Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sunday Gospel Reflection, April 2, 2017: Whoever believes in me, even though he die, will live...

Do you believe God can lift you to life? 

   When we’re broken, it’s sometimes hard to imagine that God can make us whole again.  Yet, as Psalm 130 reminds us, God’s sole focus is on forgiveness and redemption, on healing that which is broken – and our faith stories tell us that God is not interested in breaking anything further.  The prophet Ezekiel is chosen by God to call the people of Israel – languishing in exile – back to life as they once had known it:  I will open your graves and have you rise from them… I will put my spirit in you that you may live, God says. It is a promise to lift the people from the death-like state of exile through the bond of covenant, a bond that will tie them once again to their God, making them whole, restoring them to life.

   When Jesus sets Lazarus free from the bonds of death in John’s Gospel, he simultaneously urges all those who are watching to loose the knots in their own hearts that have consigned Lazarus to that death:  Untie him, and let him go, Jesus says  For they too must move with Jesus through death to life.  Likewise, it is Jesus’ death and resurrection that make it possible for him to lift us from the depths of sin and despair to life in the Spirit.  But we must, like Martha, profess our belief in Jesus’ power to do so:  everyone who lives and believes in me will never die, Jesus tells her. 

   Our lives are a constant journey with Jesus, moving through his Passion, from death to life, drawing ever closer to our own life in him.  If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, Paul tells the Roman community, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you.  Do we believe God is able to lift us to life?  If we are open to the power of the Spirit of God in our lives, we should have no doubts:  Jesus is the resurrection and the life – the God who lifts us from our brokenness, making us whole, lifting us to life in Christ.

This post is based on Fr. Pat’s Scripture class.
Image source:  Wordle

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I can see You now (Hillsong)

  All these pieces 
Broken and scattered 
In mercy gathered 
Mended and whole 
Empty handed 
But not forsaken 
I’ve been set free 
I’ve been set free 

Amazing grace 
How sweet the sound 
That saved a wretch like me 
I once was lost 
But now I’m found 
Was blind but now I see  

Oh I can see You now 
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes 
Laying yourself down 
Raising up the broken to life 
You take our failure 
You take our weakness 
You set Your treasure 
In jars of clay 
So take this heart, Lord 
I’ll be Your vessel 
The world to see 
Your life in me 


Oh I can see You now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life


Oh I can see You now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down

Raising up the broken to life

To hear Broken Vessels performed by Hillsong, 
click on the video below:

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Pool of Siloam (James Trower Bullock)

  Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. 
 --John ix.7  
 O Lord, my Saviour, deign to give 
   Thy saving help to me; 
That every moment spared to live, 
   I may come nearer Thee: 
Grant me thy truth and fadeless light 
To guide my steps from sin and night. 
As he, to darkness born, was sent 
   To pure Siloam’s fount, 
May I be led obedient 
   To Zion’s holy mount; 
Led on by faith and duty there 
To bless thy mercy, love, and care. 
To praise thy name that Thou hast shown 
   The Gospel light to me; 
In darkness born, a sinful one, 
   Too vile to look on Thee. 
To pray that in this world of strife, 
                         I may discern the way to life. 
That way which Thou alone, O Lord! 
   Hast purchased with thy blood, 
For all who will fulfil thy word, 
   And live in purpose good. 
Oh!  grant that with such light I may 
Not blindly lose the path to perfect day. 

--James Trower Bullock, “The Pool of Siloam,”
Miscellaneous Poems, vol. 2

Image source:  Duccio, Jesus Opens the Eyes of a Man Born Blind (1308-1311)
For more about this painting, click here.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Then the angel left her (Fr. James Martin)

   The most important part of today’s Gospel (Lk 2:26-38) may be the phrase, Then the angel left her. 

   This is the part about faith.  Who knows if Mary had as profound a religious experience between her visit with the Angel Gabriel and Jesus’ first miracle at Cana?  After the angel leaves, Mary has to trust in God’s promises to her. 

   How similar this is to our own lives. We have a deep experience of God, and then must rely on it.  Often for many years. 

   Then the angel left her is where we live. 

--Fr. James Martin, Facebook, 
December 8, 2016.

Today (March 25) is the Feast of the Annunciation – 
let it be an occasion for you to think about faith,
and your trust in God's promise!

Image source:  Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation (1898), Philadelphia Museum of Art