A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spending wages, but unsatisfied?

All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!

You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;

Come, without paying
and without cost,
drink wine and milk!

Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?

Heed Me,
and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.

Come to Me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.

I will renew with you the everlasting
the benefits assured to David.

(Today's first reading - Isaiah 55:1-3)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"The life of your enemies"

In today’s first reading (1 Kings 3:5, 7-12), God offers Solomon whatever he wants.

Solomon famously asks for wisdom.

God is pleased by this request, because Solomon has not asked for what many might have requested.

Some would have asked for a long life.

Some would have asked for riches.

Some would have asked for the life of their enemies.

This last request resonates strongly today as we react in horror to the bombing and the mass shooting in Norway last Friday.

Was the perpetrator of this horrific crime seeking the life of his enemies? We do not really know.

As for ourselves, may we always ask God for wisdom.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why the wicked walk among us

Just after midnight this morning, a woman who is widely believed to have killed her own 2-year-old daughter walked out of jail free.

Today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:24-33) contains a parable about God allowing wicked people to survive.

Why does God let this happen? Sometimes we human beings cannot find a fully satisfying answer: the wisdom of God – who is infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and all-loving – cannot be totally grasped by finite beings on this earth.

Today’s Gospel teaches us, however, that one of the reasons God permits the survival of the wicked is for the benefit of the good.

If you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest....

For one reason or another, sad to say, many of us are in different ways entangled in the wickedness of this world and our own sinfulness.

By the timing of His judgment, God offers all of us opportunity for repentance.

May we take that offer and repent.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me – a sinner.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Proclaim the Word - online and everywhere

In a world that exalts falsehood and selfishness, it sometimes seems a losing battle to proclaim faithfully the truth that comes from God.

Today’s readings remind us, however, that God’s word is all-powerful and is to be proclaimed – no matter what.

Today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:1-23) presents us with the familiar Parable of the Sower.

Consider how the imagery of the Parable may reflect our own lives at different times: the hard, dry, beaten-down and vulnerable path; the rocky places in our lives – painful, treacherous, and with no room to grow; the twisted, confused, and deadly thorns that ensnare and suffocate us.

Yet even in these terrible places, the word of God comes to us – a word that will make a difference, that will have an effect, as today’s first reading (Isaiah 55:10-11) reminds us so beautifully:

For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

One of the reasons God’s word is effective is that it has its own way of finding the “good soil” in which it can take root and flourish where you and I might see only a wasteland of hard ground, rocks, and thorns.

Nonetheless, it is critically important for us to do what we can, by the grace of God, to open up even more “good soil” in our hearts and in our lives: to create more opportunities for reflection and meditation to let God’s word take root deeply within us and, while remaining faithful to our godly responsibilities, to free our minds and hearts from worldly anxiety and the lure of riches.

This can be difficult and it is easy to lose hope, especially in times of hardship, but, as Saint Paul reminds us in today’s second reading (Romans 8:18-23), the power of God’s word will conquer all – no matter how hopeless or futile things may sometimes feel.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.

For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord
but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom
of the children of God.

(adapted from an earlier post)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Choose to live so as to live

For if you live according to the flesh,
you will die,
but if by the Spirit
you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

(from today's Epistle - Romans 8:9, 11-13)