October 31 THE PARENTAL INSTINCT OF PROTECTION Lk 13:31-35

There is a story about how after a fire had swept through his farmyard the farmer was walking through it to inspect the damage. When he came to what was the charred body of a hen he kicked it with disgust thinking that surely the hen should have had enough instincts to fly away from the fire rather than sit on the ground and let it overtake her! On dislodging the charred mess of a hen he discovered that beneath the mother hen were her chickens. The amazing miracle is that the chickens were alive! It was only then that the farmer realized that the mother hen hade given her life to save her offspring. She had gathered them under her wings and thus protected them from the fury of the flames! In staying still over her chickens she had at least saved their lives. Her instinct as a mother was greater than that to preserve her own life!

This is the image that comes to my mind as I read about the desire of Jesus to gather the people of Israel together under the protective cover of His love. Knowing that Jesus later gives His life on the cross for […]

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30 October SALVATION IS AN ETERNAL REALITY Lk 13:22-30

The way that some people live their lives gives me an impression that they believe that once we die there is nothing more to follow this life. For me, this makes me very sad, as our lives here on earth are a preparation for an eternity of life with God or without Him. This makes the choices we make here very serious ones. When we consider that we attach eternal realities to our moral decisions, it seems to me that we should take this aspect of our lives very seriously.

It is good to reflect upon this issue often! When we are making decisions concerning how we should spend our money it cannot be a decision that is focused solely upon our own desires and pleasure. Each of us is called to love our neighbor as Jesus has loved us. This means that we cannot live totally individualistic lives as if we are laws unto ourselves. We do have a moral responsibility to do what we can to alleviate the sufferings of others, and we should certainly be ensuring that we are not contributing to their sufferings by our own negligence or action.

In the Gospel Jesus speaks of the reality of […]

By |October 30th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments
  • golem

The Call: The words inside our head

Within the Jewish tradition, there is a mythological creature called a ‘Golem’. This creature looks like a human yet is made from clay. The interesting feature of this creature is that its life is directed by words. In one of his novels, Terry Pratchet describes this creature quite vividly, suggesting that if you hit the head of a Golem at just the right point, the top of its head will flip open to reveal a small sheet of paper with words written on it. These are the words that direct its identity and work. If you change the words, you change the whole direction of the creature.

In many respects, we are a lot like this mythological creature. Our life is also directed by words, however those words are often negative or destructive; “You are useless”, “No one will care for you”, “Don’t trust anyone because they will only hurt you”, “You are going to fail anyway so why bother trying”. The content of these words is different for every person. They are written into us often at a young age in the midst of conflict or criticism.

As with the story of the Golem, these words direct us at […]

By |October 29th, 2013|The Call|0 Comments

October 29 ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME Lk 13:18-21

There is no other way of approaching life than by taking one step at a time. This means facing and making the necessary decisions when they arise in our lives. Just like a seed, each of our lives is full of enormous potential – at any given time it is impossible to know exactly what lies ahead of an individual. This also means that each one of us has the responsibility to make something of our lives. Our potential will not be realized unless we are willing to work hard at developing it into the fully-grown, fruit-bearing tree we are meant to be.

Each time we make a moral decision we set ourselves along a particular path. With each decision we open new doors of potentiality and close others forever. When a person chooses their spouse it is a life-long decision. This is usually the case when it comes to a career or vocation as well. It is not wrong to shut out various options so long as one is committed to living out other ones. Of course, we are talking here about morally good choices. It is NEVER right to deliberately choose a course of action that we know to […]

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The Prayer of the humble

God listens to the person who prays out of the truth of their life. Fr Ken Barker MGL speaks about how the humble prayer touched the heart of God in this homily recorded live at St Benedict's Mission Center in Canberra.
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October 28 WHAT IS YOUR CALLING? Lk 6:12-16

The biblical concept of ‘calling’ or ‘vocation’ always has something to do with their understanding of their destiny as the People of God. Ideally, it was not possible to separate the concept of what they were called to be from their belief that they were destined to be with God eternally if they remained faithful to the graces that God gave them in their lives. This means that for the Jewish mind, their sense of ‘calling,’ lived out in the secular world was inextricably joined to their self-concept and destiny as the People of God. The same should still be true of Christians today! But is it?

I think one of the big problems facing the Church today is trying to reunite the Christian understanding of vocation and eternal destiny. In a climate of individualism the two seem to get separated from one another. This is increasingly apparent in the way that Christians seem to be able to compartmentalize their lives, that is, this part of my life is for God and my religious duties and this other part is devoted to the more worldly and secular pursuits usually associated with physical survival and the seeking of pleasure. The tension that […]

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October 27 TRUE PRAYER Lk. 18:9-14.

Once again the Church asks us to reflect on the parable of the publican and the sinner. One thinks he is totally righteous and is not; the other knows he is a sinner and through humbly admitting his fault before God and asking for forgiveness, becomes righteous. If we are truthful with ourselves, we will probably have to admit that there is at least a little bit of both in our lives. We would like to think that we stand with the humble sinner, but probably quite often there is more than enough self-righteousness present in our lives.

It does not matter what we are able to achieve in our lives. We cannot earn our way into heaven! Nor can we add anything to God’s greatness by what we do. Salvation has been won for us by Jesus and is offered to those of us who are humble enough of heart to accept it as a free gift. Thus the attitude of the sinner in the parable is the one we ought to follow.

Quite often the ways of the world are exactly opposite to the ways of the Kingdom of God. Just because it is possible to do virtually anything here […]

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October 26 MY CONVERSION NEVER ENDS IN THIS LIFE Lk 13:1-9

I always enjoy a visit to a farm as it never ceases to amaze me how committed the farmer has to be to keeping his farm in order so that it will produce enough goods to sustain his family. This reminds me of my spiritual life and the constant need for ongoing conversion and renovation so that it does not grow stale and uninteresting.

Our spiritual lives need constant care and attention lest we fall into a rut and begin to go backwards in our faith. The one and only way of making sure that you do not go backwards is to keep moving forwards. It is easy to judge whether or not a tree is bearing fruit. Have a look and see if there is any and taste them if there is! The same is true of our Christian lives. If we are bearing good fruit it will be easily evident to those around us that this is the case. If not, it will be equally evident!

What we have to do is ensure that we are nourishing our spiritual lives just as a farmer has to see to it that there is sufficient water and nutrients for his crop, or […]

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October 25 ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE PROPHETS Lk 12:54-59

In the Rite of Baptism there is a prayer prayed over the newly baptized which is accompanied by anointing with the Oil of Chrism. This prayer tells the newly baptized that the nature of their baptism is that they now share in the threefold ministry of Christ, and all Christians, as priest, prophet and king. Thus we are specifically told at our Baptism that we are to live a prophetic life – a life that stands out from the world because of Christian beliefs. I wonder how well we are doing this today?

It is not easy to stand out from the crowd and profess a different belief or creed in the easiest of circumstances let alone when it has to do with our life vocation! The challenge to be a prophet in today’s world will demand that we be willing to endure the mocking voices of a world that refuses to understand and is more concerned with personal pleasure than with the truth. Today’s society suffers from an unwillingness to submit itself to the truth and act accordingly. There seems to be a higher or more expedient priority than the truth – namely personal freedom. A common cry is, “Why […]

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October 24 THE MOST LOGICAL CHOICE IN THE WORLD Rom 6:19-23

It is really a very simple choice when you look at things from a logical point of view. I am talking about the choice between accepting God’s gift of salvation and rejecting it. Blaise Pascal, a philosopher from a couple of centuries ago, argued that whether or not God exists it is still better to believe that He does rather than ignore Him! Simply put the argument went something along these lines.

If God exists then it is obviously a better option to believe in Him and to live according to His will. This will ensure our greater happiness. If He does not exist, however, we lose nothing by living as if He did because we will at least be living good and holy lives and that will maximize our enjoyment of this life. And if we live as though He does not exist, and that is the case, we gain nothing either as there is no such thing as an eternal reward in this scenario. Thus the best option is to live as though God does exist, as this will give us a good result if He does and is neutral if He does not exist. On the other hand, […]

By |October 24th, 2013|Daily Scripture|0 Comments