God’s Faithfulness

Forward by Faith! – First Reading of the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Forward by Faith! – First Reading of the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we meditate on this passage given to us in this first reading, we are challenged to take as our own the very hope to which it points, the same hope that inspired and sustained Tindley in the midst of his struggles. Like he, we are called to trust that no matter where we find ourselves, no matter how painful or ominous the situation, “A better day is coming, the morning draweth nigh when girded right with holy might shall overthrow the wrong. When Christ our Lord shall listen to every plaintive sigh and stretch his hand o’er all the land in justice by and by.”

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What Wondrous Love – Gospel for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

What Wondrous Love – Gospel for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

We must begin with wonder and awe, such as that captured beautifully in the Great American Folk Hymn we all know so well:

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

And then we must order our lives wholly and completely to the humility we see exemplified in Christ’s work on the cross, and the love that is poured out through it. After all, if God has not spared his most precious Son out of love for us, is there anything he won’t do for us? (Romans 8:31-32) And is there anything that we should ever withhold from him? God’s love revealed on the Cross was the basis of Paul’s confident hope in the face of “hardship, distress, persecution, famine nakedness, peril or the sword” that “nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” Should it not be ours as well?

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Undaunted Hope – Gospel Reading for the Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Undaunted Hope – Gospel Reading for the Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time

We all know from personal experience what it is like to go through trials in which our faith is tested and our prayers seem to be met with either silence or rejection by God. Can we, however, respond as she in the midst of these trials? Will we choose to persist in determined hope in his unfailing love or will we allow the silence to drown out this hope? And are we willing to humble ourselves before Jesus in our supplication? Or are our prayers infested with pride and entitlement? Make no mistake, her persistence had nothing to do with entitlement and everything to do with her deep hope in His love and mercy. And that hope was not disappointed.

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Hope In the Midst of the Storm – Gospel Reading for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Hope In the Midst of the Storm – Gospel Reading for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is difficult for any of us to keep our eyes trained on Christ in the midst of the storm. In truth, we cannot do so in our own strength. But by His grace we can trust that even when we fail to do so perfectly, the same hand that was immediately stretched out to Peter the moment he cried for help will also be stretched out to us. May we also become that hand of love and grace for others in the midst of their storms.

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Holiness and Hope – Second Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holiness and Hope – Second Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

One of the last things any of us wants to hear in the midst of suffering is that somehow God will bring good out of that situation. But Paul is talking about far more than some sort of spiritual “making lemonade out of lemons.” This passage speaks to us about the restoration of a grace that we have lost by our sin, the grace of original holiness. God created us in freedom not so that we might rebel against him, but so that we might partake in his divine life and share in his glory (CCC 398). This is the great and unfathomable good for which we have been created; this is the great and unfathomable good from which we cut ourselves off by our sin. And it is the great and unfathomable good towards which God is able to work all things—our mistakes, our successes, our grief and our joy—for those who love Him.

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A Beauty that Prevails – Gospel Reading for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Beauty that Prevails – Gospel Reading for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To make a more practical analogy, if you have a coworker that breaths fire—they are abrasive, impatient or overbearing—the right response is not to replicate that behavior, but balance it with kindness, love, and patience… this kind of active resistance, even in the form of our deference, is the means by which we resist the threat of the weeds, so that the goodness in ourselves and in our neighbors is able to grow. This patience, this perceived non-action, is often the holiest action we can take. It is the outward expression of our belief in God’s infinite goodness and justice, that even as darkness thickens and contracts upon us, there is an enduring light manifest in the grace of God and our faith that “though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

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Sowing Love Prodigally – Gospel Reading for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sowing Love Prodigally – Gospel Reading for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Augustine says, “If you see charity, you see the Trinity” and St. John tells us in his first letter that “he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (4:16). There is mysterious truth that is proven over and over again in the lives of the saints that only those people give themselves away in love as prodigally as the sower in the parable—however costly the seed—come to experience the love, hope and New Life offered them in Christ. They not only come to mirror the love of God to their neighbor, but actually become that love. They partake in the very life of God who is, himself, Love and is eternally giving.

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A Word that Never Fails – First Reading for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Word that Never Fails – First Reading for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The promises of this passage are made to each of us. They are not automatic, though, and require a positive response on our part: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.; let the wicked man forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to the Lord that he may have mercy on him and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon”(Isaiah 55:6-7). Nevertheless, they are sure and certain and we should rest confidently in them. It is God who has willed our salvation. It is God who has willed our peace. It is God who has willed the abundance of grace. Not only has he willed it, He has spoken it and when God speaks, it happens.

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The Beauty of the Desert – First Reading of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

The Beauty of the Desert – First Reading of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

This Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, otherwise known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. In the context of this feast we read this text in celebration of the fact that the fulfillment of God’s promises to the Israelites did not culminate with their entrance in the Promised Land, but have found their fullness in the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ who was offered up as the true Bread from Heaven, the bread that never perishes and through whom we have the hope of eternal life.

It is looking to this fulfillment that we come to know the depth of our Lord’s steadfast love and the abundance of his redemption, and we are able to trust that He who did not spare his own Son will not also not fail to give us everything else we need. (Rom 8:32).

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The Promises of God – Gospel of the Sixth Week of Easter

The Promises of God – Gospel of the Sixth Week of Easter

Both of these promises are for everyone, for everyone is invited to put their trust in him. However, the promises are able to be fulfilled only in those who love him: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will…” give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. Note that the love required is not mere affection or sentimentality, but obedience. William Barclay wrote correctly, “”To John there is only one test of love and that is obedience. It was by obedience that Jesus showed his love for God ; and it is by our obedience that we must show our love for Jesus”.”

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