Friday, March 09, 2012

The stone rejected by the builders

“Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42)

In the first reading of the Mass of Second Friday in Lent, we heard the story of how the brothers of Joseph in an act of demonic jealousy, sold Joseph into slavery.  The Gospel reading is the parable of Jesus on how the people said, “This is the heir; let us kill him.”  Rejection is the unifying theme between the first and second reading today.  What is the final fate of the rejected?  Joseph, a type of Jesus Christ became a prince in Egypt and redeemed his brothers who sold him into slavery.  Jesus, the princely heir that was rejected and killed, rose from the dead and redeemed His brothers. 

In God’s all powerful and loving providence, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes”  It is a done deal.  Nobody can do otherwise.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Your Security Your Destiny

“Thus says the Lord:  ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 17:5)

Where is your security?

If your security is in money, investments, insurance policies, property, savings account, etc, then Jeremiah has some bad news for you today.  He declares you “cursed”.  Why this very strong language?  It is not a mere hyperbole.  It is to jolt you into the conversion mood.  The original word for conversion in Greek is metanoia.  Metanoia implies a complete change of direction.  You are traveling north at 70 miles an hour.  You suddenly see a Road Closed sign in front of you.  You stop and head south. 

Personal conversion is the business of Lent.  Lent is declared by God a time of favor and grace.   O that we may listen to His voice today and not harden our hearts.  Jeremiah leaves us with some big consolation in the same 17th Chapter:

"Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust. They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit." (Jeremiah 17: 7 - 8)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Destiny 2

“But my trust is in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”  In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”  (Psalm 31: 15-16)

My destiny is in your hands O Lord.  Thank you Lord for this.  This truth tells me that the clutches of my enemies and persecutors cannot touch me unless God permits it.  If God is for me, who can be against me?  Nobody!  The Lord is my light and my salvation.  Whom can I fear?  Nobody!

The word of God is filled with healing truths about God and His powerful and loving providence over us.  I read of these scriptures everyday for many years now.  I believe what I read.  I teach what I believe.  But I do not always practice what I teach.  When my faith is tested, I fail many times.  I say to myself:  “If only I remember these scriptures at the crucial moment, I could do better in the inevitable trials of life.”  Sometimes things happen so fast that before you know that a trial is a test, you have failed.  This may be why the Psalmist cried out: “Hide your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.”  If the word is on your heart and on your lips, you will remember it at the moment of need.

No matter whether you pass or fail the test, it is still true that “All things work together for good to those who love God.”  (Romans 8: 28)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Man does not live on bread alone...

“Man does not live on bread alone…..” (Matthew 4:4)
Man does not live on Money alone….
Man does not live on Salary alone….
Man does not live on Job alone….
Man does not live on Cars alone….
Man does not live on Health alone….
“Man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4: 4)
Faith gives us God’s promise of provision.
“Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said,
“I will never fail you | I will never forsake you.”
That is why we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”  (Hebrews 13: 5 – 6)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Absorbed in material things

“Father of mercy, hear our prayer.  May the grace of this mystery prevent us from becoming absorbed in material things.  Grant this through Christ our Lord.”  (Prayer Over the Gifts – 2nd Monday in Lent)

Two things strike me in the above prayer. 
First, it is a reminder that the Eucharist is the great mystery of our faith.   Second, the Eucharist effectively helps us from becoming absorbed in material things.  It is the great Meal that puts in perspective every other material good and  helps us realize finally that “man does not live on bread alone.”  Only God’s loving and powerful providence could have made the Eucharist possible.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

How Satan triumphs over us

“Remember your mercies, Lord, your tenderness from ages past.  Do not let our enemies triumph over us; O God, deliver Israel from all her distress.”  (Psalm24: 6, 3, 22)

Our enemy Satan triumph over us through the 4 D’s of Distraction, Discouragement, Disrespect for God and holy things and Disbeliefs.