Monday, April 23, 2018

Gateway to Life

'Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’
Jn.10:9,10

Jesus starts his parable of the Good Shepherd. Not only is he the Good Shepherd, he is the gate. He protects from the murderous thief and gives fullness of life.

I was at a twenty-first birthday party the other night. There were a number of young people who were priming to move onto the clubs following the party. I saw an emptiness in many of them and I felt pity for them. Alcohol promises fullness but delivers bitter emptiness.

A gate keeps things out and keep things in. A gate leads to a secure place. Jesus does all this for me, the result being fullness of life. Fullness of life gives me joy.

Thank you Jesus for the life you give me. Be my gate, be my shepherd. Let my joy lead others to you.
Little Flower, please follow me.




Saturday, April 21, 2018

To Whom else can We Turn

Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’
Jn.6:67-69

A number of disciples have left Jesus, finding his teaching on his flesh and blood too hard to accept. Jesus invites his closest friends, the twelve apostles, to do likewise. Peter, already their spokesman, makes his great pronouncement of faith. "Lord, to whom else can we turn. You have the words of everlasting life".

I'm leading Children's Liturgy at Mass tomorrow. For children, nothing in our faith is too hard. Their spirits rise up to the Good News spontaneously. They don't weigh and measure it first. They have the wisdom of the simple that God promises and as a result, they have more joy.

Faith doesn't mean I'm to park my brain in neutral but it does mean accepting the mystery of God. No mystery, no faith. Once I accept God is way larger than my brain can encompass then faith kicks in and joy follows.

Lord Jesus, by faith I accept who you are and what you promise is true. To whom else can I turn? You have the words of everlasting life.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Wise Seek Council

When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ ‘How can I’ he replied ‘unless I have someone to guide me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side.
Acts8:30,31

Philip is led by the Spirit to run up to the Ethiopian official's chariot and question him regarding the scripture he was reading. The Ethiopian invited him explain what he was reading which led to his accepting the Good News of Jesus and being baptised.

In proverbs we read, the first sign of wisdom is to seek council. The Ethiopian showed his wisdom in realising he needed teaching in order to understand. There is a humility in wisdom. The wise admit they don't know it all.

May I be wise in my day today, seeking those whom the Spirit sends me for instruction.

Lord, Jesus, you know all,  I don't. Grant me the humility of wisdom to seek council.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Eternal Life

' Yes, it is my Father’s will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’
Jn.6:40

Jesus is stating very clearly to a non-believing audience who he is (the Bread of Life) and why he has come (to give eternal life).

Some of the final words I heard from my mother were "I believe". For a vociferous atheist this was a huge about-turn with huge consequences. She no longer had to fear the last day and I no longer had to fear for her soul.

Thank you mum for that priceless gift you gave me in witnessing your entrance into eternal life.

Lord Jesus, I see and believe. Thank you for the wonderful promise you now give me, eternal life.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Come and Believe

‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’
Jn.6:34,35

The people are clamouring for Jesus after he has performed the miracle of the loaves. Wanting another sign from him, Jesus confronts them with what they really want, more food for their stomachs. He tells them God wants to provide food for their souls, bread from heaven. So starts his great discourse on his flesh and blood.

Never, hunger, never thirst, what a wonderful promise. There is contentment, peace and joy in being a Christ-follower that doesn't rely in circumstance. Stephen displayed that as he was being stoned. Coming to Jesus and believing in him is all that is required.

Lord Jesus I come to you with my belief. My easter joy is from you to me and from me to those I meet today.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Kumbaya

They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’
Jn.6:19,20

The disciples are heading into strong winds and rough seas on the lake. It's getting dark. Things are not looking good when Jesus is seen walking towards them over the water. Into their fear he speaks peace. Suddenly the storm has passed and they have safely reached their destination.

Lake Taupo can turn from a blue glassy surface to a black wave-heaving menace within an hour. People have perished as a result. I sense the disciple's fear.

I often wonder why Jesus performed this miracle. No one was healed from it. No tangible good came from it, except maybe saving a boat load of disciples. Being experienced boatmen, maybe they would have reached shore anyway.

I guess the message I receive two thousand years later is that being co-creator of everything, Jesus is Lord over everything. And being Lord over everything his presence and peace can be found anywhere. I can always call out, Kumbaya my Lord, no matter where I find myself today.

Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya...
Little Flower, please pray for me.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Life or Death

Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.
Jn.3:36

John the Baptist has just affirmed to his questioning disciples Jesus' superiority. "He must become greater; I must become less". He then prophecies what belief and nonbelief in Jesus gives... life or death.

This highlights the urgency of spreading the Good News. It's not just a nice thing to accept, it's a matter of life and death! Do I have this sense of urgency when I look at, say, my colleagues at work? If judgement day were today, some would live, a lot would die.

Lord Jesus, it's hard to spread the Good News of your death and resurrection. Give me inspiration to seize those moments when I can talk about you and be an authentic witness.
Little Flower, please pray for me.