Worship

Fullness of Faith – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Fullness of Faith – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…faith is not about being certain that God will act in certain ways, though it may sometimes entail this. Nor is it primarily about the determination to persevere in hope in the face of trials, though this is how we are called to express our faith. Rather, faith is fundamentally about surrendering the whole of our lives in humility and awe at who God is, and in gratitude and adoration for all that he has done to reveal to us his unfailing love—at the cross, but also specifically in our lives. True faith is not just a determination of the mind, but also an attitude of the heart that orients itself in worship of the One from whose love we can never be separated (Rom 8:38-39), who works all things for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28) and who is, indeed, just.

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Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what is at stake for Jesus in the wilderness, and indeed for all of us in our lives. Worship is not fundamentally about the postures we strike, the songs we sing, or the words we pronounce (though all of these are vitally important to worship); it is about answering with the whole of our lives the question, “Whom do you serve?”; and our answer to that question will ultimately be evident in the way we treat others, the way we treat our bodies, the way we perform our duties and responsibilities, indeed in every detail great and small that makes up our lives, for in the words of Ravi Zacharias, “Worship is coextensive with all of life”.

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Remembrance and Worship – Second Reading in Preparation for the Solemnity of Christ the King

Remembrance and Worship – Second Reading in Preparation for the Solemnity of Christ the King

Isn’t that the heart of it all: Jesus loves us? And because he loves us he “has freed us from our sins by his blood”…John calls to mind the great honor he has given us by making us partners with him in the salvation of the world, for he has made us a “kingdom of priests”. We are not just forgiven, we are drafted and transformed into those who, like Christ, represent God to humankind and represent humankind to God.

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All or Nothing – First Reading in Preparation for the Twenty-first Reading in Ordinary Time

All or Nothing – First Reading in Preparation for the Twenty-first Reading in Ordinary Time

Somehow we trick ourselves into believing that the Lord is the God of Sunday but money, power, prestige are the gods of Monday. We believe the Lord is our help in time of need and Eros is our guide in times of passion. We believe the Lord provides and Bacchus helps us know what to do with His provision…The end result is a religion that looks like Christianity and sounds like Christianity, but is everything but Christianity. It is a made up mish-mash of human desires and dreams coated with the veneer of Christian belief.

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Participation and Preparation – Gospel in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Participation and Preparation – Gospel in Preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

The catechism teaches that the Eucharist is “the culmination of the worship men offer to Christ and, through him, to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” Take a moment to think about that. The culmination of our worship is to remember, relive and receive the sacrificial self-giving of the God of the universe, the God of all Life, given so that we might be restored to Him and receive His life.

I honestly don’t even know what to do with such a beautiful reality, except pray for the grace to participate ever more fully in that sacrifice by my worship, and in every aspect of my life, so that I might “be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

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To See the King – Gospel in Preparation for the Second Sunday in Lent

To See the King – Gospel in Preparation for the Second Sunday in Lent

What does God expect of those of us who have recognized Jesus? I am always amazed at how simply Scripture puts it. Nothing elaborate, nothing esoteric, nothing complex. From the lips of Mary at the wedding at Cana of Galilee it is “Do whatever he tells you”. From Jesus’ own lips it is simply “Follow me!” From the cloud at the Transfiguration God says simply “Listen to him!” What is asked is a simple thing – that we listen, trust, and obey. Of course “simple” does not mean “easy”. Nevertheless, it is the call, to follow wherever he leads.

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A Moment to Behold! – First Reading in Preparation for the Baptism of the Lord

A Moment to Behold! – First Reading in Preparation for the Baptism of the Lord

What are we to do with this scripture? How are we to apply it? The answer is the first word: “Behold!” That is the one and only command. We are to visualize Jesus, contemplate with awe who he is, what he has come to do, and how he will go about doing it. We are to meditate on these verses from Isaiah and, when we do, we are to see Jesus. Every word of every Gospel, every story and every event, can and should be a place to pause and behold him in the light of these great promises. We are to behold him and, having beheld, worship, for he is the breathtaking fulfillment of every promise of God.

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The Best they Had to Offer- Gospel in Preparation for the Epiphany of the Lord

The Best they Had to Offer- Gospel in Preparation for the Epiphany of the Lord

For us, as we approach the Child, their gifts become an example for our own presentation. First, they gave themselves, they prostrated themselves before him as if to say, “I myself am the gift, from this point on my allegiance belongs to you. Only ask, and I will obey.” Second, when they did offer him tangible gifts, they gave the best they had. Not the second best, but the best. Certainly gold, frankincense and myrrh would not be expected from everyone, but to give whatever is one’s best is the sure sign of devotion.

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The Desire of Every Nation – First Reading in Preparation for the Epiphany of the Lord

The Desire of Every Nation – First Reading in Preparation for the Epiphany of the Lord

D.T. Niles said, “Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.” The Epiphany is a shining forth that draws others out of darkness and into light. Christian witness, the sharing of that light, is no imposition, it is the glad task of offering to the world the fulfillment of their deepest needs and desires. It is offering to others the bread of life. As Isaiah said, “Behold, those who walk in darkness have seen a great light!” and it is our privilege to let that light shine through us to all the world.

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Lost in Wonder – Gospel Reading for the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Lost in Wonder – Gospel Reading for the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

We know that when we get to heaven we shall all be overcome by wonder as we stand before the throne of God. We will be overcome by the Beatific Vision and worship will spring from our hearts and lips. Charles Wesley speaks of that moment in his glorious hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” :“Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise”
But even now, if we will take the time, Behold! The king upon his throne of hay! And we shall be, as we should, “lost in wonder love and praise”.

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