Advent Day 24 – Good News for December 21

21 12 2010

Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Daily Path:Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Do I believe?  667 GNTG blog posts later the answer is a resounding YES!

Am I “blessED”? Not with a capital “B” like Mary, but I was BLESSed by God the day He called me home. No angels. No leaping infants. Just a joyful heart that miraculously opened up to believe what I was feeling was indeed the Spirit moving within.

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.

Invisible Man – Good News for February 21

21 02 2009

Hebrews 11:1-3, 6

Brothers and sisters, Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible.

But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The Daily Path: I cannot see God as I see my wife, children and friends. He doesn’t knock on my door, enter my house and put food in my refrigerator. I won’t see Him walking into the bank, greeting the teller, or depositing funds into my account so that I can pay the mortgage. 

Even though I can’t see God do any of these things, He’s doing them. I believe that God is responsible for all the blessings that have come my way. Today I can say that I have complete faith in God as the master architect in my life. Although invisible, He’s revealed himself to me. Not in the same way He did with Peter, James and John up on a mountain (Mark 9:2). Instead God has revealed Himself in the face of others who enter my life and the unseen groundwork that enables me to find true abundance.  

I wish I could do a better job of explaining faith. All I can tell you is the more I stay connected to God, the more He reveals himself to me. Though invisible, I have faith that God exists.

Room to Chat: Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to stop at St. Monica’s Church for some quiet time with God. While I was there, an elderly woman came into the chapel. She had a respiratory ailment of some sort and could barely breath after the short walk from the parking lot. She sat down trying to catch her breath. Then the woman began to pray. Although she intended to pray quietly, because of her difficulty breathing, her words became audible to those of us in the chapel. The first thing she said to begin her prayer was “I love you, Jesus.”

Wow! How is that for a prayer?

Camels At Your Door – Good News for January 4

4 01 2009

Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” 

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. 

The Daily Path: The magi visited me yesterday. No, I’m not crazy, nor did three kings on camels pull up on my front lawn. However, I did receive a timely gift for which I am most grateful. I’m sure it was the answer to so many prayers. One of my first responses was to say “thank you” to God. 

I think the magi are very active in our lives. God sends many blessings our way in the course of a day. Some are so small they barely register. Others are big. Often they are overlooked. We don’t have to prostrate ourselves immediately as the magi did. But when we are aware of the gifts given us, a simple “thanks” is always possible.

My friends, look for the star overhead in your own life and give thanks when you find God’s gifts to you. 

Room to Chat: Saying the Our Father when you first wake up is a great way to start the day.

A Voice Once Again – Good News for December 23

23 12 2008

Luke 1:57-66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. 

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” 

But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.

Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.” 

The Daily Path: I can imagine the surprise felt by his neighbors when Zechariah was suddenly able to speak again. How would your neighbors act if you suddenly proclaimed your faith in ways unexpected? I’m no Zechariah, but I think some of my friends and neighbors are still a little stunned over my return to my Catholic roots. That’s okay because I hope many of them will be blessed by God’s touch in the days ahead. If they could come to know the same joy I’ve experienced with God in my life, I’m certain they’d all rush to begin their own spiritual journey. 

In these last two days before Christmas, I want to express my thanks to everyone who has brought Good News To-Go! into their life. No matter how many times you’ve visited, I hope reading the Good News of Our Lord has brought some measure of peace into what can often be a storm. Your many comments have inspired me to continue. It’s my Christmas prayer that more peace will be present in your lives as you find ways to incorporate more of God and His love and mercy into each day. Look for Him in your life and listen…

Lift up your heads and see, your redemption is near at hand. (Luke 21:28)