BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……
Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..
Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.
Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..
Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good….every moment of the day brings new opportunities and possibilities.
May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!
This meditation is on the ways of God as radically different from that of the ways of man and his world. The Prophet, whom we call Deutero-Isaiah, had repeated over and over again his assurance of God’s unconquerable love, forgiveness and mercy for the exiles. He also had promised his people that God would bring them home from exile and this return would be more glorious than their exodus from Egypt.
Despite the many assurance of the Prophet and despite the feelings of repentance of his people, many of them continued to feel burdened by the guilt of their wrongdoings. They had not learned that God’s forgiveness was unconditional; that forgiveness meant new beginnings; that guilt and shame and regret should be replaced with faithfulness to God’s law of love. They had problems understanding how God could forgive and accept a people who had repeatedly offended him, how he could love so tenderly and graciously.
The Prophet told them that sinners must turn to God for mercy, not because they deserve but because God is generous in forgiving. God’s way is radically different from that of men: “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:6-9). God’s ways are not vindictive or vengeful or mean or petty. God’s will to forgive is unfathomable and his mercy immeasurable and his love unconquerable. So, the Prophet challenged his people to turn to God, seek God and call upon God here and now and not just in liturgy and worship in the temple.
Rejoice! Be happy! Be grateful! God’s way is radically different from that of men! God’s will to forgive is unfathomable and his mercy immeasurable and his love unconquerable.
The psalmist sang songs of God’s compassion, especially for the underprivileged and depressed. Psalm 145, for example, praises the unfathomable greatness of God, which goes beyond all our theologies, philosophies and doctrines. Psalm 145:8-9 express the most basic faith of the Old Testament about the very nature of God as “steadfast love”, “compassion”, all embracing love, abundant love.
Jesus told his listeners a parable that reveals God as a gracious, benevolent, merciful and compassionate person (Mathew 20:1-16). This parable is about a master who chose to reward the workers equally regardless of the length of time they spent in service. All people, no matter when they come, are equally precious to God. The first are not necessarily first and the last not necessarily last.
All are precious in the eyes of God. In God’s plan, there is no “most favored people or nation” status. Some come into the kingdom in an hour, others in a lifetime – some enter at the beginning of their life and others at the close of their life. No matter when a person comes to Christ, he/she is equally dear to him.
I will give them a new heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the stony heart from their bodies and replace it with a natural heart, so that they will live according to my statutes and observe and carry out my ordinances; thus they shall be my people and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
It is a story of Grace. Whether we have served from sunrise to sunset or only the last hour of the day, God gives because He is grace-filled and not because we have earned or merited. The favor and mercy of God are not reserved for the meritorious and the saints, but for all, including sinners.
Let us take a few moments to abide in God’s Grace. Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. It is alright if no ideas or thoughts or insights or words or songs, or prayer comes into mind or heart….just acknowledge and affirm the Lord’s gift of Grace….make an act of faith that you are gifted with God’s Grace and just be there, be present and be grateful!
Our God is abiding, abundant, steadfast, unconditional love. Grace is God’s unconditional gift of love. Our God is God of enduring, everlasting blessings.
Our Sacred Scriptures also call us to cast our cares into the hands of our caring and compassionate God…to trust in His provident care of the universe. We know the many men and women of our spiritual tradition – Abraham and Sarah, Joseph and Jacob, Moses and Miriam, Jeremiah and Ezra and many others who came to trust in the provident care of the Lord and simply walked in faith even when things didn’t work out as they had expected and planned.
St. Paul tells us, “The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy. He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. (Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7)
Reflect on what Paul says:
- The Grace of God has appeared saving all;
- training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires;
- training us to live temperately, justly and devoutly in this age
- so that we might be justified by his grace
- and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)
Reflect on what Paul says:
- by grace you have been saved through faith;
- this is not your doing, but the gift of God
NOW IS THE MOMENT OF GRACE
What happens to us in life does not always seem to make sense. But keeping a positive attitude and trusting in God’s Grace, we’ll find a way to find His “GRACE” even in difficult and trying times. Let us always thank God for everything that happens to us and pray for the Grace to live gracefully!
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs