Wednesday 2nd April 2014.
It can seem like a contradiction to be spiritual yet worldly. Pope Francis calls it spiritual worldliness hiding behind the appearance of piety and love of the church which cloaks an attitude of self-interest and selfishness. Jesus spoke about this.’ How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?’ We cannot pick and mix the teaching of the church or the gospel message. Being a believer does not mean we are elitist or superior because of our love of liturgy or certain doctrines or Catholic traditions from the past. The Holy Spirit teaches us that what matters is Christ proclaimed as the incarnate guard, gloried in as the crucified and the Christ risen from the dead, the Lord.
Holy Spirit purify my heart from all that distorts or adulterates the gospel message.
Thursday 3rd April 2014
During Mass at the prayers of intercession we often pray for peace in the world. However, whilst we pray for peace there can be conflict in our own homes, parishes and in our own lives. As Pope Francis says, ‘How many wars take place within the people of God and in our different communities.’ What causes this kind of division, conflict and heartache? The root is often arrogance and pride combined with envy and jealousy. We are called to offer a radiant, fragrant and attractive witness of love ad forgiveness. Jesus taught, ‘by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’. This was Jesus heartfelt prayer to the Father. that they may all be one.. in us… so that the world may believe.
Lord, teach me to love in peace, to bless and not curse, to forgive and not resent, to build up and not pull down.
Friday 4th April 2014
The light of Christ and the light of faith help us to live our lives and overcome our sin. We are called to be perfect and holy as the Father is perfect and holy. But this is hard and we fail and fall short. We can be prey to all manner of weaknesses and resentments which we nurse and foster. Even our Christian communities – our parishes for example – can tolerate enmity, division, calumny, defamation, vendetta, jealously and sometimes a kind of witch hunt against those with whom we disagree or we are in conflict. We will enangelize and win no one as long as this exists. It is only through repentance, confession, contrition and true remorse that the Spirit sets us free from this lack of love.
Lord, make me a peacemaker not a warmonger and make me an instrument of reconciliation, love and forgiveness in my home and parish community.
Saturday 5th April 2014
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth and ministered in Galilee and Jerusalem. The Pharisees did not believe that the lord’s anointed would come from Galilee, even though Isaiah pointed to this many centuries before:’ In the past be humble the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea,along the Jordan.Their minds and hearts were closed to what God was doing in their time. Never has the need been greater, more urgent. And now God is calling us personally and by name. It is a time to be open and not resist the new and exciting things God is doing in our time.
Lord by your grace may I never resist the Holy Spirit and put obstacles in his way but always be open to discern his fruit, gift and blessing at work today.