Archive for January, 2014

REFLECTION: Are you ready for Christmas?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

 

 

Are you ready for Christmas?  In the hustle and bustle of the festivities, is the true meaning of Christmas slipping by?  In the midst of  activities, a passer-by had asked, “Are you ready?”  I looked at her with a momentary puzzlement, attempting to discern the depth of her question, and then with a smile, I answered “yes”.  But am I truly ready for Christmas?

During one of his homilies, Fr. Xavier had mentioned that the season of Advent was a time to prepare for Christmas.  The first 2 weeks was to prepare for the arrival of the Jesus’ birth and the latter two were to prepare for Him in our hearts.  Had I actually prepared my heart?  A majority of the decorations are now up and the tree is trimmed and lighted.  But, what about MY HEART?  I asked our Father and this is what I sensed Him say…  “If Christmas is truly the celebration of my Son’s birth, would anyone be ready for His second coming if I sent Him again on Christmas?”  I didn’t reply, but the heaviness and grief in my heart spoke clearly… “No Lord.”

Year after year, we celebrate Christmas, but as we do, have we been swayed from celebrating Jesus’ willing decision to come down to earth as a human to bring mankind back to the Father (the Creator), but instead focus on the material (the created)?  Multiple religious activists in North America are attempting to obliterate the name of Christ in the seasonal celebration.  Will the obliteration of the word “Christmas” eventually obliterate the true celebration in the memories and in the hearts of the people?

How will God find our hearts when Christmas rolls in?  Will he find us no different than where we were last year?  Will we wait for Advent to come around again before we make a change?  Only the Father knows when Jesus will return a second time and by that time, it’ll be too late to change.

Lord, please give us the grace to develop an intimate relationship with You.  Help us to realize how much You love us and help us to share the overflow of that love with our neighbours.  And Father, please give us the grace to ALWAYS be ready for Jesus’ return.  IN Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – January 21, 2014/revised December 17/2014

REFLECTION: Is someone at the door?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

 doorknocking

Would you readily open the door when someone knocks or rings the bell at your front door?  I wouldn’t.  I’ve had one too many solicitors come by and so, unless I know it’s the mailman or someone I am expecting, I totally ignore the beckoning of the unwelcomed guest.

But what would you do if Someone was knocking at your spiritual door?  Have you heard it said ”Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  Rev 3:20  I would assume this scripture would sound terribly odd and disconcerting to one unfamiliar with the passage.  But in truth, no one needs to be concerned.  You see, Jesus doesn’t barge into anyone’s life.  Although He is God, He remains patiently at the door of your heart, waiting for you to open the door and to invite Him into your life.

Take a look at the picture.  Notice something odd about the door?  The exterior door knob is missing.  Each artist depicting this scene intentionally leaves the door knob out to symbolize that each individual has full control of the decision.

But what happens if you hesitantly open the door, will He barge in?  Based on my personal experience and the personal experience of many others, He waits for you to invite Him in.  In truth, even if you’ve opened the door before and left it ajar, each morning He waits for you, once again, to invite Him into your life.  Why?  Because he respects the free will of every individual.  He doesn’t assume that once you’ve invited Him into your life, He has free reign over your life.  He doesn’t take it for granted that just because you’ve invited Him once, that He is forever welcome.

Many of us take Jesus for granted.  Many of us were born and raised in Catholic Christian families and were baptized as infants.   We were taught the narrative of Jesus’ birth as children and we received sufficient Catechism teachings so that we were able to receive our first Holy Communion and our Confirmation.  But unfortunately, that was it.  We continue to show up for Mass because, in the back of our minds, we don’t want to end up in Hell.  We’ve learned enough to know that there are certain things we have to engage in to make ourselves and others think that we are living a good enough life to qualify for Heaven.  We may even say we “know” Jesus and are able to recite who He is and what He had done, but in truth, we merely know of Him.  We don’t know Him the way he yearns to be known and we ignore Him until we are in a crisis and we need a favour from Him.  Then we either ask Him for something or we ask others who know Him more intimately to pray for us so that we can get what we want.  Been there?  Done that?

We can fool ourselves and the rest of the world, but we can’t fool Jesus.  Proverbs 21:2 teaches “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7 adds … “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

I often wonder what Peter saw when his eyes caught Jesus’ glance after he denied Jesus 3x before His crucifixion.    Undoubtedly, Peter saw sadness and disappointment, but he also saw compassion, understanding and forgiveness.  What Peter saw in Jesus’ eyes was enough to keep him moving in the direction Jesus had wanted him to.  Unfortunately, Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus, didn’t turn to look back at Jesus.  Without a doubt, I am sure he would have received the same healing glance that Peter received, but sadly he didn’t choose to glance Jesus’ way.

Is Jesus at the door of your heart, gently calling out your name?  You may have heard him whispering your name, but you have chosen, instead, to muffle his voice and distract yourself with the other “voices” of the world.  Would you look through the peep hole and see that He continues to wait patiently for you, ever so gently calling out your name.  Would you look and see that He is not upset nor angry that you have turned your back on Him.  Do you hear Him whispering…”Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matt 11:28

Do consider opening the door and inviting Him in.  Do consider inviting Him into your life day after day and get to know Him.  He has been waiting for so long to know you… intimately.

God bless,

Melissa – January 7, 2014

p.s. –

Dear God, I’ve been living my life my own way.  Now I

want to live it your way.  I need You and I invite You 

to take control of my life.  I receive Your Son, Jesus

Christ, as my personal Saviour and Lord.  I believe He

died for my sins and He has risen from the dead.  Please

wash me from all sin, shame and guilt.  Come into my life

Lord Jesus and sit on the throne of my life.  I want to have

a personal relationship with you.  Make me the

kind of person you want me to be.  In Jesus’ name I pray,

AMEN.