Monthly Archives: February 2017

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
(Mark 10:21)

My Jesus, before you ask anything of us, you look at us lovingly. If we just realize that, we will be willing to let go of anything that is keeping us from basking in that love. Material wealth absorbs us and distracts from what is truly valuable. The more we have, the more trapped we are. Managing our possessions becomes a constant burden.

Please help me to use what I need without attachment. Whether I am hungry or full, sick or well, loved or despised by others, let me rejoice. Whether I live or die matters not. I will ask for neither life nor death. Even if dying is easier than living, I will go on for as long as you will it. If I do not experience healing of a relationship in this world, I will trust you to bring us all together in the next. If you grant me the grace, I will make amends daily, forgive daily, and pray daily for those I have hurt and for anyone who may have hurt me. Please take whatever I have and whoever I am. Make me rich in you.

When Jesus saw this, he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
(Mark 10:14)

The disciples tried to keep the children away from you, my Jesus, but you welcomed them and laid your hands upon them. You tell us that we must be like little children in order to enter your Kingdom. We must be open, uninhibited, unaffected by pride and human respect. How can we do this unless we give ourselves up to you, letting go of any agenda we pursue, willing to be led, absorbed in you. A child does not think much about time. When engrossed in an activity, he ignores his surroundings. He focuses effortlessly.

How can I be absorbed in you? I must first still myself and listen. You invite me just as you invited these little ones. You embrace me. Immersed in your love, I need to include these noises, thoughts and feelings that tend to distract me. Instead of fighting them, let me just give them to you. Let me remember St. Teresa of Avila’s advice, and, while I am speaking and listening to you, “let the children play.” These distractions are the children she means; I am aware of them in the background, but my eyes are on you, my ears focused on your will. Draw me to you, Lord.

He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God…
(Luke 2:27-28)

Lord, you fulfilled your promise to Simeon when he held your Infant Son. I often imagine you reaching up to the old man, perhaps placing your fingers in his beard. Your spirit revealed that this Child was the one for whom he had waited, for whom he had lived. Now, he felt your breath, heard your gurgles, and looked into your trusting eyes.

Your promise to Israel is brought to light; we share Simeon’s joy. We, too, can die in peace now that we have witnessed eternity in you. We who hold you in the Host, who are absorbed into you as your Body is absorbed into ours, we are complete. If we still have work to do, let us do it peacefully and thankfully, knowing that you have fulfilled our salvation.

Please help me to watch for you in joyful expectation, welcoming you in every joy and sorrow, every twist and triumph, every hope.

So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
(Mark 6:5-6)

My Jesus, you had just returned home after healing the woman with the constant hemorrhage and telling her that her faith had saved her. Now you are amazed at the lack of faith in your native town. The resistance of the people was so strong that your power could find no target.

Unless we open ourselves to your grace and let go of our fear and prejudice, you cannot work in us. How would I receive you if you visited me today and I didn’t recognize you? We might think we know our friends and family, but do we see their gifts? “Familiarity breeds contempt” because we cling to old ideas and impressions.

Please help me to look with fresh eyes this week. I will strive to see something new in everyone.

The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.
(Mark 5:33-34)

Why does the woman approach “in fear and trembling,” Lord? She realizes that you have healed her, but also she knows that you are holy, and yet she has dared to reach out and brush her hand against your cloak. She thought no one would notice. She did not want to defile you; yet her faith and her yearning to be free from weakness and ostracism emboldened her. The social consequences of her illness were worse than the physical ones.

Suppose I were forbidden to touch or be touched. I could never hold a child, never hug a friend, never put my hand on a shoulder to comfort another. I would be always on the edge, watching without participating.

Now that she sees you have noticed, she is filled with remorse. What she confesses is having broken the social code and exposed you to her uncleanness. When I approach you in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I should be trembling with fear, for my sins are against charity and not just against ritual. Yet, you say to me the same words, “Go in peace and be cured…”

Today, I will strive to approach others with kindness and trust, to encourage and support them. I beg you to forgive me for my impatience, criticism and neglect. Let me welcome those on the fringes.

As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity had done to you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
(Mark 5: 18:20)

Lord, you called some to follow you, but others you dismissed so that they might proclaim your works to their people. Each of us has our mission. How can I best serve you where I am?

Sometimes I feel stuck because of physical and financial limitations, but when I ask you to show me your will, you provide the means. You have sent people to bring you to us in the Eucharist every week, people to drive me to Mass, people that I can support and be supported by. Let me not waste any opportunity to share the gifts of purpose and healing that you bestow on me. Let you name be in my heart and on my lips.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:9-10)

Lord, please help us to be peacemakers. Show us how to accept the needs of others without sacrificing our values. In human affairs, there is room for different ideas, talents and interests. We can work towards the common good while performing the individual tasks for which we are best suited. E pluribus unum is one of our mottoes – out of many, one. Peace likes in recognizing the contributions of each member and coordinating them. Help us to celebrate both our differences and our similarities. Remind us that we are all your children.