Time to celebrate! Parades, games, water fun and fireworks. Family, neighbours and strangers together to celebrate. Red and white everywhere.
And food! Everything of the red and white variety, everything of the barbecued variety, everything of the Canadian variety – maple, Nanaimo, butter tart and poutine…
This celebration came just in time for me to be reminded of everything good in my country. Facebook was filled with 150 reasons to celebrate our great country. So much to be thankful for!
Happy 150th birthday, Canada!
It came just in time, because lately I’ve been looking at my country and getting discouraged by what I see. I turn on the news and learn something new about my country that makes my heart sad.
Matthew 16 is both a rebuke and a reminder.
‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. Mt 16:3
I see the signs and I’m filled with sadness, but Jesus rebukes me and reminds me that I’m forgetting something.
Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Mt 16:9
Looking at history and all the miraculous things that have happened in our beauty filled country remind me that God has been present along the way, and is still at work today. From the first missionary who set foot in our land and erected that first cross, to the present day Bishops, so many care about the people of this land.
On this day, the 150th birthday of Canada, from sea to shining sea, our Bishops stepped up to altars in every diocese in our country and consecrated our land and our people to the loving heart of Mary. They also see the pain and suffering of our people, and they are seeking a solution from Heaven. A miracle just like the five loaves for the five thousand. It happened then and it will happen now, with Mary bringing people to the loving heart of her Son Jesus.
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Mt 16:15
The solution comes down to individuals like you and me. Each heart that is turned to Jesus, the Son of God, will be filled with mercy and love. And mercy and love will heal our country.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mt 16:24
Action. Jesus is asking us to reach out to our neighbours. Share His mercy and love, and speak of Him, so that He can bring them also to His loving Heart.
Jesus’ love for us is so great that it is limitless. His Heart is so big that it has room for every person. We can turn to Jesus and find the love and the healing that we need in our lives. His mercy and love flow from His Heart and cover our whole land.
Can you picture it? I can. Healing rays coming from the Heart of Jesus and covering our whole land.
If each person in this great country of ours is touched by the Heart of Jesus and guided by His mother Mary, we will not only be healed, but we will be strong and whole and a witness to the power of prayer.
So fall to your knees and join the Bishops and faithful of our country, and pray, just as I am. Pray for love and mercy and healing, and ask how YOU can make a difference. For His sake tell your neighbours the good things that God has done for you. For Jesus will win the battle for our country, and He will do it one heart at a time.
It is, and will be, a time to celebrate!
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Mt 16:27
YOUR TURN: Read Matthew 16. Take out your Bible and read it or read it online here. Read the scripture and listen with your heart to what God’s Spirit is saying to you. Then write it down in your journal. You will enjoy being able to see God at work in your life.
ABC BIBLE SHARING: A great way to read your scriptures. Follow the ABC Bible Sharing Method here.
PRAY: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. This prayer is short but powerful. Repeat it to yourself over and over, asking Jesus to reveal His Heart to you.