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THE LOVING KINDNESS OF OUR GOD

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!

In the Book of Wisdom, the ancient author tells us that God governs us with much “lenience” and judges us with “clemency” and that God patiently allows us time to realize our mistakes, repent, change and grow and be transformed by His mercy (Wisdom 12:13, 16-19). He is lenient God…leans toward us! He affirms this as the ground of our hope.

God is a God of compassion and patience and a God who gives another chance and the gift of more time for conversion. Now it is through us that this patience and compassion of God must be revealed to the world. It is up to us now to offer the gift of Hope grounded in the forgiving and compassionate presence of God in the world.

God is ever faithful to himself and his compassionate nature. Fidelity shows itself in patience, in forgiveness and in giving the gift of more time and another chance. Be faithful…be patient…be forgiving as God is.

The Psalmist says, “Yahweh knows what we are made of; Yahweh remembers that we are dust (Ps. 103:14). God knows how much we can handle. Anyone who has ever done cleaning knows that dust must be handled carefully, even delicately. If not, it easily breaks up and scatters. The Psalmist reminds us that God relates to people gently, tenderly. God handles us delicately. God knows that we are soft, fragile, vulnerable, easily broken – much like a dust ball.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. And he was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods but he could never hit the target. And getting a little discouraged; he headed back to dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today, didn’t you Johnny?” And then she whispered to him, “Remember, the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes. Later Grandpa asked if the children, wanted to go Fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.” But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.” She whispered again, “Remember, the duck?” So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck. She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I forgave you. But I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

I don’t know what’s in your past. I don’t know what one sin the enemy keeps throwing up in your face. But whatever it is, I want you to know something. Jesus Christ was standing at the window. And He saw the whole thing. But because He loves you, He has forgiven you. Perhaps He’s wondering how long you’ll let the enemy make a slave out of you. The great thing about God is that He forgives, leans toward you.

God is not just someone who is good, who shows kindness and who forgives. God is goodness and kindness and forgiveness – in Him is abundance! St. Paul tells us that God knows all our weaknesses, even how difficult it is for us to pray (Romans 8:26-27). So he gives us his spirit to help us in our weakness. Since we do not know how to pray as we should, the spirit prays in us, expresses our innermost longings. That is how kind our God is – He shows up everywhere, attending to our needs, even in our innermost longings!

Jesus told his listeners a parable about a man sowing good seed in his field (Mathew 13:24-43).

While he slept, an enemy sowed darnel or tares in the middle of his field. Both the good and the bad seeds sprouted and the servants came forward to pull up the tares. But the man asked them to let them grow together to maturity for fear of destroying the good seed in the process of removing the bad. At harvest time, the good and the bad will be separated by those who know how to sort them out.

This parable teaches us many things. There are negative forces in the field and so be very cautious. It is often difficult to distinguish between good and bad and so turn to those who have knowledge and wisdom for direction. Don’t be too quick to draw conclusions or make judgments. Patiently and prayerfully discern what is good for you. Only God can and will make the final judgment. Pray for wisdom and prayerfully discern your choices. Trust in God and leave judgments in his hands. Be optimistic! Wait patiently!

Jesus called his listeners to reform their lives. He used the parable of the unyielding fig tree to teach them about the need to make changes and renew their lives (Luke 13:6-9). Give the tree another chance, another opportunity to yield. Nurture the tree, tenderly care for it, give it more time, give it another year, take another approach……give the tree another chance to yield.

This parable proclaims the Gospel of second chance. Give yourself another chance, another opportunity…give others another chance, give the world another chance…..Wait patiently!

Fig tree in a Vineyard is a beautiful imagery. The tree had ample opportunities to yield and yet did not yield.

Reflect on the many opportunities you are blessed with. We have opportunities now which the world had not known before.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that they were still on the journey…that they had not reached the end….therefore they must remain cautious and align their will to God’s will . He called them to learn from the experience of the Israelites who, after having been saved from slavery, sinned against God (1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12). He pleaded with them to learn from their history and be cautious and struggle to be faithful on the journey.

The Psalmist prayed…….

Bless the Lord, O My soul;
And all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O My soul,
And forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103).

Pray the whole Psalm (103) when you get a chance. The Psalmist calls on his whole being, “soul”, to bless, praise and thank God for all that has been and all that will be and ends his poem with “Bless the Lord, all His works”. The Psalmist calls his “soul” (nephesh), his whole being, to praise, bless, thank God for all that has been….to sing a song of gratitude (Verses 1-5).

He invites all his listeners to remember all that God has done for the rejected and     the oppressed, to remember how God had removed all transgressions out of an amazing love (Verses 6-12)…this is the “amazing Grace”. He contemplates God’s Fatherly Love and calls all people, even things to respond to this amazing fatherly love (Verses 13-22).

Take a few quiet moments and dwell on “Bless the Lord, O My soul; And all my being, bless his holy name”.

Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs