Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Conversion.... Rebuilding

Today, January 25th is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. When I was saying Mass this morning and listening to the Liturgy of the word, I was reminded of how before his conversion, Saul was completely bent on destroying this new Christian Community. Saul featured heavily in the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr of the Church. His zeal to tear the church down was so powerful that in a sense, Jesus wanted to use him to be a champion for the church. So Jesus turned Paul's hatred for the Church into a passionate love for the Christian community. 

Later in the year, we see Paul sharing a feast day with Peter. Peter was known as the Rock. But it didn't begin like that. Peter was human, hot-headed, vulnerable, skeptical, and sometimes scared. But when Jesus called him 'Rock' -that is what he was to become. Full of the Holy Spirit, both men would become master-builders of the new Church alongside others after the challenge of Jesus Christ to go and teach all nations (Matt 28) 

Jesus Christ calls us today just like he called Peter and Paul. He is conscious of our sinfulness and our vulnerabilities yet he still calls so as to be part of  his continuing building programme. In Jesus, Simon became Peter, the Rock, and Saul became Paul.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening...

1 Samuel 3:1-10 and Mark 1:29-39
You could argue saying like Samuel “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” is taking a risk. The Holy Father, Pope Francis has said to young people, “Ask Jesus what he wants and be brave.” And there is a leap of faith required in opening our hearts and our wills to Jesus Christ. Because sometimes he might just ask us to be brave and to do something that might sting.

In my life, I seldom say “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” I’m more inclined to say “Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking.” I ask God, I tell God, but I don’t get out of the way and let God. To write the Lord a blank cheque can be a big risk humanly speaking yet this is what I need to do.

There are so many noises competing for our attention that the voice of the Lord can have a problem trying to be heard. Our world can drown out the still small voice and we can be distracted all day and all night. Distraction is safer than paying attention to the voice inside where God lives. The voice inside can be painful, it can be real, and it can be honest. Yet, the antidote to all the world’s ills is the voice of the Lord. After all, he says “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavily-burdened, and I will give you rest…” (Matt 11:28)

Jesus comes with his word, to up-build, to forgive, and to heal. In Mark’s Gospel today during Mass we see him going to the house of Simon Peter. His mother in law is in bed with a fever and “they” tell him. Jesus goes to her and lays his hands on her and she immediately waits on them, the perfect sign that she is restored to health. (Interesting that Simon Peter never says a word to Jesus about the mother-in-law’s illness – they do!)

So it is in surrendering to the voice of Jesus Christ that we will be healed. The trip to the doctor or the dentist might be daunting, and sometimes we’d prefer not to know but it is meant to help and to heal.