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WE WLL SERVE THE LORD

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence and keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that comes with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

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!

Prayerfully Read and Reflect……

As Joshua and his people continued their journey through the Promised Land, many others, who were not part of the exodus movement, joined them. Joshua called all of them together with those who came out of Egypt and offered them the choice of serving the God of Israel or their former gods. Joshua affirmed, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”. Choosing the God of Israel, the God of the covenant meant rejection of all false gods. All present followed the choice Joshua proclaimed, “We will serve the Lord, our God”. (Joshua 24:1-2, 15-17, 18)

Joshua made his choice: “We will serve the Lord”. Now Join Joshua and make your choice!

Jesus taught his followers to work for imperishable bread. He taught them that he was that imperishable bread, the bread of life. But they failed to understand. They thought they knew him and so didn’t believe that he had anything more to offer. So they murmured, ‘how can he claim to have come down from heaven?’ He responded, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst”. He invited them and challenged them to eat his flesh and drink his blood as food that will never perish. The listeners of Jesus were shocked at the idea of eating the flesh and drinking the blood, which was too repulsive for them. Many of them walked away in protest. Some of them surrendered in faith and accepted the gift Jesus offered although they did not fully understand what was offered to them as a gift. Jesus challenged his disciples, asked them whether they too were going to walk away. Peter, as always, had great wisdom and he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go……you have the words of eternal life” (John 6:60-69).

Peter made his choice. Now join Peter and make your choice! Jesus challenges us to make difficult choices, make the difficult journey, walk the path of trials, face testing times, enter through the narrow door………

One day, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)

Zacchaeus made his choice: “I will restructure my life.” Now join Zacchaeus and make your choice!

Paul instructed the Ephesians: Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God……..Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light…….Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise……Do not continue in ignorance, but try to discern the will of the Lord…… Defer to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:1-21). Deference means putting the other first out of respect or esteem.

Paul challenged the Ephesians to make their choice out of “reverence” for Christ. Now you are challenged to make your own choice!

Choosing “God’s Way” frees us to be what God made us to be and wants us to be. This choice however is very demanding because the freedom that comes from choosing God’s Way is always very demanding.

True freedom limits us to choose only that which fits our nature, our character. ..the opposite is absence of or lack of true freedom. True freedom is freedom to be and not necessarily the freedom to function. True freedom is the freedom to be even when one is not free to function …it is the freedom of the children of God.

Moses challenged his people to take God’s word into their hearts, into their soul, into their daily lives. He asked his people to make the fundamental choice: life or death; blessing or curse. To choose life and blessing means that we must accept and obey the law of God and be guided by his wisdom. We must align our will to the will of God (Deuteronomy 11:18, 26-28, 32)

Take a moment and pray….May your will be done!

All are called to the Kingdom of God. However, crying out, “Lord…Lord…” will not give anyone access to the Kingdom (Mathew 7:21, 24-27). Jesus calls for sincerity of purpose. Sincerity of purpose is shown in practice, in the way we live out our purpose. Fine words are never substitutes for fine deeds. It is not difficult to recite a creed, but to live the Christian life is demanding and challenging and often difficult. Jesus was once asked whether only a few would be saved (Luke 13:22-30). Behind this question was the belief that only the Jews would be saved and not the gentiles. Jesus responded by telling them that entrance into the kingdom was not automatic…membership in the Jewish community or any faith community did not guarantee entrance into the kingdom. He called them to make difficult choices and make the difficult journey….the door is narrow, he said. He himself was making his way to Jerusalem to face rejection and eventual death.

We are all familiar with expressions like “a narrow escape” , “a tight squeeze” and so on which suggest that we have accomplished something difficult, something that required taking risk, being vulnerable, diligence, vigilance, decisiveness and great precision. Even as children, some of us had narrow escapes from the bullies in the school, from major accidents on a bike, from major failures in sports, etc. As adults many of us can recall the narrow escapes we had from serious injuries, conflicts with others, major car accidents and so on. Much more than that, we know how narrow the path forward can be when we face life-altering decisions. We are often confronted with situations where all our options must give way to one choice. No one else can make the decision for us and no one else would suffer the consequences of that decisions. All our choices will come to this narrow “gate” that will define who we are, how we live and even define us into the future. We must walk through the narrow gate and enter the kingdom.

Jesus challenges us to make difficult choices, make the difficult journey, walk the path of trials, face testing times, enter through the narrow door………

The way to the kingdom is not easy, but it is just the right way, the way made to fit our needs! We must make difficult choices and be faithful to the choices we make. The choice is ours. Once the choice is made, the question is: is that your final choice? Your final answer to the call? In the Gospel according to Mathew (Mathew 21:28-32), we read about a son who said “no” to his father and changed it into an “yes” and another son who said “yes” to his father changed it into a “no”. The final answer made the difference.

Take a moment: think of all the people whose lives once characterized by “no” to God and to God’s goodness and then transformed into a decided “yes”, into a final answer “yes”. Peter did; Thomas did. Thomas Merton, one of the great mystics of our times moved from “No” to “Yes”. Orphaned at 16, he traveled Europe at 18 maintaining a bohemian lifestyle. A vowed communist at 20, a reporter for New York times at 24 and Trapist monk at 26. Some of you may remember John Newton’s dramatic conversion during a storm at sea. He was a slave trader. His “yes” to God is memorialized in “Amazing Grace”

Take a moment…….and pray Psalm 119:9-16 and pray the whole Psalm when you have a few moments!

How can the young keep his way without fault? Only by observing your words. With all my heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments. In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes. With my lips I recite all the judgments you have spoken. I find joy in the way of your testimonies more than in all riches. I will ponder your precepts and consider your paths. In your statutes I take delight; I will never forget your word.

BE STRONG…….BE RENEWED IN SPIRIT……AND MAKE YOUR CHOCIE!

I will….. face what need to be faced, honestly and directl deal with what need to be dealt with

  • accept what must be accepted
  • change what need to be changed
  • build what needs building
  • drop what must be dropped
  • pick up what needs to be picked up
  • eliminate what needs to be eliminated
  • give what needs to be given
  • take what needs to be taken
  • share what must be shared, generously
  • let go of what must be released
  • hold on to what must be held, tightly
  • incorporate what must be incorporated
  • stop what must be stopped, promptly and permanently

Add your own:

Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs