“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Mark 2:17

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

– Mark 2:17

 

REFLECTION…

Our Lord calls everyone. How, then, can we explain the restriction He seems to place here when He says He has not come to call the righteous? It is not really a restriction. Here Jesus takes the opportunity to warn the proud – those who consider themselves just, and think they can be saved by their own efforts.

Our Lord’s words are an invitation to repentance. In fact, St. John Chrysostom explains this verse by putting these words in Jesus’ mouth: “I am not come that they should continue sinners but that they should change and become better.”

 

St. Teresa’s Prayer…

Our Lord’s words should move us to pray humbly, like St. Teresa did, for those – including, perhaps, ourselves – who continue to live in sin.

“Ah, how hard a thing am I asking of You, my true God!

I ask You to love one who loves You not,

to open to one who has not called upon You,

to give health to one who prefers to be sick

and who even goes about in search of sickness.

You say, my Lord, that You came to seek sinners;

these, Lord, are the true sinners.

 

Look not upon our blindness, my God,

but upon all the blood that was shed for us by Your Son.

Let You mercy shine out amid such tremendous wickedness.

Behold, Lord, we are the works of Your hands”

 

PRAYER…

Lord, make me a better person,

rid me of all that is not from You and replace it with Your love.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Colossians 3:13

TODAY’S WORD…

Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.

– Colossians 3:13

 

REFLECTION…

An interior change begins to take place when one makes a firm resolution to lead a fully Christian life. This calls for an on-going effort, day in day out, to practice all the virtues. It is a transfiguration involving the whole person – soul and body, mind and will.

Forgiveness is one characteristic of the “new” man or woman. Forgiveness is an expression of that love, which brings about harmony.

Forgiveness, meekness, patience, and gratefulness all reflect an essential virtue – humility. Only a humble person can be both forgiving and truly grateful, because only such a person realises that everything one has comes from God. This realisation leads us to be understanding towards our neighbour, forgiving as often as needs be. By acting in this way, we will be proving the genuineness of our faith, and of our love.

 

A POEM.  A PRAYER…

Help me forgive others, Lord.

 

When rage and fury overwhelm my heart,

It’s time for me to look to Your Holy Word.

I search the Bible for Your good advice,

to be honoured by me, to be faithfully revered.

 

Lord Jesus, You reveal Your love for me;

In all things You work only for my good;

You give me blessings I can’t understand;

I’d be peaceful if I did the things You tell me I should.

 

Jesus, You forgave so much; why then can’t I?

I want to mould my life after Your own.

I pray, I try, but my sinful nature wins;

Lord, please help me, I can’t do this thing alone.

 

I read about Your peace, O Christ;

Oh, how I long to feel it in my heart.

All You want me to do is to forgive,

But Lord, I don’t quite know where to start.

 

The Bible tells me to “forgive as the Lord forgave you;

Get rid of anger and every form of malice.”

I’d love to just let go and release it all,

But upon my heart is a wound, a bitter chalice.

 

Do You wish me to walk in my offenders’ shoes,

and see things from a different point of view?

I know, You want me to be humble, and cry from my heart

and ‘forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

 

My Lord, I’ll keep praying and trying, no matter what;

I’m determined to let go; to surrender blame.

Very soon, I will say, and I’ll be truly sincere:

“I forgive it all in Jesus’ precious name.”

 

Amen.

 

[this prayer was inspired by and is mainly a re-arrangement of a poem, with the same title, by Joanna Fuchs]

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Psalm 44:24-25

TODAY’S WORD…

Awake, O Lord, why do You sleep?

Arise, do not reject us for ever!

Why do You hide Your face

and forget our oppression and misery?

– Psalm 44:24-25

 

REFLECTION…

We believe in God’s steadfast love but sometimes, when afflicted by misfortunes, we can find ourselves (in our desperation and grief) attributing them to God. “I believe in You, O Lord, so why do You hide Your face from me?” Such can be the desperate cry of a believer who is experiencing suffering and who expects God to answer his or her prayers.

When, for whatever reason, we experience suffering, we can find ourselves feeling that God is hiding His face from us – because our heart is shrouded in darkness and this darkness prevents us from seeing the light of truth.

But, if I allow Him to, the Holy Spirit, who is always by my side, will rush into my heart and mind and will console me and reassure me that nothing can ever plunge my interior life into darkness. It is then that I can shout out, in faith, “Father, Thy will be done!”

[the inspiration for Today’s reflection comes mainly from a commentary by St. Ambrose.]

 

PRAYER…

Father in heaven, give me faith and strength. Your will be done!

 

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – 1 Samuel 3:1-10

TODAY’S WORD…

“Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.”

– 1 Samuel 3:1-10

 

REFLECTION…

The Lord’s Word is there, for anybody who wants to listen to it. The Lord is always there, right beside all who want to be with Him.

Do I ever stop, amongst all the noise, to listen out for God’s voice and to see what He wants of me? If He was speaking to me now, would I know it? Would I be able to hear His voice? Would I recognise His voice? Would I care?

We need to stop…and to go to that quiet place and spend some time seeking our Lord…in silence…focusing on Him…and listening out for His voice.

He does not always speak to us, but being with Him…in silence…is a blessing in itself.

 

PRAYER…

Lord, Your servant is listening.

 

Speak to me if You will,

but if not,

then Your nearness is enough

to give comfort to my heart, which seeks to rest in You.

 

Lord, Your servant is listening.

Here I am, Lord.

[Now spend a few minutes in silence…with the Lord, who is right by your side…]

.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13

TODAY’S WORD…

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.

– 1 Thessalonians 2:13

 

REFLECTION…

God Himself speaks when His Word, His Gospel, is proclaimed…whether by word of mouth or in writing.

The Word of God is living and active, and “such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life.” (“Dei Verbum”)

Whenever we listen to or read God’s Word we should make every effort to receive it as if it was coming directly from God Himself – which it is! We must ignore any deficiencies in the medium via which the Word is being transmitted to us (including boring or unprepared preachers) since we will be otherwise distracted and we will miss what God wishes to tell us.

A humble and accepting disposition serves to filter out all impurities…and the Holy Spirit will do the rest!

 

PRAYER…

Father in Heaven,

thank You for Your Word,

which is so alive

and which touches the heart and soul

of those of us who are open to receive it.

 

Father,

I pray that Your Divine Word is received,

by all,

and in every circumstance,

with the anticipation, exultation, and reverence due.

 

Father, with all my heart I declare that Your Word is life!

Amen.

.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Mark 1:16-18

TODAY’S WORD…

As Jesus was walking along by the Sea of Galilee He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.”  And at once they left their nets and followed Him.

– Mark 1:16-18

 

REFLECTION…

The last time Jesus passed by and called us to follow Him, how did we respond? Did we mumble something like “Later, because I’m too busy”? Or, maybe, knowing that to follow Him, we would have to give up our present way of life, was our reply a polite “Thanks, but no thanks”?

Perhaps we ignored Him because we may have strongly felt that we had some bone to pick with Him, and so we let our pride and self-centeredness take over. Here again our reply would have been a dry “Thanks, but no thanks.”

God passes by and calls us. If we do not answer Him “immediately”, He may continue on His way and we could lose sight of Him.

When God passes by, He may do so rapidly, and so it would also be sad if we were to fall behind simply because, although we wanted to follow Him, we were still carrying many things that are only dead weight and a nuisance, and which hamper our progress.

 

PRAYER…

Jesus, my Lord and my God,

forgive me.

 

Forgive my conceited self-centeredness;

forgive my arrogant selfishness;

forgive my being blinded by my self-imposed short-sightedness.

 

Lord, I so want to love You

like You love me.

Help me, Lord, to meekly bow my head

and say “Yes!” to You,

every time You pass by.

 

Help me, Lord, focus totally on You, as I follow You,

and let me, trustfully,

drop everything that I have and carry with me,

and leave it all in Your loving hands.

 

Thank You, Lord Jesus.

Forgive me, Lord Jesus.

I love You, Lord Jesus.

 

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Psalm 123:1

TODAY’S WORD…

To You I lift up my eyes,

to You who dwell in the heavens.

– Psalm 123:1

 

REFLECTION…

“I lift up my eyes”…in supplication and prayer…to my God.

Isn’t it special that Nature prompts us, mankind, to look up when we address God, as if He dwells above us! It is a natural prompting of the heart that He must be the most exalted of all beings, dwelling above all. It is our soul reaching up for its Maker.

 

QUOTE…

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,

unuttered or expressed,

the motion of a hidden fire

that trembles in the breast.

 

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

the falling of a tear,

the upward glancing of an eye,

when none but God is near.

 

Prayer is the simplest form of speech

that infant lips can try;

prayer the most sublime strains that reach

the Majesty on high.

Prayer is the contrite sinners’ voice,

returning from their way,

while angels in their songs rejoice

and cry, “Behold, they pray!”

– from the hymn “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”, by James Montgomery

 

PRAYER…

To You, my Lord, I lift up my eyes,

to You who dwell in the heavens,

for You are my God and my Maker

and my soul acknowledges You and yearns for You.

 

To You I lift up my praise and thanks,

for all that I am and all that I have been blessed with

comes from You.

 

To You I lift up my cries, O Lord,

for You give me strength and hope,

and the courage to endure.

 

As I lift up my eyes to the heavens,

You gently reassure me that You are here with me,

always right by my side.

 

Thank You, my Lord and my God.

Thank You for always being with me!

 

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