Monday, June 19, 2017

Radical Day

We beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation.
2Cor.6:1,2

Paul is pleading with the Corinthian Church to live a radical life of holy example, using his own life as a template. And this radical life is not something to be attained in the future, it is to be lived today.

The different drum we are to march to is exemplified by Jesus in today's gospel; walk the extra mile, turn the other cheek, give the extra cloak.  There's something liberating in this generosity. It shows our hearts are fixed on other things, spiritual things.

There is a joy in this sort of detachment, a joy obtainable today, the day of salvation.

Lord Jesus, you call me "further up and further in" to this radical life. Help me let go and be generous with those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cheerful Giver

‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury;
Mk.12:43

Jesus has watched people placing offerings in the temple treasury. He calls his disciples and singles out the poor widow who has given two small coins, all that she has, and exalts her as the most generous giver.

There's a couple of lessons here. Firstly, Jesus observes all that we give. Secondly, he's not impressed by quantity but by commitment. Someone who gives all is totally committed. Like the chicken who supplied an egg for breakfast and the pig who supplied the bacon. Who is committed?

There's times when I've given like a pig, without counting the cost and times when I've given like a chicken.  I've been quite miserly. The miserly times leave me miserable. The generous times leave me with a sense of joy. Let me be a cheerful and generous giver today...

Lord Jesus, you gave your all for me. Help me do the same for you in those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Household

‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They told him, ‘Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.’ Acts.16:30,31

Paul and Silas have miraculously been freed by an earthquake from their prison shackles. They stopped the gaoler from killing himself, telling him they haven't run off. The gaoler, recognising the hand of God is over Paul and Silas, becomes a believer, saving not only himself but his entire household.

Jesus works in households, in families. It is well proven that if a mother and father actively practice their faith their children will grow up doing likewise. This is both a wonderful blessing and a fearful responsibility. Fearful as we are talking about eternal salvation of our children and children's children.

I must be authentic and demonstrative in my Catholic faith. In this season of Eastertide this is made easier. How? Easter joy! There's something incredibly attractive about people filled with joy, especially joyful parents to their children

Holy Spirit, fill me with Easter joy today that I may be an authentic witness to my household.
Little Flower, please pray for me.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Divine and de Branch

It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.
Jn.15:8

Jesus is explaining the relationship between himself and his disciples using the analogy of vine and branches. Branches bear fruit when they are connected to the vine and are pruned.

There's a great line from the Steve Green 70's classic, "He'll take care of the rest" that goes;

"Remember, He is divine and you are de branch"

Staying connected to Jesus is a daily decision for a disciple. Daily prayer time helps. The point of discipleship is to bear fruit, says Jesus. And the point of bearing fruit is to glorify the Father.

So here goes. Another day in the vineyard bearing fruit for the glory.

Lord Jesus, I reconnect to you this morning. May I bear fruit to glorify the Father today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Peace the World Can't Give

Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.
Jn.14:27

Jesus had just promised to his disciples that the Holy Spirit will be sent once he leaves. The first fruit of the spirit is peace, a peace the world cannot give.

It's a standing joke how beauty pageant contestants in their open speech always throw in the line, "and I pray for world peace".  The world could certainly do with that today. But Jesus is offering something the world cannot give, it can only receive it. That is, his peace.

It's only through Jesus that a man can look over the place where his four daughters drowned and then say, "It is well with my soul" (Horatio G. Spafford). This is the peace beyond understanding.

So, today I receive this priceless gift from Jesus and say, no matter what happens, it is well with my soul.

Jesus, thank you for your wonderful gift of peace. Help me pass this on to those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Joy and the Holy Spirit

So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:52

Paul and Barnabas are on their mission trip, preaching to the Jews. Their message is rejected by the Jewish leaders so they turn their attention to the pagans of the town where their message is joyously received.

Nothing has changed. The message gets preached. By some it is rejected, by others it is received with great joy. Where the Good News is accepted the Holy Spirit arrives with great power, changing lives.

We are currently involved in a Life in the Spirit Seminar. The message is being preached. Some are skeptical while others are rising up and asking for more.  I guess, like Paul and Barnabas, we continue preaching the truth of the Good News irrespective of the reaction of the listeners, praying for them all the while.

My "preaching", to be authentic, must be reflected in my daily life, starting with my family. Today...

Come Holy Spirit. I can't do this without you. Fill me afresh this day that I may be a witness to you, the Father and the Son.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Son of Encouragement

He (Barnabas) urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith.
Acts.11:24

Barnabas is sent to Antioch to check out the news that a church was growing from Greek converts. He instantly recognised God's hand in what was happening and encouraged the church to continue its grace-filled work.

Barnabas the encourager continues his particular ministry. Of him the Bible records he was a powerful preacher, an encourager, a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith.

He sounds like the sort of man I would enjoy hanging around. He sounds like the sort of man I wish I was... today.

Holy Spirit of God. Fill me that I may be an encourager to those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.