It’s more than because of what Jesus did that we are saved, but because of who he is. Who he is makes what he did significant.
The very first thing that Peter said to the crowds on the day of Pentecost was that Jesus, that man who had recently been crucified, is Lord and Messiah, and so he rose from the dead. He was proclaiming above all who Jesus is, going on to say that we should “repent and be baptized”.
This is because Jesus is more than just a man; therefore we can and should be united with him through baptism. St John writes to us: “God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God” (1 John:15).
And in today’s Gospel (again St John) we find Jesus saying to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live…Do you believe this?”. Martha so admirably says: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
How awesome! Our faith is in more than an event, it’s in a person! And indeed a Trinitarian Person!
Happy Feast of St Martha
Through Him, With Him, In Him
I am learning more and more that you can not judge people by appearances, in many ways.
The person with the brightest, most pure soul may be hiding behind her tattoos and dirty clothes, and behind his smile and smooth words might be nothing but malicious intent.
“Appearances can be deceiving” is the most well known avenue of how we can misjudge someone. But I have discovered other ways which I commonly make this mistake.
- Blinded by jealousy.
Some of my closest friends were once girls I despised. I disliked them because they were like me, or because they had a talent I didn’t, or caught the attention of guys instead of me. But when I went out of my way to get to know them, I found that they were lovely, beautiful girls who I formed a close friendship with. I was surprised to find that these girls had been just as jealous of me for the same reasons I was of them!
Sometimes we need to, as much as it perhaps pains us, go out of our way to approach the people we envy and get to know them. Then we can start to appreciate them and their talents instead.
- The biggest smile can hide the biggest sadness.
It has taken me a long time to realize that I am not the only one with a cross to bear, and mine is not the heaviest out of everyone. I am surrounded by people with painful stories and lives of hardship – my own trials are insignificant in comparison.
Our biggest mistake is our obsession with talking about our problems. Talk about your joys instead.
We forget too easily in the midst of our own suffering, that those around us will always need compassion and love. Without fail, there will be something going on in their life that is significant to them.
I encourage you to ask those around you whether they need prayer for something. A listening ear, a silent hug. Sometimes a smile from a stranger on the street is all I need to improve my day.
Perhaps you could do one, some, all or more of the following to make sure the people around you feel uplifted and supported:
- Write them a letter
- Give someone a random hug
- Ask someone you haven’t seen in a while out for a coffee
- Pay forward a coffee next time you buy one
- Leave a note on their computer desktop, in their diary or on their pillow to find
- Offer to pray for them or with them
- Send a text with an encouraging verse or affirmation
- Buy someone flowers
- Call or go see a grandparent
- Secretly top up someone’s phone
There are hundreds of possibilities! I came across this website which had some unique ideas: Random Acts of Kindness
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is good to read the readings before we go to mass, so that we can enter more deeply when we hear them proclaimed. Often the second time hearing God’s Word, we hear and see much more.
This website has the readings from the Jerusalem bible, which is the prescribed translation for Mass in New Zealand.
Solomon realizes the huge task entrusted to him as King, and rightly asks God to give him a heart which can discern between good and evil. The wisdom that Solomon is granted is one that demands he remain poor in his own understanding so that he can rely fully on God. It is this poverty with which he asked God, his realization that he can do nothing without Him, that God responds so quickly to, giving him just what he asked for. In the Gospel Jesus gives us three examples of the kingdom of Heaven… treasure, a merchant and a dragnet. Jesus is all three of these. He is the treasure hidden in the tomb, hidden in suffering on the cross and hidden in Mary’s heart. He is the merchant who sells everything he has for us so that he can buy us for His Father and he is the dragnet who gathers us all into his own life. And yet do we understand this? Do we realize the gift that Christ has given us? The wisdom that God offers us (like he did to Solomon) is the wisdom of the cross, which is folly for unbelievers, but to us who are being saved it is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:18). Jesus asks us to sell everything, that is to give to Him in prayer complete power to do what he will, not asking for those things we would like, but accepting to be led and therefore accepting to not always know the way. Jesus says: “have you understood all this?”… If we are honest we will say “no, but please help me to”.
Mary please teach us how to receive your Son.
“We often chase darkness around our lives as if it were a something. We try to chip away at it like it’s a boulder. But it’s not a boulder, it’s a hole. And chipping away at holes is no way to get rid of them.
Instead, think of the sin and darkness in your life as a hole – something to be filled up, not forced out.
If you are tempted at something sinful, don’t just wrestle with the temptation, but befriend its replacement. Fall in love with the light that fills that dark hole in your life.“
Matthew Warner – Catholic entrepreneur
Read the full post here, and check out the website Radical Life by Matthew Warner.
When we walk without the cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops. priests, cardinals, but not disciples of the Lord – Pope Francis, homily in his first Mass at Pope.
What is true humility? Because at times I find myself thinking so much of myself in more ways than one, and I find myself looking more at what I should try to achieve for myself rather than aiming to love Our Father. C.S. Lewis defined humility as not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Of course this might mean the necessary “I must put others before myself” but does it also mean that I should be willing to focus all my sight on Christ, and in turn forget about myself. My deepest fear is that I might exert a sort of false humility, that shows the world how humble I think I am in my strive for holiness, but rather exalts who I think I am and does the complete opposite.
I have a cousin with a deeply humble heart. He has all the talent in the world, yet he remains honest and never speaks of himself. He has become content with how Christ sees Him, and this is enough. His questions are always to others, his love is in searching for the good in the other. In all his humility, I know that there is a strong fire and passion that feeds this humble man. He is secure in something not his own. We know that even Christ himself had a humility fueled by passion. Often I think of Jesus as a quiet, peaceful man who passively accepted death on a cross, and then look to see that he hopes to set the world on fire (Luke 12:49) or that he passionately made a scene turning over tables at the Temple (John 2:13-22). It becomes a little clearer when we see that this passion that led him to be so bold in life was the same fire in his heart that led him to humbly give his body to us in torture and death on the cross, and so to us in utterly selfless and humble love in the Eucharist.
I’ve never really taken a few large quotes and dumped it on my post, however, I feel it rightful to do so in this instance, as we look to others for wisdom inspired by Christ, and lean not on our own understanding. If you haven’t read G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, I challenge you to do so. He is wildly and wonderfully in tune with the Truth. A few excerpts to ponder;
What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert–himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt – the Divine Reason. . . . The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. . . . There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it’s practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. . . . The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.” G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy [Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1957], pp. 31-32
In Christ, through Mary,
The true presence of Our Lord in the blessed sacrament, it is true. Truth. Him in the fullest sense of the meaning. Here is one wee point that backs it up a bit…
I have been told by non catholic Christians that the breaking of the bread at the last supper- Eucharist in the mass- is just a symbol, a way to remember our Lord. But I disagree. His words are so clear.
‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you will not have life in you.’ John 6:53
‘For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.’ John 6:55
So Jesus gives this teaching. Heavy. Flip heavy as. Now I suggest to you that if Jesus was saying that we need to symbolically/metaphorically eat His flesh than yea it’s still a bit weird but it’s not that hard to receive as a teaching. But if he TRUELY meant ‘eat my flesh’, than yes, this is a ridiculously hard teaching to take. The only time in the gospels where disciples left Jesus because of a teaching is at this point.
‘After this, many of His disciples left Him and stopped going with Him.’ John 6:66 -take note of the reference number, also the only reference in the whole bible that is 666-commonly known as the devils number.
It is a huge call to walk away. The disciples had given everything they had to follow Jesus- land, animals, money, even left their family’s. So at this teaching they stop following Jesus, even though they have nothing to return to. Big call.
So I encourage you not to take His teaching on eating His flesh lightly. Ponder it. None of his followers took it lightly, they were either all in or all out. No fence sitters.
I pray you will take the heart and mind of St. Peter as his reply was….
‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy one of God.’ John 6:68
That’s a proclamation of the truth.
Bless The Lord oh my soul
Ever wanted to pray but haven’t been able to find the words? Mother Church is here to help! The Divine Office or Prayer of the Church is prayed by Catholics everywhere, and especially in religious communities. It is prayed using the psalms, scripture and other prayers seven times each day. And it’s awesomely ancient (like St Benedict in the 6th Century ancient)!
Anyone can pray it, have a go today! (PS you don’t have to pray all seven hours of course)
Check out www.universalis.com or divineoffice.org where the office is available online