READINGS for 2006-08-16

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?slay old men, young men and maidens, little children and women?  ? Ezekiel 9:6

Is God really cruel, violent, ruthless, savage?
      Ezekiel saw a mere vision of mass murder. But in Deuteronomy and Joshua, they actually happened?authorized by God! He ordered the savage slaughter of entire tribes. Once, 60 cities were wiped out?including children.
      In the Psalms, one verse encouraged Israelites to pick up the babies of their enemies and dash them on the rocks.and?Blessed? was that person!
      Every part of my soul rebels! Not my God!
      So we shouldn?t read the Bible literally.
      The Bible is God?s Word, but written by frail men, trapped in their age and culture. The Bible is a journey?of people who experienced God?but who had to grow to understand Him fully. At the start of that journey, they had a vague, distorted image of God. But as the journey progressed, this image morphed and developed. We see this centuries-long journey in the Bible?and every page invites us: Take this journey too.
      Friend, has your image of God changed through the years? Are you getting to know His love for you more and more? Take the journey. Bo S.

Is God a cruel, vengeful God to you? It comes from a wrong reading of the Bible.

Lord, reveal Yourself to my heart. Show Your face more to me!



Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22

This vision can be seen as a vision showing what Judgment Day will be like. It is also reminiscent of the Passover of the Jews in Egypt where the houses to be spared the death of the firstborn son were marked with the blood of the Passover Lamb. How we live our lives is important since it is our faithfulness to God?s Law and will that will be a determining factor as to our judgment. Let us ensure that we live good lives according to His word.

1 Then he cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! 2 With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer?s case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer?s case at his waist, 4 saying to him: Pass through the city [through Jerusalem] and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. 5 To the others I heard him say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! 6 Old men, youths and maidens, women and children? wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the X; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men [the elders] who were in front of the temple. 7 Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city. 10: 24 [18] Then the glory of the LORD left the threshold of the temple and rested upon the cherubim. 25 [19] These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the LORD?s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them. 26 [11 22] Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them, while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel.


Psalm 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R: The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.

1 Praise, you servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD both now and forever. (R) 3 From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the LORD to be praised. 4 High above all nations is the LORD; above the heavens is his glory. (R) 5 Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high 6 and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? (R)


Matthew 18:15-20

When we are wronged by someone there is a right and wrong way to seek about obtaining redress. There is also a right and wrong attitude of heart to go about this process. One of the first things we should remember is that we are sinners ourselves and thus guilty of wronging others. Perhaps this will have a sobering effect upon the way that we seek to right the wrongs of others against us as we remember the Golden Rule of treating others in the way that we want to be treated.

15 ?If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ?every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.? 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.?

my reflections
How we live our lives is important since it is our faithfulness to God?s Law and will that will be a determining factor to our judgment.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





The problem with many of our fraternal correction sessions is they are not fraternal at all. Often, there is little, if any, brotherly love in the way we correct one another. Thus, fraternal correction ends up in fraternal destruction ? a collapse of relationships where doors are closed and bridges burnt.
      Fraternal corrections must bear three things. First, genuine love should be the only motive for correcting the erring. Just as genuine love is its sole motive its only goal must be authentic love as well. Genuine love means giving priority to the good of the other.
      Second, fraternal correction is not judgment day. It should not be regarded as the long awaited day to judge the character of the one being corrected. Judging the other does not correct; it condemns. Judging does not fix anything; it separates  the accuser from the accused. Judging closes the ears, hardens the heart and clenches the fist. Avoid judging when correcting. Say how the other?s negative behavior affects you instead. Judging says, ?You are a liar!? Fraternal correction says, ?I get hurt when you lie.?
      Third, every fraternal correction should be a ?win-win? situation. We correct not to put the other down. We correct to raise the other up. We correct not to prove that we are certainly right while the other is undoubtedly wrong. We correct to have a better life together. We correct not to triumph over the other. We correct to build up one another. When the fraternal correction is over, every party should feel a winner. Fraternal correction is not for losers.
      When we do fraternal correction, let us make sure that we gather in the name of Jesus. When we do so, Jesus promises two things in the Gospel today, our prayers will be granted and Jesus shall be in our midst.
      Let us agree on three things: (1) meet together in the name of the Lord; (2) pray together for unity; (3) where correction is needed do so together as brothers and sisters.
      This reflection is open to corrections. Please make it fraternal. Thank you! Fr. Bobby T.

How do I give corrections? How do I receive them? What do I need to do to correct my wrong corrections?

Dear Father, we are all Your children. Help us to live as brothers and sisters to one another. Where there is discord, let there be dialogue. Where there is conflict, let there be reconciliation. Where there is correction, let there be true fraternal love. Wherever we are, let there be Jesus. Let Jesus be in us. Amen.

St. Stephen of Hungary, king confessor, pray for us.

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