Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time:

We have heard that a prophet is the one that predicts things in the future. Even though some of the writings attributed to Moses contain references to things in the future, for instance, 'What would happen if Israel became unfaithful?', it doesn't seem that is Moses' main mission with the people of Israel.

What we can say about a prophet that is more accurate, is that what they say about the future is important because their message is very similar to the way God sees things. The intention is not to predict the future, but to show the will of God which is sometimes is not according to our plans.

The way prophets and Moses said things was not just "this is what God wants" it is more "this is what God wants because He loves us". The commandments of God will be just impositions if we do not know about His love for us that frees us, of His tenderness that is powerful and of His wisdom that surpasses ours. 

Moses did a good job showing this to the people of Israel. My brothers and sisters it is our mission to do it in our parish. There are so many people that still think God gives orders and gives commandments as prohibitions only and not in a positive way. We have a loving and caring "God with us" at St. Marks especially through Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Lord, I long to put you first in my life. It is easy to get caught up in daily activities. But you are not just another activity: you are my Lord and my God. I do believe in you, but I know that I need to believe in you more strongly. I do love you, but I must still strive to love you more than I love myself and my plans. I wish to offer you the best of myself right now in this time of conversation with you.

Lord, may I understand that you are the truth. May I love you as Truth-made-incarnate in my heart.

Lord, you know how easily I excuse myself from meeting your demands for my life. I do so even while knowing that when I fulfill them I always discover new strength, hidden energy and untapped resources of love within me. Help me to give myself to you in love, to meet your demands, and to experience the power of grace unleashed within me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 The realities of the readings for our meditation for this article are focused clearly in repentance. First Jonah 3:1-5, 10 “The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying: Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you. So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD'S bidding. 

Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day's walk announcing, Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed, when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out”. And then Mark 1:14-20 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
The message in appearance is different in both but only in the exterior. Jonah is saying: "Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed," and Jesus "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."  These are two sides of the same coin of conversion. 
“Nineveh shall be destroyed” was and is intended to help us to think to where we are heading in our lives? Where are the personal decisions and options in life that I am taking leading me to? “The kingdom of God is at hand” is inviting us to see the alternatives we have rejected.
Jesus announces the Kingdom because our world is in crisis and cannot make it without God. God is Emanuel, God-with us, because men have demonstrated their incapacity to reach God.

REPENT! It is a plea and an order from Jesus, a plea that comes from a Heart that suffers out of love for the world. It is an order because is an act of justice; God deserves our gratitude, worship and over all Love.

Lord, I thank you for this time to be with you. I don’t deserve your close friendship, and yet you offer me the intimacy of your heart. I trust in your goodness and hope in your infinite mercy. I love you and wish to give up anything that would keep me from you.

Lord, give me compunction of heart and the grace of a true conversion.
Jesus, my days are booked up with so much activity and noise that it’s extremely hard for me even to reflect about my need for conversion of heart. Please help me to turn away from my sins and bad habits by turning to you and imitating you. Wash me of my sins, and draw me close to you, Amen.