Monday, December 18, 2017

“Are you learning to say things after listening to God, or are you saying things and trying to make God's word fit in?”

Prayer is first of all listening to God. It's openness. God is always speaking; he's always doing something - Henri Nouwem: (1932 –1996: was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian)

Gospel Text: (MT 1:18-25)
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

Could this Gospel passage be a lesson in discernment?  Choosing to respond with God.

Discernment, taking God with us to look at our choices, decisions, and responses.  What is God asking?  Where is God in this?  How am I being called?  Pausing to notice, notice what is happening around me and within me?  Could this be the voice of God?

One of the ‘markers’ of discernment is to notice signs of peace within our heart once we make a decision.  - Is there a peace, a serenity, a calmness around the emerging response? 

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