Scripture

The Ark Encounter

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In the news:

Noahs Ark

They actually built the boat!  It’s a 510 foot-long wooden ark that is in a theme park in Kentucky!

http://tinyurl.com/hv4lsqk

Also:

Mosaics depicting prominent Bible scenes were uncovered during annual excavations of an ancient synagogue in Israel’s Lower Galilee.

http://tinyurl.com/hmbrqtf

Check that Bible story out in Genesis Chapters 6-9!

 

Give til it hurts?

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What do you have?

Sometimes God is asking so much of us.  It might be like the widow who uses the last of her flour and oil to feed Elijah.  Or the widow who puts her last 2 cents in the collection basket.  It is really hard to put that much trust in God.  We need to trust that God will give us everything we need.  That happened for the widow Elijah met.  She had enough flour and oil to eat for a year!

Elijah and the Widow

Think about the Our Father the next time you say it.  Do you trust that you will have daily bread?  What can you donate that someone else really needs?

Based on Scriptures for Sunday, November 8, 2015

1 KGS 17:10-16

MK 12:38-44

The bucket

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My grace is sufficient for you and daily bread…
Sometimes I think that my bucket is almost too deep for God to fill with grace. Its not that he doesn’t want to give it to me but maybe I need too much!  How am I going to fill it?
Will God fill up the bucket no matter the size? Of course, He told me He would in Scripture (2Pt 1:3). I think that He tells me in so many other ways, too. My heart seems to know and understand that there is more to it then just the problem of the bucket.
I find it interesting that God would have a bucket list. Teresa Tomeo even wrote a book called God’s Bucket List.
 
Have you every thought about what God desires in his heart, not for Himself, but for you?  What are the things that will bring you happiness and peace?
So what about the bucket? What does your bucket look like? Is it a wooden pail reminiscent of the kind used for a deep well that you might find in the country. Or is it the bucket that is shiny and new, made of metal? Where did the bucket come from and who gave it to me anyway?
If God gave me the bucket wouldn’t it make sense then that He would also give me the desire to fill it up? If he promised that His grace would be sufficient, then He should fill it up! Are we born with a bucket the size the grand canyon? Some days, I am sure that it’s huge! And then I get impatient.  One more lesson in trust.  One more reminder to ask God for my daily bread.
God promised that He has just the right amount to fill all the needs in your bucket. Ask him to fill it up.
But don’t forget to ask him to help you carry it!  Is grace heavy?  I don’t think so.  Grace is a gift from God to make our burdens lighter.
beach_bucketIt’s the stuff I put in the bucket that is heavy.
What’s in your bucket?  What do you want to put in it?  What do you want to take out?
2 cor 12:9-10
Jesus, I trust in you!

Got bread? This bread is priceless!

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In Exodus, the Lord rains down bread and then even sends quail.  God gives us our daily bread, just what we need and when we need it.  The Readings this week are all about bread and one of the “I Am” statements in John 6.  Do you know Jesus?

Jesus says, “What kind of signs to do you need?”  What will it take for you to believe?

Euch-EucharistSymbolsJesus says, “Remember how God gave you manna in the desert?”  How can you get this bread?  Jesus gives the answer when He says, “I Am the Bread of Life.”  He gives us Himself in the Eucharist now.  Stay tuned to find out what he means!  The next few weeks’ Sunday Readings explain more!

Maybe you have seen a few miracles in your life or in the life of someone around you.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes.  Are you looking?  Are you helping God to perform a miracle in someone’s life today like the boy in last week’s readings?

Jesus says that you’ve seen the signs.  Now what?  St. Paul tells the Ephesians that you should change the way you live.  Put on your new self.  Your old way of thinking doesn’t work anymore.  Now that you have learned about Jesus, you know the truth.  This requires thinking like God thinks, doing the right thing and living in the truth.  So, what do you think?  Will it change how you live?  Got bread?  This bread is priceless.  Go to Mass.  Receive the Eucharist.  It will change your life.

Sunday Readings for August 2, 2015

Who me? I got this!

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As we continue our journey from John’s point of view in Chapter 6, Jesus creates another miracle!

Jesus feeds everyone in John 6.  Did you put yourself in the story?  Are you Philip?  How will you pay for all that food?

Or, are you Andrew?  Andrew knew a boy that had 5 loaves and 2 fishes but believes it’s not enough.  Over and over I get the same message in Scripture.  Look.  Do I see what is going on around me?  We hear a lot about helping others and feeding the poor.  Take another look at this Scripture.  The Apostles need help.  Jesus asks them to find the food.  How can I help?  What can I do?  You see, I need help, too.  What does God want me to do?  How often do I think, “It’s not enough.”  Or worse, “I am not enough.”  I don’t have what it takes.  What can I do?  I am nobody.  Think beyond the food idea.  Maybe someone around me needs an encouraging word.  I wish I had a million dollars or could solve world hunger.  That problem is too big for me to solve.  There are so many smaller needs I could solve for my family and friends.  I could smile at a stranger.  I could help the person in the grocery store find the item they are looking for.  That has actually happened to me.  It’s amazing what can happen when you look friendly.  Give it a try!

This boy offers all that he has and Jesus transforms his meager provision of food into something much greater.  Are you the boy who offers all that he has?  Even our small gifts or talents can be used by God to change the world.  Being a person who smiles is a talent that we can all obtain.  What can you do this week to make a difference in someone’s life?  Are you waiting for a miracle?  Maybe, God is waiting for you to help Him make another miracle happen.  Yes, you!

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Readings for Sunday 7-26-15

Retreat and Regroup

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A week ago I read the Sunday Readings for July 19 that focused on Christ’s peace and this was my summary:

St. Paul says Christ is our peace.  He will bring us together.  We all have access to the Holy Spirit!  We are brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.  How can you make peace?  Mark tells us how Jesus said we can be ready for being peacemakers and going out into the world.  Jesus said, “Come to a deserted place and rest.”  Interesting that He said, ‘Come’ not just ‘Go.’  He will go with you.  And, you will find rest.  So, we can do our best today.  And then, rest up for tomorrow.  Be sure to find your own retreat time!

What I really love about reading and reflecting on Scripture is that I always see something different if I really look.  Contemplating the meaning of Scripture changes from day to day and year to year.  Today as I heard the Readings proclaimed, the first reading from Jeremiah stood out like a flashing road sign.

“Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter.”  Today that jumped out.  When I talk to teens about what the Scriptures can mean to them, being a shepherd is a great topic.  You may be able to relate, too.  Have you ever thought of yourself as a shepherd?  Just think about the basic idea of a shepherd:  leading and guiding.  We are shepherds of our friends.  We can lead them well and raise the bar.  Or, we can lead them astray.  Today, that could mean gossip, bullying, drinking and drugs or just being negative.  Are we lifting people’s spirits?  Are we bringing hope and peace?

Shepherd and sheep

A big shocker to teens is that you can be an ‘accessory to sin’.  Most of us relate an ‘accessory’ to a crime.  You can go to jail for helping someone commit a crime even if you didn’t do it.  Same goes for sin.  You are in big trouble with ‘the guy upstairs’ if you lead someone to sin.  This is probably what I would have said to a class this week.

That reading was followed by Psalm 23.  It contains the explanation of what our Good Shepherd does for us.  It’s our example for being a shepherd to those around us as well.

So, regroup.  How can you be a better shepherd today and tomorrow?  Examine your conscience.  Is your barometer working properly?  Twelve Step programs tell us to do an inventory.  Take stock.  What can you change?  Take one small step toward a brighter future.  Then read the first paragraph again.  Retreat and regroup.  Rest and then start again tomorrow! – Mrs. D

Good Grief…get the power!

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Yesterday’s Reading contains my favorite Scripture passage.  It has kept me going for many years!

* but he [God] said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,* in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.

Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.*  2Cor 12:9-10

If you read Chapter 11 on, you can see how Paul, against all odds, not only overcomes but boasts of his weakness.  He is not a proud man.  He tells us of all his struggles only to show us that we can do it too.  So when you are feeling down or overwhelmed, remember that being weak has a bonus – the power of Christ.  Make a little room so that you can be filled with grace.  A little goes a long way.

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