Saint of the Day
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2015-07-16
The more we call on God
"I am free."
Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence.
The Word of God
Reading 1 Ex 3:13-20
Moses, hearing the voice of the LORD from the burning bush, said to him,
Responsorial Psalm PS 105:1 and 5, 8-9, 24-25, 26-27
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Alleluia Mt 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 11:28-30
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Optional Memorial)
The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. (Exodus 3:15)
When you want to stand a few books on a shelf, you use bookends to keep them from toppling over to either side. Well, today's first reading and Gospel are kind of like bookends for our life in Christ. We need both of them to keep us secure and safe.
The first bookend is the way God introduced himself to Moses, by telling him, "I am" (Exodus 3:14). Essentially, he said that he is life itself, embracing and surrounding all creation. As the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he is reminding Moses of all that he has done in gathering them together, giving them an identity as his people, and rescuing them from their enemies. This is a powerful, all-encompassing God who deserves to be worshipped and revered!
The second bookend is the Gospel reading. In it, Jesus, who is God made flesh, invites us to come to him so that he can comfort us and lift our burdens. But why would we go to him and not some other god? Because the first bookend tells us just how powerful he is. Jesus is the "I am," the Alpha and Omega, the One who holds all things together.
Here is the wonder of the gospel message. God is complete in himself, and yet he longs for us to be with him. He is all powerful, yet he became a helpless baby in order to redeem us. He who put the stars in the heavens hears our prayers and comes running to help us.
In the end, we need both bookends. If we focus only on today's Gospel, we'll turn God into an overly indulgent parent who spoils his children. But if we focus only on the first reading, we'll turn him into a remote creator who holds our obedience only because we fear his power. But God wants us to follow him because he loves us, not because we fear him. He wants us to come to him for comfort so that once we are strengthened, we can go out into the world and tell everyone else how awesome and powerful he is.
It is here, between the bookends, that we'll find true rest for our souls.
"Father, you are mighty and merciful. Help me to see you more clearly."
Psalm 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-27
In a class I was "teaching" this week, we brought up our freedom, and how our freedoms are making us slaves. This was the case of the people of God in Egypt. They wanted freedom from something and became slaves. The only one that could save them was our Lord. Rightly so, for the Holy name of Jesus means "He Saves". Things were nice in the beginning in Egypt...and slowly but surely, surrendering to Egyptians became a messing with other gods, and soon slavery came. It is the story of our lives, we give in little by little, we let our faith cool down, and soon, you find yourself further from God, the heat source and light. Our Lord told Moses "I have taken note of them" and has compassion on the abused, the victims...of one's own demise. It is a vicious circle we live in when we can't get out of our sinful habits that bring on serious consequences often. For this, we always, and I mean ALWAYs need a Savior.
The Psalms pray on, "He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations—Which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac." Old Testament-Old Covenant, Old Pact, Old Oath, Old contract, Old Promise of a thousand generations, and these generations are not passed. Realize, we are still in the Covenant which has been renewed, an early renewal contract with Jesus, New Testament, New Covenant, New Pact, New Oath, New contract, New Promise of a thousand generations. Why do we need God? To live an easier life ("my yoke is easy")? Why do we need this covenant? Because without God...we are NOTHING.
With HIM, we are some body. And that "body" is Christ. The part where Jesus comes in is a re-union. That which was united in the beginning is united again through Him. All that separation, once again one with Him. Today, not just in this nation but across the world, slavery has been coming, an oppression. The devil has set out traps and many have fallen. Keep in mind, the devil has more time than your life. We have lost a generation to the whims of the devil. Take note of the oppression. Millions are gone and millions are suffering the loss. Take note, because God takes note. There is justice in Him. There is peace in Him. There is salvation in Him. When Our Master, Our King says today "take my yoke", He is saying stop being a slave to some one, or some thing else, be MINE! You will not go through torments as you are and have been, for His sufferings are better...they are salvation. So if He gives you a cross to bear for Him, keep in mind, He has decided to join you. He has taken note!
As if the story had to end then and now, it won't.
Allow me to translate from spanish a part of a super huge long text message I receive in a group I didn't ask to be on LOL: (watch this)
The Joy of Forgiveness/To Forgive Is To Heal (Part 13)
Anne Schmidt was captured in Czechoslavakia, in the second world war while she was helping wounded soldiers. And she says: Every day the guards gave us a slice of bread. The cooks would add sawdust to the flour and because of it, many got very sick after eating it. When the bread was fresh, it was soft, but after many hours, it was very hard and we would use it to make little beads for rosaries.
There was a guard that was particularly cruel. If he didn't kill at least two people per week, he wasn't happy. To me, he would hit me many times. I prayed to have the grace to forgive him, for I knew, if I did not forgive him, the hatred would poison my soul.
The last time he hit me, I thought he was going to kill me. But, after fainting, the guard took me to the barracks. He visited me every day and would bring me goat milk that the other prisoners would give me by spoonfuls. I was like in a coma for many days. When I came to again, I saw the guard sitting on hay next to me. He asked me: "Who is your boyfriend? Your boyfriend is Jesus? I want to hear you speak about Him."
I realized that God had softened his heart and I began to cry. He came daily to listen to me talk about Jesus. One day he asked: -"Do you believe that your God can love me? Do you believe He can forgive me for all I've done?"
She said "Yes, yes, because you have received the grace to ask for it".
One night in 1946, the guard woke me up in the middle of the night. He gave me a token and made a sign that the bus was outside and told me "Go. Don't say anything; just go."
Later I found out I was in the bus of prisoners that were freed after the war. It was supposed to be another woman in that bus, but God had called her. And the guard had risked his life to give me her token. I never saw him again. "
Did you see the moment of freedom? Was it when she got on that bus? Nope. It was the moment she prayed for her enemies, and Love won. She didn't want the poison of hatred.
You see, it isn't just about being prisoners of war, or slaves of a nation. It is this person inside of us...our soul that matters to God. Had He not taken note of you, this very day, you would not be touched to live for Him, with Him, and through Him. His yoke is not of this world. If you think it is easy to sin, it is much easier to give into Him.
I want that for you and He wants it for you, now the coming generation is on you. The lives you affect are with the degree of light in yours. Let Jesus consume you when you consume Him....afterall He is the New I AM