Meditations

Unwavering Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Unwavering Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

One of the most fundamental steps of living into our sonship and daughtership in Christ is to demonstrate the same unwavering trust we see in Jesus in the wilderness by, likewise, determining not to fulfill our own desires (however right or needful) in our own way or in our own time (however easily we might be able to do so), but rather to surrender our lives to his Kingdom, trusting in his provision and timing, and above all His unfailing love.

For He that promised is faithful (Heb 10:23).

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The Shepherd and Guardian of Our Souls – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

The Shepherd and Guardian of Our Souls – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Jesus is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. In him, in his living presence with us even now, all the affirmations of Psalm 23 become incarnate and are fulfilled. The Lord Jesus is our Shepherd and we shall not want. Jesus makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters. Jesus restores our soul. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus is with us, comforting us with his rod and staff. And, because of him, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This is no wishful thinking; it is the experience and sure hope of untold multitudes of those who, over the last two thousand years, have heard and recognized the Shepherd’s voice and followed Him.

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Wounded for Our Transgressions – Meditation for Good Friday

Wounded for Our Transgressions – Meditation for Good Friday

To Jesus’ disciples, the crucifixion must have seemed at first like a pointless tragedy or, as Benedict XVI has said, “an inexplicable fact that placed his entire message and his whole meaning in question” (Jesus of Nazareth, Part II, p.202) It must have seemed an ignominious and utter failure. From the event itself, what else could they think? Yet, in a few short days everything changed and that which must have seemed devoid of meaning became the most significant event in the history of the world.

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Sons and Daughters of God – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Sons and Daughters of God – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

There is a sense in which we are all sons and daughters of God, for we are not only made by him, but also made in his image and likeness. This is suggested by Luke’s genealogy and it is good and right to affirm this. However because we are made in God’s image and likeness, we are also made for a deeper, richer sonship (and daughter-ship!) that cannot be a simple fact of nature, nor can it be obtained by our own efforts. It must be obtained through the unmerited gift of grace, by uniting ourselves to Christ and being baptized in to his uncompromising obedience to God manifested in his life, death and resurrection.

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Servants of God – Eighth Meditation in the Studies of 1 Peter

In particular, I think we must realize the contrast between what God through Peter calls us to and the behavior we too often fall into as Christians in a newly hostile or indifferent environment. Our response all too often vacillates between belligerence and withdrawal, between anger and despair, between our own forms of attack–scorn and defamation–and playing the role of the victim. Of course, all of this comes from fear, but that is no excuse. God’s people must behave as God’s people even, or especially, in the moment of greatest challenge.

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Repentance and Transformation – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Repentance and Transformation – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

“When men’s thoughts cease to resemble God’s thoughts, their conduct ceases to be godly. This, in a nutshell, is the importance of the New Testament doctrine of repentance: it is a calling of men’s minds to be patterned after God’s, in order that their conduct may be in keeping with his will and that they may participate in his reign.”

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Something Beautiful for God – Seventh Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Something Beautiful for God – Seventh Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

The beauty of heroic Christian virtue, humility, and sacrificial love stands out and attracts amidst the banal ugliness of much of this fallen world and it points to the one who is its source, who, in Jesus, is beauty incarnate. I love this way of thinking about what it really means to “maintain good conduct among the gentiles.” It is a much higher calling than we suspect. It is the calling so eloquently and simply captured by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta both in her life and in her exhortation to us: “Make your life Something Beautiful For God.” May this always be our high aspiration.

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Finding Jesus in the Temple – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Finding Jesus in the Temple – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Perhaps this is something that many can relate to today: not understanding why God has allowed certain things to happen, or even why he feels distant in the midst of these situations. No amount of sermons we’ve heard in the past or pithy sayings we’ve read on Facebook seem sufficient for the pain we’re going through right now. And yet through this beautiful vignette do we not only find one who has gone before us and knows such pain, but also the gentle reminder of where we can find the God who seems so distant: in the temple, which Paul reminds us is no longer an earthly structure, but our own bodies—through prayer, fasting and personal care—and, consummately, His Body, that is, the earthly community of His disciples, through whom His Spirit is alive and working. It is as we seek him in such community—through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service, to use the old Methodist phrase—that we will find Him, and find in Him, Life Abundant.

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Living Stones of the Temple – Sixth Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

There is another difference between our liturgy and Peter’s plea: the first emphasizes our need for the Church. The second emphasizes the Church’s need for us. Both are true. Indeed “all of every age and station stand in need of the grace which it alone supplies”. But also it is only through our participation that this grace is mediated. We are in the church not just because we need it, but because it needs us and Christ calls us to meet that need.

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Suffering, Solidarity and Glory – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Suffering, Solidarity and Glory – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This, too, is our mission, for we are all called to be Mary’s: to bear the one who has brought salvation and life to the world through his own suffering and death. We do this not only in the way that we bear our own crosses—in perseverance, supplication, faithfulness and hope—but also in the way that we willingly share in those of others and help them through solidarity and charity. CS Lewis has said that pain is God’s “megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” And we, as disciples of Christ, are called to turn the blaring, grating and indistinct din of pain into the healing balm of Christ’s sacrificial and saving love, through the same solidarity by which he has shown his love for us.

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