Saturday, September 23, 2017

My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are My ways your ways.

"These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat."  (Matthew 20: 12).

The Lord paid exactly the same wage to workers who worked from 4 pm to 5 pm as those who worked from 9 am to 5 pm. If you are one of those who sweated for 8 hours, would you be aggrieved? I certainly would.

Jesus answered us:
"Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”  (Matthew 20:  15 - 16).

This calls for a sombre reflection on divine logic. The answer to this puzzle is started in the first reading today from Isaiah:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55: 8 - 9).

The Divine Providence is inscrutable and yet fair and just. Consider the following:
#1. Jesus came and founded one Church. Yet His holy will allowed the Church to be splintered into thousands of factions.
#2.  Six centuries after the beginning of Christianity, Mohammed came along, founded Islam and destroyed Christianity in North Africa, Middle East and other areas. God permitted it.
#3. Why did God allow Hitler to commit the Holocaust?
#4. Why did Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria, earthquakes happen?
#5. Why did God permit His only Son, Jesus who is completely sinless to be hated without cause, then tortured and crucified?

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways."  (Isaiah 55: 8).

"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."  (Romans 8: 28).

There will be no answers for you if you do not love God. So if you want to understand, you must believe.

Friday, September 22, 2017

How do you deal with anxieties?

"Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it." (Luke 8: 7).

You must identify the thorns choking your spiritual life and move away from them. Not easy. With Jesus everything is possible. (Matthew 19: 26).

"As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit."   Lk 8: 14).

Among the chokers of life mentioned here are:
#1 Anxieties
#2 Riches
#3 Pleasures of life

Most spiritual writers would say that anxieties is the worst of the 3. If the other two choke the spiritual life out of you quick and easy, anxieties act like a giant python that wraps you in a deadly embrace and kill you by slow motion.  No wonder our master and teacher, St Paul warns us:
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4: 6 - 7 NLT).

“For the love of money is the
root of all kinds of evil. Some
people, eager for money, have
wandered from the faith and
pierced themselves with
many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6: 10)

If you do not worry about money here and now, thank God for the grace of the present Moment. Have you worried in the past?  Almost everyone.  Will you worry in the future?  Most certainly Yes. But you have now the tool to deal with it.

Do not worry about money because God promises to provide what you need.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Love of money

”Whoever loves money never
has enough; whoever loves
wealth is never satisfied with
their income. This too is
meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes
5: 10)

“For the love of money is the
root of all kinds of evil. Some
people, eager for money, have
wandered from the faith and
pierced themselves with
many griefs,” (1 Timothy 6: 10)

Do not worry about money because God promises to provide what you need.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5 - 6)

"Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction." (1 Timothy 6: 9).

This is the Spirit's message to the churches, today, Friday in the 24th Week in Ordinary Time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I came to call sinners and not the just.

“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.  Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’  I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”  (Matthew 9: 11 - 13).

Today is the feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Jesus called Matthew to follow Him from his Tax Man's office. The people were highly scandalized by this action of Jesus. Why Matthew the corrupt sinner, they questioned? "The call and gift of God is irrevocable."  (Romans 11: 29).

The Lord blotted out his sins and removed his impediments. He then made him a priest and evangelist. Matthew went on to write the first Gospel which bears his name.

"O God, who with untold mercy
were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession,
we may merit to hold firm in following you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son."  (Collect on the Feast of St Matthew).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Members of the Household of God

"But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth."  (1 Timothy 3: 15).

St Paul is here coaching Timothy, the young Bishop he ordained.
How should Timothy behave in the Household of God?
The Household of God is the Church of the living God.  Further, he calls the Church "the pillar and foundation of truth."

We all are members of the Household of God. We are all living stones in this building which is the pillar and foundation of truth.  How should we behave in the Church? This same Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone." (Ephesians 2: 20).

"I will praise the Lord with all my heart in the assembled congregation of the upright.  Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them."  Psalm 111: 1 - 2)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Of mercy and judgment I will sing to you O Lord.

"When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”  The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother."  (Luke 7: 13-15).

Jesus was moved with pity for the widow. With Jesus, mercy is always superabundant.

"Never forget your promises [of mercy] to me your servant, for they are my only hope. They give me strength in all my troubles; how they refresh and revive me!"  (Cf Psalm 119:  49 - 50 TLB).

As you remind Jesus of His promise of mercy, show mercy to your family and friends.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Father, let us see the workings of Your mercy in our lives.

"Look upon us, O God,
Creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever."  (Collect on Monday, the 24th Week of Ordinary Time).

You may be surprised to learn that the formal prayer of the Church in Sacred Liturgy like the Mass elicits faith and may be called "Scripturette" with a big "S".  This ancient Wisdom of the Church is called "Lex orandi, Lex credendi", meaning simply "the law of prayer is the law of Belief /Faith."   To paraphrase, we believe in the sense or sentiments of the above prayer as we believe the word of God.

Do you need to see the workings of God's mercy in your life? Then do the two things in the above prayer:

#1 Pray every day to see the workings of God's mercy in your life.
#2 Serve the Lord with all your heart. How?

"But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also."  (Matthew 6: 33 AMP).