Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spiritual Sunday 08-18-2013

     Lately, I’ve felt a bit outside of myself and I’m not sure what that means.  I’ve just been going with the flow of life instead of having everything planned or getting myself into doing stuff just to do it.  I feel like I am staying open to the possibilities in life, yet it is a bit nerve wrecking.  I am used to being part of many things and right now I am sort of free to just sit back and take it all in.  Perhaps it is because I just finished grad school a few months ago and it took a lot of thinking, concentrating, studying, and focusing to get me through it all.  I’m not quite sure how to take all that I have learned and put it into perspective in my life, when I am often too busy thinking about what comes next. 
       Somehow I feel like I had a mental shift and my mind is often now on wondering who will be the man I will share my life with.  I remember thinking that it would be nice to have a crush.  But be careful what you wish for.  I don’t want to worry about who will be the one for me.  I just want to live my life and be open to all the possibilities that God places in my path whether its friendship or potential romantic relationship until it feels right with the one He has for me.  It has felt pretty tough to meet people in this day and age and perhaps it is because most people are doing online dating.  Somehow I don’t’ feel motivated to put myself out there like that.  But folks who do are brave souls indeed! Yesterday I heard another success story through online communication.  I wonder what God thinks about online dating.  Either way whether I do it or not, I am always waiting on the Lord.  I wait for His indication in my heart, in my soul, and in my spirit.  Which is why when someone comes into my life and I feel drawn to them, it makes me wonder what their purpose is in my life.  Not everything that shines is gold...but God has come to put the fire on this earth indeed.  If we are not refined already..He will put the fire on us so we can become shiny and pure hearted for Him.  (Oh God, please make me pure hearted  and brave for you.)

     Today’s scriptures were really moving for me.  In the first reading we hear how the
prophet Jeremiah was sent to be put to death by those who were close to the king.  According to them, Jeremiah was not looking after the welfare of the people.  The king’s men believed Jeremiah was blaspheming and that he was on the side of Babylon.  Little did they know that it was the Lord himself speaking through Jeremiah.  It is inspiring to see how Jeremiah spoke the truth.  When I think about modern times I wonder what is the truth.  It feels like nowadays there is a thin line between right and wrong.  It’s hard to think about what would Jesus do in modern times.  But as He used Jeremiah, so He will use us to bring messages, signs, and peace to the world. (Oh God, use me as you used Jeremiah to spread the truth.)

     The second reading was from the Book of Hebrews.  Paul’s words cannot be paraphrased here are the verses:

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
he endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. 
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. 
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

That’s deep right?  Well I just want to emphasize again the last two lines because they stood out to me the most:

In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

     I went to mass today.  I thank the Holy Spirit for pushing me to get up and go.  After reading the gospel this morning, I was actually looking forward to Father Bartalomew’s homily.  He is a visiting priest form Africa who has been giving the 11am English mass, and when I went last week I took a whole bunch of notes on my phone.  This time around I knew better so I took my pen and notebook.  His homily was powerful.  He reminded me of Jeremiah speaking up there in the altar with conviction.  He was spitting bible verses and I was really trying to keep up.  His homilies make me want to go to church again.  I thank God for that.  

     The Gospel was from the book of Luke and it took a lot of contemplating for me to understand it.  The priest’s homily really helped to put it into perspective.  Here are some of the notes I took:

God wants us to be thinking...He wants to challenge us to think critically about the circumstances in our lives.
Why do the Gospels seem to contradict themselves..Jesus came for Division (Book of Luke) and Jesus prince of peace? (Book of Matthew) which one is it?

In the Gospel of today Jesus is talking about opinions.  We have to endure opposition against sin.  Peace does not mean to agree with what everyone says.  It's ok to disagree with mom, dad, or other loved ones for the cause of Christ.  The challenge of Christians is to know the truth and to stand by the truth.

Christians are always being attacked in the world.  Your life is a challenge to people.  Your life is a symbol of Christ!
Our position should be where there is truth.  Disagreeing does not mean you don't love the person you disagree with.

There are disadvantages and consequences for standing up for the truth.  People will turn against you (look at Jeremiah)
However, it's not always bad consequences when you stand up for the truth, as there are always witnesses in the heavens and they will come forth in due time including the saints, the angels, and the Virgin Mary.  

Today's challenge:

Be positioned against evil, against what is not good .  You will suffer in the body but your spirit will be saved! 



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