Posts Tagged ‘God’s love’

2 Corinthians 2: Painful Circumstances

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Some of us avoid pain; some of us hesitate to inflict pain on another.  Others of us use pain as a weapon against anyone who gets in our way or even ourselves.  Today we read from Paul’s second letter to the people of Corinth and quite close to the opening, he addresses his audience to speak of painful circumstances.  Scholars speculate that either Paul had heard of an aggravating matter that needed to be addressed or that Paul had been rejected by some of the Corinthians.  In either case we are left with the aftermath and on-going effects of suffering.  The group suffers as a result of an action by a member or members of their community.  What one endures, we all endure.  This is the world of Jesus into which we wish to enter.

Paul suggests forgiveness as the central and most important tool that we might use to extricate ourselves from painful circumstances.  It is this same forgiveness that brings us the peace of Christ and assuages anxiety as we live out the after effects of painful circumstancesAs I read Paul’s words, I am reminded of the concise but excellent homily we heard this morning from Bishop Newman as he commented on the first reading at Mass from the first letter of Peter.  He said that these words are some of his favorite: You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  We are special, we are the brother and sisters of the prince of light, Christ, we are united with others God has chosen, and we are to proclaim God’s goodness to all.  As God’s chosen, royal people we will encounter painful circumstances and we will need to forgive the trespasses of others, and we will even have to forgive ourselves for our own lapses in kingdom building.

Peter tells us: Once you were no people but now you are God’s people . . . (1 Peter 2)

Paul repeats to us: God loves us so much that he created us and calls us out of darkness into the light so we must forgive as God forgives.

Peter writes to us: You had not received mercy but now you have received mercy . . .  (1 Peter 2)

Paul reminds us: God loves us so much that he forgives us endlessly, wanting us to forgive ourselves and one another . . . so that we might resolve all painful circumstances as we come together in Christ.

A re-post from September 13, 2012.

For more on how to forgive and what real forgiveness looks like, click on the image above or go to: http://www.birthpangs.org/articles/biblical/forgiveness1.html

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Psalm 121:5-6: The Lord himself watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand, so that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

How wonderful it is the sun does not scorch us the moon does not lead us astray.

How marvelous it is that we are watched over and protected from the enemy.

How amazing it is that God wants to spend so much time with us!

God says: You are correct.  All of this is true. I love to spend time with you and it does not matter what you are doing.  I want to be with you in all you do.  I delight in your delight.  Watching over you is simple for me because beside you is the only place I want to be.  How wonderful you are. How marvelous . . . how amazing! 

We ought not shy away from God when he approaches.  We must remain open . . . and welcoming.  And we must be amazed . . . that we are so well-loved by the Lord himself.

Go to The Book of Our Life page of this blog to reflect on how the Lord brings himself to us in Scripture at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/  And then consider the story your life tells the world about you.

Image from: http://christianbackground.info/holy-spirit/holy-spirit-manifest-background/

A re-post from August 23, 2012.


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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Henry Hillier: Harvest Time, Lambourne, Berks

2 Corinthians 9:6Brothers and sisters: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.    

God says: I know that there are days when you feel as though I ask too much of you.  I understand that there are times when you are too exhausted to take another step in your journey.  This is why I have asked you to cast your troubles on my shoulders – for my burden is light and I am ready to carry your worries for you. I see how the world draws you in and I am here to accompany you each day.  You have only to call on me.      

At times it seems as if the only harvest we reap is anxiety and sadness and we find it difficult to believe the promise of the resurrection. Yet God abides with us in our apprehension.  This is the message he wishes to give us – that despite our fears, we are saved.  Despite our dread we are redeemed.  And despite our wretchedness we are loved.  This is the miracle of God’s love.  Let us sow the love God gives to us . . . that we might in turn reap God’s love with the harvest.

Enter the word promise in the blog search box and continue to reflect on the promises God intends to keep.

A re-post from August 14, 2012.

Image from: http://www.topart168.com/oil_paintings/Harvest_Time,_Lambourne,_Berks_1481_painting.html

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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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Mark 12:30: With All

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mark 12:30: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul with all your mind and with all your strength.

God does not love us partially but fully and completely.  Why do we love him in bits and pieces?   What is it we fear giving over to God?

God abides with us constantly and always. Why do we come and go in our relationship with him?  What is it that distracts us so much from God?

God defends and protects us in ways both seen and unseen.  Why do we insist on our own plans in our own time?  What is so important to us that we seek to control so vigorously?

God loves us fully even though we love him partially.

God loves us always even though we love him inconstantly.

God loves us dynamically, eternally . . . and with all he has and is.  Let us struggle anew to love God with all that we have . . . and all that we are.

This is what Christ asks of us today and all days.

Read more about The Shema and reflect on it may figure more in our daily activities, thoughts and prayers on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2012/05/29/woe/

A re-post from July 18, 2012.

Image from: http://www.perfectmemorials.com/the-shema-black-framed-stone-plaque-p-5945.html

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Isaiah 54:10: Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

It is difficult to imagine that the Alps or the Andes or the Himalayan Mountains might leave their place . . . and yet with God’s mercy they do.

When we place all hope in God, massive obstacles are overcome.

When we move through our days in Christ’s faith, immense disabilities are re-mediated.

When we act in the Spirit’s love, impossible circumstances melt away.

God’s overpowering love moves the mountains in our lives . . . when we act in God’s unlimited mercy.  God’s covenant with us is eternal.  Let us remain faithful to God and to the promises we make.

Dr. Paul Farmer and his family

A re-post from July 16, 2012.

Images from: http://destinationtravels999.blogspot.com/2012/03/beautiful-alps-mountainsswitzerland-hd.html

Dr. Paul Farmer has refused to bow to overwhelming odds and Tracey Kidder tells us the details of a portion of his story in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains.  For more details on an interview with Kidder on NPR go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1472188

For more on how Farmer provides a preferential health care option for the poor, go to: http://www.pih.org/publications/entry/partner-to-the-poor-a-paul-farmer-reader/

For more on Paul Farmer, go to: http://ghsm.hms.harvard.edu/people/faculty/farmer/ and more on Kidder;s book, go to: http://mbmsummary.blogspot.com/2005/11/summaries.html

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Psalm 17:6: God Inclines An Ear

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Psalm 17:6I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.

It is so difficult to hear God’s voice above the clamor of the world.  It is so easy to forget that for God all things are possible.  We must be persistent in telling God our woes, insistent in letting God know how we feel and what we seek.  We must continue to call on God . . . for God is our only hope.

God says: I see how frustrated you become with the big and little worries of your life; I see how your burdens wear you down.  You have called on me and I hear you.  I am responding to your plea but you are so worried that you cannot hear my words of peace.  You are so anxious that you cannot feel my healing touch.  I incline my ear to you . . . I touch your heart . . . just as you touch mine. 

God listens to us more than we believe.  God speaks to us more than we think.  God loves us more than we imagine.

Visit the Journeys of Transformation page on this blog and travel for a bit with God who inclines an ear.

A re-post from July 13, 2012.

Image from: http://followingtolead.com/family/teenage-emotions-and-the-second-coming/

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Psalm 30:13: My Heart Sings

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Psalm 30:13My heart sings to you without ceasing; O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

In all circumstances, either sorrowful or joyful, give thanks to the Lord.  He has done great things for me; he keeps his promises and fulfills his word.

God says: I do not let you down, I am with you always.  I do not change my mind; I am constant love.  I do not bully or neglect you; I wait until you move toward me . . . and then I run to greet you with an overflowing heart and open arms.  My love takes you in, washes away anxiety, allays fears and sends away all that threatens you.  If you rest in me you need nothing else.  Trust me and sing with me. 

Hoping that God’s lullabies take away all that terrifies you.

A re-post from July 6, 2012.

Image from: http://metrocalvary.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/

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Job 23 and 24: Desire and Terror

Friday, May 24, 2019

Commentary from La Biblia de América: Job continues in his search for a personal encounter with God, both seeking and fearing him; but the judgment of his companions does not speak to his condition.  Job finds himself bereft not because he has broken God’s law in any way.  His sins do not bring him to this spot of desperation; he suffers innocently from circumstances beyond his control.  Yet amid all of this hurt, Job refuses to reject God; indeed, he seeks God all the more with each new wave of pain.  Job actually takes refuge in his suffering, frightened and even terrified, waiting for his end.  He describes an impotence which we ourselves may feel at a time when we are abandoned and have no recourse.  We suffer while the wicked experience success.  A victim of bad luck and injustice, Job experiences a reality too awful to be concealed.  Further footnotes tell us that verses 18 through 25 have appeared here rather than where they may rightly belong – in a previous chapter – perhaps the copyist could not bear the pain and so thought to bring consolation from another place.

This lament of Job guides any and each of us through a wave of pain so intense that it nearly takes one’s breath away.  This level of suffering can only be healed by God . . . and it is upon God that Job calls.

Today’s reading asks us to think about our desire to see and know God . . . face to face.  Job’s unquenched yearning is void of any wish to exact punishment or revenge on anyone or anything.  Job questions.  Job fears.  Yet Job does not leave God perhaps because he knows that God has not left him.

The imagery today describes a dichotomy of longing accompanied by fear.  Job needs to experience God’s presence in his life . . . and he fears that perhaps he will never escape this place of emptiness where the wicked have full sway.  He survives in a twilight world where day and night co-exist, and he fears that the darkness will win out.

As we have observed, perhaps it is for this reason that a later copyist has inserted the words which we know Job believes because they hold truth and because they describe what Job does . . . he refuses to give up, he holds on to hope and he waits.

To him who rises without assurance of his life he gives safety and support.   

When we find ourselves in the pit of misery described by Job, we must remember that the force of our yearning will be met, matched, and exceeded by God’s love . . . for he is life itself.

To him who rises without assurance of his life he gives safety and support.   

A re-post from May 9, 2012.

LA BIBLIA DE LA AMÉRICA. 8th. Madrid: La Casa de la Biblia, 1994. Print.

For more reflections on the Book of Job click the image above or go to: http://agapegeek.com/category/bible-study/job/

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