Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Among his own

Minute Meditations Keep Asking It is often a good thing just to ask in the silent prayer of our hearts for what God wants for us, for how God will g

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Minute Meditations

Keep Asking

It is often a good thing just to ask in the silent prayer of our hearts for what God wants for us, for how God will guide us through the blinding sandstorm of life, for God perhaps to suggest someone to help. No matter if there are no immediate answers. The important thing is to keep asking.
— from Sacred Silence


Daily Prayer - 2016-02-03

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.


Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate my desires
in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.


My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to you,
I find peace and contentment.

The Word of God


Reading 1 2 Sm 24:2, 9-17

King David said to Joab and the leaders of the army who were with him,
"Tour all the tribes in Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba
and register the people, that I may know their number."
Joab then reported to the king the number of people registered:
in Israel, eight hundred thousand men fit for military service;
in Judah, five hundred thousand.

Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people,
and said to the LORD:
"I have sinned grievously in what I have done.
But now, LORD, forgive the guilt of your servant,
for I have been very foolish."
When David rose in the morning,
the LORD had spoken to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying:
"Go and say to David, 'This is what the LORD says:
I offer you three alternatives;
choose one of them, and I will inflict it on you.'"
Gad then went to David to inform him.
He asked: "Do you want a three years' famine to come upon your land,
or to flee from your enemy three months while he pursues you,
or to have a three days' pestilence in your land?
Now consider and decide what I must reply to him who sent me."
David answered Gad: "I am in very serious difficulty.
Let us fall by the hand of God, for he is most merciful;
but let me not fall by the hand of man."
Thus David chose the pestilence.
Now it was the time of the wheat harvest
when the plague broke out among the people.
The LORD then sent a pestilence over Israel
from morning until the time appointed,
and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beer-sheba died.
But when the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it,
the LORD regretted the calamity
and said to the angel causing the destruction among the people,
"Enough now! Stay your hand."
The angel of the LORD was then standing
at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
When David saw the angel who was striking the people,
he said to the LORD: "It is I who have sinned;
it is I, the shepherd, who have done wrong.
But these are sheep; what have they done?
Punish me and my kindred."

Responsorial Psalm PS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (see 5c) Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.

R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.

R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.

R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.

R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place,
accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.


Francois Mauriac wrote in his life of Jesus: 'It is baffling to record that, for a period of thirty years, the Son of Man did not appear to be anything other than a man'. Those who lived with him thought they knew him. He fixed their tables and chairs. They ate and drank with his extended family. When he stepped outside the role they had fixed for him, they put him down as just a workman.
Lord, there are depths in each of us, even those we think we know well, that only you can glimpse. A put-down tells more about the speaker than about the victim. Save me, Lord, from such folly.


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth.
Teach me to have a childlike trust in you.
To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.


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.


Meditation: Mark 6:1-6

Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands? (Mark 6:2)

Have you ever found yourself discounting something that someone said because of her age or background or because you know this person too well to take her seriously? Clearly, this is what happened to Jesus when he visited his hometown of Nazareth.

On one level, it must have felt good to be back home. After traveling so much, he could finally hear familiar voices and see his old friends and family. He must also have felt good when he saw the initial excitement in the eyes of his former neighbors as he preached at the synagogue. From the Gospel reading, you could tell that his audience liked what they heard—at least at first.

But then they remembered his background and his family, and their excitement faded. Who is he to be talking with so much authority? We've known him since he was just a kid. How dare he tell us to repent! They turned off their ears to him and got angry. Jesus was able to do very little to help them.

Perhaps you have been in a similar situation. Someone, maybe a friend or family member, says something convicting to you, and it stings a bit too much. So in order to silence the message, you try to discount the messenger.

Don't let that happen! God likes shaking us up a bit by using familiar or unlikely sources as his messengers. It's one of his most effective ways of getting our attention. In the end, it's all about our hearts, not the people speaking to us. If someone—anyone—says something that strikes at you, put it aside, and pray about it. Separate the message from the messenger, and ask if the message really does apply to you. Remember that God is everywhere and in everyone, even your children, your nosey neighbor, and your best friend.

Today, try to open your ears to those unlikely people who may have a message for you. Welcome God's word, no matter who speaks it. It just may change your life.

"Jesus, help me to see you and hear you in all the people you put in my path today. Bring me closer to your glory through their words and their witness."

2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17
Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7



There had to be a choice made by King David at the end, perhaps even, at the end of his life. They say King David lived 33 years. Jesus lived to 33 years. This predecessor, this ancestor of our Lord Jesus, King David, faced a critical point, especially at the moment of doubt and despair. Once again, he was repenting for what? Doubting. That oh most favorite of favorite seeds the devil has in store and pours abundantly throughout the world to extinguish the light with this weed. Perhaps the evil spirit surrounded David with doubtful men and David fell for it. Who do you surround yourself with? If in doubt...surely it is not the Lord.
Lord, Forgive the wrong I have done. Forgive me for doubting.
Forgive me for doing this wrong of not trusting.
Forgive me for the sin I choose instead of you.
Forgive me this wrong of not really relying on you and calling you a liar, because you say to trust in You and I don't. Forgive me Lord. And the Lord forgives...yet we live a punishment. For this day King David is a saint. This is the severity of our sin, that we must seek forgiveness and pay, or not seek forgiveness and die. And Jesus gives the payment.
Today, our Lord is surrounded with people that supposedly love Him, and they doubt. They doubt what He says, call Him a little crazy, but they still let Him be. Tolerance perhaps is the attitude. We tolerate Jesus, but we don't allow Him to tell us what to do really. We go to Church, but we don't really do what He asks, we can't really hear His message. We do things for one another, but really out of obligation and not for anything else. King David faced the angel of death square on "Take me the shepherd, not the sheep". Jesus faced all these dead people that said they loved Him, and said to the Father "Take Me Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do". And He died on that Holy Site, on top of that mount that Adam died, that Abraham was to offer his only son and that the angel of death was about to destroy the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Today, the message is for you. God died for you.

Do I still dare doubt?
Where is the love of God?
It's your turn as a sheep to love.
It's your turn as a shepherd to die.

sheep JEsus