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Green Leaf

July 6

FOCUS: The Lord brings peace and restoration.



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Today is Saturday, July 6th. We live in a world that appears broken and wounded. We see the effects of death, illness and suffering when we watch a newscast or read a newspaper or an on-line report. It seems all of creation is groaning as it moves through time …. And we groan with it. Often, we wonder what the world is moving towards. We know that the Kingdom of God is at hand. It arrived in the person of Jesus Christ. It remains present in our worship spaces and adoration chapels, in the Sacraments and the Eucharist, in the body of Christ, the Church, and in our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, while the Kingdom of God is present, it will not be fully realized until Christ comes again.

However, the readings for today speak of God’s desire to raise up, to rebuild, to restore and to make us new in this lifetime. In the reading from the Book of Amos we see this quote, “On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David; I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old…” and, later this quote, “I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel.” It is important to remember that Israel was the chosen people of God…. And we are too!

The Gospel from Matthew states, “No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins.” I wish that were true! I do it all the time! I labor, but rarely rest. I seek to serve others, but rarely take care of myself. I try to rejuvenate myself with things of this world, instead of allowing the Lord to infuse me with new life. I “go away”, but rarely go “on retreat” and make myself fully available to Christ.

I recently heard someone say that while, the Lord thirsts to make us new, he needs our consent and cooperation. We resist that because we are afraid to “waste time on God”. In our busy world, we fail to see the opportunity for renewal if we simply “waste time” by arriving 15 minutes earlier for Mass (or staying 15 minutes later); if we “waste time” by sitting in contemplative silence; if we “waste time” by taking a short walk in nature; if we “waste time” by going on retreat instead of vacation.

Today, I invite you to “waste time with God” and place yourself fully at his disposal, even for a short period of time AND ask Him to renew, restore, and re-create you into a new wineskin that He can pour His grace into.

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