Saturday, July 30, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sunday Gospel Reflection, July 31, 2016: Rich in what matters to God...

   Even in Old Testament times, it seems, humankind struggled to discern what was of value in life.  The Book of Ecclesiastes, situated within the tradition of wisdom literature, exhorts readers to avoid the emptiness of excessive labor and the anxiety such overworking can cause in order to prevent the sin of vanity:  For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun?  It is God, not the idol of work, that should occupy the human mind; without God, Psalm 90 reminds us, human life is a transitory and pitiable mess:  Return, O Lord! the psalmist sings. His request for a renewed relationship with God includes an acknowledgement of the fallibility of human judgment:  Teach us to number our days aright, he asks the Lord, so that his community might best appreciate the fullness of covenant with God:  Prosper the work of our hands!

   In Luke's Gospel, Jesus likewise encourages the crowds to focus on God rather than on the transitory, material possessions of this world.  His parable of the rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest, only to lose his life before he could make use of it, underscores the idea that worldly treasure is nothing when compared to the riches that matter to God.  Similarly, Paul encourages the Colossians to think of what is above, not of what is on earth, for their lives are hidden with Christ in God.  In baptism, they have put on the new self, in the image of its creator; it is a life in God, with God, that allows us to embrace holy indifference to the material rather than the vanity of property of which Qoheleth speaks.  Ultimately, it is our commitment to God’s creation as stewards, rather than as possessive masters, that will make us rich in what matters to God, and that will allow us truly to appreciate God’s kindness and gracious care. 

This post is based on OLMC's Scripture class.
Image source:  Wordle

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Faith in the power of prayer (James Corden)

   Have you ever felt the power of the prayers other people have offered on your behalf?  Such petitions can be life-changing, especially when they come from those you love...  

   Many of you will recognize James Corden, the current host of The Late Late Show with James Corden and creator of many hilarious Carpool Karaoke videos with guests like Stevie Wonder, Carrie Underwood, and even (just this week!) FLOTUS Michelle Obama.  Corden seems to have everything going for him… but this was not always the case.  In 2012, Corden told the story of the importance of prayer in his life at a time when he was despondent, a time when his parents’ visit – and faith in the power of God – changed his life:

   I started to cry. Just as you do when your dad hugs you and you are 30.  My mum came over and joined us and we sat there.  My dad said, I’m going to say a prayer for you.  It will be all right, but you can’t carry on like this and only you can decide what happens know. 

  Corden then said, Every tear that left my eyes made me feel a little lighter.  Dad said a prayer as he kissed my forehead, and Mum came over and joined the hug.  I’ve no idea how long we stayed there, but it felt like a lifetime.  When they left later on, Dad turned to me and said, You’ve so much to be thankful for, James.

   His parents’ prayers were the catalyst for a new existence for James Corden.  You can read the full story of this life-changing moment by clicking here.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Just be honest with God (Fr. James Martin)

   Don’t worry about how you should pray. 
Don’t should all over yourself, 
especially when it comes to the spiritual life. 
First, breathe.   
            And imagine God with you. 
Then just be honest with God. 
Tell God about your life. 
Maybe look back over the day, 
and see if you can find God. 
Or just sit and let God listen to you. 
And love you. 
--Fr. James Martin, Evening Prayer, 
posted on Facebook, September 4, 2013

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I pray because... (C. S. Lewis)

   I pray because I can’t help myself.  I pray because I’m helpless.  I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping.  It does not change God – it changes me.   
--Attributed to  
C.S. Lewis 
in Shadowlands 

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