Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘miracles’


Hosea 2: Expectation

Charlie Mackesy: The Prodigal Daughter

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What does God expect of me?

Where is God?

How can God expect so much from me?

Why does God allow me to feel so alone, exasperated, angry or sad?

If we hear ourselves asking these questions frequently, we may need to think of them as inversions.

What do I expect of God?

Where have I put God in my life?

Why do I ask so little of God?

Why do I forget God or turn away from God’s love when I am alone, exasperated, angry or sad?

Today we re-read the prophecy of Hosea, the man who married an adulterous wife and we focus on Chapter 2 to find a description of Gomer, the unfaithful wife.  Metaphorically, Gomer is each of us when we reject the conditions in which we find ourselves.  As difficult as our problems may be, they are our stepping stones to self-discovery . . . and to serenity.  Once we learn to turn everything over to God, the sorrow and anger slip away.  And we are at peace with the circumstances surrounding us.

Today’s Gospel is John’s story of the feeding of thousands (6:1-15) and we might look at how Jesus asks the disciples how they want to feed so many – John writes: He said this to test them.  This does not mean that Jesus wants to throw his friends into turmoil; rather, he wants to see how they hope to solve the problem before them.  Do they resort to their own resources, or do they rely on God in any way?

We must remember to ask for miracles, because God wants to grant them.

We must remember to take our woes to God, because God welcomes them and erases them.

We must remember to leave our sadness in God’s hands, because God heals all mourning with deep and abiding love.

Hosea laments his unfaithful wife.  God misses us when we stray.  Why do we try to solve everything on our own?  And why do we expect so little from a generous, loving God?

A Favorite from May 6, 2011.

For a video lesson on Hosea and Gomer, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XerNMZNmKF0 

 

Read Full Post »


Wisdom 18:18-22: Seek Trust – Praise

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Favorite from January 6, 2010.

I have a friend who – whenever life gets a bit sticky for her or her children – is suddenly presented with hearts.  Heart-shaped leaves, heart-shaped clouds, even heart-shaped patterns of toothpaste left in the bathroom sink.  Today she told me that she was thinking: Who keeps leaving these for me?  She believes that she has the answer, someone she knows through family photographs and family stories, someone whom she has not met in this life but who knows her in any case.  She believes that it is her grandmother.  So do I.  Love knows no bounds.

In today’s Noontime we read about the love that God has for us, for his creation.  This love is so great that land creatures survive in the sea; sea creatures walk on land.  Fire in water maintains its strength; yet flames do not consume flesh.  With these powerful images, we understand how strong God is; we understand how much God loves us.

The Meditation in MAGNIFICAT today is from Father John Tauler, a Dominican priest, a popular preacher and mystical theologian who died in 1361.  This is what he has to say about God’s love.

Especially cherish firm trust in God’s love: if that weakens, your longing for God sinks away, and the hidden love is soon quenched within you . . . If one now questions whether or not he has true love, let him search deep in his soul and ever deeper, and light will be granted to him to know how he stands towards this degree of love.  All the harm that can befall you is in this: you cannot fathom your inmost soul, or perhaps you will not.  Once you enter there, God’s grace awaits you, admonishing you incessantly to keep up a courageous spirit about your standing with him.  But many a one resists his inner voice and keeps on going so until he at last becomes unworthy of it and it ceases to be heard, and that forever.  The cause of this misfortune is nothing else than self-trust.  But if only one be humbly submissive to the divine guidance, it will finally lead him into such a divine union, that he shall enjoy in this life something of the bliss proper only to life eternal.  May God grant that this shall happen to us all.

Our self-trust, rather than trust in God, is what often prohibits us from seeing the glory that is God each day.  Miracles happen around us and to us constantly, yet we worry so, and fly through life at such a rapid pace that we may miss these glorious hearts being left for us along the way.  We miss the times when breaches are bridged, when wounds are healed, when the dead rise . . . and so we do not praise God because we walk past the many ways in which he loves us each morning, each noon, each night.

For myself, I will make a special resolution to be on the look-out for the heart-shaped messages God is sending to me.  And then I will pause to praise God.  I will begin to cherish a firm trust in God’s love for me, I will search my soul even deeper, I will look for the ways in which I have been magnified and glorified by God . . . and I will look more carefully for that divine union in this life.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 20.1 (2010). Print.  

Read Full Post »


Nehemiah 9:12-13: Wonders and Miracle-Signs

Monday, September 11, 2017

Nehemiah reminds us that God accompanies us in the deserts of our lives when we experience anguish and fear. Jesus also tells us that we need not be afraid.

Nehemiah repeats the well-known story.

By day you led them with a Pillar of Cloud,
    and by night with a Pillar of Fire
To show them the way
    they were to travel.

More than any other demand or request, Jesus reminds, “Do not be afraid”. In one Gospel alone, Jesus repeats this soothing entreaty.

“So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”. (Matthew 10:13)

At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid”. (Matthew 14:27)

Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid”. (Matthew 17:7)

Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me”.  (Matthew 28:10)

Nehemiah reminds us of the ancient link we have with the Living God.

You came down onto Mount Sinai,
    you spoke to them out of heaven;
You gave them instructions on how to live well,
    true teaching, sound rules and commands.

Nehemiah tells us again that the Living God will sustain us.

You gave bread from heaven for their hunger,
    you sent water from the rock for their thirst.
You told them to enter and take the land,
    which you promised to give them.

Nehemiah and Jesus, if we are able to listen carefully, describe the Living God’s fidelity. We might consider how we will respond today.

When we consider multiple translations of these verses, we begin to remember the many wonders and signs God has worked in and for us. 

For a reflection on Nehemiah 9, visit: https://thenoontimes.com/2011/12/30/confession/

 

Read Full Post »


Acts 12:1-19: No Small Commotion

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mattia Preti: Saint Peter Freed

Spending time with Peter’s sermons, we find that, filled with the Spirit, he raises his voice. We find that step-by-step, and trusting God’s voice, he delivers the message of Good News. And as if to prove that God loves us with great power and fidelity, God releases the faithful servant from prison. We read the miracle of Peter’s escape from prison and ask ourselves . . . Why do we so often doubt that God can do great things for us?

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. 

We read the miracle of Peter’s escape from prison and ask ourselves . . . Why do we so often doubt that God releases us from the chains that bind our lives?

The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”

We read the miracle of Peter’s escape from prison and ask ourselves . . . Why do we so often fear following the angels God sends to us?

Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision.

We read the miracle of Peter’s escape from prison and ask ourselves . . . Why do we so often ascribe God’s intercession to coincidental circumstances?

After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him.

We read the miracle of Peter’s escape from prison and ask ourselves . . . Why do we so often balk at moving through the doors and gates God opens for us?

When morning came, there was no small commotion among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 

We read the miracle of Peter’s escape from prison and ask ourselves . . . Why do we so often deny the commotion that takes place in our lives when God intercedes for us?

When we use the scripture link and drop-down menus to explore this sermon, we allow ourselves to consider the small and great commotions God makes in our lives. And we determine to share the Good News of our redemption with the world.

For another reflection on Peter’s miraculous deliverance from prison, visit the Suddenly post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2013/01/07/suddenly/

 

Read Full Post »


Acts 10:28-47: Hearing the Good News

Peter and Cornelius

Thursday, May 4, 2017

God is the creator of both space and time. God is in charge. God creates humans in God’s image. God loves all of creation. God creates us in, for and through love. God loves us very much. This is good news indeed.

Today we read about Peter’s meeting with Cornelius, a Roman centurion living in Caesarea, Palestine. Today we focus not on the fact that this well-positioned, powerful man turns away from paganism to live in Christ; rather, we reflect on God’s desire to break down walls between nations and philosophies. Today we watch Peter put aside his Jewish restrictions and prejudices in order to meet, speak with, and even seek union with a man who represents repression to the Jewish nation. And finally, we focus on God’s desire for union and community with each of us . . . with all of us . . . and not an elite few.

We meditate on Peter’s words in verse 28: God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.

Can we imagine a world in which our enemies become our close associates?

We spend time with Cornelius’ account of hearing God’s words in verse 31: Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 

Can we imagine a world in which we heed God’s message of healing and love?

We remember Peter’s understanding of God’s love in verses 34-35: I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 

Can we imagine a world in which we are both recipients and vehicles of God’s miracles?

Like Peter and Cornelius, once we hear God’s words and understand their meaning, we also come to know these truths: We are witnesses to the loving action of God in our lives, we are called to minister to all of God’s people, and we are the vessels of God’s Holy Spirit in the world.

This is marvelous news indeed. These are wonderful truths undeniably. This is Good New we want to both receive and share.

When we use the scripture link and drop-down menus to explore this sermon, we allow ourselves to share the Good News that the Holy Spirit is with us. 

Tomorrow, Peter’s fifth sermon following Pentecost.

 

Read Full Post »


Acts 4:5-12: Filled With the Holy Spirit

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Peter Before the Sanhedrin

Peter and John heal a crippled beggar (Acts 3) and when the crowd erupts with wonder, they explain that the miracle takes place only through them, and not because of them. It is the Messiah, crucified earlier, who brings about this marvelous cure. (See yesterday’s Noontime.) The commotion brings attention from the authorities who arrest the pair. Peter and John find themselves in prison, and finally they stand before the Sanhedrin. The authorities ask, By what power or by what name did you do this?” 

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, let it be known that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 

There is no doubt that these words shock his listeners, but Peter further explains, There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

If we read more of this story, we find that this series of events brings more followers to this small community. If we reflect on this story, we discover the marvel of God’s love and the power of Christ’s authority. If we pray with this story, we discover that we too, are filled with the healing presence of the Holy Spirit. What miracles might we bring to others when we allow ourselves to be conduits of God’s love?

When we use the scripture link and drop-down menus to explore this sermon, we allow ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  

Tomorrow, Peter’s fourth sermon following Pentecost.

Read Full Post »


Isaiah 30:18-36: The Lord’s Favor

Friday, March 10, 2017iching_graphic

The Lord is waiting to show you favor . . .

During Lent we so often beat ourselves up, tossing around guilt in an effort to expiate our activity or inactivity in God’s plan.  In a Bible Concordance, the word favor is cited too often to analyze quickly but the enormity of the number of times we see its use tells us something about our creator.

The Lord is waiting to show you favor . . .

Those who give are so often wrapped in giving to others, they forget to be the recipient of gifts from others.

Those who advocate are so frequently caught up in the work of justice, they become accustomed to life always being a struggle.

Those who are frequent recipients of favor from God and others, they may take it as a given, as a requisite to measure the worth of a day, as an entitlement.

The Lord is waiting to show you favor . . .

Perhaps the favors we seek are before us at all times, and the miracle occurs when we truly open our eyes to see them.

Perhaps the words we long to hear are being said but are lost in the cacophony of life.

The Lord is waiting to show you favor . . . He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you . . . No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, while from behind a voice shall sound in your ears: ‘This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or left.

There is a tag hanging on the doorknob of the workroom in my classroom that reads: When the student is ready, the master appears.  I first read this a number of years ago in the I Ching and was happy to find this tag in a shop while vacationing with my children and grandchildren at the ocean.  I love to put my hand on that door – the door behind which we store tests, make coffee, have quiet chats.

The Lord is waiting to show you favor . . .

Perhaps all we need to do during this Lenten season is to store away our tests, make coffee . . . and rest in the friendship of God and one another.

The Lord is waiting to show you favor . . .

A Favorite from February 26, 2009.

For more on the I Ching, visit: http://www.iging.com/intro/introduc.htm 

 

Read Full Post »


Ezra 6: 19-23: Marvels – Part IV

Sunday, November 13, 2016presence-of-holy-spirit

We remember well the marvels the Lord has done for us. 

We remember that the Lord has returned us from exile.

We join the whole crowd as we rejoice at the splendid deeds done by the Lord.

We tell the world that with great joy we celebrate for it is the Lord who has made us joyful.

We tell the world that we are so full of joy that we will keep the feast.

And so we pray.

Good and generous God, you have brought us back from the darkness that haunted us, and you remind us that we are “people of the “presence”.

Good and gentle God, you have seen our plight that marginalized us, and you have come to redeemed and heal us.

Good and courageous God, you have heard our prayer of worry and fear, and you have answered us with your miracles great and small. 

Good and bold God, you have seen how we struggle with the storms of life, and you have done great things for us that are marvels in our lives.

Good and strong God, you have helped Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild the Temple and now you build a Temple within each of us. 

For these marvels and wonders we give thanks. For the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we rejoice. For your holy presence we celebrate. Amen.

Read Full Post »


Psalm 22: Spiritual Warfare – Part II

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Male hands crossed for prayer in dark

This Favorite was written on November 11, 2008.

As the words on the wall of our school’s student dining room remind us:  You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8) There is no mystery in this.  The requirement is simple.  Spiritual warfare is this: Train self in order to invite wisdom; exercise compassion with justice in order to invite goodness.  All the rest follows naturally.  The outcome of good over evil is predictable.  The time of final resolution is not.

All the ends of the earth will worship the Lord; all the families of nations will bow down to you.

In this end which we see but whose time we cannot predict, God is all there is.  The war of life will have been waged and won by God.  Any influence of evil will disappear.  This we have been promised.

I will live for the Lord; my descendants will serve you.  The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you brought.

When miracles happen, we must proclaim them, thanking God.  We must sing God’s praise continually for our blessings great and small because in spiritual warfare the fall of darkness and deceit is brought about in an accumulation of these small songs intone grand chorus.  We also remember that the tiniest of miracles is significant for those to whom they have been granted . . . and that these miracles are a sign of God’s continual presence in our lives.

Tomorrow, foot soldiers. 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: