Lovely afternoon. The firing squad. Bottles lined up in the sun. Dahlias. Men in uniform. Daffodils Children with satchels coming home from school. I am writing in my sleep. The journey here was not very long, only a little cold, the fast horses of exhaustion pulled me. Too many people, I write, are watching what we do. Too much sun on the green glass. The firing squad. The lovely afternoon
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. Luke 13:10-13
Every miracle of Jesus is certainly an act of love given toward the person healed. In this story, this woman was suffering for eighteen years and Jesus shows her compassion by healing her. And though it is a clear act of love for her directly, there is much more to the story as a lesson for us.
One message we can take from this story comes from the fact that Jesus heals on His own initiative. Though some miracles are performed at the request and prayer of the one healed, this miracle comes simply through the goodness of Jesus and His compassion. This woman apparently was not seeking a healing, but when Jesus saw her His heart went out to her and He healed her.
So it is with us, Jesus knows what we need before we ask Him. Our duty is to always remain faithful to Him and know that in our fidelity He will give us what we need even before we ask.
A second message comes from the fact that this woman “stood up straight” once she was healed. This is a symbolic image of what grace does to us. When God enters our life, we are able to stand up straight, so to speak. We are able to walk with a new confidence and dignity. We discover who we are and live freely in His grace.
Reflect, today, upon these two facts. God knows every need you have and will answer those needs when it is best for you. Also, when He bestows His grace on you, it will enable you to live in full confidence as His son or daughter.
Lord, I surrender myself to You and trust in Your abundant mercy. I trust that You will enable me to walk in Your ways every day of my life with full confidence. Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” Luke 12:35-36
The key here is that we are to “open immediately” when Jesus comes and knocks on the door of our heart. This passage reveals the disposition that we are to have in our hearts regarding the way Christ comes to us, by grace, and “knocks.”
Jesus is knocking on your heart. He is continually coming to you seeking to come in and recline with you so as to converse, strengthen, heal and help. The question to honestly ponder is whether or not you are ready to let Him in immediately. Too often we hesitate in our encounter with Christ. Too often we want to know the full plan for our lives before we are willing to submit and surrender.
What we must come to know is that Jesus is trustworthy in every way. He has the perfect answer to every question we have and He has the perfect plan for every aspect of our lives. Do you believe this? Do you accept this as true? Once we accept this truth we will be better prepared to open the door of our heart at the first prompting of grace. We will be prepared to be immediately attentive to all that Jesus wants to say to us and to the grace He wants to give us.
Reflect, today, upon how ready you are to open immediately every part of your life to the grace and will of God. Let Him in with great joy and enthusiasm and let His plan continue to unfold in your life.
Lord, I do wish to let You into my life more deeply each and every day. I desire to hear Your voice and respond generously. Give me the grace to respond to You as I ought. Jesus, I trust in You.
It is a gift one receives when one is in a right relationship with God and with others. It is that sense of security knowing that if you die today, your soul is earth-detached and heaven-bound.
At night, I often find myself unable to sleep unless I first do my rounds in the house to make sure that all the doors have been locked. It is only then when I am sure that everything including my family is secured that I can peacefully go to sleep.
True security brings peace.
When you are secured of your soul and the souls of your loved ones, you live your life in peace now and leave your life in peace when the time comes. It is that sense of fulfillment that you’ve done all that you could’ve done and that there is nothing left for you to do.
Today, I invite you to make things right with others and with God.
Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Let go of your grudges. Turn away from sin. Learn to forebear and choose your battles. Prioritize your relationships. Invest in people more than things. Love.
The world with all its empty promises can never give you peace, my friend. Peace can only come from Jesus. Peace can only be found in Jesus.
“‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” Luke 12:20-21
This passage is the response from God to one who decides to make worldly wealth his goal. In this parable, the rich man had such a bountiful harvest that he decided to tear down his old barns and build bigger ones so as to store the harvest. Little did this man realize that his life would soon come to an end and that all he stored up would never be used by him.
The contrast in this parable is between an abundance of earthly wealth and wealth in what matters to God. Sure, it may be possible to be rich in both, but accomplishing this would be quite difficult.
One straightforward challenge of this Gospel is to eliminate the desire for material wealth. This is hard to do. It’s not that material wealth is evil, it’s just that it is a serious temptation. The temptation is to trust in material things for satisfaction rather than trusting only in God. Material wealth should be understood to be a true temptation that must be kept in check.
Reflect, today, upon your desire for wealth. Let this Gospel offer you a straightforward challenge regarding your desire for riches. Be honest and look into your heart. Do you spend much time thinking about money and material possessions? Seek God above all things and let Him alone be your satisfaction.
Lord, I desire to be truly rich in grace and mercy rather than in material things. Help me to always keep the proper priorities in life and to be purified in all of my desires. Jesus, I trust in You.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
“Do not be afraid.” These words are often repeated in the holy Scriptures. In this passage, Jesus says we should not be afraid because of the fact that the Father in Heaven is attentive to every last detail of our lives. Nothing has escaped the notice of God. If God is attentive to the sparrows, He is even more attentive to us. That should give us a certain sense of peace and confidence.
Of course, one reason that this can still be difficult to believe is that there are many times when it feels like God is quite distant and inattentive to our lives. It’s important to remember that whenever we have this feeling, it’s only a feeling and not reality. Reality is that God is infinitely more attentive to the details of our lives than we could ever realize. In fact, He’s far more attentive to us than we are attentive to ourselves! And not only is He attentive to every detail, He is deeply concerned about every detail.
So why might it feel like God is distant at times? There could be many reasons for this but we should be certain that there is always a reason. Perhaps we are not listening to Him and not praying as we should and thus we are missing His attentiveness and guidance. Perhaps He has chosen to remain silent in a matter as a way of drawing us closer to Himself. Perhaps His silence is actually a very clear sign of His presence and His will.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that regardless of how we may feel at times we must be certain of the truth of this passage above. “You are worth more than many sparrows.” God has even counted the hairs on your head. And every part of your life is fully present to Him. Allow these truths to give you consolation and hope knowing that this attentive God is also a God of perfect love and mercy and will provide for you all that you need in life.
Lord, I know You love me and are aware of every feeling, thought and experience I have in life. You are aware of every problem and concern I have. Help me to continually turn to You in all things knowing of Your perfect love and guidance. Jesus, I trust in You.