Thursday, June 25, 2015
At the beginning of his letter to the Galatians St. Paul swears that he received the Good News directly in a vision of the Risen Christ and began immediately to preach it. Purely by God's grace he was changed from a persecutor of Christians to a powerful preacher of the Gospel (1:11-20.)
I think of how much more gradually and through many intermediaries God called me to preach the Gospel. I too had done nothing to earn the calling.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The evening after the longest day.
Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?"
Each time Peter replied, "Lord, you know I love you?"
Jesus three times, "Then shepherd my sheep."
Leadership among the followers of Jesus grows out of love.
He asks us also, "Do you love me?"
Monday, June 22, 2015
I sat on the deck for several hours last evening reading and watching the sun move toward the horizon on the longest day of the year. As I lost myself in the Beauty and warmth of the sun, it became easy to understand how ancient peoples worshiped it and built places like Stonehenge and Newgrange to follow the sun. I felt God's presence. One of my nephews called, intensifying the awareness of God's presence and Love. We talked until the sun sank out of sight.
The color didn't begin until the sun had disappeared. I grabbed my camera and took lots of pictures. I think this was the best.
Friday, June 19, 2015
"Do you not yet have faith?" Jesus asks us, as he asked the disciples, when we are feeling hopeless in the face of disasters of nature and of human devising, or in the face of personal troubles.
We doubt even when we hear Jesus give a command to the sea as someone might give a command to a dog. Literally translated the Greek has Jesus saying, "Quiet! Be muzzled!"
Hearing that even the wind and the sea obey him inspires us to put ourselves entirely in the hands of Jesus, confident that he is always with us and can save us from whatever evil threatens to destroy us.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
The sanctuary of Canterbury Cathedral where St. Thomas Becket was martyred.
If the sacrifice of animals made people right with God, how much more so does the sacrifice of Christ. By his death on the cross Christ entered once for all into the sanctuary of God's presence with his own blood (Hebrews 9:11-14.) His sacrifice is perfect. It, therefore, does not need to be repeated. It benefits every human being who ever lived from the beginning of time to the end.
Christ makes this perfect sacrifice of his own blood available to us in the wine of the Eucharist and invites us to drink.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The blood of sacrifice is a symbol of life that is given to God. Moses seals the covenant (agreement) between God and the Israelites by pouring half the blood of sacrificed bulls on an altar, a symbol of God, and sprinkling the other half on the people. He says, "This is the blood of the covenant" (Exodus 24:3-8.)
At the Last Supper, as the disciples drank from the cup that Jesus had given them, he said "This is my Blood of the Covenant." (Mark 14:22-26) On the Cross Jesus sealed the agreement between God and us by shedding his blood. He makes that sacrifice available to us in the Eucharist.
I want to pay more attention to what I'm doing when I drink from the Cup at Mass. Maybe you do too.
Monday, June 1, 2015
It happened yesterday after I had been swimming a bit and just lying around in the Lake. A friend was swimming, another lying on a tube in the water, another sitting in a lawn chair reading her book. I got out of the water and was sitting on the dock with the sun on my back. Suddenly there's God! A moment of beauty, everything in its place, harmony, contentment, deep peace, bliss.