Follow Br Jack by Email

Monday, January 15, 2018

God's Spirit Rushes Upon Us

"The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David." 1 Sam 16:13

Regularly in the scriptures God does not do what we expect God to do. The choice of David as King is a good example. After rejecting Saul as King, God tells Samuel that he will choose a King from Jesse's sons, but after Jesse has presented seven of his Sons to Samuel, all of whom seemed worthy by Jesse's standards, God is not satisfied. Samuel ask Jesse if he has another son. Yes, Jesse says, and sends for his youngest son David. When David appears God tells Samuel that this is the one and when Samuel anoints David, "the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him."

Most of us have known the rushing of God's spirit upon us, at least for a time, but we don't always respond as completely as David. Fearful that a call as radical as this might disrupt our lives and everyone around us, we resist. Today's reading reminds us not to be afraid. It is God's spirit that rushes upon us. We have only to rely on God to do the work of God. When we ask for the grace to put aside our fear, as David did, all things become possible.

Today, trust God's rushing spirit.

Has the Spirit rushed upon you?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weddings and their Promise

"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" Mk 2:20

It is no wonder that Jesus uses the image of a wedding to help his critics understand his larger message. Everyone in the ancient world knew how important weddings were. A time for families and tribes to deepen their bonds with one another, weddings lasted at least a week and the entire time was given over to the celebration of the new couple and the promise their marriage contained for their families and their faith community. 

Remembering that the Lord has made a covenant with us, married us, invites us to believe more deeply in the resurrection. At the time of Jesus, after a man was betrothed to his intended bride, he would leave her and return to his father's house, but before departing he would say, I go to prepare a place for you, the same words Jesus uses to assure his disciples that he would return for them after his death and bring them to the bridal chamber he had prepared for them in heaven.

Today, rest in the realization that Christ has betrothed himself to us forever.

What image do you use to help yourself remember Christ's eternal and total love for you?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Practice Seeing!

"Behold the Lamb of God." Jn 1:35

What was it that John saw? What did the Spirit look like? Most of us have been in the presence of people with political or religious power. We know what that feels like, but Jesus was an itinerant preacher and minor prophet. Surely, John was talking about something more than the power we invest in hierarchies when he said of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God."

In order to see, we must look long and hard at ourselves, others and the world. This takes practice and discernment. We cannot expect to see what it is that God is doing within and among us unless we take time to gaze upon God and God's works everyday. Some call this prayer or contemplation but naming is not as important as doing it. Finding time in our busy schedules to stop, listen, and allow the Spirit of God to guide us is essential to anyone who wants to live the Gospel, not just know about it.

Today, slow down and let the Lord look at you as you are.

What most keeps you from developing a daily prayer life?



Friday, January 12, 2018

Follow Me

"Come after me."  Mk 1:17

The call to discipleship comes early in Mark's gospel.  Jesus sees Simon and his brother Andrew, who were fishermen, working their trade.  He calls them and they follow.  Mark is clear, sharp and uncomplicated. The text suggests that Simon Peter and Andrew needed to follow the Lord immediately or they would be left behind.

What was it that attracted the first apostles to follow Jesus? Were they simply in the right place at the right time? Sometimes being in the right place means standing still, not rushing about anxiously simply because we are uncomfortable. Stilling ourselves, breathing deeply, becoming aware of everything and everyone around us is the foundation for good decisions. Only when we are quiet internally and externally are we able to hear others and God deeply.

Today, take five minutes of quiet to sit still, listen and ask for guidance.

What is the best advice you ever received about living your faith?