Thursday, May 26, 2016

Grow into salvation

1 Pt 2:2-5,9-12;  Ps 100 Come with joy into the presence of the Lord; Mark 10:46-52

"that you may grow into salvation…"

Think about these words from the first letter of Peter.  Salvation is not a once saved always saved event as is often expressed by our separated brethren.  At least, Peter doesn't think so as he invites us to  "grow into salvation."

Rather it seems like it is an organic experience in which we come to receive fully more and more the grace God offers so that we might be transformed and reach our full potential.  Salvation is more than just being saved.  It is about inward transformation.  It is about growth into more, becoming who we are created to be.

Each day affords an opportunity; each moment invites us to receive more and more and be stretched.

This why Jesus speaks of pruning in the gospel of John.  Every branch must be pruned so that new growth and more fruit can be realized in our life. We grow into salvation.  God patiently awaits this growth and this process to not only take effect in our lives but to effect the lives of those around us.

We encounter the blind man on the road to Jericho in today's gospel, Bartimaeus.
Jesus ask him a question and it is the very question he ask us, "What do you want me to do for you?"

What is our response to this question.  What do we want Jesus to do for us?  The answer to this question is rooted deeply into who we are and who God is calling us to be.

Here is the blind man on the side of the road.  Here he sits in the ditch.  Perhaps trying to hitchhike his way to place of wholeness and wellness and harmony.

This is the hitch hiker's guide to spirituality. We have to be willing to step out of the ditch, to leave the side of the road, to get off the shoulder and stand in to road it self, for we know that Jesus is the road for he has told us he is the way, the truth, and the life.

As long as we are on the side of the road, in the ditch we will be blind.  But the moment we step in to the road, we step into Christ and sight shall be given and vision restored.

We are told that "immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way."

No longer sitting in the ditch or standing on the shoulder but now he walks in the road, the way, in Christ.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


James 5:1-6; Ps 49 Blessed are the poor in Spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs; Mark 9:41-50

"You have stored up treasure for the last days…"

We find these words in the middle of the first reading from James.

He is speaking about the tragedy of putting our focus on material wealth and material possessions.  In the midst of this he mentions, "storing up treasure for the last days.."

How often do we worry about living our earthly life to its full with all material comfort rather than focus on the truth of our existence and the destiny that awaits us as people of faith.

Should not our treasure we store up be for eternal life?

Should we not look beyond the last days of our earthly life and see how well we have prepared ourselves for that reality?

What will come of the earthly treasure we amass when our body lies in dust and our souls meet our maker?

Then we hear the words of Jesus, "anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to christ, amen, I say to you, you will surely not lose his reward."

Here is our treasure.  Here is the motivation.  Who belongs to christ so that we might extend our hand in generosity?  What if it is everyone we meet along the way that fifers us an opportunity to store of treasure where it matters most?

Enemy of the Good

James 4:13-17

What is the enemy of good?  What is the opposition, the force that resists the good that we can do, the good that we can be, the good that God wants to work through us daily in our life?

Where do find this nemesis hiding in shadows of our daily life of love, of give and take?

I think James in today's first reading certainly has pin pointed one of the enemies of Good.

Listent o what he has to say, "You have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears."

The enemy to good is presumption.  That is we often presume that we will have another opportunity, another tomorrow, another moment to the the good we are invited to do in this moment, this day, right now.

But we know this is not true.

In an instant, in a blink, in a flash, life has we know it can change.  How we live today can be altered forever.  We have all seen this life.  We know how fragile these moments we have are.  Yet, we still delay.  We still presume on time to come when all we truly have is the time we live in this moment.

James reminds us that we have today to love the good in our life.  We are invited to cast off presumption; cast aside that false notion of tomorrow and embrace the moment we are in today.

Today we celebrate the feast of St John 1, pope and martyr.  His epitaph on his tomb in Rome simply reads, "victim of Christ."  It could read he refused to put off tomorrow the good he was invited to live today.  This is how Christ lived.  This is how his disciples live.  This is how we are invited to live.

Christ is our life.  He is our only good.  Living in him, Him living in us, daily provides the moment for goodness to reign supreme in our life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Welcoming the Holy Spirit

Here are a few words from Pope Benedict in regards to the Holy Spirit

"The Holy Spirit continues today to act with power in the Church, and the fruits of the Spirit are abundant in the measure in which we are ready to open up to this power that makes all things new.

For this reason it is important that each one of us know the Spirit, and establish a relationship with Him, and allow ourselves to be guided by Him…

Yes, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love of the Father and of the Son, is the source of life that makes us holy, "because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us."

Nevertheless, it is not enough to know the Spirit; we must welcome Him as the guide of our souls, as the "Teacher of the interior life" who introduces us to the Mystery of the Trinity, because he alone can open us up to faith and allow us to live it each day to the full.

The Spirit impels us forward toward others, enkindles in us the fire of love, makes us missionaries of God's charity.

It is precisely the presence of the Spirit within us that confirms, constitutes, and builds our person on the very Person of Jesus crucified and risen."