Stay humble and persevere

These words from Sirach 2:3a,4-6a motivate me and re-direct my thoughts (from myself to others) when I am finding things difficult:

Cling to Him, do not leave Him,
[…]
Accept whatever happens to you;
in periods of humiliation be patient.
For in fire gold is tested,
and the chosen, in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust in God, and he will help you…

This prayer helps me to grow in humility.

Oratio from lectio divina of Gospel for 14thSunOrdT-A

This Sunday’s Gospel reading is from Matthew 11:25-30:

Here is the fruit of my lectio/meditatio/contemplatio on this portion of Sacred Scripture:

Jesus, my heart swells with joy – and is greatly encouraged – to hear you publicly, exuberantly thanking our Father.  When I hear you proclaim our Father as “Lord of heaven and earth,” it greatly confirms my faith in Your divinity, for the Son of the “Lord” is Himself surely divine.  I am delighted to see that You were consoled in heart and mind that the will of the Father allowed only those of true grace-inspired littleness to perceive the sublime mystery of Your identity as Son and Your perfect communion with the Father.  Our Father wants to be known and loved, so He sent His perfect image, a perfect representation of Himself.  Help me, Jesus, to shed my pride and arrogance, that my heart may increase in simplicity, and my trust in You may never wane.

Jesus, the yoke of Your teaching and the way of life to which you call me is made so much lighter when I imitate Your meekness and humility.  Enable me to use the strength You have given me in a discerning, controlled manner, following Your example.  May I always be aware of my absolute dependence upon You, especially upon Your mercy.  I will indeed come to You frequently, Jesus, in the sacraments, in Your written word, in prayer, that Your yoke of discipleship may surely be lightened, joy-filled and attractive to others.

Rise and Go

Pope Francis recently had some harsh words for parishes that don’t proactively reach out to evangelize those in their community and others whom they encounter.  Here are some excerpts from the Vatican synopsis of the Pope’s homily:

Pope Francis called for a Church that “does not remain seated”

[…]

“Rise and go”. The Spirit “does not say: ‘remain seated, at ease, in your home’. No! In order to be ever faithful to the Lord, the Church must be on her feet and on the move: ‘Rise and go’”. In fact, Pope Francis continued, “a church that does not rise, that does not journey, becomes sick and ends up closed with much psychological and spiritual trauma, closed within a world of gossip, of things … closed, without horizons”. The invitation, however, is clear: Rise and go; get on your feet and get moving.

Oratio from lectio divina of Gospel for 13thSunOrdT-A

This Sunday’s Gospel reading is from Matthew 10:37-42.

Here is the fruit of my lectio/meditatio/contemplatio on this portion of Sacred Scripture:

Holy God, I praise You for Your supreme majesty.  You are deserving of all my love, my first love, my greatest love.  Aware of Your sovereignty and Your constant love for me, I desire to bestow my most intense self-giving love upon You above all – with all my heart, soul, strength and mind.

Jesus, I yearn to be a true, faithful disciple of Yours.  Your demands are severe, but my reward will be unending glory beholding Your Face.  Please fill me with the power of Your Holy Spirit to enable me to seek and embrace the Father’s will each day.  Knowing You are always at my side, give me the grace to persevere through any humiliation, pain or suffering that might accompany it, that my life might indeed be conformed to Yours, following where You have already gone.  With Your grace, sustain my efforts to shed my selfishness and disordered passions.  Enable me to eagerly surrender all aspects of my life for your sake that I may attain the eternal glory of Your resurrection.

Thank You for granting me Your authority to engage in the mission to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven.  May the Holy Spirit open the hearts of those with whom I share the Father’s plan, that it may be a blessing for them.  May I hospitably and joyfully welcome into my heart and home those disciples on mission for You who are sacrificing their time and using their gifts to share Your words and Your healing love with me.  Remind me, Jesus, that when I encounter them I also encounter You.