Collect of the Day:
Lord God, King of heaven and earth, guide and sanctify, rule and govern our hearts and our bodies, our feelings, words and actions, according to your law and following your commandments.
With your help, in this world and the next,
may we deserve to receive freedom and salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
The First Reading: James: 3-13-18: If there is disharmony in your hearts, you cannot give glory.
The Gospel: Mark: 9:14-29: I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.
Today in his Epistle Saint James talks about wisdom. The Earthly and the Heavenly, he goes on to explain the Heavenly thusly:
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
Now this is a wonderful guideline on to which we can base our Christian life and ministry. Especially those who hold, or aspire to any leadership position within the Church or Parish Community. We all are familiar with what can happen in a community when title, position, prestige become the focus rather than the Humility and Love shown by Our Blessed Lord. Lives are hurt, broken, sometimes even irreconcilably, leading to shattered lives and an alienation from the Church and sometimes God.
St. James tells us that the true wisdom is so cleansed of ulterior motives and of self that it has become pure enough to see God. Worldly wisdom might wish to escape the sight of The Almighty, but true wisdom is able to bear His very scrutiny.
Next he tells us that true wisdom produces right relationships. There is a kind of wisdom which can become cruel, one that takes delight in hurting others, with clever and cutting words. There is a kind of depraved wisdom which seduces people away from their loyalty to God. But the true wisdom at all times brings humanity closer to one another and to God.
He goes on to explain that the follower of true wisdom knows how to make allowances, when to stand upon their rights, how to temper justice with mercy, always remembering that there are greater things in this life than rules and regulations. It is a sweet reasonableness, and the ability to extend to others the kind of consideration that we would wish to receive ourselves.
It is my prayer that we all can produce these fruits in our lives and ministries and thus become a blessing on all we meet. I would like to close with the words of Br. Stephen Wilson the Vocation Director of the Reformed Catholic Church. Which I believe is a living example of the teaching above:
“The RCC is growing…..FAST! We are an attractive church and receiving applications WORDLWIDE! The candidates come with the Spirit, Education and Heart that is MAKING this Church what it is! HOME! EVERYONE is bringing a talent that is making up the RCC tapestry.
The candidates are finding all points (website navigation, application, communication) of the RCC to be quick and smooth. The one area, I feel, to be most important is OPEN COMMUNICATION. I make sure our candidates feel comfortable with asking ANY questions about the discernment process. If the candidate does NOT feel that the RCC is their home, they find us to be OPEN to their friendship. Friends are WONDERFUL to have.
The sum of this email, The Reformed Catholic Church is: A WORLDWIDE HOME that is OPEN to EVERYONE!”
THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.