Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

I have been doing this blog for a number of years now and it has always been my hope that the people who read this will (1) be inspired and deepen their relationship with God and (2) reach out if they are in need of prayer.  Well, after reading today’s Gospel and Bishop Barren’s reflection, I am writing this today to ask for your prayers.  Let’s read the Gospel and Bishop Barren’s reflection…

Gospel MT 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Bishop Barren’s Reflection…

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus prescribes the essential disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Let’s focus on fasting and almsgiving.

The appetites for food and drink are so pressing, so elemental, that, unless they are quelled and disciplined, they will simply take over the soul. They are like children who clamor constantly for attention and who, if indulged, will in short order run the house.

Therefore, if the passion for God is to be awakened, the more immediately pressing desires must be muted, and this is the purpose of fasting. We go hungry and thirsty so that the deepest hunger and thirst might be felt. In a way, fasting is like the “calming of the monkey mind” effected by the rosary: both are means of settling the superficial mind that darts from preoccupation to preoccupation.

But food and drink are not the only objects of concupiscent desire. Material things and wealth are also ready substitutes for the passion for God. Thus, a kind of fasting from what money can buy is an important practice. How often Jesus recommends that his disciples give to the poor, and how often throughout the Christian tradition has almsgiving been emphasized.

For years now I have struggled with my weight, to the point where it is causing physical complications – high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, gout.  I have tried countless diets and after having lost countless pounds, I feel like the character in the movie The Santa Clause who loses weight one day only to wake up the next and find that he has gained it (and more) back.  It’s frustrating.  I have recently started a program through my employer and although I’ve lost some weight, I am not at all excited about the weight I’ve lost.  I am a stubborn man though and I will not give up on the program; but I do need help.  So this morning I’m humbling asking for your prayers to assist me in this struggle.  I find this hard and uncomfortable to share with you but my physical efforts at this point aren’t enough.  If you could offer up a simple prayer for my determination and efforts to stay on track and to help me fight this demon of mine, it would be greatly appreciated.

Do something great for our Lord today – trust in Him.  Give your life over to His and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the strength of His Son in order that His will for you be your true desire in life.  God is the way; God is the truth; God is the Light.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith. (and one less helping at dinner)

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.  (Oh, how I wish…)

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean…(and thinner)

But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love , patience and gentleness (and a substitute for salt).  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly on us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments (of trying to lose weight) we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will with is Love and Mercy (and fat free) itself.

PS   pardon the little blurbs throughout the credo’s this morning – humor gets me through a lot of stress!

One thought on “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

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