“Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” Have you ever stopped to wonder, to ponder, to consider the mystery of God? To truly sit down without distraction, without hurry, without preoccupation and simply allow yourself to be totally blown away at how amazing God is, his voice, his mystery, his presence? Have you given it a thought, a chance, even a moment to consider the possibility of just how amazing God is and allow yourself to be amazed by his awesomeness, his omnipotence, his transcendence, his great love for humanity? Have you ever stopped to consider how much God loves you? You would be amazed at just how much God longs for you, desires you, continually pursues you hoping that you will stop for a moment, take a look around, place your hand on your heart and set your gaze and attention towards Heaven and say, you called Lord? I’m here Lord – I’m listening. “Sweet Father, Most Beloved Father, Most Faithful of all fathers, bless you. Thank you for loving us so much. Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for your holy patience. Thank you for never leaving us alone. Thank you for bestowing your great love and mercy on us. Thank you for giving us everything, every opportunity to be truly loved, happy, free. Father you are amazIng. Your love for us is amazing, it is a mystery that astounds us, fills us with awe and wonder, moves and heals us. How could anyone love us so much? How can anyone love us so unconditionally, patiently, wholeheartedly? How can anyone love us despite our failures, love us beyond our shortcomings, love us regardless of our sin, love us considering all the hurt that we ever caused? How can anyone love us so much even after all the times we have been unfaithful to you, your covenant, your commandments, your Word, your Spirit, your promise? Most Glorious and Gracious Father, that’s what makes you even more amazing! Even when we were unfaithful to you, you remained faithful to us. Even after all the hurt we caused you, you still hurt for us. Even knowing that we may sin once again, you still sent your only Begotten Son to die for us. Most Merciful Father, even despite all our failures, you still make good their defects. Even when we weren’t able to love you or love you perfectly, you never stopped loving us, longing for us, desiring us, pursuing us. Most Beautiful Father, how can we not be amazed at your kindness, your tenderness, your compassion, your love towards us? Thank you Heavenly Father, for being such an amazing, astounding, awesome God.”
Reflections from the Heart
“Behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” I once heard a person say, “promises are meant to be broken and lies are meant to be kept.” What a sad thing to say and believe that it is ok to lie and alright to break a promise. Thank God he is truth and he always keeps his word. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. It is never ok to lie in order to make someone feel better. That is called deception. It is never alright to lie to someone in order to prevent them from being hurt. That is fraud. God never lies and he always keeps his promises. A promise is a commitment to do or not to do something. It is a pledge, an agreement, a guarantee. For example, “do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” It doesn’t say part or half of the truth but the whole and entire truth. Or in the Rite of Holy Matrimony, “do promise to be true in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honor each other all the days of your life?” It is meant to be a covenant, permanent, for ever. Or as in the Rite of Holy Ordination, “do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?” These are covenants that we enter into with God and one another. They are not contracts that can be broken or dissolved. When God guided his People in the desert, he promised to be with them, to feed and guide them, to be their God and protect them but they rejected God and broke their covenant. The Father promised to send his Only Begotten Son and enter into an Everlasting Covenant with his chosen people but they wouldn’t believe. God made us a promise and the promise is no less than this: eternal life. Do you believe it? Easter is about encountering the risen Savior who died for us, rose from the dead for us, ascended to Father and promised to return and bring us home. Do you believe that? Jesus is next to the Father interceding for us. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, he remains present to us in the gathered assembly, in his Word, in his priest and in his Sacrament. God loves us and desires to be united to us for ever and that my beloved friend is simply the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” The Holy Spirit is God’s gracious gift for God pours himself out and gives himself as grace, as gift, as God. The Holy Spirit comes to teach, to correct, to inspire, to recall. He graciously gives what is needed in moments of great testing, in times of adversity, when we are tempted the most. We simply have to surrender and cooperate with God’s grace, his gifts, his Holy Spirit. Jesus warns us that it is possible to reject God grace, to say no to his favor, to refuse his blessing, to ignore his help. The Holy Spirit is alive and dwells in us. Do not reject his gifts or his help. He is our Lord, our Friend, our God. Mary teaches us how to joyfully receive God’s grace, listen to his voice, to be still, be silent and openly and willingly receive God’s love. How often we wish the Gospels would tell us more about the life of Mary. But if we take a closer look and listen more attentively, we would come to know that God has revealed all we need to know about Mary. All mostly in the silence of her heart. Mary is always open to God’s Grace, receptive of God, his Son, his Spirit. Mary always cooperates with God, with his Will, his Plan, his Grace. Mary is full of goodness. Full of God’s Love, his Gifts, his Spirit. Mary teaches us to simply say yes to the Lord. To always say yes to the Lord. To only say yes to the Lord. When Mary’s silence is broken, what she says to the Lord, she says to us and teaches us all we need to know about Mary. When she says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” she reveals to us that she is God’s faithful servant. When she says, “May it be done to me according to your word” she show us openness to God’s plan. When she proclaims the greatness of the Lord, she shows us how to Praise God for his abundant gifts. In the Finding in the Temple, she teaches us to seek God relentlessly until we find him and bring him home with us. In the Wedding Feast in Cana, she teaches us to do God’s will. And at the Foot of the Cross, she teaches us to pray quietly, to suffer silently, humbly remain focused on Christ and share in his great work of our love and redemption. Stay with Mary, pray with Mary, keep her silently in your heart.
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God.” Where is God? We know God is truly in his Word. We know God is in Sacred Scripture for the Word has become flesh and dwells among us. Sacred Scripture is the inspired Word of God. When we hear Sacred Scripture, when we spend quiet, intimate moments in sacred silence with the Bible, we hear the voice of God. When sacred text is read, a Psalm sung or the Gospel proclaimed, we know God is present. For it is he who speaks, he who inspires, he who encourages, he who heals. So where is God? We know that God is also in his priest in the person of Christ. The heart and the soul of a priest is the heart and the soul of Christ who is the priesthood. It is Christ himself who renews and baptizes, Christ himself who feeds and nourishes, Christ himself who forgives and seals, Christ himself who anoints and heals, Christ himself who marries and ordains. It is Christ who teaches us how to pray. Christ himself who consoles us when we are grieving. Christ himself who guides us when we are lost. Christ who brings light to moments that are dark. It is Christ himself who reminds us how much we are loved by the Father. So really, where is God? We know that God is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. For ordinary bread and wine have given way to the Holy Spirit and have been transformed into the very nature and essence of Christ our Lord, our King, our Savior. The Holy Spirit is the infinite and divine love that binds the Father and the Son perfectly and eternally. Jesus himself reminds us that he and the Father are one. The Father is in Son and the Son is in the Father. Where ever the Son is, the Father remains. They are united in love, in Eucharist, in Spirit. So where is God right now? Where is God in this very moment? Where is he as you read this reflection? Where is God right now? Stop and give it a moment of thought. Give the thought prayerful consideration. Give it a moment of dutiful reflection. Where is God? God is in you right now at this very moment. He dwells in you graciously and happily. You are God’s temple, his home, his heaven on earth, his sacred dwelling place. At times we go searching for God outside ourselves. He may feel distant, unapproachable, beyond our grasped but he is at home inside of you.