Thursday, February 28, 2013

Generosity: A Trait of a Genuine Disciple

Each of today’s readings, Jer  17: 5-10 and Lk 16: 19-31, present us with contrasting images: the bush in the barren desert and the tree by running streams; Dives, the rich person who wines and dines while ignoring the poor;  and Lazarus, a poor person sitting outside of Dives’ villa hoping to find enough discarded food to survive and who is comforted by dogs (think pets) who lick the sores on his body.

I have several choices: being the “barren bush,”  the “tree planted by  running waters;  “Dives” who is indifferent to the poor, the lonely, the oppressed of his world; or Jesus, who reaches out to the marginalized of his society: women, children, the physically and mentally challenged, the deaf and the blind (physically or spiritually deaf or blind), those considered impure and “not worthy” to enter my “house”, those people who might have been stoned to death without Jesus’ intervention, and so on.

Who am I? the barren bush deprived of sources of sustenance or the tree planted near the water? Do I drink of the Living Water? Do I spend time at Jesus’ feet alone in prayer and in worship with my parish community? Do I take time to reflect upon Scripture readings;  for example those of the Mass each day (See The Word among Us available at Do I take time to reflect upon my life or will  I simply go on living each day as Dives did and not wake up until it was too late, when he begged God to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his five brothers of what was really important in life; namely, paying attention to, caring about those less fortunate than themselves, those who are needy in any way? Am I aware that being a beloved disciple of Jesus means being in right relationship with and building relationships with those with whom I live and work, with whom I worship each Sunday, with those in my neighborhood, my neighbors throughout the world? Am I aware of how important it is to pay attention to the “Lazarus’ sitting beside me yearning for the “crumbs” I am able to give them: a smile, a congratulatory statement, an acknowledgement of who they are, a word of comfort, a statement that reveals that I care, that I am concerned, that I want to help in some small way to make their world a better place? Or am I too busy with the pleasures of my life to be bothered?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Make Haste to Help Me, Lord

In this morning’s meditation, my eyes were riveted on the entrance antiphon: “Forsake me not, O Lord! My God, be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation.”  My thoughts quickly reversed the words to read: “O Lord, may I not forsake You. May I not be far from You in how I think, in what I do and what I plan to do this day.  May I hasten to seek Your help for You are my secure and ever-present salvation.” I prayed that God would purify my heart, my mind, my will, my entire being; that He would pour out His precious blood upon me to heal me and transform me into Christ. I prayed that, like Jesus who came to served not  to be served (compare today’s Gospel, Lk  20:   17-28), would  give me the courage and the wisdom to let go of anything that would lead me to wanting to be glorified in God’s place rather than being God’s servant here on earth.

James and John, in today’s Gospel, approach Jesus, asking to be given the honor of sitting one at his right and the other at his left in the Kingdom—we can be seeking “kingdoms” here as well.  Their petition was not in accord with God’s will for them. How often, I asked myself, to do seek something that is not in accord with God’s will for me, or for another.  What God promises is that when I meet the events of my life that bring me suffering, when sin in me is being purified by God’s grace, He will send angels to me as He did to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and He will give me the strength, the courage and the peace of mind and heart that He gave Jesus in Jerusalem, where Jesus was betrayed by Judas and handed over to those determined to destroy Him. “Do not be afraid,” Jesus tells us in Mt 10:28, “of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.”  And remember, as Jesus tells us in Jn 15: 20-21, a “servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too…[I]t will be on my account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know the one who sent me.” Remember, too, that Jesus is at our side and that before He went to Jerusalem to face death He prayed for us, asking His Father to “protect us from the Evil One” (Jn 17: 15).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Challenges of Today's Scripture Readings

Today’s Scripture readings, Is. 1: 10, 16-20 and Mt 23: 1-12, were, for me difficult readings, especially trying to apply them to my life. Most of us are not  a Sodom and Gomorrah.  Each of us is created in God’s image, strive to do God’s will, is redeemed by God’s Son and sanctified by God’s Spirit.  From our mother’s womb, we have been taught to do good and have striven for goodness all our lives, though, of course, we have sinned and are prone to sin.   Most of us struggle with the “phylacteries” and “tassles” (cf. Mt. 23: 1-12) the world insists we must “wear” in order to be trustworthy, attractive, “with it” and competitive.    Struggling to take today’s Scripture readings into my heart and be transformed by them, I surrendered my heart, my mind, and my spirit to the Lord just as I am.  God alone knows the depth of my sinfulness, my need for redemption, and my heart’s desire to be transformed by grace. He also knows the hardness of my heart, the deafness of my hearing, and the blindness of my seeing. 

As  disciples of Christ, our task is to keep our focus on Jesus, to rest our heads on His chest, to seek God above all, to be servants of all, to “make justice our aim: redress the wronged,” especially those we have hurt, “hear the orphan’s plea , defend the widow,”  as we are instructed to do by the prophet Isaiah. Yes, we are  to be about the work of building right relationships with the Lord, with one another and with ourselves. If we follow Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we will “put away…[our] misdeeds,” and learn to do good,” (Is. 1: 10, 16-20). Also, we will not get stuck in the rut of collecting latest “phylacteries” or of attaching the latest “tassels,” (today’s Gospel)  to parade our “greatness,” according to worldly standards.  No, we will come to embrace the standard of the cross of Christ, the obedience of Christ to the Father.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Self-giving: A Prelude to Giving to Others

Today’s Gospel, Luke 6: 36-38, begins with Jesus saying to us: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  How merciful am I toward myself is the measure, I believe, of how merciful I am toward others.  How honest I am toward myself is how honest I am toward others. And the way I care for myself is the way I care for others.

As I reflect on my life, I notice how difficult it is for me to give myself some slack.  I am very stingy with myself when the little girl within wants to play, for instance. I say to her: “I’m too busy; I got too much to do.”  And this is on a day off!  Then busily, many times, I frit from one thing to another and don’t accomplish that which I thought I wanted to do when my inner child suggested that I take some time for fun. What I failed to remember is Jesus’ reminder, in this same Gospel passage, that, in giving, gifts will be given to me.  That generosity, I believe, begins with self. If I am not generous toward myself, it is unlikely that I will be generous with others. It is that simple and that complex.  Lessons learned begin at home.

What about your experience?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Citizenship in heaven

In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes Peter,  James and John to Mount Tabor, where they  witness Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah and  see Him  transfigured in His glory. Paul tells us in today’s second reading, Phil. 3: 17-4:1, that   “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.” The transfiguration is testament to the truth of Jesus’ promises to us.  We can be as sure of our citizenship in heaven and our own transfiguration as Abraham was assured that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and that God would give him the land that he promised (today’s first reading, Gen 15: 5-12 and 17-18).  Our transfiguration into Christ begins with our Baptism, is sealed by our Confirmation, and enacted in the events of our lives as we put on the Lord Jesus Christ by our love, our forgiveness, our compassion, our being in right relationship with others or striving to be so.  Like Jesus, who learned obedience from what He suffered (Heb 5:8), so, too do we.  In our sufferings we learn to call upon the Lord in truth, to recognize our dependence upon the Lord, as Dismis did on the cross, to surrender to the Lord as Jesus surrendered to His Father for the redemption of the world. Our own redemption, won for us by Jesus on the cross, also needs our acceptance and our surrendering our wills to the will of our Father. It needs us to be thirsting for our holiness and wholeness, as Jesus’ thirsted on the cross. It needs us to take each other into our “homes,” to care for one another, as John cared for Mary and Mary cared for John, as Jesus requested from the cross. Caring for and about each other transfigures our beings into the being of Christ, glorifies us and God, and subjects us to the will of our Father.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My God Image: How It Impacts How I Approach God

In the Gospel of today, Mt 7: 7-12, Jesus tells us to “ask and you shall receive, knock and the door will be opened, seek and you shall find.”    A God who cares, who wants us to knock at the door of His heart, and who wants us to seek Him, to seek His face, to seek His love, to seek His help, to seek His forgiveness in all things is the God  with whom Jesus invites us to fall in love and to get to know intimately.

Ever go to the door of your superiors, or to another person, in trepidation? “Will he/she receive me? Will I be turned away? Will my boss/this person be too busy? Will I be treated with scorn? Will I be chastised? Will the tables be turned against me? Will my boss/this person retaliate against me?” we may wonder.No surprise that we approach God with little confidence, or don’t approach Him/Her at all!  Past experiences with authority figures, or with other persons who treated us badly,  may be very much alive in our sub- or unconscious minds. We may also have been taught, as youngsters, that God is a God of revenge, a demanding God, a God keeping score of our wrongdoing; who, with no hesitation, throws His/Her “enemies” into the everlasting flames.

This is not the God Jesus reveals to us.  Jesus reveals a God who is compassionate, eager to wipe away our tears, heal our wounds, bring us back to health, put His arms around,  forgive our sins and reconcile us to Him/Herself-- a God who quickly reassures us, comforts us, especially when our sins are scarlet red: “This day you will be with me in paradise.”  We will always encounter a God from whom healing power flows when we touch but the hem of His garment, a God who confronts our accusers and says to us “I do not condemn you.” 

We might be saying: “Whew!  What an encounter. Why did I not prostrate myself before God sooner? Why was I afraid to approach the God who Jesus taught, by His words and actions, is a God of compassion, love, and, kindness toward all who call upon Him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Called to make tough decisions

JONAH’S CALL:   In today’s first reading we are told the story of Jonah.  Like Jonah, each of us, at times, is called to carry out God’s will in daunting circumstances in our lives.  It takes much courage to walk into our “Nineveh’s.” Sometimes we take detours just as Jonah did.  It may take us awhile to come out of hiding and acknowledging the fact that things are not going well because we are avoiding doing what  we know we are called to do.  Like Jonah we may not cherish the task ahead of us.  We may be scared of looking like a fool, as Jonah was.  “What if I’m proven wrong?”  “What if the outcome is not what I anticipate it to be?”  All kinds of reasons may lurk behind our cowardly actions or our avoidance of tough decisions.    Somehow, God gets through to us and we “plow ahead,” taking on the tough issue. Consequently, disaster does not happen and the pain was worth our courageous efforts. We survived the embarrassing situation, learned to listen better to God’s call, repented and ended up being proud of who we are and who we are becoming. God is, too!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Father, who art in heaven

On The Bachelor last night Sean visited the homes of the four young women who might be chosen to receive the engagement ring and continue serious dating prior to a lifelong commitment in marriage.  Each of the women’s fathers was very protective of “his little girl,” not wanting her heart broken.

The Gospel today opens with the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father, who art in heaven.”  Like these four women, we have a Father in heaven who cares about us more deeply and protectively than any human father.  “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” we pray.  May we honor and acclaim God as our Father as much as God, our Father, honors, cherishes, and protects us, His sons/daughters. That protection is intense when we most need God to shield us from evil, be that coming from within or outside of ourselves. God is there through the good Samaritans of our lives when we have been injured (spiritually, physically, emotionally).  God is there when we feel abandoned or scared, when we are in agony as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane or on the cross on Calvary. God is there when the Spirit leads us into the deserts of our lives.  Yes, as Jesus said as He returned to His Father in heaven, "I am with you always until the end of time."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Choose life, not death

In today's first reading, Dt. 30:15-20, Moses challenges the people to choose life, not death, to choose a blessing, not a curse.  Every day  we face the same challenge to choose to be one with God or with the world around us, to follow God's will or our own, as did Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the people building the Tower of Babel, as did the Chosen People in erecting a golden calf.  God's way leads to blessings; the ways of the world lead to chaos, to feeling enslaved, unfree, disgusted with ourselves, and in some instances cursed.  The Israelites, about to enter the Promised Land, had the choice of following Yahweh, the one true God, keeping His commandments, or following the ways of the pagan nations around them, engaging in the worship of idols of the pagan country they were entering.  The world of today lures us, as well, into its  idolatrous ways, promising us happiness if ____, security if____, love if____, knowledge if____, wisdom if_____.  "Be politically correct," is the latest bait.  Many fall hook, line and sinker into this world's  pit of lies, embracing such idols as pleasure, sex, consumerism, unbridled freedom, individualism, power and control over others, the use of violence to get what we want, and so on. 

How easy to be misled! Jesus says: "Take up your cross and follow me" by listening to the directions of the Holy Spirit communicating to you in the depths of your heart. "Remember," God says to us, "I have planted My Law on your hearts" (cf Jer 31:33 and Heb. 8:10).  Jesus says to us:  "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Believe in Me and you shall be saved" (cf Jn 14:6 and Acts 16:31)  from falling hook, line and sinker into the pit of lies proclaimed by adherents of worldly wisdom.

What choice am I making?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Turn to the Lord

In the first reading of today's liturgy, Joel 2: 12-18, the prophet invites us to "[r]end our hearts,not our garments..." during this holy season of Lent.  We are reminded that Lent is a time of conversion, of interiority, a time to "return to the Lord...For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger and rich in kindness..." (Joel 2: 12-18).

I thought of a small child who begs mom and dad to visit "Grandpa and Grandma?"  Why? Grandmas and Grandpas are "kind and merciful," loving and caring.  Hence, the child wants to be with his/her grandparents.
That thought led me to Jesus' words: Let the children come to me because of such is the Kingdom of heaven and unless you become like little children you will never enter the Kingdom. If our image of God is of Someone who is "gracious and merciful," "slow to anger" and "rich in kindness", what keeps us from turning, or returning, to the Lord every day to bask in that love? Why do we not, everyday, sit with the Lord, gazing upon the Lord with love and letting the Lord gaze back at us in love (God knows no other way to relate to us because God is love)? What restrains us from taking time to be with the Lord in an empty Church or in the quiet of nature or in the silence of  our hearts--all noise silenced--to simply rest with God, commune with God, love God in the depth of our being?

What if our resolve this Lent would be to "rend our hearts, not our garments"?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Awesome Gift of Creation

These past two days, the opening reading of the liturgy retells the creation story.  Everything came to be by the Word of God, who was made flesh and dwelt among us.  All that God made God proclaimed "good." You and I are part of that creation.  Every day God calls us into being, out of darkness into the light.  Every day God says to us: "Be fruitful; multiply the good I have created in you and will create through you.

At the origins of creation, God brought order out of chaos, form out of formlessness.  God set boundaries, separating the water from the dry lands, calling the dry lands earth and the water the seas.  God transformed the barrenness of the earth, of the sea, and of the sky, filling the sea with swimming creatures, the sky with winged birds and the earth with a multitude of seed-bearing fruit, vegetation, animals and creeping things. And God saw that it was good.  The crown of God's creation is humankind made in God's own image and likeness and God saw that this creation was also good! And every morning God recreate all of it, reorders the chaos we have created and brings light into the darkness of our minds and lives.

How great is the Lord our God over all the earth and over all the gods we have created and idolized and worshipped! Lord have mercy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

God's power in the world

The first reading of today's liturgy, Gen. 1:1-19 recalls the creation of the universe, the majestic throne of God here on earth, a place where the glory of the Lord is revealed and where the redemptive powers of God are manifested day and night and in each season.  Cycle II of the Church year opens today's liturgy with the festive dedication of the temple in Jerusalem where, too, the redemptive energies of God were reenacted in their worship ceremonies. In the Gospel we see God's redemption in Jesus. All who are brought to Him are healed.  In this day and age, God's power of redemption, God's compassion and mercy flow into the world through each of us who became God's temple through our baptisms. Our role as God's mediators of grace and imitators of Christ, extensions of God's presence in the world was sealed in our Confirmation.

The power, the presence and the glory of God, the redemption of the world continues to this very day until, Paul tells us, all of creation is made subject to God in Christ Jesus.


Friday, February 8, 2013

"Let brotherly/sisters love continue"

 In today’s first reading, Heb. 13: 1-8, St. Paul admonishes us to “[l]et brotherly [sisterly] love continue….” He also asked that we “be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body.” (Heb. 13: 1-8).

This body of ours, with its evil/sinful inclinations, certainly is capable of imprisoning us in our weaknesses, in attitudes that are unkind and judgmental, critical and “yes” even nasty—a body that can lead us to engaging in behaviors that are hurtful both to others and ourselves.  As I reflected upon the statement “be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,” I journaled the following reflection:

Dorothy Ann, be mindful of the imprisonment of an elderly person in a mind that is significantly impaired by Alzheimer’s and/or severe dementia.  Imagine the pain of not remembering when expected to recall a simple fact, an obvious fact, the pain of losing something of consequence and disappointing others, the frustration of not being “on top of the game,” or “ahead of the game” or, at least, with the game,”  of not being as sharp as one once was. Imagine this, as well, in dealing with the mentally challenged, with the child who is of average intelligence and unable to compete with smarter children, with a physically challenged child.

My journaling continued along the following lines concerning the sufferings of an elderly person:

Dorothy Ann, imagine the pain of feeling other peoples’ frustration  for losing things, misplacing things, not remembering things.  An elderly memory-impaired person wants to be loved, accepted, treated with respect, understood as much as you do.

Yes, the imprisonment of the mind is painful, Dorothy Ann.  The confines of severe memory loss are painfully dehumanizing.  On top of that, for some elderly persons, is the inability to ambulate as one once could, the painful realities of being physically disabled by degenerative bone disease, severe osteoporosis, and crippling arthritis that makes the smallest of movements excruciatingly painful.

Imagine being in a body and a mind that fails you 24/7.

I pray, Lord, for the grace to “let brotherly [sisterly] love continue" when others do not meet my expectations because my expectations are unreasonable. May I be patient with myself and others under circumstances that try their patience and mine. And may my thinking be brought into harmony with yours. May the following words of Scripture transform my very being to its core: "...learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart..."(Mt. 11: 29)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Festal Gathering

In today’s first reading, Heb. 12: 18-19, 21-24, we are presented with two different experiences of God: one is terrifying, that of “a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them.  The other, “Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,…[where dwell] countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.”

I am deeply touched by the words “the spirits of the just [are] made perfect” and that this is the place where Jesus, our mediator’s, Blood “speaks more eloquently than that of Abel” or any other person martyred for the faith. You and I, God willing and God does will it, will join this “festal gathering.”  We, too, will be “made perfect,” a perfection begun here on this earth through what we suffer, as was true of Jesus: “He learned obedience through what He suffered” (Heb. 5:8).   This is our faith. This is the hope that strengthens us as we journey to “the Promised Land.” 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Discipline from a loving God

In today’s first reading, Heb. 12: 4-7, 11-15, St. Paul reminds us that God treats us as sons/daughters and therefore, like any wise parent, disciplines us by what we suffer.  He also reminds us that none of us “struggle with sin…to the point of shedding blood.”  The Gospel, Mark 6: 1-6, tells us how disappointed Jesus is in the people of his own home town. Because of their attitude towards Him and their lack of faith, Jesus cannot and does not work  miracles there. I asked the Lord what I needed to learn from these lessons and the following counsel was given me: 
Dorothy Ann, remember that I love you. It’s because of my love for you that you are painfully made aware of your sinfulness and how  stubbornness and pride sometimes trip you up from growth in humility, kindness and love.  It is why miracles are not worked through you in some instances: miracles to which a humble person is privy, miracles that occur when a person does not need to be right, miracles that occur when a person apologizes to another even when the raucous seems to be the other person’s fault, miracles that occur when a person remains calm and patient toward, or walks away from, a ranting “manic,” miracles that occur when a person speaks the truth reverently   
and respectfully to another, miracles that occur when a person takes time to listen without              condemning, without being critical, without needing to set the other right, without needing
to come out on top, etc.
Living these Gospel values, Dorothy Ann, is countercultural. It is what led to My death and will lead to yours, not physically but the death of the ego that, at times, wants to dominate, control and hold on to being right when the other is wrong.  Many times you have to walk away and swallow your pride, as I did in today’s Gospel, Mark 6: 1-6).

Taking up one’s cross and following Jesus to death and resurrection is costly!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Living a Gospel-centered life

Ever struggle with mouthing off and then regretting it?  Ever find it difficult to remain silent when your “truth” is being questioned, challenged, rejected and you think you are right? Ever insist on your opinion and then discover afterwards discover that you were wrong in the first place?   And unintentionally, your sharp,  piercing words have left your lips soaring into the air and into the hearts of others like bullets piercing a physical body, wounding the other in the deepest level of the self, leaving the other bleeding in one’s deepest core self.   

Today’s first reading reminds us that “Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider,” St. Paul asks us, “how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggles against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood” (Heb. 12: 1-4).  The martyrdom of remaining silent when “mouthing  off”  is the easier choice and the one that would injure another, would not be helpful, would not be kind,  would not even be true in some cases, is something we are capable of when we call upon the Holy Spirit whose  power is always at work within us.  If we keep our focus on Jesus, “the leader and perfecter of faith”, as Paul also counsels us in Heb. 12: 1-4, we will “rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us…”

Today’s Gospel contains the story of Jairus asking Jesus to come down and heal his little girl who is sick.  People from Jairus’ house, before Jesus arrives, meets Jairus and says: “Stop bothering Jesus. Your daughter is dead.”  Ever been told: “Drop it. It’s no use,” or worse still, “You’re useless; you’re worth nothing,” or “Don’t bother with so-and-so; he/she is not worth your effort. You are wasting your time.”   Jesus doesn’t believe the people who give up hope, who discourage belief in Jesus’ power to save, in your power and my power to be healed, to repent, to change our lives, to make a difference in the life of another; in short, to believe, as Jairus did, that Jesus and you and I, in cooperation with Jesus, make the difference.  “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus” (Heb. 12: 14).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jesus: our Mediator before the Throne of God

Yesterday, we reflected briefly on Paul’s reminder in Heb. 10: 32-39, that we endure “a great contest of suffering” as we journey through life.  The sufferings we endure could be because of our own mistakes or the mistakes of others, our own selfishness or the selfishness of others, our own sins or the sins of others.  Suffering enters our lives also because of perceived pain or misinterpretations of the behaviors of others.  Or, we could become victims of natural disasters or accidents we cause or are caused by others. There are repeated “Newtowns” and Aurora theater massacres, Columbines and Synagogue attacks, and other violent incidents that inflict severe pain upon people throughout the world. There are wars being raged in faraway countries in which we are involved or in our own country, our own cities and towns, our own homes. 
In today’s second reading, Heb. 2: 14-18, Paul reminds us that Jesus, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, “had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people.  Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”   Jesus knows. Jesus cares. Jesus intercedes for us as we journey through this vale of tears to the Promised Land of eternal life where there will be no more suffering, no more pain, no more violence, no more sin.  And when I am the victim or perpetrator of any of these, I can count on Jesus’ intercession for me before the throne of God. I can know Jesus’ power to make right the wrongs I have inflicted or that have been inflicted upon me. As the psalmist tells me in today’s responsorial psalm,  Psalm 24, “the Lord is mighty in battle.” And He fights for me and for you so that we will know redemption, our own and that of others.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Trust in God's Promises

No one goes through this life without enduring “a great contest of suffering,” as Paul says to us in today’s first reading, Heb. 10:32-39.  All of us experience affliction and some times are the one inflicting pain.  What we thought was rightfully ours is confiscated (cf. Heb. 10: 32-39).  I had a double dose of the latter this past month.  I also inflicted pain, as well, by my anger and impatience, outbursts and low tolerance for any kind of frustration, following what I experienced as significant loss or unnecessary hardship.  No doubt you have been there as well, as it is the reality of human nature pushed to its limits. It happens to all of us who live in an imperfect world, including our own imperfections.

Paul says to us: “Don’t throw away…[your] confidence”, that is the confidence we have in knowing that we have a better and lasting possession”--eternal life-- knowing that the effects of sin, and sin itself, will not be part of our life with God in eternity.  All tears will be wiped away. Pain will be no more—neither physical nor mental, neither emotional nor spiritual.  All will be well; all manner of things shall be well, Julian of Norwich told herself when she was confronted with the shortcomings of life—her own and that of others—the disappointment in relationships, the shattering of hopes and dreams. 

The psalmist in today’s responsorial psalm, says to us: “Trust in the Lord and do good….Take delight in the Lord, and he will grant you your heart’s request. Commit to the Lord your way; trust in him and he will act” (Ps. 37).


I trust God will act on my behalf. May I act on His!