Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Let it Be Done Unto Me According to Your Word

"But with their patience worn out by the journey,the people complained against God and Moses,"

"Then the people came to Moses and said,"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you." (Nm 21:4-9)

The people sinned in complaining against God and Moses. This is a shock to our modern ears, so much so that we often ignore it. It is a sin to complain against God's Will. Yes it is! As modern men and women we constantly complain to God . Our patience is worn out. We also do the opposite of complaining, we pretend as if we do not care and say "God will work it out". Both are sinful. Both are born of selfishness. Both lead to further misery and resentment against God and neighbor, especially against God's servants like Moses, but in our modern world the Pope, the Bishop, or the local Priest will do. What is the underling problem with the sin of complaining or feigned indifference? We do not seek God's Will. In the midst of our suffering and pain, when our patience is running out, when the problem has lasted too long and shows no sign of ending we complain, complain, complain, and then often feign indifference in the end. Instead we could pray and ask God, "What is your will in my present suffering?" We could even ask, "Do you see my suffering? How can I go on?" Why do we complain then? Because we do not want to hear God's response. Because we do not want to have to make hard decisions. Because we do not want to have to change. Because we feel justified in our behavior. Because we are right. Because we do not deserve what has happened. The list is endless but the fruits of each are the same. SIN IN COMPLAINING AGAINST GOD. Instead let us follow the example of our Blessed Mother and in the midst of the struggles of life say to the Lord "Let it Be Done Unto Me According to Your Word" the Grace we will receive will sustain us in the most difficult of circumstances and we will no longer have to feign indifference for our Blessed Mother will teach us how to submit ourselves to the Father's Holy Will which is Love and Mercy itself.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hope in God Alone (Jer 17:5-10)

Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. Most people would not consider themselves to be in this cursed category. But the truth is that many struggle each day with this very issue. We trust in ourselves and our own strength. We can handle it. In doing so our hearts turn slowly away from the Lord. Even in our Lenten practices we discipline ourselves so seriously that we often leave no space for the Lord. We keep our promises by the force of our own will and not by the Grace that comes from God alone. Turning away slowly from the source of life itself desperately trying to convince ourselves that we are okay. Keep your Lenten disciplines but understand that we depend on God. He is the source of our strength. He is the cause of all our joy. He sustains us in His Mercy and Love. Look to our Crucified Savior and believe in His Love for you. Adore Him because by His Holy Cross He has saved you. Turn to Him now, rely upon Him today and stop acting as if your okay and can handle everything. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. Let this be the truth of your life and live accordingly. Hope in God and praise Him your Savior and your God.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mocked and Scourged and Crucified (Mt 20:17-28)

Mocked and Scourged and Crucified. This is why Jesus goes to Jerusalem. Jesus goes to be mocked, to be made fun of as if He were a fool and not the Beloved Son of the Father. Jesus goes to be scourged, the Word made Flesh the Splendor of our Heavenly Father is to be torn and ripped in hatred and violence in the Holy City. Jesus goes to be crucified, nailed to the Cross there is no escape, there is no solace, only ridicule and abandonment, all to do the Will of the Father. This is why Jesus goes to Jerusalem. Mocked in the city that is made Holy by His presence. Scourged by the hands of those whose wounds He came to heal. Crucified by the violent in their hate, the Author of Life allows Himself to be put to death. Jesus Mocked, Jesus Scourged, Jesus Crucified, Divine Mercy Revealed. Jesus goes to Jerusalem to reveal Mercy to the merciless. Ridicule is silenced in Mercy. Hatred and violence are quenched in Mercy. Isolation, loneliness, and abandonment are covered over in Mercy. In the Holy City, in the Holy City our Savior went to suffer and die that we may enter in to Mercy Itself. Do you see Love revealed? Turn away from sin and believe in the Good News this Lent!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Choice is Yours (Is 1:10,16-20)

"Cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land;" There is much to meditate upon in the first reading today. What strikes me though is the fact that the choice is always ours. The Lord lays out before us the truth and the invitation to live in the truth, but the choice is always ours. Do we want to cease from doing evil? Do we want to learn to do good? Is justice our aim? That is to say is doing what is right( justice) our aim or is selfishness? Notice how the Lord says If you are willing, the choice is ours. Many people say that it is too hard to change. Many say they cannot get over things that happened to them or things that they did. Many say that God is okay with their selfishness as if they actually prayed and had a relationship with Him. Many say that they believe but but in truth only obey their own authority. Lies all lies! God reveals the Truth to us today. We can change our ways, but we must be obedient. We must be willing and obey. This is the first step in learning to do good. Justice must be our aim. Our goal must be to do what is right. Then in His Mercy God will bless us. We will have the good things in life and we will be able to enjoy them. "Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool." This is the call to conversion of Lent. The choice is yours!

Friday, March 6, 2009

If You, O Lord, Mark Iniquities, Who Can Stand?

Psalm 130 today makes things clear. You cannot argue with the Truth. When you stand before the Truth your friends will not be with you. When you stand before the Truth you will have nothing to hide behind. Your wealth, your popularity, your intelligence, your beauty, your anger, your strength, your self confidence and self arrogance, your self deception and your sins none will be your shield. The opinions that you have held in order to justify your behavior and your life style will be seen for what they really are, folly. Protests and excuses will fail. You will be resigned to your fate in your shame and your guilt. You will not be standing. The trembling that the Truth will induce will cause your knees to buckle. You will remain on your knees, head down, for no one can stand before the Truth.

BUT WITH YOU IS FORGIVENESS! Thanks be to God that this is the next line in the Psalm. Thanks be to God that He is Merciful, that He loves us.

You do not have to wait until you die and stand before the judgment seat in order to repent. This holy season of Lent calls us to repentance now, today. We are called to repent and believe in our Father's Mercy and Love. We are called to repent and believe in the invitation of our Divine Savior placing all our trust in His Divine Mercy, and seeking to do the Father's Will. We are called to repent and believe in what the Lover of our souls speaks to us; that under the Holy Spirits promptings we may find strength to overcome our temptations and humbly submit ourselves to the Holy Will of our Father which is Love and Mercy itself. You cannot stand before the Truth. Humble yourself now and have confidence in the Merciful Love of our Father. Then as you are bent in guilt and shame you will look up to see Mercy, to see Love, and you will be raised up in Joy, overcome with Joy for you will see what Christ Jesus' Victory on the Cross has won for you, ADOPTION, REDEMPTION and ETERNAL LIFE.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pleasing to God (Esther C:12,14-16)

"As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you. Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O LORD, my God." How is Esther pleasing to God? She does not begin to list her virtues, nor her holy practices. Esther does not extol herself in any way. She is pleasing to God because she is alone and in her loneliness she calls upon Him. The product of sin is alienation. Sin isolates the human person. We feel alienated from God. We think that God is angry with us. Often this is because we are angry with ourselves. In sin we do not feel like ourselves, and we do not act like ourselves, rather we allow our sins to dictate how we act. This is isolating. Sin alienates us from our fellow man. Sin is self serving thus we use or ignore others. Sinning against others destroys that natural bond we have as a human family. Finally, sin alienates us from the world around us. Life gets very narrow when struggling with sin and guilt. In the end we are alone in our sin. Although Esther was alone for other reasons, alone she was, and in her loneliness she cried out to God. In this Esther was pleasing to God. We can imitate her this Lent in our desire to turn from sin and believe the Good News. Our sins isolate us, but we can cry out to God in our isolation and loneliness and He will respond to us. He will free us from our temptations and our sins. He is not angry with us for we are pleasing to Him. We are His children. Crying out to Him even in our sins, we will no longer be alienated, we will be healed. By His wounds in fact we are healed. Cry out to Him. You are not alone. Our Father loves you. Come back to Him.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


In the first reading today Jonah is obedient to God's word. Hearing Jonah's message the people of Nineveh repent. Their repentance moves God to repent of the punishment He threatened to do to them.

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Set out for the great city of Nineveh,and announce to it the message that I will tell you. "So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord's bidding.

"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed," when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way.and from the violence he has in hand.

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;he did not carry it out.

Are you obedient like Jonah? Do you do what you know God is asking of you? Are you like the people of Nineveh, do you repent when you know you are wrong? Do you believe that God actually cares about you? Do you believe that He cares about how you live your life? Will you repent or are you like the people in the Gospel today who want everything on their own terms? Jesus says today that those who want everything on their own terms will be condemned. This is rather harsh, but look at His reason for saying so; they do not recognize Love and Mercy itself standing in their midst. All they know is their selfishness, and their selfishness will be their destruction. Repent and forgive and God will repent of your just punishment and forgive you. His Mercy endures forever.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thy Will Be Done

Look at the contrast in the readings today. "So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it." (Is 55:10-11) The power of God's Word makes fertile and bears fruit.

"In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words." (Mt 6:7-15) Our words have such little affect.

Jesus teaches us how to pray. He gives us the words we are to pray, the Our Father. These words are given to us from God the Father. This is how He wants us to pray to Him. These words are His words thus they make our lives fertile and we begin to bear fruit. Fruit produced by doing the Father's Will. Fertility cultivated by the Holy Spirit. Our hearts tended by Christ Jesus, our Merciful Savior.

We can babble and babble seeking our own will, expressing our own understanding, and living according to our selfish desires, but our hearts and our lives will be barren. Eventually we will cease to tend them and instead seek only to quench them. In seeking to quench our barren souls, all manner of sin and distraction will be presented to us until we find one to our liking. Once found we will cling to it as if it were our very life. But it is not, it is a lie. In living according to our own will, we live a lie. In the desert while the plants seem to be dead the roots are still lush and green. A drop of water and the plants spring to life. If we do not seek to do the Father's Will, we have no roots. The drop of water is easily wasted. Our thirst will never be satisfied. We often blame God saying that He does not answer our prayers. The truth is much harsher. We do not want to do His Will. His response is unimportant if it is not in line with our desire, our want, or our will. Lent is a time to repent, to turn away from our selfishness, and believe in the Good News. Seriously taking time to pray and Meditate on the Our Father is a good place to start. In doing so we can put down roots. Rooted in doing the Father's Will, in imitation of Christ, we can follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit into the desert. There we will find strength to overcome our temptations, and comfort in the Loving Mercy of the Most Holy Trinity.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Holiness and Generosity (Lv19:1-2 +Mt25:31-46)

"Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am Holy." One of the great deceptions of the Devil today is convincing good men and women that what they will really be judged for is how well they took care of their own. This generation of parents today are indeed obsessed with being parents. Their children rule their lives. Moms role their eyes at me exhausted from running around with the kids all day or all week as they set off yet again to some meeting or practice. Dads have their kids in a diversity of programs from sports to music to educational programs exposing them to many things and thus letting him believe he is a good dad. This is all about taking care of your own. Not at all mentioned in the Gospel today. Yes, you must take care of your family! Yes, in doing so you can and will grow in holiness! But families today are exclusionary. That is to say that men and women today feel as if they are trying to be good parents, and thus believe that that is their sole mission in life. This is simply a lie. It destroys marriages, leads to depression and leaves children malformed and deformed. God is God! Your children or grandchildren cannot be your God! Parenting cannot be your religion! Running from practice to practice cannot be your sacrifice! The Gospel today is clear in its Revelation. We will be judged by how generous we were with those who were not our own, and many will be surprised at how wanting they are. Thus we are called to conversion this Lent. Generosity is the key. First and foremost we are called to be generous with God. We must put God first in our lives, saying our prayers and practicing our faith. Second we are called to be generous with our spouse regardless of patterns we have fallen into or if we have been married a long time. If you work on these two things you will be generous to you children while not making them your God. This is the proper order of of love in the family. Love God. Love each other. Love your children. This allows us then to be generous with others. When we are properly ordered ourselves then we can recognize the needs of others. But not only that, we can also recognize that it is our responsibility to aid others in their need. This is how we grow in holiness. This is how we become generous with those who are not our own. Disorder leads to selfishness, and sin but also to hurt and resentment. God must come first in our lives. That is to say God must come first in our lives based on His terms not our own. During Lent we say repent and believe in the Good News that has been revealed in Christ Jesus! We do not say take it easy your okay with God, your a good guy. Lent calls us to conversion, to recognize how we have kept our own council and taken care of our own, ignoring God and others. The Scriptures tell us today that now is the time to turn away from such folly and allow God to bring order once again to our lives, our marriages, and our families. In following Him then we will be leaven in our society as we generously take care of those in need.