READINGS for 2006-02-27
?Go sell what you have...then come follow me.? ? Mark 10:21
I share the conjecture some scholars have made that after this rich young man ?went away?, in a more sublime moment, he was convicted by the truth: Jesus meant more than everything or anyone else to him! And so the rich young man, eventually, left everything and followed him. This was true of our very first Pope, St. Peter. He denied Jesus thrice, but he returned with a loving vengeance that led to His eventual martyrdom for Christ! You might be at a point in your relationship with Jesus where you are convicted to let go of something or someone you are strongly attached to. Reason alone may not be compelling enough, emotionally it may feel like dying, you know it is the right thing to do but still it seems quite difficult. Try a different perspective. Cease looking at it as a sacrifice. Instead consider it a magnificent exchange. Do not do it be because it is the right thing to do. Do not do it because you are afraid of the consequences of sin. Do not do it because you believe your sacrifice will bless many. Instead do it because you love Him. And you believe that He loves you. Then you will see that what seemed like a great sacrifice was really an extravagant exchange of something meager (worldy) for something magnficent (Christ Himself)! Marc L.
Lord Jesus, please make me less religious and more relational in loving you.
Peter encourages us to keep the goal of our lives, the salvation of our souls, at the forefront of our minds in all that we do. We should always be reflecting upon this goal and referencing the events of lives to it. This will ensure that the devil has a difficult time in leading us astray. It is through daily reflection upon what we do that our lives will be tested in fire ? tested against the true image of a Christian, namely Christ. It takes effort to reflect daily, but it is worth doing!
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. 6 In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.
P S A L M
Psalm 111:1-2, 5-6, 9 ?10
R: The Lord will remember his covenant forever.
1 I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. 2 Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights. (R) 5 He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant. 6 He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations. (R) 9 He has sent deliverance to his people; he has ratified his covenant forever; holy and awesome is his name. 10 His praise endures forever. (R)
G O S P E L
It is very important to note that Jesus looks at the rich young man with love before challenging him to become His disciple. It is always love that is at the basis of everything that God asks of us. It is always the call to love God and our neighbor that guides all the actions of our lives. At least, this is what the case should be! So often we forget to love people when we challenge them or correct them and thus it is not so easy for them to accept what we have to say. Let us try to correct this fault within us.
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, ?Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?? 18 Jesus answered him, ?Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 ?You know the commandments: ?You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.?? 20 He replied and said to him, ?Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.? 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ?You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow Me.? 22 At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ?How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!? 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, ?Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.? 26 They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, ?Then who can be saved?? 27 Jesus looked at them and said, ?For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________
thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Joshua 15-19
SOLO DIOS BASTA
Christian poverty is the virtue of personal and total freedom from all inordinate attachments to be always and completely available to God and His kingdom. Just like any virtue, poverty is a grace from God more than the fruit of human effort.
Jesus does not praise destitution; He appreciates detachment. Jesus does not want us to be hopelessly miserable; He invites us to always live simply. It is not suffering for the sake of suffering that Jesus advocates; it is freedom from worldly things that He demands from anyone who wishes to follow Him.
Not everything we want we need. Some of the things we think we possess are the things that actually possess us. Many of the things we think we cannot live without are in themselves the very things that kill us.
Poverty, as a Christian virtue, should assist us to be holy. Poverty, as a personal and complete freedom, must detach us from the world so that we may attach ourselves more to Jesus. Poverty, as grace, should lead us unto greater charity, not greater misery.
Just being poor does not mean we practice the virtue of poverty. For, indeed, there are many who are spiritually lacking as they are materially wanting. And being poor does not mean that we are automatically freed from inordinate attachments. For, indeed, there are many who are spiritually in bondage as they are bodily enslaved. Just being poor does not make us holy. For, indeed, there are many who are morally depraved when they are financially in need.
When our poverty is truly a virtue, a personal and complete freedom from worldly attachments, a grace from God, then we become even richer that we first decided to give up everything for the sake of God and His kingdom, for while we are detached from everything, we are attached to Him who gives us everything that is good.
?Solo Dios basta,? said St. Teresa of Avila. That is what makes poverty a virtue! Fr. Bobby T.
?Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty. Take all my will, my mind, my memory. All things I hold and all I own are Thine. Thine was the gift to Thee I all resign. Do Thou direct and govern all and sway. Do what Thou wilt, command, and I?ll obey. Only Thy grace, Thy love on me bestow; these make me rich, all else will I forego. Amen.?
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