Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Promise

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs 

It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith.  Romans 4:13

“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.”  Luke 12:8-9

I accept God's gift of life around me,
     the sacred treasure of each human life
     whether sister, brother, friend or stranger;
     however whole or broken, small or great,
     saint or sinner,
     rich or poor, ill or well, ally or enemy, or
Each is crafted in God's image, to each is offered
Christ's redemption, in each moves the spirits blessing.
      I choose life.
I accept God's gift of life in my times,
     in infant's cry, in childhood's wonder
     in trails of teen years and embrace of youth,
     in maturity's accomplishments and failures,
     in waning day's and night's negotiations.
Among the creatures with the breath of life within them,
God has placed the timeless in the human heart,
but not the reach to grasp or measure it.
     I choose life

Life Promise Prayer by Fr. Richard Meredith, Diocese of Owensboro.  Read the whole prayer here:

Jesus continues to distance himself from the kind of organized religion that is popularized by the Pharisees.  However, what is the alternative?  Certainly not the polytheism of Rome or the pantheism of Sartre, Spinoza and Einstein. 
Nature and the universe can certainly be awe-inspiring.  However, we cannot detach the awe from the inspiration.  God created the universe as a gift to us – to make a place for us to dwell.  Our faith denies that the world is some kind of natural accident. 

What is missing in the obsession with the beauty of nature or the law is a personal relationship with God.  There were so many rules, where was there room for love?  Paul’s letter and Luke’s Gospel talk of righteousness and faith.  Those two qualities descend from the promise (the covenant) that God has with his followers. 

You don’t make a promise to a stranger.  God loves us.  God wants us to get to know Him so we can Love Him.  Then, the Promise is something that works both ways in the relationship.  Love flows to us from the Lord and back to the Lord from us.

If it is based on the law, where is the room or need for love, relationship or promises between friends?  Who can love a dusty law book or scroll?  If it is based on faith in Christ Jesus, then there is planet of room for a relationship if we choose.  Who can NOT love someone who personally accepts the punishment for the wins of others – including ourselves? 

What promise or promises have you made recently?  We all make big promises.  Baptism.  Confirmation.  Marriage.  We also make little, day-to-day promises.  How do you hold up your part of the bargain for showing up on time?  How do you fulfill pledges you make to charities for monetary gifts or volunteer time?  What about projects you are working – are you meeting deadlines so others can count on you?

Now, think about your day-to-day promises with Jesus.  How are you holding up your part of that covenant?  If Christ is counting on you, what have you delivered to Him lately?

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