Friday, October 7, 2011

Sunday October 9th Reflection

Do You Reflect God in your Daily Life?

By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD

Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus/Franciscans of Divine Mercy

Today’s Gospel reading reminds us that “Many are called, but few are chosen” The king invited many to the banquet but they rejected his invitation. He then sent out his servants to bring in all they met to partake of his banquet all he asked was that they come properly attired. How are you attired? When you look in your spiritual mirror what do you see? Are you dressed clean and neat? Is the reflection cast back at you sharp and clear or do you see streaks or do you see dirty spots on the mirror?

If you see spots on your reflection ask yourself what is causing those dirty spots. Possibly you are not accepting yourself as God’s child.

Maybe there caused because you spend too much time thinking about yourself and your needs instead of finding out how you can use the gifts God gave you to help those less fortunate than you.

One thing that can cause dirt and streaks on your reflection is the distance you put between you and Almighty God.

You believe in God and turn to Him when you need something like healing or a job, but you fail to communicate with him as your best friend every day.

Sometimes, just possibly, when you look in the mirror you do not recognize the person staring back at you. You need to ask why.

There are, of course, those times when you can see another figure behind you who seems to be calling to you. That reflection can either be the dark, frightening and foreboding presence of Satan who is trying to entice you to turn away from God and live only for the moment and the pursuit of pleasure, fame and fortune.

The image behind you might be a beautiful luminescent image that seems to glow from within which is the reflection of God, the Holy Spirit or your guardian Angel whispering to you to follow the path of righteousness.

Take a good look at yourself in that mirror; do you reflect the infinite love and mercy of Jesus Christ?

Do you live your live in a way that would prompt God to say “Welcome, My good and faithful servant”?

What you see in that mirror is how others see you and react towards you.

If you live your life always striving to be kind, generous, thoughtful, forgiving, and not discriminatory of any individual, even those with whom you disagree, you are well on the way to seeing God in your reflection and others will see that as well and be drawn toward you.

If, however, you discriminate because God created someone a different race or nationality as you or because they have a same sex orientation, or been divorced, or worse yet, that an individual is not of the same religious denomination as you, then your reflection is going to be full of blotches, stains and streaks and your image in the mirror needs to be cleaned up.

Jesus Christ did not reject anyone, he called and welcomed all who came to him seek to hear him and learn the way to gain heaven, even those who were sinners seeking forgiveness telling them to “Go and Sin No More”

Christ sat at table with those who according to Jewish tradition were unclean, teaching them how to attain salvation.

Christ endured suffering and even death on the cross in order to free us from the burden of sin and open the gates of heaven to all.

His example showed us how to live but he told us it would not be easy and that we might be ridiculed and rejected and even have to suffer in order to live according to God’s will.

God has even given us a source of strength in the gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit; Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

They are if we seek them out and ask God to bestow them upon us.

I close this reflection with a prayer I say at least twice a day which I wrote for a weekend retreat in 2006.

Prayer for God’s Infinite Love

By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD

Almighty and merciful God, open my mind, my heart, and my soul to your infinite love. Instill within me the knowledge of your truth. Guide me in your ways in all the things I do so that I may be unto others a reflection of your love towards them.

Allow the light of your truth to flow through me, towards them, in order that they may come to know you better.

I pray that all those with whom I come in contact with, each and every day, may be brought into a closer union with you and enjoy the promise of Your salvation earned through your beloved son, Jesus Christ, in His passion, death, resurrection and ascension. I humbly ask this in the name of your beloved son, Jesus Christ, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever unto the ages of ages. AMEN

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