Friday, March 23, 2012

One does not live on bread alone

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4: 4)

When I struggle over God’s ability to provide my needs, the Lord says to me:  “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4: 4)  When I allow insecurity to disturb my peace of mind, the Lord reminds me: “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4: 4)  When I ask, ‘Is the Lord still with me, Yes or No?’, the Lord simply says: “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4: 4)

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4: 4) is all that I need to live on when I experience any doubts about God’s presence, protection or provision.  The promise says and contains everything:  “I am with you; I am for you:  so do not be afraid.  My thoughts are not your thoughts; my ways are not your ways.  I own all the gold and all the silver.  I own all the animals and all the fish.   I am your Good Shepherd.  I provide all you need.  Just trust me.”
Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

God's time of favor2

"Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; I form you and set you as a covenant for the people, To restore the land and allot the devastated heritages " (Isaiah 49:8)
Wait for God’s time of favor.  Waiting is critical to possessing the promise.
Waiting for the Lord
 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits and I hope for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak," (Psalm 130: 5 - 6)
How long must we wait for the Lord to answer our prayer?  The scriptures below are very revealing.  In summary, they say that we wait until the Lord answers.
a.   Wait for the Lord (Psalm 27: 14; 37:34)
b.   Wait patiently for him (Psalm 37: 7)
c.    I wait for you (Psalm 25: 21)
d.   For you I wait all day (Psalm 25: 5);
e.   I wait for the Lord more than a watchman wait for the morning (Psalm 130: 5-6);
f.     I wait for God my savior (Micah 7:7)
g.    I wait patiently for the Lord (Psalm 40: 1)
h.   I wait in silence for God (Psalm 62: 1, 5)
i.     We wait for you (Isaiah 26: 8, 33: 2)
j.    Those who wait for the Lord renew their strength (Isaiah 40: 31)
k.    Those who wait for the Lord will inherit the land (Psalm 37: 9)
l.     Blessed are those who wait for him (Isaiah 30: 18)
m.  May those who wait for you not be ashamed through me (Psalm 69:6)
n.   This is our God for whom we have waited (Isaiah 25:9)
o.   The Lord is good to those who wait for him (Lamentation 3: 25)
p.   Be like men waiting for their Master (Luke 12: 36)
q.   Saul was told to wait 7 days for Samuel (1 Samuel 10: 8; 13:8)
r.    David will wait until word came (2 Samuel 15; 28)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Come to the waters

“Come to the waters, all who thirst; though you have no money, come and drink with joy.” (Isaiah 55:1)

In the above scripture, we see a generous invitation of God to His children to come without money and have their fill of His blessings.  What blessings are being referred to here?  The temple of God from where flow the waters of life is filled with the blessings of His word, the Eucharist, His Presence and other sacraments of the Church.  The Church here is analogous to a huge supermarket where you can purchase everything you need.  But in a supermarket, you need cash or your credit card.  In the house of God, come without money and you can still get everything you need.  It is amazing and true.  What does one need to take up God on this incredible offer?  One needs faith that comes through hearing and understanding the word of God. 

"Wherever it flows, the river teems with every kind of living creature; fish will abound. Where these waters flow they refresh; everything lives where the river goes........Along each bank of the river every kind of fruit tree will grow; their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fresh fruit because the waters of the river flow out from the sanctuary. Their fruit is used for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47: 9, 12)

In the above scripture from Ezekiel, we see the promise of the waters of God flowing from the temple.  The Church is the sacrament of the presence of Jesus Christ in the world.  From the Church flow the blessings of the word of God and the sacraments to the world.  Wherever they flow, they refresh. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Remember all His kindnesses 2

“Bless the Lord, my soul, and remember all his kindnesses, for he pardons all my faults and heals all my ills.”  (Psalm 103: 2-3)

My birthday was this past Saturday, same day as  the feast of St. Patrick.  Three times a year, I try especially to remember God’s kindnesses to me.
·         My birthday
·         Thanksgiving
·         New Year

On each occasion, I am overwhelmed by God’s kindness to me.   I thank the Holy Spirit for this gift of dynamic remembrance.  Following the cue of the psalmist, on top of my list for the kindnesses of God is always the pardon for my sins.  This is followed by the gift of good health.  To be able to function 95% of the year is a cause for much gratitude as far as health is concerned. 

For this year’s birthday, I did not just remember past favors, but I asked for a birthday gift from Jesus.  I asked for deeper faith in His provisions.  I know that He has never failed to provide everything I need.  But I sometimes worry.  I prayed for faith strong enough to deliver me from worries, fears and doubts.  In the evening of my birthday, I was inside the Church listening to a message from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola when I heard this message:  “Ask God for what you need.”  I have asked for deeper faith for a birthday gift.  Now it is for me to believe and the gift is mine.  I believed.  And the belief brought joy.