Saturday, January 31, 2009
The people in the Gospel today marveled at the authority with which Jesus spoke. The Unclean Spirits recognized Jesus and obeyed His Authority. They had no choice. He cast them out. Out they went. Interestingly enough, those who heard Jesus in the Synagogue did not have to recognize His Authority, nor obey Him. Neither do we. We are free to accept or reject the Son of God, Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the World, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. We can simply ignore Him who is our Life. And we often do. Why? Because we like to live according to our own authority. Our authority, not founded upon the firm foundation that is the Loving Mercy of the Most Holy Trinity, but instead upon how we feel about a particular situation or issue. Our feelings trump the Authority of Christ Jesus. When this is pointed out, what is our response? Usually we get angry that the way we feel is not being respected. The Responsorial Psalm response was If today you here His voice, harden not your heart We often allow our hearts to harden because we refuse to recognize and obey Jesus' Authority in our daily lives. The invitation is clear this Sunday. We are invited once again to abandon our self to the Lord, and to live according to His Will. In other words to submit ourselves to His Authority; to live according to the Law of Christ and His Church. Couples pledge to teach their children this when they celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and at the Baptism of each child. It is time that this becomes more than lip service. This however is not only a challenge to parents, but to all of us this Sunday. Will we open our hearts to the voice of the Lord? Will we imitate Jesus and be obedient to the Will of God the Father? Will we recognize the Authority that Jesus has in our life and follow Him on a daily basis? Or will we continue to be swayed by our feelings and live by their authority? Will we harden our hearts because God is not telling us what we want to hear? Will we marvel at Jesus' Authority and then not obey Him? Will we reject the Obedience Discipleship demands? Unlike the unclean spirits who already chose against God and thus had to obey the Authority of Jesus in the Gospel today, we are free to choose. Listen for His voice! Harden not your heart!
Perhaps the few of you who read my blog have been wondering where I have been. I last posted from Guatemala. I was there to Baptize my beautiful niece Annabelle Eileen. Upon my return I had some work in the Parish to attend to, and also received some visitors these last few days. I also celebrated my birthday this month and basically gave myself a little time off. I will attempt now as February begins to post my reflections once again.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
In order for John the Baptist to recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God, he had to be living according to the Spirit. That is the Holy Spirit guided him in his daily life. He is not out searching for the Lamb, however living in the Spirit allows him to embrace Jesus when Jesus enters his daily life. All too often we either chase around looking for Christ Jesus or we live according to the spirit of the world and ignore Jesus. Neither of these ways prepare us to actually meet the Lamb of God when He enters our daily life. This Christmas season requires humility in order to see and embrace the Lamb of God. Jesus was not who John the Baptist expected, but He fulfilled all of John's expectations. The Magi had no idea what to expect but were humble enough to be guided to the Christ Child not in Herod's Palace but in a Manger in a stable in Bethlehem. So too, you and I are required to be humble. To not chase after Christ or ignore Him, but instead to be prepared to meet Him, and to encounter Him in our daily lives. In order to do this we must live according to the Holy Spirit. How do we do this? Humbly going about our daily duties knowing that the Light of the Christ Child has illumined our lives. Knowing that the Lamb of God has brought Salvation to the World, and has given us the Holy Spirit as the first gift to those who believe in Him; that His work of Mercy may be completed in us, In Our Daily Life! He speaks to our hearts, but we must be humble and listen. This Christmas we must ask for His Peace so that we can behold The Lamb of God when He comes to meet us, to bring Healing and Mercy to our wounded souls.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Mary pondered all that happened to her in her heart. She did so because that is where the Lord speaks to us. We have many distractions and preoccupations on our minds. This is a daily and often important occurrence; it is how we live and get along in life. However this year we ought to enter the School of Mary, and begin listening to what Our Father speaks to our hearts. His Word became flesh. His Love became flesh. His Mercy became flesh. You will not be disappointed by what you hear. Follow the Mother of God's example. Trust in the Lord and let your soul proclaim the greatness of His Love this Christmas day and throughout this new year.