Friday, May 29, 2015
“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.”
"This is salvation: to live in the consolation of the Holy Spirit, not the consolation of the spirit of this world. No, that is not salvation, that is sin. Salvation is moving forward and opening our hearts so they can receive the Holy Spirit’s consolation, which is salvation. This is non-negotiable, you can’t take a bit from here and a bit from there? We cannot pick and mix, no? A bit of the Holy Spirit, a bit of the spirit of this world ... No! It’s one thing or the other. " – Pope Francis
Gospel Text: (MK 11:11-26)
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.
They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written:
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”
The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him
because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.
Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions.”
St Mark in today’s gospel says that Jesus “looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” He would later return with decisive actions, but before those actions occurred, Jesus first paused to look around and to give himself time to assess this situation. What did he see? Did he see beauty, as well as distortion?
We are prone to grasp at things, acting as though we know all about them based on our memory or worse yet, based on how we might prefer to perceive reality. Pausing and looking again can be difficult. It might cause us to change our understanding. And perhaps might need to pause to ask the Lord to help us see correctly! I think we can all do with more of that as we approach our action plans. Perhaps then we can bear some fruit in our lives and through our prayers. Thanks be to God.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:44 AM