All posts by Ed Wills

Do this in memory of me

In every Mass during the words of consecration the priest repeats the words of Jesus, “Do this in memory of me.”

In our culture, to remember something is simply to call it to mind. If more thought is given to the subject, we would likely use words like “consider,” or “reflect upon.” However, in Jesus’ culture, to remember had a much deeper meaning.

From the beginning of time, worship involved remembering through re-enactment, and in that process, making present the effect of a past act of God. We see this in the Jewish celebration of Passover, where re-enacting the Hebrews deliverance from Egypt through the Passover liturgy and sacred meal made the reality of God’s deliverance present to the Jewish family. Going back to 10,000 BC in the ruins of the Gobekli Tepe, we see that the worship of ancient man involved a re-enactment of the Eden story.

To remember is to participate. In the Mass the events of the Passion of Christ “become in a certain way present and real… When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present. The sacrifice of Christ offered once for all on the Cross remains ever present.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church Para. 1363, 1364)

The Mass makes the sacrifice of Christ truly present as the bread and wine become the real presence of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. In the Mass, we become the disciples at the Last Supper, in Gethsemane, and at Calvary. In this memorial/re-enactment, we are invited to join our sacrifice, the living sacrifice of our lives, to Christ’s sacrifice, so Christ can present it along with his to the Father.

THe Joy of the Lord will be my strength

The joy of the Lord will be your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Cheryl and I were praying together this morning, and one of the Scriptures we read reminded me of a song sung by the Medical Mission Sisters. It was in the 1960’s and their music was always filled with such joy. In fact, simple, childlike joy was a hallmark of the renewal movement in the 1960’s. I actually began to weep as I wondered why we see so little joy these days.

Amid this pandemic, joy seems scarce. We might even feel insensitive or crass if we openly expressed joy. There is so much trouble, so much sadness. But life was not all peaches and cream when Nehemiah made the promise given above. “The joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

Israel had been exiled from their homeland for 70 years. A few were allowed to return under Nehemiah’s leadership to rebuild Jerusalem from the rubble. He was maligned by those who did not want Jerusalem rebuilt and so he was arrested and tried for treason. When he began rebuilding the walls, he was daily attacked by those opposed, so the builders had to keep swords with them as they worked, always ready to defend the project. But he encouraged the people, “The joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

Could simple, childlike joy be the key to strength in our time as well?

Here are a few suggestions about how to get back to joy.

  • Watch less news. In the 1960’s the news was only on for 30 minutes a day. Somehow we didn’t seem to miss it.
  • Listen to uplifting music that praises God. Yes, the Medical Mission Sister still publish CD’s.
  • Get together with others to pray, praise, and support each other.
  • Attend the daily live stream Mass or at least read the daily readings as part of your prayer time.
  • Sing. It is good for your body and your soul. Just keep a safe social distance when singing.

Remember, it is God who is in control of this universe. Not Covid. Not government health agencies. Every Sunday we celebrate Christ who conquered death. So, let’s celebrate with joy.

Sanctus

This familiar hymn, commonly referred to by its Latin name, Sanctus, is sung at every Mass.

Holy, Holy, Holy. Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

This song has its origin in a vision of heavenly worship witness by the Prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah chapter 6, Isaiah sees God on his throne with the six-winged seraphim surrounding him. The seraphim continually sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory.”

You will notice that this hymn follows the call to worship, “With angels, archangels, saints and all the heavenly hosts we sing…” So, in this hymn we are actually joining the heavenly chorus, singing the same hymn as all of heaven in constant praise of God. In that heavenly chorus are the angels, archangels, saints, and our loved ones who have preceded us into heaven. It is a chance for each of us to join a sing-along with those we now miss on earth.

The song is reprised in the Book of Revelation. Here the seraphim sing to Jesus, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” When they sing this chorus, the 24 elders, representing all the saints from the Old and New Testaments, bow down. They lay their crowns at the feet of Jesus and cry out, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you crated all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” That is why the priest normally profoundly bows during the Sanctus.

All present should remember that in this moment of worship we are laying at the feet of Jesus all that we are and all that we have. He is the source of our life and our being. We have nothing without him, so we give all to him. He alone is worthy to receive our gift. We give him our brokenness. We give him our doubts and confusion. We give him our failures. And we give him our successes and triumphs. For “the whole earth is full of his glory,” and the little glories we experience from time to time come from Him and return to him.

He came down from heaven…and became man

In the Creed we say, “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit was Incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became Man.” This is a very special moment in the reciting of the Creed, and everyone genuflects or bows when these words are spoken.

The Incarnation, God becoming man, the Eternal Word becoming flesh, is the cornerstone of the Christian Faith. God loved us so much that he humbled himself, stooping so low that he became one of his own creatures to reveal himself to us. The prophets saw glimpses of God. The psalmists sang songs about him. The sages spoke of his wisdom. But until God became man in Jesus Christ, we really didn’t know God. The most respected prophet, Moses, only got a glimpse of his backside as he passed by. Indeed, man was always trying to understand God by the trail he left behind as he interacted with mankind.

But in Christ, we see God as he truly is. We can know God. We can love God. We can speak to God as friend to friend because Jesus called us his friends. Therefore, when we refer to the Incarnation in the Creed, we bow in worship to the awesome God who humbled himself to become one of us, for us.

Sit, stand, kneel – learn, pray, worship

We learn how to attend Mass as children, perhaps without questioning why we do things this way. One of the first things visitors to a Catholic church notices is the motion. We stand. We sit. We stand again. We kneel. Is there a reason for all this up and down?

It has sometimes been referred to as Catholic calisthenics, but these postures we use in Mass have meaning rooted in Scripture and ancient liturgical practices of the Church.

Standing is the posture of prayer. Notice how Jesus assumes his disciples will stand to pray. “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone.” Mark 11:25.

The ancients would stand in the temple court to pray. Sometimes with hands uplifted. Other times with hands folded, as catechumens still practice when approaching the Eucharist. Since the entire Mass is a prayer, through most of Church history, the people stood throughout the Mass. The elderly and infirmed often leaned against a pillar or a pole placed there especially for that purpose. When the general congregation was allowed to sit, standing was still observed for the Gospel reading and other specific prayers. In Mass we stand at the Penitential Prayer, the Gloria, the Creed, and the Our Father.

Kneeling is the posture of worship. When a subject came into the presence of his king, he would kneel as a form of submission and recognition of authority. Many Catholics kneel before Mass recognizing that they have entered into the presence of the body of Christ in the tabernacle. We also kneel for the prayer of consecration, as the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ and at the prayer of humble access since we are about to approach the body of Christ.

In our culture students sit when they attend a lecture while the professor stands. In Jesus’ day, it was the opposite. That is why we always see Jesus sitting when he teaches, and those learning stand around him. In the modern Mass, the congregation sits during the homily. They are like students listening to their teacher who is explaining the Gospel to them.

Sitting is a modern allowance. It makes Mass more comfortable, and in practical terms, keeps those who cannot stand for an hour from embarrassment. But even when you cannot perform the postures physically, it is helpful to be mindful of them and stand or kneel in your heart.

You give life to all things and make them holy

You are indeed Holy, O Lord and all you have created rightly gives you praise.…You give life to all things and make them holy. Eucharistic Prayer III

To be holy means ‘to be set apart.’ A common example is the chalice used for the Holy Eucharist. It is sanctified (made holy) for use in the Eucharist. Being set apart for holy mysteries, it cannot be used for a common cup at a dinner party.

There is actually a biblical example of this. In the Book of Daniel, King Belchazzar takes the holy chalices and pattens his father, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. He used them at a dinner party, during which a disembodied hand wrote on the wall that his would be destroyed. (See Daniel chapter 5.)

This prayer begins by stating that God is holy. He is set apart. He is different from everything else. There is no one like God. There is nothing in the universe like God. Too often we try to describe God with terms arising from human emotions or experience. God is not like us at all. He is holy.

But then, the prayer goes on to say that God gives life to all things and makes them holy. What does that mean. Everything in the universe, including us, have been created by and made alive by God for a specific purpose. By setting humanity apart for the specific purpose he has given to humanity, he makes us holy. But holiness is only realized when we live for that purpose for which God has made us. What is that purpose?

The 1891 Baltimore Catechism put it simply:
            To know God 
            To love God
            To serve God
            To be happy with God forever.
Jesus would add to that “and to love your neighbor as yourself.”

That is God’s purpose for humanity, but God also has a specific purpose for you. He created you with certain gifts, talents, and inclinations so that you would have your own individual style in which you fulfill God’s general purpose for all humanity. The gifts, talents, and inclinations God gave you may direct you to be a businessperson, a teacher, a religious, a homemaker, an artisan, or an athlete. When you discover what God created you to do and do it with all your heart to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind, you will find lasting fulfillment and true holiness.

An Offering to you

“May he make of us an eternal offering to you, so that we may obtain an inheritance with your elect.” Eucharist Prayer III

Often, we think of an offering as some money we put in a basket, probably something we can do without. We consider it our responsibility to support our parish, so the bills can be paid, and we can have a place to worship. But do we ever consider that we are the offering? The gift we place in the basket is just a practical way to present an offering of our time and sustenance to the God who has given us all things. Before we can give ourselves, our very body and soul, God must make us an offering. In other words, we are not the giver, but the gift that God gives to his Church.

Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13

So many of you give yourselves to the work of God here at Guardian Angels and Our Lady of Hope: to build up the Body of Christ, to work towards unity in the faith, and to journey toward the discovery of the fullness of Christ. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of this great group of Christian faithful.

I could single out so many here in gratitude for your selfless acts of service and giving. I could embarrass all of you. However, I do have one I would like to mention, knowing just how angry I am about to make her. Sister Linda Barringer has given herself to Christ through decades of service as a religious. For the last 17 years she has given herself to the body of Christ as a teacher and equipper at Guardian Angels. Many of you reading this letter have benefited from her instruction. Some she guided into the Catholic Faith. Others she has instructed more deeply in the Faith. And for others she has instructed your children. It is unfair that she has come to her retirement at a time of such turmoil when traditional retirement parties cannot be held in her honor. She deserves better, and I hope we can do something more official for her in the fall. For now, please honor her by saying a prayer for her.

Whenever you hear in Mass, “make of us an offering to you,” consider the example of Sister Linda, priests, religious and lay people who sacrificially give themselves to the Body of Christ. And seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit of how he would give you to Christ and his Church.

Reflection on Psalm 27

Psalm 27 1 The psalm of David before he was anointed.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the protector of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 While the wicked draw near against me, to eat my flesh.

My enemies that trouble me, have lost their strength and fallen.  

3 If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear.

If a battle should rise up against me, in this will I be confident.

 4 One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after;

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple.  

5 For he has hidden me in his tabernacle; in the day of evils.

He has protected me in the secret place of his tabernacle.

 6 He has exalted me upon a rock, and now he has lifted up my head above my enemies.

I have gone round, and have offered up in his tabernacle a sacrifice of jubilation,

I will sing and recite a psalm to the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to you.

Have mercy on me and hear me.

8 My heart has said to you, “My face has sought you.”

Your face, O Lord, will I still seek.

9 Turn not away your face from me.

Decline not in your wrath from your servant.

Be my helper. Do not abandon me.

Do not you despise me, O God my Saviour.

10 For my father and my mother have left me,

But the Lord has taken me up.

11 Teach me, O Lord, how to walk in your way.

Guide me in the right path, because of my enemies.

12 Do not hand me over to the will of those that trouble me.

For unjust witnesses have risen up against me.

My enemies spread malicious lies to harm me.

13 I believe I will see the good things of the Lord

In the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lord,

Be stouthearted, and let your heart take courage.

Wait you for the Lord.

As I said I want to reflect once again on the psalm on the Psalter of the day. So this Psalm which is actually not a very long song. Still, we have just a little bit of it in the lectionary, and that’s okay because the lectionary is going to reflect on something that relates to the readings. We’ll talk about that in just a minute. In me Septuagint version of the Psalms, that being the translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, which was the most common and popular version of the Bible read and in Jesus’ time, there’s a note at the very beginning of this Psalm that says that this song was written before David was anointed king.

Well, that’s an interesting timing for the dating of the psalm, because before David was anointed he very young. Although it was there was still years before he actually took the throne. But he was anointed when he was just a shepherd boy. But he was a shepherd boy who had known his share of trouble. And as a shepherd boy he would sit there as he watched over his sheep and cared for his sheep. He used to play on his on his lute or his harp and he would sing. He would create songs to the Lord. So I see this Psalm as being one that is a kind of like a journal. It is very likely this psalm was begun at this time when David was caring for his sheep as a young man, but yet later in his life he would add verses to it so you can actually see a progression in David’s life from being the simple shepherd boy to being on the run from Saul. And finally having to deal with the affairs of state as king.

You can see this progression taking place. I can really see these first six verses as part of David as a shepherd boy here’s a shepherd boy who had faced trouble. He was a shepherd boy who had killed a lion and killed a bear who had come to kill his sheep. They would have killed David himself. David says that the enemies be they people or animals, seeking to take his life. But he said the Lord was his helper. “with the Lord, whom shall I fear. The Lord is my light and my salvation. David had a very keen understanding of God’s presence in his life and of God taking care of him. The Lord is my light the Lord is my salvation, whom shall I fear? What shall I fear? Shall I be afraid of the lion? Afraid of the bear? And you can almost see the musings of a young child. Even if there’s an army coming against me, I will have no need to be afraid.

Perhaps David didn’t realize how prophetic that was going to be in his life. He learned at a very young age to trust in God – to know that God would protect him. God would give him strength. God would give him courage to face whatever came before him, be it a lion, a bear, or even an army. God would give him victory. There in these first few verses, which according to my interpretation would come from early in David’s life, he talks about his visit to the house of God, which at this time is the tabernacle at Beth-El. David longs to be in the tabernacle. He longs to pray.

Now many of us remember how in our earlier lives the feelings of God would stir within us. I don’t know how many people I have talked to who relate to me the stirrings of God that affected them when they were young. Maybe they’re active Catholics. Or maybe they’re inactive Catholics. Maybe they’d given up on the church. But often they make this comment, “I was an altar boy and even thought about becoming a priest.” Or, “when I was young woman about12 I thought I was going to grow up to be a nun. I just so appreciated my teachers. They were wonderful, and I thought I’m going to grow up to be a nun.”

You see in many of our lives we have these inner stirrings of the Holy Spirit within us when we’re young, before we get so distracted by puberty and by adulthood. When we start thinking about other things, and start wanting to accumulate stuff. We get a job. We get a car. You know we get an apartment or a house. All the world, all the stuff of the world begins to distract us. It’s not that the things of the world are evil. Are bad in and of themselves, but we can’t let them distract us. Now it’s very likely that David’s own life got distracted. When he was Saul’s general, and he was being triumphant and praised, but the troubles in his life – I think the troubles in his life were key to keeping his focus on God being his light and his salvation. On God being his source. Because when after being the King’s son-in-law, he became a brigand. He became an outlaw, living in a cave. Often when we have nothing else left in life, those of the times when we seek God. And we call on God.

Indeed, I think David, because he faced so much trouble in his life, that he did call on God often. He learned to know God. But he had a longing to seek the face of God. Now it’s interesting, he says the doesn’t seek desires. Instead he seeks the face of God. “come says my heart come says my heart seek his face your face Lord do I seek.”

Now one of the peculiarities of Hebrew is that an imperative verb specifies whether it is speaking to one person or to many people. And even though David is praying this alone the imperative verb is in the plural. So it’s not just David who is being called to seek the face of God. It’s all people, all of us are called to seek his face. And that’s exactly what we do in adoration. We seek Christ in his Eucharistic face. We gaze upon the face of Christ. And even though adoration is a time of silence, that’s when God speaks to us. I mentioned we’re going to go back to the readings, and in fact that was Elijah’s experience when he was in the cave. He knew God wanted to speak to him. Sometimes in our lives we know God wants to speak to us. We don’t know how, and we tried all these things to make God talk to us. Yet we can’t hear him. Elijah, in fact he went out and he saw the wind. And he saw the earthquake. And he saw the fire. But he couldn’t hear God. He couldn’t find God in any of those things. We look at all kinds of distractions in our life. We can’t find God in any of them. But then, in most common translation, that still, small voice, the whisper of silence. Simon and Garfunkel got it right when they use coined that phrase, the sound of silence. That whisper of silence is how God speaks. I got quoted Thomas Keating not long ago when I said, “God speaks in silence, and everything else is a bad translation.”

And that’s what we do when we come to adoration in silence. We gaze upon the face of Christ. Christ’s Eucharistic face. And in that gaze, as in the gaze of two lovers, nothing has to be said. It just is that communication of love. The communication of sureness, of a surety that Christ is with us as we gaze upon his Eucharistic face and allow our Lord to minister within our spirits. We don’t necessarily hear in our minds, but we are built up and encouraged and made strong in that time. As we spend more and more time in adoration, we begin to notice that a change is happening in our souls. We have greater confidence. We have greater certainty in life, because God has spoken into our spirits as we gazed upon his face.

As this psalm comes to an end, David speaks as a man who is completely forsaken. He says “even if my mother and father forsake me, O Lord you will take me in.” I will belong to the Lord. I will go to the tabernacle of God, the tent of God, to the tabernacle of God, and there I will seek your face. You will receive me, and in the strength that he gets from that encounter, he says. “be strong. Be courageous. And wait for the Lord.

David waited many years between his anointing to be king and him actually taking the throne. In those years God strengthened him. Taught him. In one place David says The Lord has trained my hands for war. God made David strong to be the king that God needed him to be. As David waited for the Lord to fulfill his purpose, and that purpose was fulfilled David when became a strong King. But the strong King ad David was also there to speak prophetically of the King of Kings, the son of David, who wants to come to be our true strength, and to be the face that we seek in his Eucharist.

Heavenly father we give you thanks that we were able to come to you to seek your face. Give us strength to wait on you. And as we wait on you give us strength. We know you will fulfill your purpose in this life for us. And sometimes we may feel forsaken, but you will always take us in. Sometimes we seem to be at a loss for words, but in silence we wait and gaze upon your face. Lord, give us strength to always seek you and to always wait for you. Amen.

A Reflection on Psalm 98

Psalm 98 1 A psalm for David himself.

Sing you to the Lord a new song,

Because he has done wonderful things.

His right hand has formed salvation for him,

And his arm is holy.

2 The Lord has made known his salvation,

He has revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles.  

3 He has remembered his mercy and his truth

Toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.  

4 Sing joyfully to God, all the earth;

Make melody, rejoice and sing.  

5 Sing praise to the Lord on the harp,

On the harp, and with the voice of a psalm,

6 with long trumpets, and sound of of the horn.

Make a joyful noise before the Lord our king,

7 let the sea be moved with all its fullness,

Even to the world’s end and all who live there.

8 The rivers shall clap their hands,

The mountains shall rejoice together

9 at the presence of the Lord,

Because he comes to judge the earth.

He shall judge the world with justice,

And the people with equity.

As I’ve been doing in these last few days I will be reflecting on the Psalm of the day, which is Psalm 98. As we’re going through this the Psalter and learning from these beautiful hymns

Book of praise was the hymn book really of ancient Israel This Psalm starts off with a familiar phrase very familiar to us and that is “Sing to the Lord a new song. Now that’s an interesting phrase. We see this a lot. It occurs many times in scriptures, not just in the Psalms but also in the book of Revelation and in other places. What does that mean? What is the new song?

The new song is a symphony in three movements.

The first movement is obviously a song of praise. It is a song that reflects on what God has done. Even now, in this particular Psalm, we see that this psalmist says you have saved us through your mighty arm because it’s a reflection upon what God has done. Many times, you see sing to the Lord or new song and the psalmist will go through the whole history of God’s interaction with Israel. In the Book of Revelation, the new song is mentioned regarding the 144,000 that are before the throne of God, representing the believers of all time and all places. They are singing a new song to the Lord, and no one knows the song but them, because it’s their personal song. It’s the song of their own relationship with God. They sing of what God has done for them in their lives. So, the first movement of a new song is a reflection upon what God has done for us

The second movement is a meditation on what God is doing for us today. It’s easy to see God as someone who acted in the past. Jesus healed many, and the Apostles proclaimed the Gospel, taking it to the ends of the earth. But what is God doing for us today? What is God is doing in us today? How is he transforming us? How is he making us more into the likeness of Christ today? How is he shaping our hearts? How is he increasing our love? Our compassion? Our patience? Sing to the Lord a new song. Reflect on what God has done for us in the past, but also meditate on what God is doing in us and for us today

The third movement is that hope of what God is going to do for us in the future. God is bringing us bringing ultimate salvation as we were all brought into what the church refers to as the beatific vision. That’s a fancy theological term for when we will see God face to face. And when we see him, we will be made like him. And that’s the beatific vision, that blessed vision of us seeing God and being transformed in his very presence. In this particular Psalm, the psalmist goes on to talk about how God has revealed himself to the nations. God is bringing about his justice in the earth. Those are prophetic statements that God is going to bring to fulfillment in the future. He brings those to fulfillment first in Christ – in his passion, in his resurrection and ascension, and in the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It’s there that God pours reveals himself reveals his justice to the world. All the nations were gathered there in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when God revealed his justice. And what is his justice? It is the Holy Spirit of love. We as Catholics talk a lot about justice. We have justice ministries. We talk about justice in the earth. And what is justice? It’s the love of God. Justice flows from the realization that God loves all humanity. And he loves all humanity through us.

As the introduction to the gospel today calls us to “love one another as I have loved you.” And he longs to love the world through us. He has made his salvation known.

Another couple of quick reflections upon this psalm. I love the reference to instruments: the harp the trumpet and the horn. In the Greek translation of the Psalms knows as he Septuagint, which was used actually more than the Hebrew version of the Psalms at the time of Christ, the word there for harp is guitarra, from which of course which we get the word ‘guitar’. So, the psalmist is saying let’s praise the Lord with the guitar. I know that in the Second Vatican Council in the Constitution on Liturgy said that the organ was the proper instrument for liturgical worship. Well, okay. That’s fine. But for thousands of years it was the guitar that was the proper instrument for liturgical worship. Long before the organ was ever invented. And the psalmist says praise the Lord with the guitar with the horn and with the trumpet. Then we can bring all instruments to praise God in fact there are a few verses to this song that aren’t in the lectionary and I want to mention those here, because they’re really very beautiful and very wonderful.

In these last verses “Let the sea and what fills it resound. Let the rivers clap their hands. Let the mountains shout with them for joy in the presence of the Lord who comes who comes to govern the earth.” This reflection upon all of nature all of creation praising God with the various sounds that nature makes. With the Thunder of the oceans and the wind howling through the mountains and the rivers lapping water over rocks. The psalmist likens these to shouts of joy and clapping of hands, singing of songs. All of nature, everything that creation does is to praise God. That’s pretty awesome.

I want to again go back to reflect the new song. Reflect on what God has done for you. Meditate on what God is doing in and for you right now. And hope for what God will ultimately fulfill in your life.

Let us go to God now in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

We give you thanks and praise that you have gathered us here. Help us Lord. Give us hearts to sing that new song: as we reflect upon what you have done for us, as you inspire us in this very day in guidance, and as Lord we hope that you will be bringing us to that beatific vision – to that time when we will see you face to face and be transformed in your mercy. Let the new song be on our lips this entire day and every day forward

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We pray to the

Lord Heavenly Father we pray for all

God is not like us

Recently I read a prayer that states that God is more ready to hear than we are to pray, and more willing to give than we are deserving to ask. Sometimes I think that we are so bad at loving that we are nearly incapable of understanding how God loves us.

We naturally act from selfish motives. We even love from selfish motives. “I love you because you make me happy. Because you take good care of me. Because you do what I want you to do.” We naturally give with conditions. “I will give this to you if you promise to take good care of it. If you act truly grateful. If you use it the way I want you to.” We seek relationships on our terms. “I’ll spend time with you if you pay attention to me. If you don’t talk too much. If you respond the way I want you to.”

God is not like us. He loves unconditionally, gives freely, and is always with us, whether we are paying attention to him or not. We get so distracted by our jobs, our recreations, and the worldly cares and concerns that buffet us from all sides, that we neglect to take time to share our hearts with God who truly loves and cares for us. No wonder we find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed. And when we do pray we tend to tell God what we think he should do, instead of listen to him to learn what he wants us to do. No wonder we find ourselves disappointed with him. But when we come to God in simple trust and thanksgiving, we discover the wonder of living in the presence of God, walking in the will of God, and enjoying his grace and provision in our daily life and vocation.