame my heart with your love and make me clean. May I never cease to tell others of your love and mercy. Pray that I embody that in all I do.

Daily Note

What we sinners need is the faith and confidence of the leper in today’s gospel reading. He believed firmly in the power and the mercy of Jesus. “If you will, you can make me clean,” was his approach to Jesus. We too need to turn to Jesus and pray to be cured of those things that keep us from Him.

Can You Give A Few Moments?

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Daily Reflection – 1/15/2020

Sacred Scripture

On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.  The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose, have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee. (Mark 1:29-39)

Reflection

Jesus could not have been busier in one day than the day presented in Mark’s Gospel . . . a service and a teaching in the synagogue, a conflict with devils, supper with Peter’s family and the cure of his mother in law, followed by more care for the sick and the tormented in the cool of the evening.

At dawn, he does not begin his day without taking the time to pray. Jesus knew that his authority came from God His Father and His willingness to submit himself in sacrificial love for us. What does that moment in today’s Gospel tell us?

The first is the most obvious. We need to build our days around prayer – not build prayer around our days !  If we wait to have time to pray, it won’t happen.  Punctuating the day with prayer – at rising, at lunch and at retiring – and any other time in between –helps us to stay at peace despite the world wind of activity.  It helps us to keep our “eyes on Jesus!”

The second lies in the fact that Jesus did not return to the village he left the night before. In so doing, he left many who wanted his teaching and his healing.

No doubt there are times in our lives when we have felt like the one who came to Jesus and left unhealed. Certainly, we have prayed for ourselves or another who was in pain, in danger or facing difficulties, and our prayers seemed to fall on deaf ears. Maybe we felt as if He chose to walk away.

Yet, we know that Jesus does not turn His back on us. We know that He, along with the father and the Holy Spirit, surround and encompass us with their divine love. With faith, we can trust that each time that we encounter Our Lord, whether we feel healed or not, we are changed. It may be that we are strengthened to face difficulties ahead. It may be that God has made Himself seem distant so we rely on our faith to find our hope in Him. Whatever the case may be, when we trust in God, we receive what is best for us in that moment, and we can only find peace when we believe this to be true.

Our intellect may be restless for Him but our hearts remind us that He is always there,

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service.”

Daily Note

When we pray, may we meet the Lord with true faith, knowing He will take away our pain, our sickness and our brokenness if that is His holy will, always trusting that whatever He offers us, it is for our good in this life and the next. The evil one tempts us to believe that the Lord turns His back on us. Our peace and joy come from knowing that He surrounds us with His divine love, speaks His eternal word to our hearts, and always hears our prayers.

 

 

There Is Only One Authority

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Daily Reflection – 1/14/2020

Sacred Scripture

Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. (Mark 1:21-28)

Reflection

The Gospel account is a familiar one about Jesus teaching in the synagogue. He taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Jesus’ authority comes from an “inner power”–in this case, Jesus’ oneness with God.

That’s how Jesus speaks to our hearts as well. Not with the false authority of a bully trying to scare us into submission. Not the insecure authority of a man trying to convince us of something he doesn’t believe in himself. No, he speaks with the humble authority of a Messiah motivated by nothing but love for us. It’s the authority that a person displays when helping a close friend through a difficult time—talking gently whenever possible, but firmly if necessary, and always with respect and affection. When Jesus speaks to us this way, his words sink into our hearts, and we know he is speaking out of love.

If even the evil spirits of the world acknowledge that Jesus is the “Holy One of God,” we can too. The more we go to Christ through the reading of Scripture, through daily prayer, through listening to teachings, we grow in faith and become more open to God. The more we do these things, the more we realize that when we start living our lives, and live them for God, the context of being part of Jesus Christ changes our ability to make it in this world.

When Jesus Christ is the authority in our lives, our lives become stronger, bolder, livelier, and more joyful. If we pay attention, encountering Christ can be as striking as that white limestone synagogue in the midst of basalt buildings.

We begin to ask ourselves, “Why did I listen to those people instead of the Lord?” “Why did I doubt myself when he is the King of the Universe?” “Why did I think I was no good when I was made through him and for him “Why didn’t I walk as someone who has the authority of Christ at my back?”

We don’t follow any teacher; we follow THE Teacher. We don’t have any friend; we have THE Friend. We aren’t in a relationship with any lover, we are in a relationship with THE Lover of our souls. We are not bowing down to any power-hungry lord, we bow down to the Lord who first lowered himself to become one of us. Exemplary, that is Jesus. Authoritative, that is Jesus.

Prayer of The Day

Lord, we often come to you as if you are an insignificant thought, a guiding principle that is nice and easy. Help us to be honest with you about who we are, what we have done and what we have failed to do. Give us the strength we need to live as your disciples, filled with the authority you bring as Master of the Universe. Amen.

Daily Note

Each of us needs to arrive at a point in our lives where we recognize that the primary authority in our lives is God alone. That awareness, that acknowledgement of His presence, that recognition will create transformation in our world where authority exhibits itself as power which can be abusive, if exercised apart from God. Are you ready to acknowledge that authority and conform your life to his word of truth, goodness and love? Are you willing to be a living bulwark against earthly teachings that demand authority to one other than Jesus Christ?

 

 

 

The Very Aroma of Christ

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Daily Reflection – 1/13/2020

Sacred Scripture

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets.  Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him. (Mark 1:14-20)

Reflection

The Gospel for today tells us of Jesus’ call to the first of his disciples. The very word “call” has taken on an institutional reference. Yes, it is true that those of us in the clerical state have answered His call to be in service both through the Word and through our lives. But God’s call is not limited to clergy. God calls every single one of us to build His kingdom on earth.

Jesus chose these individuals, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom.

Jesus speaks the same message to us today as he did to those first four apostles: we will “catch people” for the kingdom of God if we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through us. God wants others to see the light of Christ in us in the way we live, speak, and witness the joy of the gospel.

When we submit to Christ’s rule in our lives and believe the gospel message the Lord Jesus gives us the grace and power to live a new way of life as citizens of his kingdom. He gives us grace to renounce the kingdom of darkness ruled by sin and Satan.

His grace also brings pardon and help for turning away from everything that would keep us from his love and truth. To believe is to take Jesus at his word and to recognize that God loved us so much that he sent his only begotten Son to free us from bondage to sin and harmful desires. God made the supreme sacrifice of his Son on the cross to bring us back to a relationship of peace and friendship with himself. He is our Father and he wants us to live as his sons and daughters.

God loved us first and he invites us in love to surrender our lives to him. Do you believe that the gospel – the good news of Jesus – has power to free you from bondage to sin and fear? Do you believe that God wants to work through and in you for his glory? Do you witness to those around you the joy of the gospel and do you pray for your neighbors, co-workers, and relatives that they may come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of his love?

 Prayer of The Day

Lord Jesus, you have called me personally by name, just as you called your first disciples. Help me to believe your word and follow you faithfully. Fill me with the joy of the gospel that your light may shine through me to all that surround me.

Daily Note

Paul the Apostles says,” But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:15). “

 

He Loves Me, A Sinner !

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Daily Reflection – 1/10/2020

Sacred Scripture

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.( Luke 5:12-16)

 Reflection

When I reflected on today’s Gospel. I was reminded of a quote from Rich Warren: “God is love. He didn’t need us. But He wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”  

His love is not only amazing but it also has the power to jar us out of the traps we set for ourselves: judging others, smug superiority, outwardly living a perfect Church life but inwardly betraying His words; demeaning another person; believing somehow that we are privileged and different than others; playing the victim of our lives to constantly seek the sympathy of others; believing that we or our race/class/group are better than another; wrapping our outward spirituality around us and using pious acts to justify those beliefs that we know are wrong.

That is SIN. Sin which infects us, in one degree or another. Sin that eats away our soul as leprosy eats away the physical being. Each of us has spiritual leprosy to one degree or another.

But here is the amazing and outrageously wonderful side of all of that. HE LOVES US! He loves us regardless of what darkness surrounds us. In fact, He came to dispel that darkness. Doesn’t that send a shiver up your spine. It does mine!

Jesus, who is completely clean and pure, reached out and cleansed the leper. Jesus can do the same to us: He can forgive our sins and cleanse us if we ask for His forgiveness. Luke also says that the leper fell on his face when he saw Jesus. This is showing that we must all come down from our pride and self-righteousness all the way to the feet of Christ to be forgiven and cleansed. I am a sinner. I continuously fall, but God never ceases to forgive me and lift me back up. God shows His immense love by giving me mercy every time I come down from my pride and my sins to fall at His feet. And this is one of the most beautiful things – God never stops forgiving and He never stops loving. As St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Jesus reached out and cleansed the leper even though there were hundreds of others. We are the leper. We can all ask for forgiveness and be cleaned. We must not forget the love and mercy that He shows.

Prayer of The Day

Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love and make me clean and whole in body, mind, and spirit. May I never doubt your love nor cease to tell others of your mercy and compassion.

Daily Note

It is Christ who gives us the opportunity to make a radical and deep change in our life. With His testimony of life and of New Life, Christ proposes to us a totally true and possible alternative against whatever impediment for loving is encrusted in our hearts and lives. We must be able to offer all those approaching our lives what we have received from our Lord. But, first, we must have met with Him to renew our engagement to live His Gospel in the small things of our daily lives.