Receive The Spirit – Good News for May 31

31 05 2009

Acts 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.

Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

John 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

The Daily Path: Pentecost Sunday. The ultimate day of grace. Someone recently said they believed that we are better prepared today to understand grace and how the Holy Spirit works in our lives than the Apostles were. That may be true because we have two thousand years of experience under our belt. At the same time, I don’t believe that we can ever fully understand the Grace of God that, like a divine wind, can suddenly sweep into our life out of nowhere.

This grace and the Spirit are amazing, powerful, terrifying, comforting, mysterious, peaceful, nurturing and seemingly impossible all at once. How can we hope to understand? I’m happy just to believe that I can receive God’s grace and feel fortunate that from time to time my doors are unlocked so that a little breeze can come my way.

God showers His grace on us. This I know to be true.

Room to Chat: Lord, please send the wind of Your grace into my life today and every day. Allow me to be enlightened so that I can be an example of your great love for us.

Not Seeing Is Believing – Good News for May 30

30 05 2009

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: I’m amazed at how often signs come into our life at the exact time we need them the most. Today’s Gospel is one of those instances.

Don’t stop believing.

Room to Chat: There’s always time to consider the blessings in your life. Sometimes we lose sight of them as we deal all the heavy stuff.

Breakfast With Jesus – Good News for May 29

29 05 2009

John 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Daily Path: Today you have the Good News to nourish you.

One thought… Peter got a second chance to declare his love for the Lord. This time he delivered. Will we?

Hope Along The Way – Good News for May 28

28 05 2009

John 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying, “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.

And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

The Daily Path: Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (Psalms 16:11)

Path of Change – Good News for May 27

27 05 2009

Acts 20:28-38

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus, “Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God that he acquired with his own Blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them.

So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears. And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated. I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions. In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all. They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.

The Daily Path: Our daily readings over the past week have told of the sadness felt by followers of the Lord. First it’s the Apostles who feel a great sense of loss when Jesus returns to the Father in heaven. Now Jesus disciple St. Paul leaves his followers on the journey that will lead to his own execution.

In reflecting on these stories of passing, I think of my own life and the challenge of change that we all face. Sometimes we do change well. In other cases we experience difficulty. I’m going through one of those difficult periods now. Like the disciples, I’m feeling great loss for things that are no longer present in this world.

Jesus and Paul left behind a lot of sad, grieving people, but they weren’t left alone to manage their change. They were left with directions on how to carry on. Paul calls upon one such set of instructions:  “We must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

No matter how difficult my change may be, there is always someone else who is having a much tougher go of it. Rather than focusing on the “me” change, shouldn’t I put these hands to work serving someone else? 

To anyone currently dealing with change in their life: Keep the faith, baby! Join me in the belief that God is in control and allow the change to work itself out. 

Room to Chat: Can you help someone manage their change?

Courage – Good News for May 26

26 05 2009

John 17:1-11

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

The Daily Path: Today, I’d like to share another reading with you today. It’s from the Acts of the Apostles 20:22-24:

But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.

St. Paul knew that continuing to share the word of God meant walking in harm’s way, yet he did so anyway. What incredible courage. As you may know, Paul was ultimately arrested and after years of imprisonment was beheaded.

While reading this I couldn’t help but think about Paul’s contemporary, Peter, who on the night Jesus was arrested denied knowing Him three times. What a difference the Holy Spirit made in these men. 

I reflect on all of the occasions I deny Jesus. Sometimes I know that proclaiming my Catholic faith, or faith in God period, won’t be a popular thing to do. In those moments of fear, living in the world suddenly becomes more important than living in the Word. While I’d like to be more like Paul fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel of God’s grace, all too often I feel like Peter… before he had his shower in the Spirit.  

Christ revealed God to us. Perhaps we can find courage to live our lives in ways that will reveal the name of God to others.

A double dose of the Spirit please!

Room to Chat: Each day presents a new opportunity to demonstrate a little courage in living the Word of God. Be brave!