28 November, Monday — Worthy because He loves

Monday of the 1st Week of Advent

Isa 4:2-6
Mt 8:5-11

Sir, I am not worthy

The words of the centurion that we repeat at every mass have always jolted me. Beautiful words that totally define the gift of Christ. I am not worthy, and I never can be worthy, yet Christ died for love of me. And all that I can do is act in a manner that recognises this gift. My actions, of course, are quite small, but when done with love, well, that makes all the difference.

And this is the time of year, we are reminded of the joy in the moment when we act with love, even small love, for love of Him. Advent asks us to make a plan, like New Year’s resolutions — a plan to be who we are called to be, who God created us be. One not of this world.

Adding on to yesterday’s reflection, we come to the second P:

PLAN

We’ve all heard it, and I am fairly certain we’ve all said it and taught it to others, ‘Plan your WORK then WORK your Plan‘. Planning is vital to having calm. When you take the time to fully plan and have it all written down, you will know you didn’t ‘forget’ anything and you’re able to enjoy and be IN THE MOMENT. Really! This was crucial for me when I, as a mother working 50 hours a week, and running a household with a husband who traveled Monday thru Friday. I planned my work and worked my plan and I didn’t get stressed! I took the time to write down everything I needed to do/get done by Dec 31st (this is a practice that I use on a quarterly, monthly and weekly basis). Planning does make all the difference, when we write it with pen and ink (or on an Excel sheet!), we are able to plainly see what is really important and worth our time. Planning allows us to live in the moment.

So, PLAN – take the time to plan – it is vital to ‘peace’ within.

And next is A:

ALTAR or ALTER

I love it – 2 meanings…

First we may need to ALTER our perfectly planned plans when things go awry, amiss – 2 more A’s!! – because SOME things will. So don’t fret, and don’t guilt anyone. What’s more important, your perfectly planned whatever, or someone’s heart? Really.

Reminds me of MARY & MARTHA — When I was young, even in my 20s, I was actually a little upset about this – why DID Christ say that? Why did he tell MARTHA she was wrong, I mean, SOMEONE had to feed them and all – then as I got older, I saw the reality of the situation.

No one was going to starve.

No one was going to belittle or insult Martha for a less than perfect home, meal, etc. But she was more concerned about WORKING for God than doing God’s work, and with Jesus physically in her home, God’s work was simply sitting and listening to Him. 

There is a difference – when we ‘work’ for God, we tend to do it in front of others and thereby, get praiseworthy comments and accolades from those around us. And though our work may be worthy of praise & thanks, when we do that instead of spending TIME with God, with His very flesh, we are ‘living life upside down’. 

In a Matthew Bible Study I did several years ago, Chapter 7 reminds us that we are here to BUILD the kingdom. We must get to know about God, get to KNOW Christ and then SHARE, not ‘store up’ what we know. ARE WE DOING ANTHING WITH WHAT we learn or are we just showing off what we have learned?

So, ALTER your plans, when a person shows up – like the Good Samaritan did. Is it about the PLAN – like Martha — or is it about the MOST IMPORTANT thing, like Mary?

As for altering plans – look at Jesus’s mom, a woman who loved God — we know her plans were altered!!

Is it about YOU – or about God? If you’re not sure, take it to the…

ALTAR

Humility will keep us pure for His altar. And that is where my spirit screams to be, and where my flesh gets in the way.

Stop by the church – even for 5 minutes – just to say, HELLO, I LOVE YOU, what can I do for you today…thank you…I NEED YOU.

Release your anxiety. Breathe in the fragrance of Christ in Adoration. Sit in silence and envelop yourself in His quiet love. Cleanse your being and give Him all that you are — remembering that Jesus gave us all that He is.

Our restless hearts YEARN for His altar. The place to leave our fears, pain, confusion, and hopelessness. We are called to leave it all on HIS ALTAR – so that we are prepared to worship and receive.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)

Prayer: Father God, as we prepare for the Christmas season, we ask for constant reminders to live in this season of Advent. To prepare our hearts and minds and bodies so that we can approach your altar in truth and humility.   

Thanksgiving: Thank You Father God, for this season of Advent so that we are reminded to prepare, reminded to let go of all that burdens us and pulls us down. Thank you for the moments of this season that envelop us with hopeful anticipation of the Word made flesh.

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