Yesterday, my wife and I watched a movie, recommended by our son. Its title is, “The Ultimate Gift.” It was one of the best movies I have ever seen. I literally laughed at parts, and cried in parts. My wife and I were totally enraptured in the movie. What does this movie have to do with a religious blog: you’ll have to watch the movie, but I will give a hint – LOVE.
It is less than a week till Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I hope everyone enjoys Mardi-Gras festivities this weekend, but remember to keep things in perspective. The festivities lead up to a period of reflection and renewal, ending ultimately with the death and Resurrection of our Blessed Lord: Jesus Christ.
Today, in the Catholic Church, we are celebrating the first of the apparitions of our seraphic mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, at Lourdes France in 1858. “Our Lady of Lourdes” reminds us of her many appearances throughout time, and to different cultures. She has told us of future wars and calamities. Shee has warned us many times to change our ways, but we still haven’t seen the errors of our ways.
Finally, today is also the “World Day of the Sick.” it’s a day to pray for family, friends, and others who are sick and/or suffering; and for those caring for them.
Todays reflection is about acknowledging God. How often do you?
Quote or Joke of the Day:
A mother holds her children’s hands for a while, their hearts forever.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. (NAB Mt 10: 31-32)
What is this talk about sparrows? In the bible, the word ‘sparrow’ is found around 40 times, and the translated word can mean any small bird found in gardens and houses. In Luke 12:6 he writes, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pence, and not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God.” This verse confirms that small birds such as sparrows were an article of “money” in the days of Jesus. Sparrows were among the offerings for sacrifice, by the very poor in the temple.
Jesus (God) has a memory that any wise elephant would be jealous to have. If Gods can remember every sacrifice made to Him, and how that sacrifice was prepared; what memories does he have of me and you, His most loved creation?! Jesus is returning, and will be looking each of us directly in the eyes. Is His expression going to be one of joy and happiness; or of pity, frustration, sorrow, and even anger?
How can we acknowledge Him? Beyond the obvious prayer, we also have to think outside the box for some. Several years ago, I came across a quote, that I truly love, and have inter-personalized: “Do you see Jesus when you look in the mirror, and do you see Jesus when you look at others?” I believe the best way to acknowledge Jesus as our “Savior,” what a better way that to constantly see Him as you go about your normal days in life. Also, this approach reduces the chance of doing any harm to anyone you come into contact him: physically, mentally, monetarily, or spiritually.
Jesus, the “Son of Man.” will acknowledge those who have acknowledged Him, and those who deny Him will be denied (by the Son of Man) before the angels of God, at the final judgment, when Jesus returns. Here, in these two verses, Jesus and the Son of Man are identified as the same entity; and that the acknowledgment or denial of Him will be before his heavenly Father: God. In a parallel gospel verse from Luke 12:8-9, it also states, “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.”
“Lord, I try to acknowledge you in all I do, but I sometimes fail. Please forgive me for those transgressions, and help me to obtain your grace by seeing you all that I come into contact with. Amen”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Fraciscan Order (SFO) Rule #11:
Trusting the Father, Christ chose for Himself and His mother a poor and humble life, even though He valued created things attentively and lovingly. Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs. Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received for the benefit of God’s children. Thus, in the spirit of the Beatitudes, and as pilgrims and strangers on their way to the home of the Father, they should strive to purify their hearts from every tendency and yearning for possession and power.