|Come In, Lord |
Divine Master, we love your stories. We hear them year after year and do not tire of them. We are often too anxious to be thrilled by religion, to get an emotional kick. We know we should become the good ground in which your love and forgiveness can take root. Here's the key to our hearts: Open the door and come in.
St. Margaret of Cortona
Margaret was born of farming parents in Laviano, Tuscany. Her mother died when Margaret was seven; life with her stepmother was so difficult that Margaret moved out. For nine years she lived with Arsenio, though they were not married, and she bore him a son. In those years, she had doubts about her situation. Somewhat like St. Augustine she prayed for purity—but not just yet.
One day she was waiting for Arsenio and was instead met by his dog. The animal led Margaret into the forest where she found Arsenio murdered. This crime shocked Margaret into a life of penance. She and her son returned to Laviano, where she was not well received by her stepmother. They then went to Cortona, where her son eventually became a friar.
In 1277, three years after her conversion, Margaret became a Franciscan tertiary. Under the direction of her confessor, who sometimes had to order her to moderate her self-denial, she pursued a life of prayer and penance at Cortona. There she established a hospital and founded a congregation of tertiary sisters. The poor and humble Margaret was, like Francis, devoted to the Eucharist and to the passion of Jesus. These devotions fueled her great charity and drew sinners to her for advice and inspiration. She was canonized in 1728.
"Let us raise ourselves from our fall and not give up hope as long as we free ourselves from sin. Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. 'O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!' (Psalm 95:6). The Word calls us to repentance, crying out: 'Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28). There is, then, a way to salvation if we are willing to follow it" (Letter of Saint Basil the Great).
Saint of the DayLives, Lessons and FeastBy Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of Your presence
"I am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.
ConsciousnessIn God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment. I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude. I attend to the shadows and what they say to me, seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.
The Word of God
When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."
R. (7bc) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
"I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain."
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, "You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you."
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
"Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish."
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
4th Week of Easter
Do not let your hearts be troubled... . In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. (John 14:1, 2)
How easy it can be to let our hearts be "troubled"! In the current economic climate, in this era of high unemployment, in this time of wars and heightened tensions, many things can concern us. But in the midst of it all, Jesus tells us to have faith in him and not to let all the bad news overshadow our joy and our trust in him.
In this passage, Jesus also tells us that he has "many dwelling places" in his heavenly home (John 14:2). He isn't speaking literally, as if each of us will receive a gleaming new mansion the moment we enter heaven. Rather, he is telling us that no matter where we find ourselves, we have a place with him. We have a home waiting for us, a place where we will be safe, happy, and at peace. Just as a child feels great security in his father's house and under his father's gaze, we can be secure knowing that our heavenly Father has a place reserved for us. What's more, we can be secure knowing that we are under his gaze right here and right now.
That's right. You don't have to wait for heaven to find your place in God's home. You can bring your burdens and your concerns to him at any time and know his presence and his help. Any place where you are can become a "dwelling place" where you can meet the Lord and know his peace. It doesn't have to be your church or the confessional. It can be your bedroom, your workplace, even your kitchen sink! It can be anywhere because Jesus is always with you, and he loves it when you seek his presence.
Try taking a few breaks during your day today and coming into Jesus' presence. Picture yourself entering the most comfortable room you can imagine and sitting in a huge, soft chair. Imagine Jesus sitting right across from you. Picture the look in his eyes as you talk about your day. Listen to him, and let him show you that you don't have to be troubled, no matter what is happening!
"Thank you, Jesus, for your promise of a heavenly home. Help me to put my trust in you today."
Acts 13:26-33; Psalm 2:6-11
Allow me to translate today's spanish reflection 5minutos from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico:
"They say one time a man travelling on the ocean and his boat sunk, he was left drifting for several days before miraculously being found by a fishing boat. Upon recovering from his bad condition, he recounted the worst mistake he had done. Upon feeling the desperate thirst, he drank salted water, and by the salt contained, far from being quenched, he felt more thirst introducing more salt and sand in his body that dehydrated more. Many times when we feel thirst for love, affection, comprehension, truth or attention, we seek it in things that far from quenching, leave us worse than before. And so, the solitary takes refuge in another more solitary; the lack of love seeks it in pleasures and unrestrained life; the non-understood goes and seeks refuge in vices and bad character to get attention. It is now time that you stop filling kyour body with salted water. "Jesus is our way", means taking options in our life that Jesus took. That is to say: work like Him, live a life like His, let ourselves be moved by a love like His. We seek constantly to quench our thirst for happiness in things, in people, in situations, that far from satisfying, are created a greater void, only Jesus alive is the answer to our greatest needs. There is nothing that you are living, suffering, going through, that He does not understand and can transform. The only one that can quench is your friend and creator Jesus. Take the test, it doesn't cost anything, and you will have Him, your Lord, and Savior!"
I really enjoy reading the reflections, they speak volumes because Scripture alone, one verse could take all day to digest. What's more, many things that came to mind have been said by Word Among Us and the spanish reflection. I ask that you always read everything above because this is the last, not meant to be first. With that being said, I share my faith daily (weekdays) while I can with a computer more accessible. Yesterday our work file got messed up, I tried for hours to fix it with customer service and an IT guy on hand and myself whom is kind of knowledgeable, humpty dumpty though didn't want to work. Everyone left the office, alone, by the server computer, I finally hung my head low and said "OK, Lord, I need help". It's almost as if I didn't want to ask for help for some strange reason, like something keeps you from reaching out to Him. What that is could be many things, some mixed up with bad things you believe could be holding you. The customer service team said to send them the file and give them about 4 or 5 days, or give them an extra $700 and they would "expedite" service to 36 hours. LOL, expedited huh? So, with a solid prayer, it's as if we just knew things would be OK. That was yesterday evening, and this morning the file was in my inbox ready to go. The prayer was heard. That sigh that said "I give up trying to do it on my own" was heard in Heaven. I say this for you though. I want you to test like the reflection said to test. I wante you to taste is the test. I want you to know, that you can not do it on your own. I want you to know, that restraining and doing things orderly, HIS WAY is the way to go. Go where? LOL. That's the same question the Apostle Thomas asked today. Where is the Lord and where is He going? Notice that our Lord didn't say directly where He was going, but notice what He DID say "No one comes to the Father except through me". That's where He is going and leading us to go. One of the scriptures often read is today's Holy Gospel where it speaks of our Lord preparing a place for us. That's if we are preparing a place for Him in our hearts. Think about what place you are making for Him in your life. Is it a small room in the corner? Or is it right front and center? Or is it just here and there? Or is it outside? The Word has to go from the outside in. That's why the first thing we read today said to our Lord "here is the key (to the heart), open the door and come in. If you haven't got the message this week, Jesus is proposing a life for you like no other. He is at the door more than a salesman, more than a family member, more than a friend, more than a brother. He is here for you, having already prepared a place for you. When I hung my head low and prayed for help, (my eyes fill with tears), Jesus was already there...at the door. The perplexing thing is the question, "how can someOne love that much?". Just how in the world is it possible? For us, things seem impossible, but for Him, with Him, and through Him...the impossible is not in the vocabulary.
Dear Lord, I'm sorry the place I've made for you in my home, my heart isn't what it should be. I want you to light up every room and corner with your loving light and grace. Show us the Way for all to see