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Archive for August, 2019


Matthew 13:16-17: God Time

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Matthew 13:16-17 Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.  Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

We complicate life until it becomes unrecognizable.

We listen to our own voice and ignore the voice that loves us.

We what for signs of love endlessly and miss the obvious simplicity that God loves us more than we can ever imagine.

God says: I see constant striving and thrashing among my people; they reach out for what they already have.  I speak to my children endlessly; yet they turn away from me.  It brings me such joy when just one of you pauses in the minutiae you have created for yourselves to think of me.  It brings me great happiness when you call my name.  I want to do all for you.  I want to be with you.  Put aside the extraneous activities you create to make yourselves too busy to spend time with me.  Sit with me awhile. 

Let us turn off the noise and clamor of our day for just five minutes today.  And let us spend it with God.


A re-post from August 10, 2012.

For a reflection on spending time with our creator, go to the God Time page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/god-time/ or type “God’s love” in The Noontimes search box to see where it leads you.

For an interesting essay on God’s Time Machine, click on the image above or go to: http://www.ucg.org/news-and-prophecy/gods-time-machine/

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2 Corinthians 4:7-10: The Potter’s Hands

Friday, August 30, 2019

2 Corinthians 4:7-10Brothers and Sisters: we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.  We are afflicted in every way but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh.

It is so quick and easy – in the short term – to rely on ourselves and what we have managed to gather up from the world.  It is much better – in the long run – to rely on God who gives us all we will ever need.

God says: You begin as clay in my hands, an earthen vessel made of earth’s dust.  My son sacrifices himself to be with you for infinite time and in infinite space.  Giant obstacles become small hurdles over which my Spirit will lift you . . . if only you recognize me.   

When we depend on God we are mightier than all.  When we rely on Christ we are hope for the world.  When we love as the Spirit loves, we are eternal.  Let us give ourselves over as clay to the master potter’s hands . . . and enter fully into our promised transfiguration.


A re-post from August 9, 2012.

Image from: http://pottery.about.com/od/throwingonthewhee1/tp/finalizpot.htm

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Proverbs 2:3-10: Ways of Darkness and Light

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Proverbs 2:10-13Wisdom will enter your heart.  Discretion will watch over you, saving you from the way of evil men, from men of perverse speech, who leave the straight paths to walk in ways of darkness.

God says: The world is really not a black versus white place.  It is mostly gray.  When I ask you to live in the light I want you to know the joy I have in mind for you.  As I move among you in the person of Jesus I hope to carry you along with me into the light.  I ask you to open your heart to me so that I might send Spirit to abide with you eternally.  I do not want to control you.  I want to love you. I hope to transfigure you.  I want you to be comfortable in the blinding whiteness of truth and light . . . for that is where I live.

Seeing life as a series of “either/or” decisions negates God’s ability and desire to forgive.

Living life in a “yes/no” manner closes the many doors Jesus opens for us.

Acting in a “love/hate” way takes us down the many ways of darkness . . . and rejects the one Way of Light . . . Christ.

Type the world light into the blog search box and choose a reflection that will call you to the Way of Light, or click on the image above for a reflection on Christ as the Light of the World.


A re-post from August 8, 2012.

Image from: http://mayheincrease.com/2011/03/light-in-the-darkness/

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Matthew 7:13-14Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those that enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.  And those who find it are few.  

We want to take the easy way out; we want to stay in our comfort zone.  We hesitate to share our emotional self with others fearing criticism or rejection.  We do not want to squeeze ourselves through the demands that come with self-examination, self-adjustment, and the giving over of self to another.

God says: I understand that you are anxious and even frightened by prying eyes and wagging tongues; yet the world has many good friends for you.  I have put them in your circle and it is safe to open yourself to them.  As you learn to trust good people and as you begin to trust me more, you will feel less pressured, less constricted, more content and more serene.  This is why I call you constantly.  Do not be afraid of the Narrow Gates in your life.  They are opportunities to grow and flourish . . . because I accompany you in your passage.

God provides the strength we need to grow despite the obstacles we must overcome.  When we see the narrow gate as an opening to a new level of intimacy with God . . . we put away fear and we flourish.  How good it is to bear good fruit even as we bend our knees to enter the narrow gate.

To spend more time reflecting on the Narrow Gate experiences in our lives go to the Narrow Gate page on this blog or search for the Narrow Gate post by using the blog search bar.


A re-post from August 7, 2012.

Click on the image above to reflect more on our narrow gate choices or go to: http://in-formatio.com/?p=2229

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A Favorite from August 6, 2012 . . . Transfiguration

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Ludovico Carracci: Transfiguration

Today is the Feast of Transfiguration and it brings us an opportunity to reflect on the plans God has in mind for us.  Let us spend time this week reflecting on God’s goodness . . . and the plans he has in mind for our joy.

Matthew 17:2 – Jesus was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.

God says: You have read this story a number of times and you always think that it is only describing what I have in mind for my son.  Remember that you are also my child . . . and I call you to transfiguration as well.  I have only marvelous plans in mind for you.  I will always turn the harm that you suffer to goodness.  You are so very precious to me.

Let us think again about what the Transfiguration means for us. Type the word Transfiguration in the blog search box and select a reflection.  The journey of discovery always begins with a first simple step.


Image from http://www.art-prints-on-demand.com/a/carracci-lodovico/the-transfiguration-5.html

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Sirach 25: Worthy and Wicked

Monday, August 26, 2019

The book of Sirach is full of sound advice accompanied by a great sense of humor.  Harmony, friendship, mutual love.  Pride, dissembling, lechery.  These are qualities that Jesus ben Sirach juxtaposes as he delineates the difference between those who are worthy of praise and those who are wicked.

Some of these verses make us laugh aloud and some of them inspire.  This chapter is followed by the famous dissertation of the ideal wife, which is often read out at Mass, and all of this is good advice when we move it to a 21st Century context.  What does this say to us today?  What do we do about the worthy and the wicked?  What do we do about the conflict between worth and wickedness?

Today we are presented with the contrast between those who are worthy because they live life honestly and well . . . and those who wound the heart and poison relationships.  We know how we are to live, what we are to say, what we are to do, what we are to believe.  But do we do what we know to be correct?  Do we inform our conscience so that we can make good and proper decisions?  How do we educate ourselves about what we are to do and what we are to say? How do we make of ourselves servants who are worthy and not wicked?

Today is the feast of St. Mark, the author of the earliest and briefest of the Gospels.  He was a cousin of Barnabas – the man who accompanied Paul on some of his missions and who even helped to ease Paul’s introduction to the apostles.  Tradition holds that Mark founded the church in Alexandria, and we can see how and why.  His Gospel is simple and direct, burning with his love and his desire to educate us about the Word and to send the Word into the world.  Today’s Gospel reading is from chapter 16, verses 16-20 and it tells us about the result of conflict between worth and wickedness.  It tells us about the struggle that disciples endure.  Reflect on Sirach and Mark and ponder the mystery of this conflict between worth and wickedness . . . and the mystery becomes less clouded.

From the MAGNIFICAT morning intercessions and prayer:

Reward your servants, Lord!

For all who have devoted themselves to the work of translating the word of God into the languages of the world: Reward your servants, Lord!

For all those who labor to produce Bibles for the peoples of all nations: Reward your servants, Lord!

For all who carry your word to places far away and difficult to reach: Reward your servants, Lord!

God, the Father of lights, you flood the world with your word as with a river of light.  Catch up in the waters of life all those who hunger and thirst for knowledge of the truth and the right, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Image from: http://strengthfortoday.wordpress.com/tag/quips-and-quotes/

Written on April 25, 2008  and posted today as a Favorite.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 4.25 (2008). Print.  

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Judges 16: Samson and Delilah

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Matthais Stom: Samson and Delilah

This is a familiar story to us – and when we open scripture to a comfortable place, we look more closely, more intensely, to see if we have perhaps missing something because of the familiarity.

Samson was one of the series of Judges who protected and guided the Hebrew people before they asked for a king.  In this book we see the people of God continually repeat a cycle of dissent into separation from God . . . which causes loneliness and anguish followed by sorrow and repentance.  Yahweh always responds by forgiving and tending to his lost sheep.  There are periods of complacency and quiet when the people forget that God is central to their lives which separate the judges.  Samson is one of the most famous.  But look at the following verses: 2 – And all the night they waited saying, “Tomorrow we plan to kill him”, verse 19 – Then she began to mistreat him, for his strength had left him, verse 28 – Samson cried out to the Lord and said,  “O Lord God, remember me!  Strengthen me, O God, this last time . . . let me die with the Philistines!”

Samson succumbs to Delilah and to the plot surrounding him.  He is human.  He fails.  He suffers.  He has hope.  He repents.  He makes reparation for his former action.  He is honored.  He brings the light of truth into the darkness of greed and corruption.  We do not understand the mystery of what happened more, but what we do understand is that nothing ultimately wins over destruction and death.

From MAGNIFICAT today: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  (John 1:5)  God is mystery.  The maker of the universe dwells in light inaccessible, so bright that it blinds the probing eye, the questioning mind.

For those who are powerless, that they may experience your power employed on their behalf. 

For those who have abandoned hope, that they may know your mercy.

For those who fail to see you in mystery, that they may come to feel your gentle love.

Amen.


Written on April 9, 2008  and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://www.friendsofart.net/en/art/matthias-stom/samson-and-delilah

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 4.9 (2008). Print.  

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John 1:12-13: Children of God

Saturday, August 24, 2019

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. 

For a long time I have reflected on the idea of how it is determined who is given the gift of faith and who is not.  I have had conversations with God in which I ask why it is that some of us are so stiff-necked and others of us have the gift of patience.  I trust God’s plan, I believe that we are created to be God’s children, and here in the Gospel of John, in one simple sentence, we are enlightened.  I will have to refer to this citation when the questions rise from some place of wonder to pull me from my core of belief.

Believing in Jesus as the Word, as Resurrected, as brother – this is what makes us children of God.  Through him, with him, in him, in unity with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is pre-existence.  Jesus is the Incarnation – the word and thought and touch of God amidst us.  Jesus is an offering, a gift freely given by a loving and passionate God . . . a God who loves us so deeply and so endlessly . . . that he brings himself to us without our even asking.

What a wondrous God is this.


Adapted from a Noontime written on April 23, 2008  and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://www.elizabethhillgrove.com/2012/05/monday-after-mass-vol-1.html

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Sirach 18:14-29: Prudence and Self-Control

Friday, August 23, 2019

Luca Giordano: Allegory of Prudence

These are the tools we need to use rather than judgment and anger if we wish to enter into the presence of the Lord.  This is what he asks of us:  To act with compassion when we see injustice, when we experience cruelty, when we see the unity of the kingdom divided by jealousy, greed, division and the desire to control.  These verses hold many kernels of wisdom, as we always find when reading the words of Jesus ben Sirach.

The morning New Testament reading today is from Romans 2: By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and revelation of the last judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.

The MAGNIFICAT intercessions seem fitting:

God of peace, make peace among those at war.

God of justice, make right what we have made wrong.

God of goodness, make holy what we have turned to our own selfish ends.

Amen.


Written on April 22, 2008  and posted today as  a Favorite.

Image from: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/luca-giordano-allegory-of-prudence

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 4.22 (2008): 129-130. Print.  

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