Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day

On the Feast of St. Stephen
Isaiah 52:8 TEV&NRSV Those who guard the city are shouting, shouting together for joy. They can see with their own eyes the return of the Lord to Zion. & Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.
 If you’ve even shopped for a Bible perhaps at Christmastime, you know it isn’t as easy as just asking a clerk where their Bibles are. Not only do some Protestants and Catholic Bibles differ, there are so many translations, interpretations, and versions, I no longer keep track. Protestant scholars used to tell me the only authentic, authorized Bible was the KJV; the only one used by us. Catholic scholars have disagreed as to whether the Hebrew and Greek or a Vulgate Latin was better. Most scholars say it is better now to use more than one Bible. Some have one text right beside the other. And a further complication is many have aids, helps, maps, pictures or commentaries, concordance, all of which confuse the shopper and Bible student. You may use few of these or want more. You see this is a complex and confounding process, selecting a Bible. Most Evangelicals have embraced an NIV which I used to only use.
 I’ve settled on the TEV and NRSV, and above is the same verse from both. Here the prophets are foretelling the birth of the Messiah. They are giving us the proper attitude for us to look for God in our lives and the lives of others. How we expect the Word made Flesh, the Christ Child, our Bread from Heaven, who was born into the World to give us, for the past two thousand years, the new birth. How we are to anticipate seeing the Creator again when we die or see the Lord and Master of the Universe at the end of the age.
I had to ask myself if lately I truly had my head up, looking for Jesus’ return. Maybe with all the talk about the world ending the just past solstice last week and all the mention of the second coming in all the homilies this past Advent, I’m giving it more thought.
St. Stephen, before he was martyred could see God in Glory. This Christmas Season I am going to try to not lose sight of a heads up attitude that my Saviour and my God is coming for me. The Light of the World, can be in plain sight, seen with your own eyes. Like Mary, Joseph, the shepherd’s, the wise men, Simeon, Anna, and St. Stephen, who saw Jesus, like the prophets proclaimed, we know the King is coming, then and now. Here is our hope for our present, for the New Year, for all our futures and our joy. So heads up and stay alert like watchmen.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Short, short prayers

Today it is St. Peter Canisius Day. And I wrote these short prayers on St. John of the Cross Day, December 14th , ‘2012; before rising at Five o’clock at home:
Bless us Father with the Gift of Your Holy Spirit. Spirit bless this food we are about to have. You are so gracious. Make us spiritually and materially a blessing to others. In the service of God’s Son we ask in Our Lord’s Name Jesus, amen.
Morning Offering
Today I want to be a holy man and with the help of Jesus, Mary, the Saints and Angels; the support of Daily Bread: I shall be. I offer our prayer, way and exuberance and for all intentions today, amen. Nothing Guardian Angel and myself can’t master today. Amen.
Prayer to Mother Mary
Gracious Mary Mother of Jesus
Take us to the Master now
And take us when we come to this pilgrim’s end
You are our advocate here
May we say then that you are our friend
For tho we have the Father’s love
And the Spirit’s guidance to console
We need your consolation too
And care for our weary soul
Lest the next time we meet your Son
In the “least of these”, Sacrament, or heaven
Succumbed to the trial and temptation of life
He wont be able to say “well done”
For “in as much as” we’ve “done it unto them”
He’ll forgive and reward us
His be the glory; was, is, will be
Forever and ever: may we praise Him
With our yes, like your fiat
Just as you were humble, may the Lord
Bless us – world without end, Amen, Amen.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Faith, War and Peace

My thoughts this Advent this Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and also the Day of St. Jane Francis from text of Ephesians 4:4-10,14-16 and Luke 2:13&14 NRSV
Ephesians 4:14a We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about
 With these words St. Paul gave his spiritual children in Ephesus a directive that is just as true now as it was 2000 years ago. Only then they believed Christ would come again soon and we have lost the faith that we will see Him in the clouds to end the mayhem that is in the World today. Before Christ came into the World as the Babe of Mary only a few believed their Messiah would be found to give them Hope and Peace. Today all persons are in a spiritual battle with the powers of the all evil one.
Many have said organized religion causes war. Certainly in the history of western civilization and Christendom there seems a pre-eminence of war fought in the name of religion. It really does pallor in the face of the wars and genocides fought in the name of socialism in particular; Asian and African conflicts, especially ethnic and cultural in origin: not to mention the Holocaust, the European slaughter of innocents. This seems to me to only be one of the devils horns aimed at the Church today.
The other horn to wrestle with is that of the greed so prevalent in North American countries. While the United States is blamed for being the predominant cause of the collapse of the capitalistic empire itself; Canada has had just as much greed as a Common Wealth, NATO and G7 nation. I get the Virtue of Selfishness but just because God has blessed us in Canada with every material blessing does not mean we cannot bless others in the Christian Way who do not have as much as we do.
This is the way to peace. This is true religion: it does not cause war, it brings about peace. This is the reason for the season of Advent and the true meaning of Christmas. This is why Christ came into the World in the first place. And Jesus said that when upon return will there be Faith found in the world?
So if your world seems helter-skelter; there are wars, or even just a bit hectic in the Christmas rush remember
Luke 2:13&14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those he favours!”
– and then you won’t fear the end of your little world or His return.