Saturday, June 09, 2012

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved

"For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.
But this you did not will."  (Isaiah 30: 15)

When I feel insecure, I run the Lord.  I do not run to Egypt.
The ever changing environment in which we live involves the following dynamics:  Health, family, money, job, tools, food, future.  The only constant in all these factors is change.  Things change and they can change rapidly.  The other thing that is constant in a world of frequent changes is Jesus Christ.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

"Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!"  (Isaiah 45: 22)

True security exists only in God.  "By waiting and by calm, you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength."  

Friday, June 08, 2012

If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you

"In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.
But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it"  (2 Timothy 3: 12 - 14)

The idea of trials, persecutions and suffering being part and parcel of our Christian vocation is not surprising to anybody who is familiar with the scriptures.  This idea is as prevalent in the Old Testament as it is in the New.  Examples from the Old Testament are Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David and the prophets.  In the New Testament, the principal example is Jesus Christ Himself.  He asks anyone who wants to follow Him, to pick up his cross and come along.  The Church of the Pentecost understood immediately that what was true for Jesus in His earthly journey would be true of the early Church and down through the centuries to our day.  This is as inevitable as the divine necessity for the Messiah Himself:
"And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"

Why then does the persecution that comes with the Christian calling always a surprise to us?  Our surprise is in inverse proportion to our understanding of Sacred Scripture.  The more of Sacred Scripture we understand, the less we are surprised at the mystery of suffering.  The less Sacred Scripture we understand, the more we are surprised at the sufferings in the world including the big suffering in the life of  disciples of Jesus.
"Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me."  (John 15: 20 21)

Lord Jesus, open our minds to understand the mystery of suffering.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

No trial has come to you but what is human

"No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it."  (1 Corinthians 10: 13)

I find the above scripture very helpful especially  periods of trial.  There are a number of truths here that if grasped will enable us to sail through any trial without too much collateral damage.  Let us look at the truths one by one:

First, we have the assurance that no matter the trial, some other human being has already faced it.  It is not unique to you.  It means much more if God says this in his word.

Secondly, we are reminded of God's faithfulness, wisdom, power, love and knowledge.  We know that if God permits this trial, we can be sure that it is measured to fit.  Once you discern that this trial is for you, acceptance becomes easier.

Finally, you are told to look for the way of escape provided by God in this trial.

1 Corinthians 10: 13 is a great scripture in a period of trial.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Stir into flame the gift of God

"For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control."  (2 Timothy 1: 6-7)

What are the gifts that I can stir into flame right here and right now?  I know that the Holy Spirit has blessed me with many gifts.  I know that today, I have been blessed with the gifts of feeding on the word of God.  I have also enjoyed the quiet time with the Lord which is a blessing.  Most importantly, I have been with the Lord in the Eucharist and have received His Precious Body and Blood.  How do I go about sharing these gifts?

I do not know how I can stir into flame these gifts.  But I know that the Holy Spirit who is the author of these gifts will help me if I ask Him.  If I trust Him to lead, guide and use me today, He will not disappoint.  O Holy Spirit, you have blessed me so much today.  I pray you to lead, guide and use me today.  I will trust you completely today for your continual guidance

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

May the glorious Father give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones,"  (Ephesians 1: 17 - 18)

What difference does it make if I know for certain that our glorious Father has given me a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of Him?  This question brings to  mind  this word from Jesus:  Eternal life is to know the One true God and Jesus Christ, His Only begotten Son.  Do I feel that I have the seed of eternal life in me right here and right now?  I know for certain that the Holy Spirit dwells in me.  The scripture calls the Holy Spirit the down payment of the full gift of eternal life.  Christians can grow in the size of this deposit or down payment.  We grow in this by means of prayer, word of God, Eucharist, Sacrament of Reconciliation and other sacraments.  This is the prayer of St. Paul for the early Christian community in Ephesus.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!"  (Romans 8: 14 - 15)

Most Holy and Adorable Spirit, I believe that you are in me.  I know that I am led and guided by you.  But I pray you to help me to trust completely in your continual guidance.  My greatest desire today is for you to lead me, guide me and use me.  I want to depend on you always and everywhere  in all things.  I want you to be my teacher.  I am teachable.  I want to learn from you everything that I need to know about my life's purpose.  Lead me to the fullness of truth promised by Jesus Christ.  I believe that my purpose in life is to learn and communicate the faith.  Open doors of opportunities for me.  Keep me simple and humble like Jesus Christ.  Protect me always from the attacks of the evil one.

The spirit of slavery is the spirit of fears, worries and doubts.  This mean spirit is opposed to the Holy Spirit. It seeks to control the mind and heart through fears, worries and doubts.  Resist him. Cry out to the Holy Spirit to expel him from your domain.  Soak yourself in sacred scriptures.  Remember always your divine sonship.  Have a close relationship with God the Father.  If you cry out often enough, Abba, Father! which means, "My own dear very Father" the Holy Spirit in you will use this cooperation to dislodge completely the spirit of slavery from your mind and heart.