Archive for September 23, 2011

“Who Do You Say I Am”

Posted: September 23, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Jesus tells me that in love it is he who delights me, while in suffering, on the other hand, it is I who give pleasure to him.  Now, to desire good health would mean seeking happiness for myself instead of trying to comfort Jesus.  Yes I love the cross, the cross alone; I love it because I see it always on Jesus shoulders.  By this time Jesus is well aware that my entire life, my whole heart is consecrated to him and to his sufferings.

Ah dear Father, pardon me for using this sort of language; Jesus alone can understand what I suffer when the painful scene of Calvary is enacted before my eyes.  It is equally incomprehensible how Jesus can be consoled not merely by those who sympathise with his torments, but when he finds a soul who for the love of him, asks no consolations and only wants to be allowed to share in his suffering.

When Jesus wants to make me understand that he loves me, he permits to relish the wounds, the thorns, the anguish of his Passion.  When he wants me to rejoice, he fills my heart with that spirit which is all fire and he speaks to me of his delights.  But when he wants to be delighted, he speaks to me of his sufferings, he invites me in a tone which is both a request and a command to offer my body that his sufferings may be alleviated.

Who could resist him? I realise that I have made him suffer exceedingly by my failings, that I have made him weep too much by my ingratitude, that I have offended him too grievously.  I want nobody but Jesus, I desire nothing else (which is Jesus’ own desire) than his sufferings.  Allow me to say it, since no one can hear us, I am ready even to be deprived for ever of the tenderness which Jesus lavishes on me, I am prepared to bear his hiding his beautiful eyes from me as long as he does not hide from his love, for this would cause my death.

 

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina +1968

September 25th, 2011 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 23, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

The Humble Path

Readings:
Ezekiel 18:25-28
Psalm 25:4-9
Philippians 2:1-11
Matthew 21:28-32


Echoing the complaint heard in last week’s readings, today’s First Reading again presents protests that God isn’t fair. Why does He punish with death one who begins in virtue but falls into iniquity, while granting life to the wicked one who turns from sin?

This is the question that Jesus takes up in the parable in today’s Gospel.

The first son represents the most heinous sinners of Jesus’ day – tax collectors and prostitutes – who by their sin at first refuse to serve in the Lord’s vineyard, the kingdom. At the preaching of John the Baptist, they repented and did what is right and just. The second son represents Israel’s leaders – who said they would serve God in the vineyard, but refused to believe John when he told them they must produce good fruits as evidence of their repentance (see Matthew 3:8).

Once again, this week’s readings invite us to ponder the unfathomable ways of God’s justice and mercy. He teaches His ways only to the humble, as we sing in today’s Psalm. And in the Epistle today, Paul presents Jesus as the model of that humility by which we come to know life’s true path.

Paul sings a beautiful hymn to the Incarnation. Unlike Adam, the first man, who in his pride grasped at being God, the New Adam, Jesus, humbled himself to become a slave, obedient even unto death on the cross (see Romans 5:14). In this He has shown sinners – each one of us – the way back to the Father. We can only come to God, to serve in His vineyard, the Church, by having that same attitude as Christ.

This is what Israel’s leaders lacked. In their vainglory, they presumed their superiority – that they had no further need to hear God’s Word or God’s servants.

But this is the way to death, as God tells Ezekiel today. We are always to be emptying ourselves, seeking forgiveness for our sins and frailties, confessing on bended knee that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father.