Mar 21

Day 15 – 1 Peter 2:18-22 Patient Endurance

18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds [favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

Christ Is Our Example

 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH

WOW this is even harder than the verses from Day 14!  So here it is… when we do what is right and suffer, and patiently endure it, we follow Jesus example and bring glory to God.

Seems like I spend most of my life suffering the consequences of my sin… and I seem to be better able to endure that then I am when I am called to suffer for what I did not do.

It just doesn’t ever seem fair!

And that’s it! In our world today we don’t like to ever pay for someone else’s sin… we do not like what we think is injustice!

And yet injustice is all around us…

When we suffer for doing the right thing and unite it to Christ it brings glory to God.

What stops us is fear, and St. Peter knows all about this temptation, as he fell three

times and denied Jesus…

Now St. Peter exhorts us here to do the good and be like Jesus in carrying injustices and

exercise patience and endurance.

In what ways do you feel like you suffer for doing good?

Maybe in your own home you are persecuted for your love of Jesus and His Church?

Maybe at work where people might be sinning and you are the one they make fun of for doing good?

How can you suffer patiently today and offer it to Jesus for His Glory!

This is a great time in Lent as we contemplate Jesus death for our sins…

as Peter says… he who did not sin or even speak anything deceitful suffered?

That’s a lot to meditate on today…

God bless –

Mar 21

Day 14 – 1 Peter 2:13-17 – Freedom is Doing the Good!

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

This might be hard verses for us in this age to take at times… but God’s word stands true for the test of time!

No matter what is happening around us we must always do what is right and just!

And when things get out of control and there is the temptation to go after evil by committing evil in the name of justice… avoid evil and do what’s right even more!

We should never say… I have no choice… I must do such and such!

That is not freedom!  That is why St. Peter says… act as free men!  Always free to do the good!

When I speak to women who are seeking an abortion… it is always said…

“I must have an abortion… I have no choice… it would be better for this baby if it is not born into this situation…”

That is not freedom… that is slavery… and the same goes for every area of our lives.

If someone who  you are accountable to is not treating you well… respond in love and peace…  it is amazing how doing good truly does silence people — disarms them…

So seeing your good work they will see Jesus — and amazing things happen.

Who in your life are you struggling with… who is in authority over you who is difficult to follow right now?

Maybe its a spouse, a boss, a parent, a government leader?

What can  you do today to show that  you are a free person?

God bless –

Mar 19

Day 13 -1 Peter 2:11-12 People are Watching You!

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

 Today is a great message on the Feast of St. Joseph!  His purity and his holiness spoke volumes and created great witness to the power of God… and with no written words about him!

St. Peter exhorts here that we keep our behavior excellent among the Gentiles… those who are far away from Jesus.

When someone is not with Christ or following in evil ways… the ways of God are crazy – and create anger in the dark soul!

But in the end the dark soul is still watching and observing your good deeds… we have no idea how those good deeds come into play someday and aid in their salvation.

St. Peter reminds us of this… and gives us motivation to follow in the good no matter what anyone thinks!

So stay clear of following the lust and desires of your flesh — ways of the world…

and follow in the ways of the Spirit of God!

The war is for our souls… and sin is death… it really is simple!

This letter is written for those Christians who were scattered in Asia minor —

Maybe there are Catholic Christians today reading this who feel all alone in their faith walk…

Maybe there are people reading this that feel… “What’s the point? Everyone around me is following the ways of the world and putting me down or scandalizing me for following the good in Jesus Christ!  Why bother?”

St. Peter today is telling you that it does matter and to keep fighting against lust and sin –excellence in holiness is our goal –

How might you follow the light today?

God bless

 

Mar 19

Day 12 -1 Peter 2:9-10 We are a Chosen Race!

 9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

 This is such great news today!  We have been chosen!  This is a great time to be alive in Christ – no matter what things look like in the world!

We must never forget the POWER we have in Christ Jesus through His ministry!

We are called to be a Holy Nation!  No matter what you read or see in the news!

We are the People of God!  And we are to live in His light and bring that light to our nation!

We have to remember where we came from… darkness! 

But thanks be to God we are walking in His light — and if we have fallen we are a people of Mercy — and so we move in His Mercy and we thank God every day for Jesus Christ!

This is a great time during Lent to reclaim our position in Jesus and His royal priesthood – the place we have in His body – the POWER to minister His light and love!

Where might you be still living in darkness?

Have  you been to confession this season – to restore your relationship with Jesus?

Do you know and live like you are in the People of God – or in His Mercy?

God bless

 

Mar 19

Day 9 -1 Peter 2:1-3 Be Like Newborn Babies!

 1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Oh Wow St. Peter!  It was all sounded great till about now!

These are those things that weigh us down… that keep us from being totally pure… that keep us from loving from a pure heart!

And St. Peter is reminding us here that these are the things that not only keep us from being perfect as our heavenly father is perfect… but they keep us from going deeper in striving for the imperishable life God has planned for us.

What is amazing is that these things St. Peter says to set aside… are things that many of us do and think are not a “big deal”…

for example… we might think… “Well I’m not killing anyone or comitting adultery” so what’s a little hypocrisy… or

I’m talking about someone to you because I’m just stating facts and I’m concerned for them… meanwhile deep down I’m decieving you and me because I really am judging and perhaps envious about a person I’m talking about – and mostlikely speaking slanderous things…

Who knows… only you and God — and maybe not even you know what you are doing…

So we need to call on the Holy Spirit to show us not only where I might be any of these things St. Peter mentions to set aside…

and then we need to ask “how to”set them aside… we know the Sacrament of Confession is the place to go… to be specific about these things…

to receive the graces we need to set them aside and turn away from these things…

and

to become like newborn babies — taking the Word of God… Jesus in the Scriptures and nurish ourselves every day with His Word.

This Lent is the perfect time to get in the habit of praying and reading the Word of God and to live it daily.

How might you take in The Word of God daily in your life?

How do you see this as significant in your being like a newborn baby in your faith journey?

What are the ways that you set aside these things St Peter mentions daily?

Mar 19

Day 10 -1 Peter 2:4-5 You are a Living Stone Precious to God!

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 In the last verses before these, St. Peter encouraged us to come to the Lord Jesus as newborn babies, if we are to grow in respect to salvation… if we have tasted the KINDNESS of the Lord…

and now he is telling us to come to Him as a living stone… one that is precious to God!

How often do we consider ourselves and precious stones… choice gems…

How often do we usually come to Jesus thinking of ourselves as sinners… and keeping that image of our past lives, or past sins, and forget to see ourselves as renewed or reborn?

St. Peter reminds us — as the Rock and foundation of Christ’s Church that although we might be “rejected” by the world, we are so much more precious to God and play an important part in the building of His Holy Church!

 Here in these words we are to understand that we play a valuable part in Christ’s Church as a living stone, which when joined together with the other living stones makes up the building of the church…

and that each one of us… as a living stone… offers sacrifices, especially the sacrifice of praise and we participate, as the body of Christ in His holy priesthood, by offering God this praise and thanksgiving in our own hearts and by living a sacrificial life in Him.

 And so St. Peter is giving us an image of who we are and what we do when we truly belong to God. 

How we are to turn from evil and to be reborn, to hug to the Word of God and to realize our preciousness in the building of the Spiritual House offering praise and glory to God through Jesus Christ…

Lent is a great time to reflect on the condition of your living stone…

Are you realizing that you are a precious stone of God?

Are you living a life of sacrificial praise to God through Jesus?

Are  you building this life around and together with other living stones… the members of His Church in community?

God bless –

Mar 19

Day 11- 1 Peter 2:6-8 Jesus the Cornerstone!

6 For this is contained in Scripture:

   “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

 7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

   “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”

 8and,

   “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”;

   for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

Think of the way you treat or value a precious stone… whether it be diamonds, pearls, rubies, safires, emeralds…

Women understand how precious these are and men appreciate the costly value…

We also understand the value of stones builders use… and we know the difference in using marble verses linoleum…

It never hit me as it is today, that God ingeniously designed the plan for His Spiritual House of praise… and made Jesus the cornerstone – a stone of precious value!

When King Solomon built the temple… a physical house of God, he put precious stones, pearls in the holy of holies…

This imaged the future Spiritual House that God has already planned in Jesus Christ His Son…

And the temple of God is in each and every one of our hearts… so that joined together we make up the Spiritual House  – in the body of Christ.

We are all living stones – valuable and precious as Jesus lives in us!

 We are to believe in the Rock Jesus and to obey His word and we will not be disappointed!

If we do not believe and obey Him we stumble over Him… and the key for us is to get back up if we do!

When I was not following Jesus I can remember taking offense to His commands… when I was disobedient to His word, I seemed to the world like I was victorious but I was stumbling in my spirit and my life was deteriorating…

Lent is a great time to ask ourselves in what ways am I stumbling today?

In what ways are you disobedient to the Word of God?

Oh Lord help me to walk in your ways! Help me to appreciate the value of Jesus Christ the Cornerstone who is more precious than gold or silver.

And help me to know that I am a precious living stone!

God bless –

 

Mar 19

Day 8 -1 Peter 1:23-25 To Be Born Again Forever!

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,

   “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,
AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.
THE GRASS WITHERS,
AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
25BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.”

One theme we can draw from this 1st letter of St. Peter is the perishable vs the imperishable…  he really wants us to know that our baptism which makes us born again… our faith… the goal of our life… is in the imperishable… will last forever!

And St. Peter knows all about being distracted and settling, or holding onto what is perishable.

He knows that he was a fisherman… catching fish to eat…

Jesus came and made him a fisher of men… working with Him to save souls for eternal life…

Peter knows when he writes these words that often he acted in his flesh… impulsive when he cut off the ear of the soldier, fear when he denied Our Lord three times…

He acted in his flesh and not in the Spirit of God…

He now writes in POWER to exhort us that the WORD OF GOD is what endures forever and staying close to it… living it…

is what keeps us rooted in life everlasting.

And the Word of God is Jesus.

What things in your life are you pursuing and following that are perishable?

What can you do this lent to nurture the seed of the imperishable Word of God that you received at Baptism?

Do you realize that if you have been Baptized that you were reborn again forever and how to you live that everyday?

God bless you!

Mar 15

Day 7- 1 Peter 1: 22 Love from the Heart!

 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

St. Peter can only speak from his experience of learning to love as Jesus taught him and commanded him.

He learned through his time with Jesus that there is love… and then there is “sincere love” that has been obtained from purification of our souls…

So purification is necessary for a sincere love that is from the heart!

Hmmmm ….so love otherwise comes from where?

From self love, self importance, pride, vainglory, lust, and so many other disordered locations!!!

We are on this earth, as the Catechism states… to Love God and to Know Him!

Part of the learning is the  purification… on earth one main way of purification is suffering!

If we truly knew the benefits of suffering on earth for our souls we would totally embrace and rejoice over it!

This is a great time to reflect on our sufferings and to offer them for a way to a pure heart by giving them to Jesus…

In addition if we are not suffering to much in mind, body or spirit… we can make and offer sacrifices to Jesus!

What are some of the things you can offer Jesus in order to purify your love from the heart?

 

Mar 15

Day 6 -1 Peter 1 17:21 Faith and Hope in the Father!

 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Peter goes on here from calling us to holiness, to say that God will judge our work while here on earth… so work out your salvation with fear and trembling…

but remember that the work we are doing is not for gold and silver… because the money we earn from work is not going to redeem our souls…

So why work we might think?  Am I saying working for money is bad?

NO NOT AT ALL!

But seeking after it because we think we will have security in our future and forgetting that our true future life is in heaven… would be a big mistake!

Our future life requires redemption and that was purchased for us by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ!

Because Jesus died and rose again, we can put our faith and hope in our future in God whose great plan it was from before the world began for us to be restored into union with Him through the Son of God.

All our faith and hope must be in God… for nothing else on this earth will save us.

Peter brings up Gold and Silver a lot!  I wonder if, because he was speaking to people far off, people who felt isolated, and scattered,

that he really wanted to make the point that God is the impartial judge, we are all included who are called, and that we each have our own work to do in order to be holy…

Faith is a gift — and Jesus is the redeemer… but we do work with Jesus to not only save our souls but also to work with Him to redeem the world… through our prayers through Him and also our sacrifices and living our lives as living examples of His body.

Evangelization… spreading the Gospel so that others might have life!

This is a good time to reflect on how we are living our lives… 

Is our life lived everyday in Him and bringing glory to God and reflecting Jesus?

What can we do now to live a deeper faith and hope in God?

 

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