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Posts Tagged ‘God’s Word’


John 1:1-14: Logos

The Second Day of Christmas, December 26, 2017

Many of us are familiar with the old Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we may also be aware of varying theories about the derivation of the lyrics and tune. A number of resources report – some correctly and some incorrectly – the reason for the song’s origins, but in this holiday season we will put argument aside and enjoy celebrating the symbols we find.

The first gift is a partridge in a pear tree, and is symbolic of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The mother bird of this species will feign injury to lure predators away from her young, and some say that it reflects Jesus’s words when he laments in Luke 13:34: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets, you stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!” (Snopes) Yesterday we reflected on Christ as our savior or Messiah and we recognize his willingness to endanger himself in order to save the faithful.

Two turtle doves in St. George Island, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

On this second day of Christmas, we celebrate the presence of Christ as Logos in both the Old and New Testaments. Footnotes tell us that here that John the Evangelist lays out the themes that develop as his Gospel continues: life, light, truth, the world, testimony, the pre-existence of Jesus, the incarnate Logos who is God’s revelation and his expression of his love for us.  When we think of the stories we hear and read in this Gospel, we know for certain that God is calling us to be diverse, to tend to that diversity and to place our hope in this diversity – because it is in this diversity that the Spirit manifests itself best.

God, most especially in the person of Jesus, calls us to intimacy. God asks us to commune with one another in a way we think is impossible. God asks much of us, both also gifts us with much. In this Christmas season, let us consider the gift of Logos, God’s Word, to all of creation brought to us in the sacred scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas.” snopes.com, 17 Dec. 2017, www.snopes.com.

Includes notes from autumn of 2007.

To learn more about the status of turtle doves, click on the photograph of the dove pair, or visit: https://www.aol.co.uk/travel/2015/10/29/puffins-turtle-doves-facing-extinction/

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UNESCO: World Press Freedom Index 2104

UNESCO: World Press Freedom Index 2104

Sunday

January 18, 2015

Joy and Zephaniah

Degradation

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 Zephaniah describes how we might respond in joy even when we suffer the curse of degradation.

“The age of Zephaniah was a time of religious degradation, when the old idolatries reappeared and men worshiped sun, moon, and stars”. This prophet calls us to oppose the worship of false gods and the adulation of false priests and ministers. It is a message we cannot hear too often. (Senior 1153)

Fanaticism will always flourish whether it comes from the both ends of a political, civil, social or religious spectrum. Ancient and contemporary philosophers promote moderation and balance. Scholars assess the values presented by sophist, pluralistic and diverse viewpoints. Arguments divide families and workplaces. Corruption finds a home in an environment of fear and settle into our bones as a response to our anxieties. Extremism and division will always plague us. What then, is to be done?

Zephaniah 3:17-18: For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will give you victory. He will rejoice over you with great gladness; he will love you and not accuse you.” Is that a joyous choir I hear? No, it is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song. “I have gathered your wounded and taken away your reproach.

God says: So what is the great gladness that lives among you and does not accuse you? It is My Word. What is the joyous choir we hear? It is the billions of voices in my creation coming together: the songs of my trees and winds and seas, the voices of my birds, and reptiles and mammals, the songs of my faithful people. All of this beautiful, universal sound is in and with and through me. Come to me. Despite the degradation that threatens to pull you into darkness, listen for the songs of joy that the faithful are singing. And join your voice with theirs.

A week ago today more than three million people in the country of France came together to sing in the universal song of solidarity. Spend some time investigating the myriad issues that surfaced in Europe and around the world last week. Click on the image above and visit the UNESCO Free Press post. Reflect on the importance of open, free and authentic journalism, and decide how our many voices might come together in a song of joy to God.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 1153. 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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jeremiah oracleFriday, October 10, 2014

Jeremiah 46-51

An Intimate Neighbor

God is the most intimate neighbor of the soul; no other power can creep so close to the heart and tangle itself so cunningly with the roots of our desire . . . Man, in other words, was made for love, the diviner part of him for divine love.  By sin is all this love dried up.  The parched and thirsty soul feels, therefore, the need of the dew of God, and rushes madly as the beasts that wander in the jungle looking for the water they cannot find . . . When I am feeling particularly the loneliness of life, perhaps the cause is that I lean too little upon God; perhaps it is that my sins will not let me feel that inward presence that is the sole real source of peace here below.  I was created for Love by love, and when by sin I act contrary to Love, my heart must necessarily feel his absence. 

This is a portion of the MAGNIFICAT Meditation for September 2 written by Father Bede Jarrett, a Dominican priest from England known for his lectures and writings on theology and spirituality.  Jarrett’s words ask us to look more deeply at Jeremiah 46 through 51, these oracles that pronounce doom against many peoples who had turned from God to become self-worshipers.  It is a litany of many ancient nations and yet today we might substitute individual names, the names of neighborhoods, sects, or communities of any kind.  We might even insert our own name into this list on days when we have gone too far into the world of darkness that so quietly, softly and persistently calls. Blessedly, we also have an intimate friend, an intimate neighbor who calls more persistently than darkness; yet we so often forgot this force for compassion and justice in the hubbub of the day and the weariness of the night.

When we feel parched and thirsty, let us depend on the dew of God’s word and learn to lean on God a little more rather than a little less. In this time of the solar year when days and nights are nearly equal in length, let us balance our lives and review this litany of those who have condemned themselves by their own actions. As we move from one season to another, let us turn to God who is our most intimate neighbor of the soul, and let us remind ourselves and one another that . . . perhaps we lean too little upon God

Adapted from a reflection written on September 7, 2010.

Cameron, Peter John, ed. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 7.9 (2010). Print.  

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Psalm 119: 9-16

Robin Anderson: Mary Holding Baby Jesus Looking Up Towards the Light

Robin Anderson: Mary Holding Baby Jesus Looking Up Towards the Light

Treasuring God’s Promise

Mary kept the Word of God in her body as the pre-natal Jesus grew in strength. She also kept the Word in her heart with reflection and prayer. We are told that she pondered the verbal and physical message she was brought. She knew that she was to bear light to the nations. She also knew that she need only allow God’s Word to transform her life in order for her to bear fruit. She knew that trust in God alone was enough . . . and in this way she treasured God’s promise.

As we explore God’s word, let us also treasure the promise we know it holds.  Today, let us reflect on the first five letters of the Hebrew alphabet as the psalmist shares them with us. And let us consider what lessons and promises they unfold.

Aleph: The Paradox of God and Humans – God calls humans into creation.  How do we respond?

Beth: God’s Dwelling Place Below – Mary agrees to serve as the ark for God’s New Covenant.  How does she find the courage to say yes?

Gimel: Reward and Punishment – The duality we find in this letter reminds us that we are created with a free will.  We are free to choose a world of either/or, a choice that divides.  We are also free to choose a world of “and,” a choice that includes.  Which world do we choose?

Daleth: Selflessness – God invites us to take part in creation by living out the Law of Love.  Do we accept this door that invites us to love?

He: Thought, Speech and Action – We see how me might answer God’s call: first in our thoughts, then in our words and finally in our deeds.  Do we accept this challenge to believe in God’s promise?

Tomorrow, a prayer to fulfill God’s promise in us.

Adapted from a reflection written on the Feast of the Immaculate heart of Mary on June 16, 2007.

For more information on the painting above, click on the image or go to: http://robinandersonfineart.blogspot.com/2011/02/mary-holding-baby-jesus-looking-up.html 

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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, August 15, 2013

two-edged-sword[1]Revelation 1:16

Cleaving God’s Word

In his right hand [the son of man] held seven stars. A sharp, two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face shone like the sun at its brightest. 

Commentary tells us that the seven stars represent the pagan authority over the world in which the writer, John of Patmos, lived.  The sword refers to the Word of God.  The shining face represents the divine mystery of Christ. (Senior cf. 401)

God says: Like the vineyard owner who sends his son to gather the rent, I have sent my own son among you for your acceptance of rejection.  This son is My Word to you.  His actions are mine.  His love is mine.  All that he is and all that he does speak My Word and in this he is constant and faithful.  Sometimes he brings you fire.  Sometimes he brings you tranquility.  Always he brings you justice tempered with mercy, mercy enacted through justice yet it is not always easy to hear this word.  My son always brings you healing.  Always brings you transformation. Always brings prudence and persistence.  This double edge may be difficult for some to understand yet it describes my son’s nature and thus my nature.  It both divides and unites.  It harvests where it can.  Live by the word brought to you on this double edge.  Imitate this two-edged sword as best you can for it is in this fusion of two worlds that you find me. It is in the inversion of your world that you best feel my presence.

In Ephesians 6:17 Paul writes of this sword of the spirit, the word of God, that sings as it completes the armor of the steadfast servant.  As we arm ourselves today and all days to go into the world, let us remember that God’s word cleaves the faithful – it both divides and unites.  Let us spend time with God today to determine how we react to the fire and restoration brought to us by the two-edged sword of God’s Word.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 401. Print.   

The Parable of the Tenants: Matthew 21:33-46

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