Posted by: livingscripture | October 22, 2014

Twenty-ninth Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.  This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him.”

 (Ephesians 3: 8-12)         

How should we live this WordJesus eyes

In his humility, St. Paul does not hesitate to declare himself the least of all the holy ones, the last among all those who want to walk in Christ Jesus according to the dictates of the Gospel.  However, because humility is truth, he does not hide that he has received the inestimable grace of knowing and revealing to everyone the marvels of God’s plan, which is of such love, as to save all those who freely adhere to God.

But how does this salvation happen?  Paul makes two things coincide: God’s plan for which ‘He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son,’ and the courage given us to ‘have full confidence’.

We need to be aware of this, especially today when God is deemed distant and inaccessible, almost as though God does not exist.  Nor should we make God a banality and reduce His Mystery to magic, superstition, or fanaticism.  We cannot predicate God’s greatness.

I need to discover more deeply that it was love for me that brought His Son Jesus to give Himself on the Cross.  Because of this, I can have the courage to be in contact with God.  Nor it is merely a question of respect and devotion, but of complete confidence.  This confidence is the source of my deep serenity, or it should be.

 

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask our dear Mother Mary to help me have complete trust in Her Son and in His love for me personally.  I will go to Jesus with utter confidence at every moment and with every detail of my life. 

Lord Jesus, increase my trust in You! 

The voice of Frère Roger di Taizé 

St. Isaac of Nineveh wrote, “God can only give His love”.  It is His love that makes faith accessible.  But what is faith?  Faith is a humble reality, a very humble confidence in God.  If faith should become a spiritual pretension, it would lead nowhere.  Thus we can understand St. Augustine’s intuition, “If you have just the simple desire to know God, you already have faith”.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 21, 2014

Twenty-ninth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

For he is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body.”

 (Ephesians 2: 14-15)        

How should we live this Word High%20Resolution%20Divine%20Mercy[1]

This is one of the most beautiful passages of Paul’s Letters.  It is centered on a very consoling truth, above all in these times when war threatens on every side.  Paul tells us that for believers peace is the divine Person of the Word become human, Christ the Lord.  It is not peace understood as a general and abstract category.  Jesus is truly our Peace, the Peace that we BELIEVE, seeking to live our faith day by day, with the effort to have a continual attitude of reconciliation with God, with ourselves, with every person, with every creature, in Christ Jesus.

The key to open the deep mystery of Christ our Peace is the fact that He, accepting to die on the Cross for love of us, “broke down the wall of enmity” among peoples.  It was like a dividing wall, impossible to take down.  Well, Jesus did just this.  Jesus destroyed opposition to peace with His body, handed over to the Cross for love.  Our Peace is this mystery, this price of infinite love.  Do I believe it?  Do I think about it?

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Our Lady to let this mystery penetrate me and dilate my heart.  During my rapport with my family, friends, co-workers, etc. I will ask Jesus to eliminate any sentiments of animosity that may be stirring in my heart.  I will quickly drop all that divides me from others.

Lord Jesus, I trust in You.  You are my Peace!

The voice of Pope Saint John Paul II

Peace cannot reign among us if it does not first reign in the heart of each one.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 20, 2014

Twenty-ninth Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”

 (Ephesians 2, 4-5)             

How should we live this Word healing_of_the_blind_man_jekel_t[1]

We must never stop breathing these words in our heart!  These are not rhetorical consolations for depressed people.  On the contrary, they represent the power of the conquering truth of our life as Christians in a world that is ever more marked by materialism and a notion of self-fulfillment that presumes to save self and the world without God and thus destroy it.

The knowledge and certainty of the truth that we are saved by God’s gratuitous love, places us in a state of truth and of peace.  Paul says, “We are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good work that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”  Here is the dilemma: is it faith or good works that count?”  They are united in this basic certainty: it is faith in the great love with which God has loved us that is the source of our serenity, of our journeying humbly and committed, on the road of good works that make us like Christ.  We are continually saved through Him as we do good and not by any merit of ours.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will let Paul’s consoling words penetrate me and also those of Jesus, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”  Nor does it depend on the good works we think we have done with our strength alone.  My life is in God’s hands and comes from the great love He has for me and that saves me if I trust in Him.  He makes my faith operative in charity in my daily life. 

Lord, make me more aware that attachment to persons and things, wanting to possess them for myself is greed.  This sends the ship of my life to ruin and far from the shores of freedom and peace. 

The voice of Pope Francis 

God never tires of forgiving.  We are the ones who tire of asking Him for His mercy.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 19, 2014

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.”

 (2 Thessalonians 1, 2-3)   

How should we live this Word image029- circle of friends

The words that Paul addresses to the faithful of the city of Thessalonica are intense, simple, and at the same time, filled with the paternal tenderness with which God pours out His omnipotent love that purifies and strengthens our natural tendency to love.  The tone is affectionately paternal but does not fall into sentimentality or empty rhetoric.

The entire passage shows the total immersion of the writer in Jesus Christ Love.  It opens with a lively sense of gratitude to God for all the recipients of the letter.  The Apostle’s gratitude is united to his remembrance of all the dear persons, for whom he is always praying.  What is fascinating is the glance of Paul’s soul on those who are the object of his love.

His glance is positive, full of encouragement in the awareness of the reality of those who have been conquered by the Gospel of Christ, and who do not live a disincarnated existence but face to face with daily problems.  This is why Paul praises their faith, which is authentic because it is active and therefore real in the practice of the queen of virtues, charity.  This is difficult.  Paul stresses faith and charity.  Hope has not been forgotten but is present in courageous firmness.

These are the three virtues that are basic for our Christian life.  A French author considers them like three beautiful children who run along happily, holding each other’s hand.  The one in the middle is Hope.  Though the smallest one, it pulls the other two with gusto into God’s beautiful sun.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will run along happily in the company of Faith, Hope, and Charity in God’s lovely Son! 

Lord, give me a positive attitude, illumined by Faith, Hope, and Charity.  Grant me joy of heart to share with all I meet. 

The voice of Bob Dylan, Famous Musician

 

Being young means keeping open the porthole of hope, even when the sea is bad and the sky is tired of being blue.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 18, 2014

SAINT LUKE EVANGELIST

From the Word of the Day

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me.  May it not be held against them!  But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.”

 (2 Timothy 4, 16-17)         

 

How should we live this Word apostel_paul2

St. Paul writes to his disciple Timothy who is also his companion in the mission of evangelization.  The tone is affectionate but intertwined with sadness because Paul does not refrain from showing what has caused him suffering.  He had been abandoned by everyone!  In the moment that he is suffering betrayal and calumny, his solitude assails him.  It is like a death of the heart.

We too must persuade ourselves that witnessing to Christ in our life is not assurance against the possibility of what life can suddenly present to us.  In Paul’s case, the situation is really dramatic.  Not even his closest friends took up his defense at a crucial moment in the court.  This total delusion and inescapable solitude are an immersion in death.

Thankfully, we are not always assailed by such tragic situations.  However, life is not made up only of consoling circumstances.  In addition, although there are successful marriages and beautiful friendships, we are all aware of the solitude that exists together with our thirst for the infinite and is like an open wound.  Then, when it is a question of betrayals and abandonment, solitude presents two choices, that of desperation and that of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

It is the choice of Christian certainty that gives us the strength to forgive those who have harmed us.  This is the choice that renders life more beautiful and precious.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will relish the solitude that brings me closer to Jesus.

Lord Jesus, You put the demons to flight with the ‘finger of God’.  Use Your power in me against discouragement and the dark forces that sometime inhabit me.  Make me courageous, daring, serenely disposed to forgive, and to persevere in love. 

The voice of St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles 

To the One who can do much more and way beyond what we ask and think through His power working in us to His glory!

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 17, 2014

Twenty-eighth Friday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 (Ephesians 1, 12-14)        

How should we live this Word 053107_lead_tbg[1]

It is not too daring to interpret the seal of the Holy Spirit as the seal and guarantee regarding what the Lord came to reveal and promise for our salvation.  So too, can we perceive it as the retainer of what we inherit, already here and now, while we live the expected time.

Yes, we are awaiting the full realization of our salvation, living entirely redeemed from sin, while we become conscious of our very noble identity.  In fact, we are people whom God, through the mystery of Jesus Crucified and Risen, not only has freed from evil, but has made worthy to be the living praise of His glory.

You may honestly seek guarantees to live well here, but above all, deeply console yourself by praying to the Holy Spirit to keep Faith alive in you in order to live the teachings of Jesus and hope with perseverance for the inheritance of pure happiness in the tomorrow of eternity.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask the Lord to fix my eyes on Him and on the eternal happiness He promises me.

 

Lord, illumine my days with Your Word.  Grant me the seal of Your Spirit that gives authenticity to my will to live a good life and that is the ‘deposit’ for the eternal joy to come!

The voice of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr 

Those who possess the love of Christ Jesus cannot hate.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 16, 2014

Twenty-eighth Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Woe to you, scholars of the law!  You have taken away the key of knowledge.  You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”

 (Luke 11, 52)      

How should we live this Word JC King

‘The key of knowledge’ is a very strong metaphor used by Jesus.  ‘Knowledge’ is not a small thing, above all in things regarding God and His rapport with us.  The key needs a keyhole that is not rusted into which the key fits easily.

We can understand the metaphor in this way.  The subject of God and all that regards Him is strictly in function of His identity as Love.  It is evident that the key of knowledge of God, of His attributes, of His justice, and His infinite mercy belongs only to those who know how to love; to those who exercise their capacity to know only in function of the love that comes from God and leads to God.

This is not the moment to involve ourselves in distinguishing rational and scientific knowledge that progresses continually today.  We rejoice in this and are happy to use its consequences for the good of all.  However, in the depths of our heart we yearn for the knowledge of God that Bible reading, guided by the Church, can give us if we are furnished with this key of which Jesus speaks.  It is not an iron key but a key of humble, patient love.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I shall ask Jesus for this Key that opens me to a deeper knowledge of Him and His Word. 

Lord Jesus, grant me a simple heart that assiduously seeks Your truth, a seeking that is filled with humility, perseverance, and ardent love.

The voice of Bruno Forte, Archbishop and Bible Scholar 

The Church is not born from a convergence of human interests or from the zeal of a generous heart.  It is a gift from on high, the fruit of divine initiative.  To say that the Church is the people of God is not just an expression for me, an abstract definition.  It is the humble confession that it is she who made me meet the living God, origin, meaning, and country of my life.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 15, 2014

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA

From the Word of the Day

Woe to you, Pharisees!  You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.”

 (Luke 11, 42)       

How should we live this Word Teresa

It was a common practice of the time to pay tax on the well-controlled sale of certain herbs useful to health and it was unlawful to avoid it.  However, the Scribes, Scholars of the Law, and the Pharisees, in conceding to convenience and various interests, had reached the point of giving great importance to these things while being very permissive concerning justice and love of God (charity).  Jesus takes a decisive position and leaves aside any fear of possible consequences.

We can picture Him in his white, seamless tunic, with the sun upon Him and His glance that pierces the soul, not to harm it, but to remove sin!

Today, if we are not vigilant over our intentions and choices, if we let ourselves adhere to egoistical pleasures and aims and give much importance to things of little account, we too may be closing our eyes on the absolute duty of justice and of the love of God.  Then we will be against Him, outside His plan of salvation for everyone.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on what is important in my life and ask Jesus to help me rectify my course if I have deviated from the duties of justice and from the primacy of loving Him. 

Lord Jesus, free me from the subtle, silent, and invasive evil that is so dangerous and pharisaical.  Make me just in heart and in the practice of life.  Let my justice dilate into the daily practice of charity. 

The voice of St. Teresa of Avila, Carmelite and Doctor of the Church 

I knew very well that I had a soul, but I did not understand its value, nor who inhabited it because the vanity of life had blinded my eyes so that I could not see.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 14, 2014

Twenty-eighth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

 (Galatians 5, 6) 

How should we live this Word community

The great secret of the true Christian is living in Christ.  This means not losing ourselves in past supports that were perhaps helpful, but rather decisively choosing a life of faith.  At the time of St. Paul, there were many people who had been converted from Judaism and still considered the practice of circumcision important.  This rite inserted the baby boy into the religious world of Israel.

Today, something like this may occur.  We may over value little devotional practices instead of deepening the practice of true faith.  It is precisely when ‘faith works through love’, that it is authentic.  Instead, when faith is merely wordy dissertations or a practice infiltrated by superstitious attitudes, then we must change course and learn the Gospel and live it daily with God’s help.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will review my faith life and ask Jesus to help me rid myself of all pietistic practices that impede a living faith in Him. 

Lord Jesus, give me a simple heart illumined by the Holy Spirit so that my faith may become the evident witness of my adherence to You with all my heart.  Grant me the courage of always being charitable toward everyone, beginning with those who live with me, under my roof. 

The voice of William of Saint-Thierry, Mystic Author of the 12th Century 

Illumined by grace, love vivifies reason and the practice of life.  It is reason that clarifies the practice of a lived love.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 13, 2014

Twenty-eighth Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

 (Galatians 5, 1) 

 

How should we live this Word jcheart

Here St. Paul focuses on a powerful summary of the Christian faith.  It should be said right away that these words are a light that devours the darkness of many mistaken interpretations of the Gospel.  We can define ourselves as human beings only if we are truly free.  Otherwise, we are closely akin to animals.  However, the concept of freedom must be always renewed.  It is not freedom from all duties and all laws, but doing what must be done, even if unpleasant, because in this way we contribute to our true good and that of everyone else.

Jesus is the true Liberator of humanity.  Basing His life and His teachings on love of God and love of neighbor, He freed us from slavery, that of sin and also that of a life weighed down by too many moralistic minutiae and heavy practices that are no longer appropriate for today.

Paul invites us to remain firm on the strong and fruitful land of freedom, that of the children of God and never fall into religious fanaticism lacking the breath of life.  Therefore, we must not enslave ourselves to religious practices that are heavy and ponderous and impede our heart from breathing in Jesus Christ.  We are to soar in the heavens of what He teaches us in the Word of God and what faithful Tradition gives us even today.  In this way our life is continually finalized to what really counts, learning to love with the freedom of God’s children.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will breathe in the fresh air of God’s love, asking him to help me live as His dear child.

Love is the fruit of freedom.  Lord, You free me from egoism in the measure that I listen to Your Word every day.  Transform my life, Lord. 

The voice of Gustave Thibon, French Philosopher and Author 

By wanting to put freedom where it is not, we destroy freedom where God has placed it.  If we do not accept being relatively free, we will be absolute slaves.

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