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Posts Tagged ‘God’s way’


2 Thessalonians 3:1-4: Prayer

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Prayer is God’s gift.  Prayer is covenant.  Prayer is communion.  We experience a universal call to prayer.  Prayer is individual.  It is collective.  Prayer is powerful.

Through prayer and in God’s time and way, the mysteries of our faith are revealed to us.

Through prayer and in God’s time and way, we are called to petition in outrageous hope.

Through prayer and in God’s time and way, we may choose to love all – our friends and our enemies.

Through prayer and in God’s time and way, all things are possible.

Let us pray . . . unceasingly . . .


Written on October 15, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://www.setonparish.org/index.cfm?load=page&page=25

For more reflection, visit the Scripture as Prayer page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/scripture-as-prayer/

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je suis charlieSaturday

January 17, 2015

Joy and Habakkuk

Questions

The prophets warn, threaten, exhort, and promise us that God is always present, even though we may not recognize this presence. The Old Testament prophecies foreshadow the good news of the New Testament, and they remind us that no matter our circumstance God’s joy rescues us from sure destruction, Christ’s joy redeems us from our recklessness, and the Spirit’s joy heals us despite the gravity of our wounds.  Today Habakkuk reminds us that too often our ways are not God’s ways.

“For what may be the first time in Israelite literature, a man questions the ways of God, as Habakkuk calls him to account for his government of the world”. God replies that he will send “a chastising rod, Babylon”. And God also replies with divine assurance the faithful will not perish. (Senior 1150)

God says: I know that my plan seems slow to you and I understand your impatience for my ways are not always your ways. My prophets deliver your anger, exasperation, and sorrow to me; and I hear your plaint. My prophets also deliver My Word to you. I walk among you as the man Jesus and although you may not see him he is with you all the same. The anger of Habakkuk has not dissolved . . . and nor has my love. Each time you throw your anger at me I return it to you transformed in and by and through love. I return it to you as the gift of love. Read the words of Habakkuk . . . and bring me your fears and desperation. Bring me your sorrow, your worries and your questions. In return, you have my answer . . . the gifts of my presence, mercy, rescue and love.

In this prophecy, it is difficult to find the joy we hope to experience.  How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you “Violence!” but you do not intervene. (1:2)

In this prophecy, we hear the words that speak to human fear, suffering and frustration with the divine plan. I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint”. (2:1)

In this prophecy, we hear the Lord’s reply that we will want to hold close when pain and anxiety set in, when we wonder about the promise of God’s rescue and redemption. The vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. (2:3-4)

In this prophecy, we pray with Habakkuk: God, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights. (3:19)

In this prophecy . . . we have the eternal answers to our unrelenting questions.

A week ago today, the nation of France prepared to welcome visitors from around the world to celebrate with joy in the face of enormous anger and grief. To learn more, click on the image above or go to: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d0cc3eca-9943-11e4-be30-00144feabdc0.html#slide0

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 1150. Print.

joyIf this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

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

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Wednesday. August 21, 2013

bigstock-Worship-to-God-Element-of-des-18657185-1[1]John 16:2-4

Knowing God

They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.  They will do this because they do not know either the Father or me.  I have told you this so that when the hour comes you may remember that I told you.   

Jesus explains the cost of discipleship to his followers; he warns that the price for their loyalty to him is high.  But with this risk also comes a security that no amount of money can purchase.  No walls, no alarm system, no weapons can guarantee.  He tells the faithful that although their constancy in following God may bring them rejection and pain . . . it also brings the peace the world seeks.

God says: So many of you ask what I am thinking and doing.  You only have to look at the actions of my Word to you, the Christ, to know.  You want to know how to find me.  I am with you even now.  You seek deep knowledge and understanding of my ways.  It is for this knowing that I prepare you.  It is for this intense relationship that I teach you.  If you want to fully see me and recognize my Way, watch my son and do as he does.  You must expect denunciation, mistreatment and even death because of me.  Those who beat you and deny your ways may believe that they reverence me by killing you.  They believe this because they do not rightly know me as you do. So do not be afraid.  When you know and understand my son you know and understand me.  Remember all that I have shown you. 

When we know God we also know that any persecution we suffer in God’s name is balanced by immeasurable joy.  When we follow God’s Way we live in a security that is unmatched by any human fortress.  When we live in God’s Word we come to know the peace that is promised for eternity.  This is the knowing of God that will carry us when the hour comes.

For an insightful reflection on the difference between familiarity and intimacy in knowing God, click on the image above or go to: http://www.lawrencewilson.com/knowing-god-the-difference-between-familiarity-and-intimacy/

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

two-paths[2]Deuteronomy 30:15-20

The Choice before Us: A Prayer with Psalm 1

Israel has a choice to make. and each of us has this same choice.

Every morning when we wake and rise we greet the day and the Lord with evidence of our choice.  As we dress, as we eat, as we prepare to go into the world.  Every action we take is a sign to God of what he means to us.

As we go to school or enter work places, as we unlock doors and prepare for the day, we are an expression of God’s love for humanity and creation.

As we interact with colleagues and students we tell God what we think of our relationship with God and others.

As we write and administer assessments, evaluate work – that of others and our own – we use the measuring stick with which we will be measured.

As we end our work day to move back into our homes, we see God in the way we live, the people and things which have import for us.

As we bend on our knees or sit in our chair, or lie on our bed to recall the day, we see what treasure we have stored up in heaven to return to God.

We each have choices to make.  As Psalm 1 tells us, we are a forest of trees planted along the bank of the river that flows to the New Jerusalem.  We are to bear fruit many-fold according to our gifts.  We bear this fruit with great Hope.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Blessed is the one who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on God’s law day and night.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Dearest Lord, may we produce fruit in abundance for you in due season.  Not when we wish, but rather as best suits your plan for all of us . . . in your due season.  May we choose light when we rise, light as we go about our day, light as we tuck ourselves into hearth and home.  May we never stray from you, from your truth, from your Way.

Amen. 

To read the Robert Frost poem, The Path Not Taken that begins with the words: “Two paths diverged in a yellow wood”, go to: http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html

Adapted from a reflection written on October 11, 2007.

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Friday, December 7, 2012 – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – Wisdom’s Paradox

At that time Jesus said in reply: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.  Matthew 11:25

The paradox of creation is that the weak are strong and the strong are weak.  This Theology of the Cross, then is present in all suffering and opposes the norms usually associated with power and wisdom.   From La Biblia de América: This foolishness of the cross becomes present in all debility, anguish and the profundity of God’s love.  This is the surprising path of salvation opened to all humans by Christ. 

We look for signs yet the only sign relevant to us, Jesus tells us, is the sign of Jonah – – – the prophet who finally did as God asked to save the city of Nineveh, after spending three days in the belly of a whale.  God does not exact the punishment he had meant to carry out, because all of the inhabitants repent – – – inspired by the reluctant prophet.  Jonah then complains about his surprising success.  We are so often determined to be disappointed!

Notes will tell us that God’s ways are inscrutable because we insist on having things “our way” rather than in God’s way in God’s time.  The wisdom and mercy we experience with God is incomprehensible to us because we have not yet learned to trust that this paradox about which Jesus speaks is real.  Our viewpoint is too narrow, our perspective too self-centered to fathom the kind of acceptance and love the creator has for his creatures. 

From the NAB comments on Jonah:  The prophecy, which is both instructive and entertaining, strikes directly at this viewpoint [of forgiving wicked enemies].  It is a parable of mercy, showing that God’s threatened punishments are but the expression of a merciful will which moves all men to repent and seek forgiveness.  The universality of the story contrasts sharply with the particularistic spirit of many in the post-exilic community.  The book has also prepared the way for the gospel with its message of redemption for all, both Jew and Gentile.  (Page 961)

These are God’s ways.  This is God’s wisdom.  We live the paradox that when we are weakest we are strongest . . . because we are nearest to God.  In this Advent season, let us celebrate God’s coming to us as an infant, defenseless and small.  And let us remember that in a few short months we will journey through the Lenten time when we flourish in God’s forgiveness and mercy.  Let us take time today to reflect on the lesson we might learn as we watch this tiny child grow into a man who offers both his humanity and divinity so that we might be free from fear, so that we might be saved.  And let us bask in the wonder of this gift so freely given.  Let us grant forgiveness, as we are forgiven.  Let us bless with mercy, as we are blessed.  Let us cradle and heal those who are broken . . . just as we are cradled and healed by God in his immense love.

When we suffer at the hands of others – – – either intentionally or unintentionally – – – let us gather up our wounded-ness, and our broken-ness.  Let us make of ourselves wounded healers in God’s great plan, in God’s great love, in the paradox of God’s great wisdom. 

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

First written on April 20, 2009. Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

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