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Hallelujah

August 7, 2017

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   In Catholicism, we often use the term "Hallelujah", but do we actually know what it means? The English meaning is basically "God be praised" or "a form of worship and praise". If you ever wondered why it's said so often, now you know why. In saying the very term Hallelujah, we are praising God's goodness, an glory from our lips. How else do we praise God? Talking about our faith is often the best form of praise we can give, by proclaiming our faith and being disciples to others. One of my favourite things to do is keep a prayer journal, every day thanking God for the things's He's blessed me with and prayers for the future. Prayer is key, as well as attending mass. This is how we are connected with God.

   Today's Gospel states: 'Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children' (Matthew 14:13-21). 

   In this Gospel, Jesus performs a miracle. He feeds five thousand people food from merely five loaves of bread and two fish. He not only feeds them, but they are full, and there are leftovers in the end. How could you not say "Hallelujah" to such a marvellous deed. God shows us not only miraculous deed through Jesus, but through giving him up to die and bare the cross for us, God shows us the true depth of His love. It's never ending and no matter what we do, God will always be by our side and helping us through every area of life. Hallelujah praise the Lord!

   Today's prayer comes from 'The Gospel Coalition' a prayer praising God:

 

     Sovereign Father, whenever I hear the command to “Be still,” my default mode takes me back to elementary school where my teachers were forever confronting my restlessness. But in this Scripture, you’re telling me to be still, not to sit still, and there’s a world and gospel of difference.

     You never get impatient or frustrated with your beloved children. But when our attention wanders and our hearts get restless, you notice and you care. I praise you for your presence and engagement, loving-kindness and great compassion, Father. I know that you’re with me and for me. I know this because of everything you’ve done for us in Jesus. The gospel is an unmovable anchor for our souls. You’re a fortress of comfort for broken people like Jacob and me; you’re a haven of rest, a strong tower of grace.

     Stillness is such a gift of grace and kiss of mercy. When I’m still I remember that you are God and nothing and no one else is. That’s the best news of this or any day. Father, you have no competition—counterfeits, but no competition. There are demigods, semi-gods, wannabe gods, but only you are God.

     Kings and nations are not God, for one day you will be exalted among all the nations. The nations are like droplets in your bucket. Storms and environmental disasters are not God, for you will be exalted in the earth. You send the earthquake and harness the hurricane for your purposes.

     Neither are my circumstances God, nor the opinions of others—their flattery or their criticism; nor is getting older, nor the choices of people I love, the mistakes I make and the sins I commit. In fact, the second most comforting news of the day is that I am not God, though at times my attitude, prayerlessness, and unbelief would indicate a measure of self-worship.

     Father, be exalted in the daily-ness of my today. Let us see your hand and heart at work in everything. You are working all things together after the counsel of your will. You are working in all things for the good of those who love you, and that includes me. I probably won’t sit still very much today, but because the gospel is true, I will be still. With palms up in surrender and praise, I enter this day grateful and centered. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ excellent and exalted name.

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