Translate

Friday, 31 July 2015

ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA (1491-1556) - THE FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS


Saturday, August 1, 2015 - Will you, like John the Baptist point to Jesus through your life today? How?

To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 25:1-8,17; Mt 14:1-12

Herod mentioned at the beginning of this story of the death of John the Baptist found also in Mark 6:14-29 is Herod Antipas and the son of Herod the Great mentioned in the Infancy narrative of Matthew (2:3). Though Matthew has taken this story from Mark, he shortens it considerably. Matthew’s reason for Herod wanting to kill John is the same as Mark, John had objected to Herod having married Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. In Matthew, unlike in Mark, it is not Herodias who wants to kill John, but Herod himself. When the daughter of Herodias (who is not named) pleases Herod with her dance on his birthday, she asks for the head of John the Baptist. After burying John, his disciples go and tell Jesus about what had happened.


It is not always easy for us to take a stand against injustice. Yet this is what this text is calling us to do. In the process on taking a stand we might become unpopular or sometimes the object of ridicule. The challenge is how much we are willing to risk.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

MORNING OFFERING


Friday, July 31, 2015 - St. Ignatius of Loyola - The Founder of the Society of Jesus - 1491-1556 - A transformed and transforming life

To read the texts click on the texts: Dt 30:15-20; 1 Tim 1:12-17; Lk 9:18-26

The readings of today set the tone for the celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. In the first reading of today, Moses makes a strong plea to the Israelites to choose life. Ignatius did precisely that when he was convalescing after the injury he suffered at the battle of Pamplona in 1520. His reflections during this time became the turning point of his life. It was when lying in his sick bed and contemplating the life of Christ that he decided that everything was refuse when compared with the knowledge of Christ.

This deep and intimate knowledge of Christ which was not merely intellectual but knowledge of the heart, led him to love Christ with all his heart and mind and to follow him unconditionally.

It was this intimate knowledge of Christ which sustained him all through his life and especially during the tremendous challenges that he faced. Like Paul, he too believed that he received mercy from the Lord. One important reason for receiving this mercy in such large measure was because he recognised that he was a sinner and in need of God’s grace made available freely in Christ. Like Paul, Ignatius became an example to many. One of these whom he converted through Christ’s grace was the now famous Francis Xavier.

The Gospel text from Luke serves as an apt description of how Ignatius perceived his master and Lord Jesus. Though Luke depends on Mark for this scene of Peter’s confession, he has made some significant changes in order to bring out his meaning of the text. The first is that unlike Mark, Luke does not give the geographical location (Caesarea Philippi), but gives instead the context of the prayer of Jesus. Through this change, Luke makes the confession a spiritual experience. Luke also changes Marks, “one of the prophets” to “one of the old prophets has risen.” Though the difference does not appear to be great, it is for Luke. In the Gospel of Luke, before Jesus everything is old. Jesus makes all things new. Luke has also eliminated Peter’s refusal to accept Jesus as the suffering Messiah and the rebuke of Peter by Jesus. Luke avoids narrating Marcan texts that show Peter and even the disciples in a bad light.

The second question to the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” shows on the one hand that the answers given of the crowd’s understanding of Jesus are inadequate, and on the other that Jesus wants to know their understanding of him. In all the Synoptic Gospels it is Peter who answers, but here too Luke adds to Mark’s, “You are the Christ”, the words “of God”. The Greek word “Christos” means in English “the anointed” and this conveys the meaning of royalty. However, by his addition, Luke also brings in the prophetical dimension of Jesus’ person and mission. This prophetical dimension is explicated in the verses, which follow the confession of Peter, in which Jesus explains the kind of Christ/Messiah/Anointed One that he will be. The reason for the rebuke or “stern order” not to tell anyone is because Jesus wanted to avoid any misunderstanding of the term which could be understood only in the glorious sense. Jesus as “the Christ of God” will come in glory, but only after he has gone to the cross, died, been buried and then raised.

Taken together the five sayings on discipleship show clearly that  discipleship to Jesus requires a total commitment of life, taking the cross, giving one’s life in obedience to Jesus’ direction, forsaking the pursuit of wealth, and living out one’s discipleship publicly before others.


This is what Ignatius did and taught others to do. Today more than 450 years after his death, his legacy still remains. The Society of Jesus that he founded remains a Society that has at its core the following of the Crucified Christ.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

MORNING OFFERING


NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA - JULY 30, 2015 - NINTH DAY

OPENING PRAYER:         Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. For the last eight days, we have been praying that through his intercession we might obtain various graces to live more fully our own lives as individuals and as a community. Today, on the last day of the Novena, we make our own, the prayer of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, himself a former General of the Society of Jesus: 
“Lord, meditating on ‘our way of proceeding’, I have discovered that the ideal way of acting is your way of acting. Give me that sensus Christi that I may feel with your feelings, with the sentiments of your heart, which basically are love for your Father and love for all men and women. Teach me how to be compassionate to the suffering, the poor, the blind, the lame and lepers.  Teach us your way so that it becomes our way today, so that we may come closer to the great ideal of St. Ignatius; to be companions of Jesus, collaborators in the work of redemption.”
Through the intercession of St. Ignatius, we pray for the grace to make Jesus’ way of proceeding our way of proceeding, his way of acting our way of acting. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015 - If the sorting were to take place now, would you be kept or thrown away? What will you do to ensure that you are kept?

To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 40:16-21,34-38; Mt 13:47-53

The parable of the Net (13:47-48) its interpretation (13:49-50) and the parable of the householder (13:51-52) are found only in the Gospel of Matthew.

In the parable of the Net, a large net is used to catch fish of every kind. There is no sorting out of the fish at the time of their being caught. It is only after the net is full and drawn ashore that the sorting takes place. The good fish are kept and the bad are thrown away.

The interpretation focuses on the fate of the evil (bad fish), which will be thrown into the furnace of fire. It does not speak about the fate of the righteous except to say that the evil will be separated from them.


In the parable of the householder, both the new and old are affirmed. However, the old, which is valuable, is presented in a new light and therefore seen in a new way. The fact that the order of the words is “new” and “old” is an indication that the new is to be used to interpret the old and not the other way around.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA - JULY 29, 2015 - DAY EIGHT

OPENING PRAYER:         Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
EVER SEARCHING FOR THE MAGIS: The entire life of St. Ignatius was a pilgrim search for the Magis, the ever-greater glory of God, the ever-fuller service of men and women, the more universal good, the more effective apostolic means. The Magis was not simply one among others in a list of the qualities of St. Ignatius - it permeated them all.
God of all creation, we often tend to let things slide and so become complacent and self-satisfied. We give in to the sin of mediocrity and are content with the status quo. We prefer the tried and tested ways and are afraid to try the new. We are afraid to make changes because of the fear of change. Give us the grace to strive always to make the good, better; the better, better still and the better still, still better. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

MORNING OFFERING


Dr. Abdul Kalam (1931-2015) - Simple Genius - Go with God and to God.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - St. Martha - Will you like Martha, presume to tell Jesus what he ought to do, or will you like Mary listen to what he would like you to do?

To read the texts click on the texts: 1 Jn4:7-16; Lk 10:38-42

St. Martha whose feast is celebrated today is mentioned in the Gospels of Luke and John. She is the sister of Mary and Lazarus. She comes across in the Gospel of Luke as a doer.
 
This text, which speaks of the encounter of Martha and Mary with Jesus, takes the form of a pronouncement story (a story in which a saying of Jesus stands out and is the focus of the story). While the Gospel of Luke explicitly mentions women disciples of Jesus, here Mary is even sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to his teaching, something unthinkable at the time of Jesus. By sitting at his feet, Mary is acting like a male, and in doing so neglects her duty of helping to prepare the meal. This action of Mary also results in bringing shame upon her house. Though justified Martha’s protest is put negatively by her. It is clear that her focus is not the Lord, but herself. She is concerned not with her service of the Lord, but the trouble that it is causing her because she is left alone to serve. The response of Jesus to Martha is the main point of the story and the pronouncement. The repetition of her name is a mild rebuke. Her “cares” have prevented her from unhindered devotion and attention to the Lord. Mary has chosen the one thing necessary and that is the Lord. Martha presumes to tell Jesus what he should do; Mary lets Jesus tell her what to do.


There are times when we do things not because we are convinced that they have to be done but because we want the approval of others or we want others to know how hard we are working. These are selfish acts and do not bring grace. The act that does bring grace is when we do what has to be done simply because it has to be done and expect nothing in return.

Monday, 27 July 2015

NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA - DAY SEVEN - TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2015

OPENING PRAYER:  Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
IGNATIAN INDIFFERENCE: For Ignatius, indifference was a means to reach the higher goal or the greater good, and so Ignatius would be indifferent to success or failure, riches or poverty, good health or sickness in order to achieve the greater good, which was always the greater glory of God.
Father, we often get disappointed when things do not go our way. We sometimes give in to despair and lose hope. Gift us with the gift of Ignatian indifference so that we may be able to accept everything that happens to us as your will in our lives. Let us learn to be content in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, all the days of our lives. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

MORNING OFFERING


Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - Are you too quick to condemn others merely by what you notice externally? Will you reserve your judgement today?

To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 33:7-11;34:5-9,28; Mt 13:36-43

These verses contain the interpretation or allegory of the parable of the weeds and are found only in the Gospel of Matthew. Since Jesus speaks to the crowds only in parables, Matthew has Jesus go into the house after leaving the crowds and explain privately the meaning of the parable to his disciples. In the interpretation, the attention is on the weeds and so on the final judgement. The Son of Man has indeed sowed good seed in the field, which is the world and not merely the church, but the devil who is responsible for the second sowing has sown weeds. Though this is the case, it is not the believers who represent the good seed who will pass judgement on the unbelievers who represent the weeds Judgement will be passed by God through the Son of Man.


We sometimes wonder why “evil” people seem to be thriving. When we do this we are already making a judgement about a person or about something, which we might not fully know. If we avoid comparing ourselves with others and stop labelling them especially when we are not fully aware of the facts, we can concentrate better on what we are called to do and be. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

MORNING OFFERING


NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA - DAY SIX - JULY 27, 2015

OPENING PRAYER : Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE: St. Ignatius was a great believer in Unity even in diversity. This is evident from the first companions he chose. These were men from different backgrounds, different experiences and gifts, but moulded by him into one Society of Love.
 (ALL): Father, Son and Spirit, living in a multi-religious and multi-cultural country, let us learn to accept and appreciate the goodness in other faiths and cultures. Let us not be parochial or narrow-minded but bless us instead with a broad vision. We pray for the grace to reveal Jesus in such a manner that our brothers and sisters of other faiths will be drawn to Him, who is all and in all. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

Monday, July 27, 2015 - Small beginnings will have great endings. Well begun is half-done.

To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 32:15-24,30-34; Mt 13:31-35

There are three parts to the text of today. The first is the parable of the mustard seed (13:31-32) then is the parable of the yeast (13:33) and finally the reason why Jesus speaks in parables (13:34-35).

While the parable of the Mustard seed is found also in Mark 4:30-32, Matthew follows the Q version more closely. While in Mark, the mustard seed becomes more correctly a shrub which puts forth large branches (Mk 4:32) and the birds of the air make nests in the shade of the shrub (Mk 4:32), in Matthew, the mustard seed becomes a tree (13:32) and the birds of the air makes nests in its branches (13:32). The tree motif probably has references to the symbol of the imperial tree mentioned in Ezekiel 17:23 and 31:6. The point, however seems to be to contrast the present lowliness of the kingdom with its ultimate greatness.

In the parable of the yeast, we are told about the act of a specific woman in hiding the yeast in three measures of flour, just as the mustard seed had spoken about the act of a specific man in sowing the seed. Yeast, here is used in the positive sense, whereas generally it has negative overtones. The reason for the use of yeast as a symbol for the kingdom is to probably shock the listeners. The quantity of flour into which the yeast is hid is three measures, which would produce enough bread to feed about 150 people, and is indeed a large amount, brings out the aspects abundance and extravagance. The kingdom at present seems small and insignificant, as is the yeast, but it will be revealed in its fullness later.

Though Mt 13:34 parallels the conclusion of Mark’s parable discourse (Mk 4:33-34), which states that Jesus spoke to the crowds only in parables, Matthew has added in 13:35 the eight of his formula or fulfilment quotations. The quotation is from Ps 78:2 and Matthew probably uses it because of the word “parable” found in it, though the context in the Psalm is not about hiding but about revelation.


We might tend to get discouraged sometimes when we cannot see clearly the results of our actions. We have striven hard and at times all that we have to show for our hard work seems negligible in comparison. The parables of the mustard seed and yeast are calling us to continue to sow and mix or in other words to do what is required of us to the best of our ability.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

MORNING OFFERING


NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS - DAY FIVE - JULY 26, 2015

OPENING PRAYER : Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
IN SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE MOST IN NEED : Though from an affluent family himself, Ignatius deliberately chose the path of poverty in order to experience first-hand what the poor went through. This enabled him to reach out to them in a practical and tangible manner.
(ALL): God of all that is visible and invisible, we ask that we may not let things control or use us. Let our possessions not take such a hold of us that we find it difficult to let go. Let us know deep in our heart that all is temporary and passing and that you alone are permanent and everlasting. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015 - Seventeenth Sunday of the Year - From little to much

To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings 4:42-44; Eph4:1-6; Jn 6:1-15

The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fish in which twelve baskets are gathered and which is the Gospel text of today is the only miracle that Jesus worked that is found in all four Gospels (Mt 14:13-21; Mk 6:35-44; Lk 9:10-17). While each evangelist narrates it slightly different from the others, the numbers that are used are the same in all four Gospels.

A variety of explanations have been offered as to what really happened. While some think that there was a miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish, though it cannot be explained how, others think that when people saw Jesus and disciples sharing the little they had, they were also motivated to share their own food with others. Still others give a sacramental explanation to the miracle. There is no need to deny the historicity of the miracle, simply because we have never witnessed a miraculous multiplication of food. At the same time, however, the literal, historical miracle of Jesus on this occasion is full of ongoing and important significance for John’s community and for us, and thus it is necessary to go beyond what happened to understand the import and meaning of the miracle.

There are several aspects of the miracle that are exclusive to John and these serve to bring out clearly the meaning as John may have intended. It is only in the Gospel of John that there is a reference to the Passover and this serves to bring to mind the Exodus. This is made even more explicit when Jesus instructs his disciples to gather up the fragments so that nothing may be lost, much like Moses asked the people not to leave any manna around after they had eaten. While in the Synoptic Gospels Jesus says the blessing over the bread; in John he “gives thanks”. This serves to emphasize the Eucharistic element of the miracle and the discourse on the Bread of Life that follows.

Although it may be seen as the supernatural provision for the physical hunger of a large crowd on a specific occasion, the miracle is much more than just that. Indeed, it is a deed filled with symbolism at more than one level. The primary symbolism is that of messianic provision, which both points to the reality of present fulfillment and foreshadows the blessings that will continue to flow in the future. This provision takes place in the wilderness, just as manna was provided in the wilderness. Jesus is the messianic provider. He is the Bread of Life. People go away from his presence healed and filled. The miracle typifies the full and complete blessing of humanity in the meeting of human need and the experience of ultimate well-being, universal shalom or wholeness.

The feeding of the multitude is thus the harbinger of good news for people of every era. God is not far away and aloof from us. God is not simply a God up there in heaven. Jesus shows us that God is right here with us, beside us in our broken and troubled and suffering world. It is an indication to all peoples who dare to see and experience that the Messiah is in their midst.

Not only will God offer bread but also the choicest of gifts and these will be given freely and gratuitously. These will be in abundance just as at the feeding of the five thousand. There will be enough and more. God gives them freely because of his unconditional love, shown in a variety of ways to the people of Israel. As he provided manna to them in the desert, he also provided bread to them through the prophets as narrated in the first reading of today. However, this love was shown in the most perfect way in and through the sending of his Son, Jesus Christ. In doing so he provided not only for their physical needs, but ensured that every human need was sated in Jesus Christ.

This does not mean, of course, that those who believe in Jesus will have no problems or needs. But it does mean that God will give us the grace and aid to bear whatever load may befall us. Ours is not a faith of easy answers and unrealistic solutions, but Jesus lived and died for us, showing us that in whatever we experience, in whatever may trouble us, in whatever distress or threat we feel, we need not fear, because God is in it with us. God will give us what we need to make it through.

This is the perseverance and courage to which the second reading of today calls the Ephesians and us. Like the disciples of Jesus we sometimes find that our care and compassion is limited to prayer and good wishes. Like the disciples we wish people well but have no intention of taking positive action to actually help them. And, again like the disciples, what prevents us from taking positive action is often the realistic assessment that the little we are able to do is not really going to make any big difference.

But in the gospel we are challenged to see that when we translate our care and compassion into positive action, the little we are able to do is multiplied by God’s grace in such a way that it becomes more than sufficient for the need. In whatever crisis or issue we face in life, in whatever trouble may come our way, the power of God’s love will provide what we need.


Friday, 24 July 2015

NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS - 4TH DAY, SATURDAY, JULY 22, 2015

4TH DAY - SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2015
OPENING PRAYER:      Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
TOTAL INVOLVEMENT IN THE CHURCH : St. Ignatius regarded the Church as a mother even though during his time there were many abuses in the Church. He never considered himself an outsider, an armchair critic, but actively went about trying to reform the Church from within.
Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit we pray that the unity that you share may be the same unity that we feel. Give us all the grace to know that we are all parts of one body, the Body of Christ. May our concern for others be genuine and our love for the poor tangible. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.


CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

MORNING OFFERING


Saturday, July 25, 2015 - St. James, Apostle - James was willing to drink the cup of the Lord. Are you?

To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Cor 4:7-15; Mt 20:20-28

St. James is described as one of the first disciples along with his brother John to join Jesus (Mk 1:19-20). He was one of the three whom Jesus took with him when he raised Jairus daughter from the dead (Mk 5:35-43), on the mountain of transfiguration (Mk 9:2-9) and at Gethsemane (Mk 14:32-42). The Acts of the Apostles 12:1 records that Herod had James executed by sword. He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament.

The Gospel text chosen for the feast of St. James is from the Gospel of Matthew.  In order to spare the disciples, whom Matthew usually represents as understanding, Matthew replaces the disciples’ own request with one represented by their mother and does not name the “sons of Zebedee” here. The request for seats at the “right hand and left hand” reflects the rule of the Son of Man from his throne. In his reply to the request the Matthean Jesus focuses on the image of the cup which is used as a symbol for suffering, testing, rejection, judgement and even violent death. Though they express confidence that they are able to drink the cup, Jesus knows better. However, even martyrdom will not gain the disciples special places. That is God’s prerogative and grace. Jesus then takes the disciples to another level and perspective of leadership where to be a leader is not to dominate or dictate but to serve. Christina leadership may be defined as service.


James understood this after then death and resurrection of Jesus as was evident in his martyrdom. He followed his Lord and Master to the end and did indeed drink the cup courageously.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

MORNING OFFERING


Friday, July 24, 2015 - What prevents you from listening to what God is calling you to do? What will you do about it today?

To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 20:1-17; Mt 13:18-23

These verses contain what is known as the allegory of the parable of 13:10-17. Unlike Mark who does not give it a name, Matthew names it the Parable of the Sower (13:18), and in doing so concentrates attention on the Sower. While in the Marcan interpretation there is confusion as to whether the seed is the word (as in Mark 4:14) or the hearers (as in Mark 4:16,18,20), Matthew rewrites Mark to avoid this confusion but does not succeed fully in this endeavour. Matthew also specifies that the word that is sown is the word of the kingdom. While in Mark collective nouns are used focussing on a group of people, Matthew emphasises individual responsibility by changing the nouns to the singular. Despite these changes, Matthew essentially adopts the interpretation of the Parable as in Mark 4:13-20 where it is understood as the Church’s reflection on its bearing witness to the Gospel that Christ inaugurated.


Christianity is both an individual and communitarian religion. Each sacrament has both the individual and communitarian dimensions. This means that while on the one hand we are each responsible for the other, we are also responsible for ourselves and need to make our commitment individually. We cannot disown this responsibility or thrust it on the community.

NOVENA TO ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA - JULY 24, 2015

3rd DAY - FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2015
OPENING PRAYER :  Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.
LISTENING TO AND WAITING FOR THE LORD :   Though Ignatius was in constant and close touch with the Lord, he never presumed to tell the Lord what to do. Rather, like an attentive student before his Master, he was always listening and discerning what the Lord wanted him to do.
Lord, sometimes we get impatient and want today’s answers yesterday and tomorrow’s answers today.  You ask us to be patient, because our ways are not your ways and our time is not your time. Gift us with patience and the ability to listen to your voice. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

MORNING OFFERING


Novena to St. Ignatius of Loyola - July 23, 2015 - Day Two



OPENING PRAYER:      Lord, teach us to be generous. Teach us to love you and serve you as you deserve. To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to look for reward, save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.

CONTEMPLATION IN ACTION: While Ignatius recommends setting aside time for prayer and communion with the Lord, in his personal life, prayer was never separated from action. There was a constant interplay between experience, reflection, decision and action, in line with the ideal of being a contemplative in action like Jesus himself was.
God our Lord, help us to realise the importance of prayer in our lives. May prayer be our first and last recourse. Let our prayer be such that it will strengthen us and lead us to affirmative action. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

CLOSING PRAYER: Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will. You have given them to me, to you I return them. Give me only your love and your grace that is enough for me.

Thursday, July 23, 2015 - Do you consider yourself a disciple or are you an outsider? How does your discipleship show in your life?



To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 19:1-2,9-11,16-20; Mt 13:10-17

This text concerns the reason for Jesus’ speaking in parables. While in Mark (4:10-12) a larger group asks about the parables, in Matthew, it is the disciples who ask Jesus why he speaks to “them” in parables. Understanding the parables of Jesus is not simply a matter of using one’s intellect, but a grace given by God himself. It is given to those who acknowledge their dependence on God. Only those who have committed themselves to follow Jesus are given an insight into the mysteries of the kingdom. Since they have Jesus as their teacher, they will be able to understand all there is to know. The closed attitude of those who do not wish to follow is what is responsible for their lack of understanding. Matthew quotes Isaiah 6,9-10 completely here, and regards the lack of understanding as a fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Since the disciples are open and receptive they are indeed blessed. They are able to see and hear and understand what mere human knowledge can never hope to understand.

Humanity has taken great strides in the areas of science and technology, and yet there are many things that we still do not understand. We can use technology to communicate with someone who is thousands of miles away, but technology cannot explain to us why we cannot communicate with a neighbour who lives by our side. This must lead to the realisation that when all is said and done we will still fall short of understanding all the mysteries there are and have to depend on God.