Thursday, November 27, 2014

How great is the Lord, our God, Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in it.
Always is the Lord sustaining us in existence in accord with God’s holy plan for our salvation.
Pleasing to the Lord is the person who acts justly, loves tenderly and walks humbly with God.
Pleasing to the Lord are those who strive to be as compassionate as God is compassionate.
Yielding to grace and open to the Spirit’s lead,  may we grow in ever deeper love of God, self and others.

Thank you, Lord, for all of the blessings of this past year:
Having the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, to guide, strengthen, and console us each day.
And for the gift of family, friends, shelter, food, clothing, fresh air to breathe, places to worship
              freely. Thank you  for
Nannies, and mothers and fathers’ never-ending blessings that bring joy to our lives. Thank you for

Kindnesses from loving parents, grandparents, friends, pastors, catechists, teachers, men and women religious who serve the Church and the poor of this world. Thank you for infants and children who teach us to be lovingly open to all people. Thank you for adolescents and the youth who are striving to find their way in adult life. Thank you for the

Services of doctors and dentists, plumbers and electricians, police and public servants, teachers and nurses, mail-carriers and all postal workers, retailers and firemen,  and  all those who serve us with a smile by

Giving of their time, talent, and energy to make a difference in our lives. Thank you for

Interesting entertainment: movies, music, art, sports and out-door activities that refresh us. Thank you for:

Verifying our goodness and value by making us one with You in the breaking of the Bread, by sending us the Holy Spirit to take up residence in the Temple of our bodies. Thank you for:

Innovative inventions that improve our lives and challenge us to continual learning of ways to make life an expression of our gratitude to You, Lord, and to each other. Thank you for

Never abandoning us to Satan and is never-ending ways to deceive us on our way. Thank you for:

Giving us Yourself in the Eucharist, in the Scriptures, in the beauty of all of creation and in the love we bear within ourselves and share with others throughout the world.        

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Great and Wonderful Are God's Works

In today’s first reading, we pray the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
Or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
And worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

At every Mass, we join Moses and all of the saints and angels in heaven, proclaiming the greatness of the Lord, acknowledging the justice and truth of God’s ways and recognizing God as “King of the nations.”  We glorify God name, God, who alone is holy and to whom all nations will come, worshipping before the Lord, God of hosts.  God’s righteous acts are revealed in the consecration of every Mass, where earth and heaven join in worship, in becoming one with the Lord, who gives Himself to us in Holy Communion to reconfirm our union with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Let us shout: “Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God” (the Antiphon of today’s Responsorial Psalm 98), for the Lord’s “right hand has won victory for him,” and for us.  “The Lord has made his salvation known” (Responsorial Psalm 98).

May we allow God today to make His salvation known through the way in which we relate to each other and in the way that we respond to injustices done toward us or other or in the way in which we react when confronted with truth—perhaps a truth we do not want to hear about ourselves.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Mystery of Suffering and Heartbreak

“Do not be terrified,” Jesus says to us in Luke 21: 5-11, “when you hear of wars and insurrections.” He goes on to say:  “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”   Where is God, we might ask. Some might believe that God is the source and cause of uprisings, violent outbursts that lead to murder, earthquakes, or nations warring against each other, of unexplainable illnesses and fatal diseases  rising in different parts of the world. God does not bring forth evil nor does God cause disasters of any kind. However, God witnesses all of these devastating events and weeps with us, agonizes with us, sends us "angels" to comfort us as He did for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when the leaders of his day rose up against him to put him to death.  As with Jesus,  God  gives us the strength to grow strong through suffering and not get stuck in bitterness and anger. Through the work of the Spirit within us, God enables to reach out in charity to those in need when disaster does strike. We are helped to grow in love and forgiveness and compassion ourselves. God never, never wills the destructive forces that come our way through other human beings or through natural disasters. That is not God's nature. God is love. God is mercy. God is compassion.

Jesus says to us in Mt. 11: 28-30:  "Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light." Jesus approached the disaster of His life, His death orchestrated by the Scribes and Pharisees, with this attitude of humility and reliance on the Father--that led to His exoneration in the Resurrection from  the dead and our salvation, as willed by the Father. We, too, will rise to new life--experience our salvation in Christ Jesus--through life's disaster when we hold on to our belief in Jesus' power to save us in ways that transcend the physical realities.