Friday, September 28, 2012

A Time for Everything (Eccl 3:1-11)

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens” we read in today’s first reading, Eccl 3: 1-11.  How difficult for us to comprehend the Wisdom of God. I don’t understand, for instance,  why my mother was taken from the family when four of my siblings were still in grade school and I was still a teenager. I don’t understand why evil persists in the world, why men and women struggle desperately and still face foreclosures; why children, adolescents and young adults are kidnapped and sold into the sex slave, drugged and raped. I don’t understand why women, many times, are treated like second class citizens, less than male counterparts, in the world and in the church when Jesus did not treat women that way.  I don’t understand why earthquakes, famines, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires and other natural disasters strike so often.  Perhaps the answer is in the reason God was crucified, tortured and made subject to death. That seems senseless, too, to a faithless heart.  Faith tells us, however, that Jesus’ death was the key to life, eternal life, salvation and a restoration of our relationship with God and  one another. Time takes on infinite meaning in the Timeless One. So all those things I don’t understand contain the Seed of Timelessness, the Seed that will bear new life in time.  In all the incomprehensible facts of life,  God’s work is being accomplished with us not knowing, most of the time (cf.  Eccl 3:1-11).  As Soren Kirkegaard  once said: Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.  And how challenging it is to live with life’s mysteries, especially the mysteries of our faith and the mystery of persistent injustices in the world and in the church, especially  among men and women who profess to be following the way Jesus modeled for us.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Setting our Agendas Aside

In today’s Gospel, Luke 9: 7-9, Luke tells us about Herod the Tetrarch, who is concerned that John the Baptist, whom he beheaded has returned to life.  John was a threat to Herod—“Don’t tell me he is back,” Herod must have wondered. “I want to see him.”  He is motivated by fear, jealousy, envy.  Jesus is an enemy as was John the Baptist who confronted his immorality.

You and I are not different from Herod. When you and I have made choices that we know are wrong, we, too, fear being exposed.   We know when our ambitions are false, based on jealousy, envy and pride.  In those times, the ego avoids confrontations.  We do not want to be put in a position where we come up short. That is human nature at work, not the work of the Spirit.

Jesus knew Herod’s heart.  When they came face to face in court, Jesus had nothing to say to him. Herod’s heart was hardened. His eyes blinded. His ears deaf to the Word of God, to Truth. He had already compromised  his integrity in the worst possible way: taking the life of a human being to save face. And nothing had really changed—hence the fear of John the Baptist returning to haunt him in the person of Jesus.

We may ask ourselves: are we using religion, religious life, priesthood, marriage, our job or positions for the wrong reasons? Do we want to see Jesus out of curiosity? Do we want to be or do whatever to advance our personal  agendas?   To know the answer to those questions, we need to  be honest with ourselves in the solitude of our hearts. We need to be willing to expose ourselves to grace, to THE Word of God, to lay bare my innermost thoughts before God and allow God to change us.  The agendas we push forward with God are the same agendas we push forward in our day to day affairs  (cf. Mt 25: 31-46--“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me.” That translates into “However you approach your brother and sister, you approach me”).

Yes, living religion sincerely, living our lives with integrity,  is very challenging. It involves total transformation into the mind of Christ. Our personal agendas need to be set aside for God’s agenda.  That is hard to do and can only be done through the Spirit working within us freely.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Proclaimers of the Kingdom

Today’s first reading, Proverbs 30: 5-9, begins with the statement: “Every word of God is tested…”  You and I are not THE Word of God but a word of God.    Every day, our faith, our trust, our love, our humility, our truthfulness, our altruism, our strength, our obedience to the will of God is tested.  We are assured in many places in the Scriptures, including today’s first reading, that God shields us, protects us.

We are a word of God spoken by God when we were conceived in our mother’s womb.  As Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel (Lk 9: 1-6), we were sent into the world “to proclaim the Kingdom of God.”  We do that by our lives, that is, by loving God by loving ourselves and others, who God also sent into the world to be His servants.  As a word of God, as God’s servant, God equips us with what we need to carry out His will (cf. Luke 9: 1-6). Just as Jesus summoned “the Twelve and gave them power and authority,” so, too, he summons you and I, giving us the power and authority to be His disciples, doing even greater things than Jesus did (cf.Jn 14: 12) if we believe in Christ.  Jesus also warns us, however, that we are sent into this world  as sheep among wolves(Mt. 10: 16). Just as He was persecuted in proclaiming the Kingdom, so, too, will we be persecuted as His servants. No servant is greater than his or her master (cf. Jn. 15:20).

Why, then, do we cringe when difficulties cross our paths? Have we forgotten Jesus’ caution and that we are His followers, doing the work He did and for which He sent us? Have we lost sight of the fact that God will shield us as we pass through “the fire,” and give us the strength He gave the apostles and all of the saints before us?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Total surrender to the Will of God

Today's readings, Proverbs 21: 1-6, 10-13 and Luke 8:19-21, give us profound teachings about those who surrender totally to the will of God, as did His mother Mary;  those who listen, first of all, to the directions of the Holy Spirit rising from the depth of their beings, and, second of all, to directions coming from outside sources, viewing those from the perspective of Jesus' prayer: "May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me" (Jn  17: 21). 

Directions coming from our Source are always about being in love with that which fosters union, promotes well-being, respects the integrity of the other and treats the other as one who is of God, created in the image of God and sent into our lives as God's messenger.  To act out of love requires flexibility of us, not rigid conformity to external commands. "We are not machines programmed to obey God's commands 'according to the letter' of the law" (Word Among Us, September 2012, p. 45).  When we force ourselves into robotic obedience, the soil of our hearts become hardened, rocky, and impervious to grace.  Our heart, then, does not remain, in the words of Proverbs 21: 1, "...a the hand of the Lord." Consequently,  the Lord, respecting our free will, is not able to direct our hearts wherever the Lord wills (cf Proverbs 21:1).  May our prayer be: Lord, make my heart like "a stream" in your hands that you are able to direct in accord with Your holy will and which You are able to use to build up the kingdom of love, mercy, justice, and peace in a world filled with violence, hatred, and selfish ambitions.

Monday, September 24, 2012

To Anyone Who Has, More Will Be Given

In today’s Gospel, Luke 8: 16-18,  is that baffling statement: “To anyone who has, more will be given and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”  That sounds so harsh. Why would those with little lose the little they have. “How fair is that?” we complain.  If we put Jesus’ words in the context of taking time to pray or reflect upon the Word of God or to do “sacred” reading—taking  5, 10, 15, 20 minutes a day to nurture our faith—the little faith we have will increase. If we do not spend any time in prayer during the day or in weekly communal worship, the little faith we have will shrink.  The same holds true concerning other gifts. Let’s say that I say to myself, “I have nothing to give” and so I give nothing. I don’t go to the wake. I don’t go to the Bible study. I don’t pitch in at the soup kitchen. I don’t take time to listen to my children or I don’t take time to help my spouse or my children—“my helping won’t matter” or whatever excuse we use.  The little we have, then, shrinks. On the other hands, if we give the little we have, if we reach out to another in compassion, though we may not know what to do or say that would be helpful, our reaching out is rewarded.  We discover how rich it was to be present and show support to another person who is hurting or how appreciative one is to whom we  offered our assistance and with whom we pitched in to help.  We may have said little or done little, so it seems, but the person is eternally grateful that we dropped by to say hello, “how are you doing” or that we cleaned up the dishes or mowed the lawn or took out the garbage without being asked.   The little we had to give—our love, our compassion, our concern, our understanding-- increased to having even more to give

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The power of prayer

In the psalm of today’s liturgy, Ps. 56, we pray: “For you have rescued me from death, my feet, too, from stumbling; that I may walk before God in the light of the living.”  And the Gospel, Luke 8: 4-15, speaks of the parable of the sower, spreading seed. Some seed fell where it was trampled upon and eaten up by birds. Some seed fell on rocky ground and did not grow while other seed fell among thorns and was choked off. Still other seed fell on rich ground, grew and produced rich fruit.


We are challenged to be “rich soil,” that is soil filled with nutrients, fertilized, moistened, open to God’s outpouring graces, nurtured by our living of the faith, of our imitation of Christ, of our practicing the Beatitudes and loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind and our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Lk 10:27). 

This morning I brought “the fertilizer” of a particular experience to the Lord in prayer. I was grappling with the request to attend a fundraiser to support homeless shelters run by one of my fellow Sisters.  I was resisting with the excuse: I know no one. I do not want to give up a weekend, etc..  With reservation, I asked the Lord for feedback, as I was also feeling selfish for not feeling gung-ho about attending and I was also afraid of the Lord’s answer.   The Lord challenged me for being the “rich man” looking at Lazarus at his gate and doing nothing. I realized the invitation to attend this fundraiser was an opportunity for me to participate in the ministry to the homeless, a ministry that gives these unfortunate persons a chance to regain their dignity, learn ways to save money, find jobs and take themselves off the street.  In short, the Lord “rescued me from death, my feet, too, from stumbling; that I may walk before God in the light of the living.”

In truth, prayer  transforms rocky soil into receptive soil, rescues seeds choked off by a zillion excuses (thorns in the spiritual life) and transplants them into soil receptive to graces. Taking time to consult with the Lord enables all of us to be changed by the Living Word of God, a Word that cuts to the marrow of our bones, revealing our sinful, selfish motives. That can be risky and maybe the reason, many times, we keep busy and don’t take time to listen to the Lord in prayer.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Following Christ

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew, a tax collector and a very wealthy man, called to ministry with Jesus.  Tax collectors were despised in the Jewish culture. They  were considered sinners in that they cheated the people in their payment of taxes to the Romans.  Jesus spotted Matthew at his tax collecting post and said to Him: “Follow me”(Mt. 9: 9-13).  Matthew immediately left his lucrative business and became a disciple of Jesus.  That, too, abhorred the people. “What was Jesus thinking anyway? Does He not know who this man is?” were probably thoughts that crowded into people’s minds.

 Despised by others but not by the Lord, Matthew began a journey that day that changed his life. He became so immersed in the teachings and life of the Lord Jesus that he stayed with Jesus throughout His public life. Following Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Pentecost experience, Matthew spread the Good News of the coming of the Kingdom here on earth. Matthew gave his life and accepted martyrdom for the faith.

You and I may be despised by another or by others but not by the Lord ever!   As Paul says in the first reading of today's liturgy,  Eph 4: 1-7, 11-13, we, God's holy ones--yes, holy, though sinners--are equipped "for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knolwedge of the Son of God, to mature [personhood]. to the extent of the full stature of Christ." That is God's guarantee and our hope in Christ Jesus!  What an awesome God!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grateful for being forgiven

Today's Gospel, Lk 7: 36-50, tells the story of Jesus' dining in the house of a Pharisee named Simon. Simon is putting on a dinner for the elite--a dinner in our day known as a black-tie dinner that is only open to invited guests who are expected to be wearing tuxedoes. In walks a woman Simon despises and says to himself in effect: How can Jesus allow this woman to anoint His feet, wash them with her tears and wipe them with her hair. Does He not know "what sort of woman she is" (Lk: 7: 39)? He also looks down upon Jesus and says in his heart: If this man is a prophet, He should know better than to allow this woman to come close to Him, much less touch Him (cf Luke 7:39:).

Our prayer, based on this Scripture passage, might go like this:

"Lord, You sent this morning's Word to transform my innermost being, as You tried, in today's Gospel, to open Simon's heart. Help me. Transform my self-righteousness into the humility of this woman who recognized her sinfulness and is grateful for Your gift of forgiveness. May I step down from my pedestal of looking down on people as the Pharisee looked down upon this woman. I, too, am a sinner. I belong prostrate before You beating my breast, not on the stage tooting my horn and certainly not judging others or excluding them from my company."


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Proclamation of love

In today's first reading, 1 Cor: 31-13:13, St. Paul gives his brilliant expose` on love:

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love is not jealous.
Love is not pompous.
Love is not inflated.
Love is not rude.
Love does not seek its own interests.
Love is not quick-tempered.
Love does not brood over injuries.
Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing. Love rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

When God sends us a Word, it does not return to Him until it completes the task God sent it to do (cf. Is 55:11)! It is a Living Word that cuts to the marrow of our bones, purifying us of all that is not of God (cf. Heb 4:12).  God is at work in you and me, fulfilling Paul's message within our being.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012



We were founded on February 16, 1883 by Mother Frances Streitel.   Mother Frances was passionate about following the holy will of God in every detail of her life.  The Lord tested her resolve in that He called her to found a new religious community that would be a transformative presence in the world, addressing the fundamental social evils that existed in the world of her time by uniting action and contemplation, by living a life of strict poverty, humility, and filial obedience—the obedience that Jesus modeled in accepting death, even death on the cross. Her journey along this road to perfection, of imitating the holiness and compassion of God, began, for her, already as a child. Her mother taught her to share with the poor, to whom her mother distributed food. As a little child, Mother Frances, known then as Amalia,  gave her desserts to the poor and went without the sweets so many of us crave!

Already as a child Mother Frances was taught to be compassionate to others as God is compassionate.  That very characteristic of holiness underlies the charism of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother and is an ideal to which her daughters strive.  Which ideals/values of your childhood continue to guide you along the everlasting way?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Revealing the Compassion of God

In today's Gospel, Luke 7: 1-10, we are given the story of the Roman centurion whose slave is seriously ill. He sends elders to ask Jesus to heal him, reminding Jesus that this dying man is deserving of divine intervention. He also tells Jesus that he is "not worthy that Jesus enter under his roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed."  The centurion shares his own experience with Jesus as a man with authority: I say "Come," "Do this," "Go," and my servants listen.  In effect, he is saying: Jesus, you have authority. Whatever you say will be done. As Master of the Universe, You do not need to be physically present to heal my servant. "Only say the  word..."

What faith! And the centurion is not even a Jew! Jesus is amazed and he tells the crowd: "...not even in Israel have I found such faith!"

Who am I in this story:  the slave who is seriously ill, the centurion asking for Jesus' intervention, the elders who bring the centurion's message to Jesus, those in whom Jesus finds no faith or a dwindling, smoldering, flickering faith with little or no life left in it?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Profound Sense of Union

In 1 Cor 10: 14-22, one of the recommended readings for the Feast of the Sorrowful Mother, which we celebrate today, Paul asks us:  "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one Body for we all partake of the one loaf." 

The cup of blessing which we bless, we praise, of which we stand in awe, for which we are grateful: we are participants in that cup, in Jesus' Blood, His suffering and death.  It is through Jesus' shedding of His Blood that the world, that you and I, are/were redeemed, sanctified, made holy, made one with God and one another. All the blood shed in this world is Christ's Blood shed over and over again. Everything we suffer  and which Christ suffers by virtue of our dying and rising with Him in baptism, is transformed into a redeeming act. Why? because we are united with Christ by God's choice.  The potential of our behaviors/attitudes of being being purified  by what we suffer becomes a reality in Christ Jesus for those who believe. Jesus took our disobedience into His obedience, obedience even to death on the cross, making us one with Him and His Father for our salvation and that of the whole world.

Wow! "Take, Lord, receive; all is Yours now," we pray in a popular religious song.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  Our first reading, Num 21: 4b-9, is the story of the bronze serpent which Moses erected in the desert.  The Israelites had been complaining bitterly against God and Moses. In anger, God sent seraph serpents. Anyone bitten by these serpents died. The Israelites realized their sinfulness and acknowledged it before Moses.  Moses then interceded for them, molded a bronze statue of a seraph serpent. Anyone who gazed upon this serpent--a reminder of the sin of deceit and sensuality--and repented of their sin was saved. 

We, too, are saved. God sent His only begotten Son into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it.  Jesus was raised upon the cross, becoming sin for us, uniting our sinfulness with His sinlessness, reconciling us to God, making peace through the Cross.  All who look upon Jesus on the Cross, acknowledge and repent of their sinfulness are saved and are given the inheritance of eternal life with God in heaven. 

Am I willing to face the evil in my life? Am I willing to acknowledge my sinful behaviors and attitudes? Am I repentant?  Do I look upon Christ and believe in God's desire to save me, that is, to make me into the very holiness of God (cf 2 Cor 5: 21)?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

God's creation of us

In the psalm of today's liturgy is Psalm 139.  One of its verses reads:  "Truly you formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.  A birthday prayer/reflection might go like this:  “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life. You shaped me in my mother’s womb and brought me into existence on (the date of your birthday).  Now you shape me in the womb of this earthly life."  Another verse of this same psalm reads: “…[C]lose behind and close in front you fence me round,  shielding me with your hand” (Ps 139: 4-5).  “You know if I am sitting or standing, you read my thoughts from far away;  whether I walk or lie down, You are watching,” (Ps 139: 1-2), just as a parent watches every step a toddler takes.  God's care for us is profound. God's loving us is incomprehensible, infinite.  God watched the bones of each of us take shape.  God guided them. God guided the formation of each of our physical systems: hearts, lungs, eyes, ears, brain, etc.: all of it working perfectly. God breathe into each of us His  Spirit, creating us in God's likeness.  Each of us is an image of God that no one else reflects.  Yes, each of us God is created  as one of His masterpieces (Eph 2: 10)--and that creation is ongoing. 

I encourage you to reflect on all of Psalm 139 today--it's about God's intimate involvement in your life and His phenomenal love of you as His special creation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Resolving differences in trust

In today’s first reading, 1 Cor 6: 1-11, St. Paul challenges us for not trusting the Spirit within ourselves and others to aid us in resolving personal conflicts but rather going outside of ourselves. This does not mean that, from time to time, need the help of professionals: lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, etc. However, are there not times when  we take our complaints to a third party, complaining bitterly and harshly about another, instead of sitting down in faith, face to face with one another, speaking our truth calmly, identifying the problem by using “I” statements and how we feel when the offensive behavior occurs and what we prefer would happen in the future and taking time to listen to the other’s response.  Do we not at times avoid  issues and, in effect,  show that we do not believe in  the power of the Spirit within us? Would we not more readily tackle the difficult issues that come up in our lives if we believed in the fact that each of us, in our baptism, confirmation and Eucharist “have had [ourselves] washed,…were sanctified,… were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” And therefore “power goes out from us,” as it did from Jesus (see today’s Gospel, Luke 6: 12-19) when we act out of the belief that the goodness of God exist in ourselves and in those  who may have hurt us or whom we may have hurt.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yeast leavens all the dough

“Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,…For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”  (1 Cor 5: 1-8).

Every morning we awake “as a fresh batch of dough, [f]or our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed and His grace has been at work in the silence of the night.  We need to be alert so that, as the day goes on, we  live it, “not with the old yeast, the yeast of” selfishness, deceit, pride but with the unleavened yeast of sacrifice, discipline, humility, forgiveness, love, kindness, patience, hope;  in short, obedience to the Law of love written on our hearts.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Do what, Lord?"

The homilist of today’s liturgy, Father Peter Filipkowski of St. Catherine of Siena’s parish in Mountain Lakes, NJ, asked us to imagine Peter, in today’s Gospel, as a professional fishermen.  He knows exactly where, on any lake, to fish. He also knows the time to go out fish. He knows all of the proper techniques. He’s  been involved in the fishing business for  all of his life.  In today “fishing” story, daylight is approaching—this is not the time of the day to be fishing.  Along comes Jesus and says: “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch” (Luke 5: 1-11). “Lord,” Peter says,   “we have been fishing all night and caught nothing…”  Imagine a more lengthy conversion that might go like this: “Master, this is not the time to be fishing.  Look, I know what I am doing. This has been my business all my life. I am a professional fishermen, for heaven’s sake.” Then something changes in Peter’s attitude and he says: Okay, “…at your command I will lower the nets.”  Luke tells us that  “when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing….They…filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking.”

Many times what the Lord asks of us seems utterly foolish, as it must have seemed to Peter.  And, yet, like Peter, when we follow the Lord’s suggestions, we are overwhelmed by the results. May I have that kind of faith, Lord.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Co-workers, co-healers with Jesus

The Gospel of today, Luke 4: 38-44, relates the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law.  The apostles brought her plight to the attention of Jesus. “He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.”  At sunset, the people of the village brought “the sick with various kinds of diseases to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many…” The power of intercessory prayer!  For whom do you want to intercede with the Lord?

I brought the following to Jesus’ attention: the sick world/our nation/our country in which we live and all of its inhabitants. I asked Jesus also to intercede for those determined to remove God’s name from our consciousness.  As I reflected upon the disciple’s cooperation with Jesus,  today’s first reading,1 Cor 3: 1-9, came to mine. Paul tells us that “we are God’s co-workers.”  Those reflections left me with  the question: Who in their right mind would not want God as a co-worker? Who would not want God, the creator of heaven and earth, the Creative Intelligence behind all that is, on their team?  Are we crazy or what!   

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Spirit who is from God

In today’s first reading, 1 Cor 2: 10b-16, St. Paul reminds us that “we have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.”  One of those free gifts is our liberty. We are free to live a life of the Spirit and follow God’s will or a life of self-indulgence, following our own will apart from our Creator’s plan for us.  God does not coerce us to do His will. St. Paul in Galatians chapter 5 addresses Christian liberty and states tha  each one  of us is called to be free, not to be a slave of sin.  When I am following the Spirit of the Lord, I will experience “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self control” (Gal 5: 22-23).  On the other hand, when I follow the spirit of the world and indulge myself under the guise of freedom, the results of such choices will be “…sexual vice, impurity, and sensuality, the worship of false gods and sorcery; antagonisms and rivalry, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels, disagreements, factions and malice, drunkenness, orgies and all such things” (Gal 5: 18-21). The Law of the Spirit, St. Paul emphasizes, can be summed up in one commandment: “You must love your neighbor as yourself. If you go on snapping at one another and tearing one another to pieces, take care: you will be eaten up by one another.”

 What a message as we go through the campaign experiences and listen to the rancor of the political parties attacking one another. However, Paul’s message also hits close to home:  am I building the community of the church, the community of my own family, the community I live in as a religious? Or am I snapping at others, tearing others to pieces?  In short, which spirit am I following: that of the world or that of God?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Faith built on the power of God and the wisdom of the Cross

We read in today’s first reading Paul’s  resolve “to know nothing…but Christ Jesus and him crucified. I came to you in weakness…and my message and my proclamations were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God”   (1 Cor 2: 1-5).

Many times we humans experience our weaknesses, our lack of knowledge and a short supply of wisdom when making a decision.   However, we also know when the strength of God, the knowledge of God, the wisdom of the Spirit is manifested in what we do and say.  Like Christ, the Father is at work in us. Jesus says in John 14: 10-12: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, ...[those] who [believe] in Me, the works that I do he [she] will do also (my emphasis); and greater works than these [she]/he will do, because I go to My Father.” 

Is that truth not what St. Paul is saying to us when he says that his words (and works) are a demonstration of the spirit and the power of God?

My prayer is that our eyes will be opened to the spirit and the power of God at work within us, through us, and around us in the lives of others with whom we live and work!