Sunday, September 27, 2015

Reflections for the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Part 1

Monday – God's Jealousy

In the first reading, God proclaims through the prophet Zechariah, “I am intensely jealous for Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her.” The Hebrew is literally, “I am jealous with great jealousy for Zion, and I am jealous for her with great fury.” This is some major jealousy! 

To our modern minds, this sounds strange. It seems out of character for God to be jealous. We've been taught since childhood that jealousy is something negative that we must avoid. Yet God is perfect and all-loving, so this jealousy must be something different from our usual concept of it.

God deserves a full measure of our love. He has given us everything that we have and everything that we are. He holds us in existence at every moment. He keeps us breathing. He floods us with His grace. He wraps us in His love. He longs for us to love Him with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength and all our mind. 

When we don't, when we turn our attention to worldly things, when we love other things and even other people more than God, God is jealous. This isn't a human jealousy that pouts and sulks and gets angry. This is a jealousy that turns up the love. This is a jealousy that tries to win back the beloved. This is a jealousy that heats up to defeat the enemies and eliminate the distractions that lure away the beloved from the divine Lover. God's jealousy is love in action. It's a love of great desire that longs for the beloved to freely choose to bask in its light. It's a zeal that reaches out to recapture the heart of the beloved and draw it back into the safety of God's arms. 

God is jealous for His people. He cherishes us with a love beyond our understanding, and He will do anything to bring us into intimacy with Him and finally home to Heaven. After all, “He Who did not withhold His only Son, but gave Him up for all of us, will He not with Him give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32). 

Tuesday – A Litany to the Archangels

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
God the Father, have mercy on us.
God the Son, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host, pray for us.
St. Michael, leader of angels, guide us.
St. Michael, whose cry is “Who is like God,” protect us in our spiritual battles.
St. Michael, who cast Lucifer and the evil spirits into Hell, defend us.
St. Michael, champion of God's children, rescue us from the enemy at the hour of our death.
St. Gabriel, God's strength, pray for us.
St. Gabriel, who spoke to Zachariah about the birth of John the Baptist, guide us in God's will.
St. Gabriel, who announced the Incarnation of the Word, whisper God's words in our hearts.
St. Gabriel, who comforted Jesus during His agony in the garden, strengthen us.
St. Raphael, whose name means “God has healed,” pray for us. 
St. Raphael, who guided Tobit on his journey, lead us along God's paths.
St. Raphael, who acted in disguise, help us see the hidden angels all around us.

Let us pray. Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael, God's messengers, pray for us, guide us, and defend us through life, and bear our souls up to God at the time of our death that we may worship God with you in Heaven forever.


Wednesday – Letting Go

When we choose to follow Jesus, we must let go. 

We must let go of our sins. We must let go of our selfish ways. We must let go of ideas that don't agree with the teachings of the Church. We must let go of people who hold us back. We must let go of our desire for fame and fortune. We must let go of our fears. We must let go of our attachments to material things. We must let go of our grudges. We must let go of whatever prevents us from intimacy with God. 

We must let go of many things, but in return, we gain the one thing necessary. We gain God. We gain a share in His divine life. We gain an eternity in Heaven face to face with the God Who loves us more than we can ever imagine. 

Letting go doesn't seem so bad, does it?

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