READINGS for 2007-07-28
“All that Yahweh said we shall do and obey.” – Exodus 24:7
I like the way people in the Old Testament saw everything in black and white. Good or bad. Life or death. Obedience and disobedience. Whatever God wanted to them to do, it was either they followed it or not.
Sometimes I wish it was that easy for us now.
Yahweh told them straight what they needed to do and know then. Imagine seeing a big glowing angel sitting at the top of the sign of the company God wants you to work in. You would hear a voice telling you outright that you should offer your help to this person. Wouldn’t that be easier?
Right now it’s hard to decipher what God wants me to do. Sometimes I wish He’d stop talking in codes and just tell me outright what He wants so I wouldn’t be worried about being disobedient.
But then again, maybe God stopped giving me outright signs so that I would take time to seek His will. Maybe it’s because He wants me to grow in Him, to know Him better. Maybe He stopped giving these signs so that I would obey Him with my heart, not just because I heard Him say what I should do. I’m pretty sure He hasn’t stopped giving instructions yet — He just wants me to seek for it with my heart. Tina M.
We don’t live in a black and white world. Have you learnt to navigate in the grey?
Grant me wisdom, Lord, to follow what Your heart desires.
The people commit themselves to following the Law Moses has revealed as it was given to him on Mt Sinai. Moses throws half of the blood offering on the altar to symbolize God’s commitment to this covenant and half on the people to symbolize their commitment. It sounds like a very messy experience, however, it also celebrates the seriousness of this commitment. Baptism is our moment of commitment to an irrevocable covenant. Let us take this commitment very seriously!
3 When Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all answered with one voice, “We will do everything that the LORD has told us.” 4 Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and, rising early the next day, he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then, having sent certain young men of the Israelites to offer holocausts and sacrifice young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD, 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls; the other half he splashed on the altar. 7 Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.” 8 Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words of his.”
P S A L M
Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15
R: Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
1 God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. 2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. (R) 5 “Gather my faithful ones before me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” 6 And for the heavens proclaim his justice; for God himself is the judge. (R) 14 “Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High; 15 then call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me.” (R)
Each of our lives has been sown richly with the graces of God. Unfortunately, Satan has also had a chance to sow his seed as well. It will be a life-long task for each of us to get rid of the sin and to cultivate a life of grace. This is what discipleship is all about – identifying the good in our lives and helping it to prosper and identifying the bad and doing all that we can to destroy it once and for all.
24 Jesus proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. 26 When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27 The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 He replied, “No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, ‘ First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
think: This is what discipleship is all about – identifying the good in our lives and helping it to prosper and identifying the bad and doing all that we can to destroy it once and for all.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 44-45
THE GOOD AND THE BAD, THE WEEDS AND THE WHEAT
We usually associate prisons or jails with gangs, violence, corruption, dishonesty, and so on. And yet, it is interesting to note that in the field of literature, for instance, we have so many classics, so many great writings which were actually products of their authors who spent time in prison.
Notable men like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela all wrote their autobiographies in prison. Not only that, but several other great literary works were also written in prison: the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians; The Pilgrim’s Progress (that famous Christian classic by John Bunyan); the diaries and letters of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and of our own Ninoy Aquino; the philosophical writings of Boethius and of Wittgenstein, and so on. Can you imagine that? Such great works, such classics, all written in prison?
So, how is that?
Probably prison is just a microcosm of society or the world as a whole, a kind of miniature universe of what anyway has always been there in the world at large: that is, the good and the bad. In other words, the weeds and the wheat of our Gospel today. This is precisely the world we are in as Christians — the world however of which we are not exactly part of; the world too which we are constantly confronting. Come to think of it, we do not need to experience being imprisoned, or visiting a prison to realize this, right?
But the danger is that we can also imprison ourselves because of our isolated and walled-in lives or because of our apathy and indifference. We can always hide behind our titles and positions, with all our privileges and securities. Let us not forget that we are Christians not to despise and escape from the world, but rather to face it squarely, in all its ups and downs, in all its weeds and wheat.
Harvest time is still at the end, yes, but we just have to do our best not to let ourselves be defeated by evil. Rather, we should conquer evil with good. Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you free or imprisoned and kept from soaring to heights God can lead you to?
You are our Eagle; we ride on Your wings of Love.
St. Camelian, bishop, pray for us.
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