Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:20 – 21

Today, the Holy Spirit teaches us that how we can please the Lord is not within us, but it is the result of God’s Spirit in our lives.  St. Paul says, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rm. 8:8).  Our reference today says, “Now the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that good Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well – pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”It is only God’s Spirit that enables us to live a life pleasing to Jesus.  Hear Jerry Lee Lewis:  “I was raised a good Christian, but I couldn’t make it.  Too weak to guess . . . I don’t want to die and go to hell, but I don’t think I’m heading in the right direction . . . I’m lost and undone, with God . . . I should have been a Christian, but I was too weak for the gospel . . . we all have to answer to God on judgement day.”  This sounds sad; but it is the truth for so many Christians.  No one can make it by his own power.  We all need the grace of God to live a life that is well pleasing to God.  Another way of pleasing God is by detaching ourselves from the attachment to the world.  This is why St. Paul writing to Timothy says, “No man engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this world, so that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”  (2 Tim. 2:4).  If we allow ourselves to be entangled by the affairs of civilian life, as soldiers of Christ, then we cannot please God. (Heb. 12:1).We can please God by our faith.  Hear this: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6).  The word of God says that it is impossible to please God with our faith.  St. Paul says in Romans 14:23b that anything without faith is sin.  To live without faith in God is to live relying on the five senses; thereby depending totally on the impulses of the flesh.  Such a believer can never please God; because none can please Him in the flesh.

Finally, we can please God by living for others.  St. Paul says, “Love one another warmly as Christian brothers, and be eager to show respect for one another.” (Rm. 12:10).  Beloved in Christ, note that it grieves the heart of Christ when we cannot dwell in peace with one another.  So the attitude of running down your fellow brother in Christ, gossip and complain badly about your Priests or Pastors is annoying to God.  Take note today that if your attitude is as described, then you cannot please God.  Angelus Silesius conclude today’s reflection with these words:  “Love is like death – it kills the self-willed me, it breaks its stranglehold and sets the spirit free.”

Prayer Points:

  1. Thank you Lord for these three days (Worship Him as long as you can).
  2. Take the song: “Come Holy Ghost Creator Come . . . ” (sing until you experience His presence)
  3. O’ Lord, fill me with your Spirit so that I can have the ability to please you.
  4. Release me O’ Lord from all fleshly entanglements so that I can please you in Jesus name.
  5. My faith is shaking. Help me O’ my Lord.
  6. Grant me, I beseech you the grace to be loving and peaceful in Jesus name.

Exercise:  Meditate on Hebrews 12:1 and pray with the verse.

Memory Verse:  Romans 8:8

MASS RED: Acts 11: 21b-26; 13: 1-3; Ps 98: 1. 2-3ab. 3cd-4. 5-6; ST. BARNABAS, AP (MEMORIAL)