Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘God’s fidelity’


Psalm 106Grafting to the Vine

grafting vines

Grafting vines in Napa Valley, USA

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Favorite from May 13, 2009.

We can always count on God’s fidelity despite anything we think, say or do.  God’s love is that immense.  All generations experience the collective sin of turning away.  All generations have the opportunity to return.  How do we show God that we desire this goodness?  We thank and praise God when God visits the many small miracles of each day upon us.  We credit God with what is God’s; we credit God with all that is true and honest; and we allow this truth and honesty and love – this God – to become manifest in us.

From today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation by Sister Lucia, one of the three children who spoke with the Blessed Mother in Fatima, Portugal on this day in 1917.  To love is to possess the greatest gift of God, himself . . . It is to possess God and be ourselves immersed in God; it is the true love of God in us . . . The materialistic world does not know God, does not understand the spiritual life of the indwelling of the most high Trinity . . . And not only does it not understand it.  It actually despises it and even persecutes it; but it persecutes it because it does not know it, and is unaware of the countless treasures and intimate riches which are contained in it . . . The world seduces and deceives, and Christ cannot reveal himself to those who allow themselves to be caught in the deceitful illusions of the world.  Hence, those who abandon themselves to materialism do not understand the language used by Jesus Christ who is the Word of God; they have been called, since we were all called to follow the divine law, but they have not been chosen, because they do not wish to hear the voice of God, . . . the teaching of Christ . . . They have blocked off their own entrance to eternal life.

Being a language teacher, and thinking about these words, I want to rush about setting up environments and laying out lesson plans to be certain that all of us learn the language of God so that we might fear less and love more.  Then I pull myself up short and realize that each day as I go through my thousand little jobs and works, I have the opportunity to create these plans by the way I move through the many scenarios of my day.  The words I say and the gestures I enact are my lesson plans.  And more than this, the time I spend with God in reflection prepares me to enter into these scenarios.  It empowers me to try to live these scenes with truth and light.  And lastly, it brings me the tools I need to discern the fruits of each day.  Have my thoughts, words and deeds borne fruit?  Has this been good fruit or bad?

Today’s Gospel is from John 15 when Jesus explains that we might remain in him just as he remains in the Father.  We become the branches of his vine.

From a mini reflection in MAGNIFICAT: Branches severed, branches hanging tenuously from Christ the vine, wither.  Branches firmly grafted into Christ the vine continue to be refreshed and renewed by the water of life, the Spirit of God, for whom all human beings thirst, knowingly or unknowingly.

When we graft ourselves firmly to the vine, we find grace in every situation – both the bad and the good.

When we graft ourselves firmly to the vine, we become renewed in the Spirit – even when we have reached the bottom of our resources.

When we graft ourselves firmly to the vine, we can acknowledge freely our turning away from God – whether the turning is individual or collective.

When we graft ourselves firmly to the vine, we need not fear the materialistic world – whether it despises or loves us.

When we graft ourselves firmly to the vine, we can join the psalmist who writes: Give thanks to the Lord, who is good, whose love endures forever . . . Let all the people say, Amen!  Hallelujah!

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 13.5 (2009). Print.  

Read Full Post »


Sirach 34:16: Our Rock of Safety

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We have spent time with Peter to explore the concept of salvific suffering. We have thought again about the good shepherds who lead us and who serve as our places of refuge, our rocks of safety. In the wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach, we know that the world will send us in search of shelters so that we might rest, sanctuaries so that we might heal and recover from the anguish of the world.

The Lord watches over those who love him; he is their strong protection and firm support. He shelters them from the heat, shades them from the noonday sun, and keeps them from stumbling and falling. (GNT)

Standing in awe of the Lord’s goodness and mercy, we find lodging under of the shadow of the rock.

Whoever fear the Lord are afraid of nothing
    and are never discouraged, for he is their hope. (NABRE)

Planting ourselves in the foundation of God’s wisdom and grace, we seek security in the hope of God’s patience.

Those who fear the Lord will not be timid,
    or play the coward, for he is their hope. (NRSV)

Growing in the goodness of God’s love, we remain always in the power of God’s fidelity.

The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him,
    a mighty protection and strong support,
a shelter from the hot wind and a shade from noonday sun,
    a guard against stumbling and a defense against falling. (RSVCE)

A defense against the elements, a harbor in the storms of life, an open heart for the downcast, respite for the discouraged. God fulfills our needs as we move through life. God brings blossoms to the deserts as we pause to re-nourish and restore. God saves. God heals. God transforms. There is no greater rock than this rock of God’s safety.

When we compare varying versions of this verse, we discover the depth and breadth, the height and width of God’s infinite love and compassion.

We find images of some of the world’s most beautiful mountains when we click on the image above.

To further explore God’s profound love for us, enter the word rock into the blog search bar and explore. 

Read Full Post »


Isaiah 40:25-31: God’s Power

Wednesday, December 9, 2015isaiah-40-31

God does not tire and does not even pause to catch a breath, Isaiah tells us, and we are happy to hear this news.

God knows everything, inside and out, and we are grateful for God’s wisdom and presence.

God energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to those who drop out, and we celebrate God’s willingness to share energy and compassion.

Even young people tire and fall back, Isaiah continues; the young in their prime stumble and fall. And we rejoice in God’s perseverance and courage.

Those who wait upon God find fresh strength.   They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and do not tire, they walk and do not lag behind. And so we rest in God’s strength, fidelity, hope and love. Let us offer God’s gift of life to someone today who has fallen back, faded out, turned away or collapsed.

 

Read Full Post »


Joshua 1:9: Wherever You Go  

joshua1February 25, 2015

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

We need not doubt that the Lord our God abides in and with us. Throughout human history we hear the constant message of God’s fidelity and love.

That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham”. (Genesis 25:24)

In our darkest hours on our darkest days God is with us. God wants to bolster us when we falter. God wants to bring us blessings greater than we can imagine.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Not only does the Spirit abide in us, she brings us strength and courage and stamina to live in God’s word.

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.  (Jeremiah 1:8) Then Haggai, the LORD’S messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD. (Haggai 1:13)

God’s prophets are keenly aware of God’s presence. Let us remain in God as these prophets remain, despite any fear or anxiety.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

God sends the Living Word to live among us as one of us. So great is God’s love hat he sacrifices himself that we might be rescued.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” (Acts 18:9-10)

The resurrected Christ continues to walk with us as we work and play and pray. When we reflect on these verses we are reminded of God’s fidelity and strength and love. Let us give thanks for God’s presence as we continue our Lenten journey.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Use the scripture links above to compare various versions of these verses; and let us listen . . .

Read Full Post »


rejoice-godThursday, December 4, 2014

Joy and the Psalms

Gratitude

The Book of Psalms calls us to praise God and during this first week of Advent we will focus on the power of the psalms in a number of ways: to connect us with God as sisters and brothers in Christ, to give us a healing pathway on which to carry our lament to the Spirit, to call us together as we praise and honor the creator God, and to invite us to express our gratitude for God’s abiding love.

Click on the scripture links and explore other versions of these verses. Share an idea about the surprise of joy in the dark places and times in our lives with a loved one, a neighbor or friend. And allow the surprise of joy to brighten each day as we move forward in the season of hope-filled waiting for the arrival of the Christ.

Psalm 70 verse 4: May all who come to you be glad and joyful. May all who are thankful for your salvation always say, “How great is God!”

God replies: I understand how difficult it is for some of you to see beyond yourselves. I also see how much the woes of the world overwhelm others of you. 

Psalm 92 verses 4: Your mighty deeds, O Lord, make me glad; because of what you have done, I sing for joy.

God replies: All that I ask is that you allow me to surprise you with joy, and to pull you out of your sorrow and despair.

joyPsalm 95 verse 2: Let us come before him with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise.

God replies: Remember to invite those around you to share their own stories of joy-filled fidelity.

Psalm 107 verse 22: They must thank God with songs of joy and must tell all that God has done.

God replies: Come together as community to share the news of my hope and love. Always be ready to see, feel, and share my joy. 

If this week’s exploration of Psalms calls you to search for more surprises, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there.

Tomorrow, we rejoice in God’s gift of conversion.

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

Read Full Post »


Thursday, December 13, 2012 – Psalm 35 – Betrayed by Friends

BiblicalLaw-and-Justice[1]“A lament of a person betrayed by friends.  The psalmist prays that the evildoers be publicly exposed as unjust (1-8) and gives thanks in anticipation of vindication (9-10).  Old friends are the enemies (11-16).  May their punishment come quickly (17-21)!  The last part (22-26) echoes the opening in praying for the destruction of the psalmist’s persecutors.  This psalm may appear vindictive, but one must keep in mind that the psalmist is praying for public redress now of a public injustice.  There is at this time no belief in an afterlife in which justice will be redressed.  35, 1-6: The mixture of judicial, martial, and hunting images shows that the language is figurative.  The actual injustice is false accusation of serious crimes (11, 15, 20-21).  The psalmist seeks lost honor through a trial before God”. (Senior 668)

Defend me because you are just, Lord; my God, do not let them gloat over me.

It has been my experience that when enemies gloat over their opponents’ pain and loss, they later suffer the same pain and loss. 

I have seen so often the trap dug by one to catch another ends up as the death-bed of the one who dug it.

I know in my bones that God defends those who are his faithful.  I have seen too many examples of God’s fidelity to think otherwise.

I believe that God’s plan for conversion of my enemies is far better than any punishment I might ask . . . and so I send intercessory prayers for those who do me harm – whether they are friends from long ago or friends who are newly arrived.

With today’s psalm, we might be tempted to ask God to pull down fire on those who betray us, but this is not what Jesus does.  We have the gift of knowing what Jesus has told us: That we are to witness, watch, and wait.  Only this way of life will bring us the peace we seek.

So we ask ourselves . . . how much better is it to pray for those who betray us rather than ask for their fiery end?  Is it not so that God punishes with the punishment we lay out for others?  What then do we fear?  Do we believe God incapable of making a just decision that brings about transformation of the soul? 

And we also ask . . . now that we know of this precious gift of eternal life . . . why do we jeopardize it for a fleeting, ugly satisfaction that might come when we see our enemies suffer?  Can we not intercede for those who are hateful while we await our trial before God?  How much more effective it is for God to call each one to him as we move through his plan for our good than it is for us to plot someone else’s downfall? 

We find a place for Christ-like thinking when we read this psalm and pray for those who wrong us unfairly.  In this season of Advent, let us approach the day of Christ’s birth with the joy that comes from leaving our worries with him in willing obedience to The Word . . . as we look forward to the day of vindication in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ Way, in Jesus’ hope for all of humanity. 

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.668. Print.   

Written on December 19, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: