Giving my Spirit to God for Lent!

As a kid I remember all the kids asking each other what you are giving up.   As an adult seems we look to do something other than giving things up.

I was thinking in mass Sunday that what I need to give up is my spirit to God.  Because God will take it and love it.   Holding it closely.

I have in the pass do the 40 bags in 40 days.   It is a great way to clean the house, but was they things weighing down my spirit and giving up bags of stuff did it increase my closeness to God.

I am asking God each day how can I give you more of my spirit so that I receive more of your spirit.   A Spirit that leads to forgiving and receiving forgiveness.  A Spirit of Joy, A Spirit of Love, A Spirit of hope.

OK, as always I need to reflect more on this inner thought of Giving up my Spirit for Lent.

Luke 23:46 “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”

Psalm 31:5 “to your hands I commit my spirit, by you have I been redeemed”

Outgiving God!

I can’t out give God. I use to try when I was younger. Probably why I can’t retire, lol.

But I can help Him in His giving. By forgiving and sharing what I have and being the person He created me to be. With an attitude of thankfulness and joy.

First letting go of all hurt and seeking forgiveness from those whom I hurt.

Second, The sharing comes pretty natural. Helping others to me is just the right thing. Not always easy or comfortable but if God calls I answer. So there have been times when I say things to God like are you sure? Or how can I help? But if He calls I just know what I have to do.

Becoming the person I am created to be is in the first two. God created me with free will and all the people around me have choices. Sometimes in life I got hurt and decided to hold grudges. Sometimes I did the hurting. Maybe it’s just old age but forgiving and seeking forgiveness is freedom. Christ did it first as an example. The 12-steps has that making amends step to get me through the hard stuff.

Just thinking of things I can do to help today. Sometimes I can only pray for others because I am powerless over things like cancer and death. But God has the power.

Random thought of the morning.

Novena –

Enrolled a few people in this novena. My friend and I visited the shrine years ago and they really do pray there!

I love that the Saints can be our friends and prayer partners.

http://www.marian.org/novenas/prayer.php?nid=36&redirect=

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

The following is the same prayer being said during the Novena at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

Prayer through the Intercession of

Bl. George Matulaitis – Matulewicz

O God, Merciful Father, in the heart of Your Servant Blessed George, You aroused such a great zeal for accomplishing corporal and spiritual deeds of mercy; deign to grand to us through his intercession the grace for which we implore You …

(Here mention your special intentions.)

Prayer for the Canonization of the

Bl. George Matulaitis – Matulewicz

Most Holy and undivided Trinity, You choose to live in the hearts of Your faithful servants, and after their death to reward their merits with the glory of heaven. Grant, we implore, that Your servant, Blessed George, who with apostolic zeal faithfully served the Church under the patronage of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, may be numbered among the Saints, through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

Bl. George Matulaitis Novena

January 18 – 26

Feast Day: January 28

“Overcome evil with good.”

Taken from St. Paul the Apostle, this was the personal motto of a Marian priest when he was chosen to be the Bishop of Vilnius, Lithuania, as he rescued the order when it was down to its last member.

Dubbed the “Marian Renovator,” the Lithuanian-born Blessed George was the priest who envisioned religious working together with the laity for the good of the Church. The principles he wrote about are defining points of the Association of Marian Helpers.

You can read more about this beloved Marian priest online at http://www.Matulaitis-Matulewicz.org

Pray along with us

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God – Jaunary 1st

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I set up a meal train for a friend who is sick.   It wasn’t my idea, the idea came from a mom in our prayer group.  She recruited me because I have computer skills.   I have been concerned for this sick friend, but all I could think is I need to get more people praying for healing.  My mom friend was more practical, the family needed meals while the mother is sick.   I am grateful for the lesson in being practical and meeting the needs of the family.

I started thinking of how our Mother in heaven intercedes for us.   She knows what we really need and that is what she asks God to give us.   I am sure she had the Holy Spirit inspired the meal train idea.  If she was here on earth she would sign up to bring a meal.   Thank you mom friend for teaching me to be practical in prayer.

Pope Francis in 2015 spoke of mothers –
“A society without mothers would be a dehumanized society, for mothers are always, even in the worst moments, witnesses of tenderness, dedication and moral strength. Mothers often pass on the deepest sense of religious practice: in a human being’s life, the value of faith is inscribed in the first prayers, the first acts of devotion that a child learns. It is a message that believing mothers are able to pass on without much explanation: these come later, but the seed of faith is those early precious moments. Without mothers, not only would there be no new faithful, but the faith would lose a good part of its simple and profound warmth. And the Church is mother, with all of this, she is our mother! We are not orphans, we have a mother! Our Lady, mother Church, is our mom. We are not orphans, we are children of the Church, we are children of Our Lady, and we are children of our mothers.

Dearest mothers, thank you, thank you for what you are in your family and for what you give to the Church and the world. And to you, beloved Church, thank you, thank you for being mother. And to you, Mary, Mother of God, thank you for letting us see Jesus. And thank you for all the mammas present here: let us salute them with a round of applause!”  Pope Francis, General Audience, January 7, 2015

 

Jesus sees you and invites you to be closer

Thinking this morning of Santa watching and keeping track if I am naughty or nice.  And then thought about Jesus watching.  – Jesus continues to invite me to draw closer to Him and to repent from my naughty ways so that I become nicer.  And when I repent the naughty is wiped away from any list He keeps.  Unlike Santa threatening to give me a lump of coal if I am naughty, Jesus lets me know I am loved.   Made me think of the tax collector who after sitting with Jesus made amends for his sins by giving to the poor and repaying the money he stole.

Christmas is for giving gifts (Even the gift of Jesus, to but the naughty and nice) and it is a time of forgiving – making peace and not holding grudges and repaying those I have wronged.

As always I am thinking and need to reflect more..  May everyone have Peace and joy this Christmas.

Luke 19: 1-10
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector.

He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.  Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

 

But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more. – Jeremiah 31:34

Advent 2017 – First Sunday, Dec. 3rd

I love that the first verse of the first reading for Advent is “You, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer You are named forever!”   Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of Jesus, we are reminded of His coming as a baby in Bethlehem but we also look forward to when He comes again.    I love the focus on God as our Father and that the Redeemer is forever with us.

And right in the second verse I am reminded why I need a redeemer.  I wander.   Soon forgetting that God is my Father and acting in ways that do not imitate God.

And the Gospel reminds me not to lose focus.  Watch, He is coming but we don’t know the day or the time.  Stay prepared.

I have little advents everyday.  I always need to be prepared to be Christlike to whoever I meet.

When I wonder how to be prepared I go back to the last Sunday in the Liturgical year– the reading from Matthew’s gospel, where the sheep and goats are separated. *

Always reflecting and thinking.

First Sunday of Advent
Reading 1 Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7

You, LORD, are our father,
our redeemer you are named forever.
Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you,
while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,
such as they had not heard of from of old.
No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.
Would that you might meet us doing right,
that we were mindful of you in our ways!
Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;
all of us have become like unclean people,
all our good deeds are like polluted rags;
we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.
There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.
Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.Reading 2 1 Cor 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alleluia Ps 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

*Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,

and all the angels with him,

he will sit upon his glorious throne,

and all the nations will be assembled before him.

And he will separate them one from another,

as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.

Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me,

ill and you cared for me,

in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,

or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,

or naked and clothe you?

When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply,

‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did

for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left,

‘Depart from me, you accursed,

into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me no food,

I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,

a stranger and you gave me no welcome,

naked and you gave me no clothing,

ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty

or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,

and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,

what you did not do for one of these least ones,

you did not do for me.’

And these will go off to eternal punishment,

but the righteous to eternal life.”

Praying for Wisdom – Wisdom leads to action!

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Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.   Although it is a gift it is something to strive to reach a higher level.   Even Jesus who was conceived by the Holy Spirit had to wait to start His public ministry as He returned with His parents to Nazareth and there advanced in wisdom. (Luke 2)

In wisdom God’s timing is everything.

Today’s reading was about the wise and foolish virgins. (Matthew 25)  As they await the arrival of the bridegroom I am reminded that Christ is the bridegroom and the church His bride.   Maybe the foolish didn’t have patience to wait for God’s timing, thinking this is the plan & where is this groom.  This morning’s homily pointed out everyone slept, because the bridegroom was really late, but it was the wise virgins who were prepared in case of a late arrival.  Maybe they understood God’s timing wasn’t what was in their plan.  Salvation history would have told them something, 40 years in the desert, 400 years of slavery in Egypt…. just saying God isn’t always on our clock.

This scripture asks me to stay awake because I don’t know the day or the hour.   Had the foolish been awake there may have been time to run and get more oil.  In my life it may be when I need retreat or a prayer meeting.   I have been both foolish and wise.

Scripture doesn’t mentioned why the bridegroom was late.  In my human thinking I wonder – Was he sick and had to recover?  Was there a flood or fire and needed to take an alternate route?  Did he have some additional discernment to do before taking the leap of faith?  Or maybe he overslept?

But I know God knows the right time, so not late but on time.

God gives us lots of time to get prepared, as the next parable in Matthew tells us.  The parable of the talents, we are all given gifts according to our abilities and we have the time to work to multiply the gifts.  Invest our spiritual gifts, deposit the gifts where it can gain interest.  We can always have more wisdom, more grace, more of God’s gifts.

And the last part of Matthew 25 tells us that there will be a judgment on being prepared, being awake, and using our gifts.  Wisdom leads to feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked,  visiting the ill and those in prison.  Wisdom leads to multiplying the gifts by enabling other to receive and give gifts.

Of course God’s timing is always perfect but in my life I often wonder if I am prepared to face Jesus.  Everyday I face Jesus, in the people I meet and in the opportunities He gives to me to serve.  I met him in prayer I meet Him in the quiet of my heart and I met Him in the challenges of life.  Have I multiplied the gifts, have I grown in wisdom?  I wonder when I met the day will people see Jesus in me and does my attitude, behavior, gratitude be ready for judgment?

As always more reflection and more action needed. –

The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
Each year his (Jesus) parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.

He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

 

The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long-delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

 Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.