READINGS for 2007-09-23
I will never forget their wicked deeds. – Amos 8:7
St. Paul said that love does not keep a record of wrongs. If God is love, why then does he say many times in the Bible, “I will never forget their evil deeds?”
I believe that it is so we will know that justice will prevail in the end.
Remember poor Lazarus and the rich man?
Lazarus ate morsels of foods that fell from the rich man’s table. His sores were licked by the dog. The rich man didn’t share his food though he had plenty of it. Then, both of them died.
Lazarus’ soul ascended into heaven while the rich man’s soul went to Hades. God remembered the rich man’s wicked deeds.
And when I think about Hitler and the Nazis, I shudder to think that God will not remember their wicked deeds. Even National Geographic has a record of it!
Truly, God doesn’t forget evil deeds.
Wicked people will reap what they sowed after their journey here on earth. The good souls will be in heaven where God doesn’t keep records of wrongs. That record is in hell. RosAnn J.
Do you keep count of what others did wrong and write it in stone? Don’t. You aren’t God.
Let me not keep a record of wrongs, for I know not mercy the way You do.
I think that this is one of the most powerful prophecies in the whole of the Scriptures. The call to live just lives in every aspect is clearly presented to us by Amos. What makes the situation worse is that those being unjustly treated are the very people who are incapable of fighting back! This compounds the injustice and will make final judgment of the rich and powerful even harsher! We do well to reflect carefully upon this text and ensure that there is no way that we stand under its judgment.
4 Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! 5 “When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! 6 We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!” 7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!
P S A L M
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
R: Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
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) 4 High above all nations is the LORD; above the heavens is his glory. 5 Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high 6 and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? (R) 7 He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor 8 to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people. (R)
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Paul recommends that we pray and intercede for everyone. Furthermore, he tells us that there is only one mediator between God and humanity, Jesus Christ. This means that all of our prayers of intercession must ultimately pass through Him. Let us remember this when we pray our novenas and prayers of intercession . There is nothing magical to them – they all come to the consideration of Jesus who will act upon them. However, we have to recognize that sometimes He answers them through the instrument of others; if these people fail to respond then we may not receive our answer promptly. An example is that there is plenty of food in the world and the capacity to produce food to feed everyone well. However, it is unevenly distributed across nations and regions. It is therefore the responsibility of people to rectify the inequity and ensure that all have a suitable amount to eat. A further factor here can be corruption and sin of individuals leading to unjust governments. This is not God’s fault.
1 First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, 2 for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. 3 This is good and pleasing to God our savior, 4 who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6 who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed preacher and apostle —I am speaking the truth, I am not lying— teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
G O S P E L
The greatest riches that we are promised is the gift of eternal life. Our mortal lives can be seen as a test of the way that we deal with passing riches. If we take this point of view seriously, I think we will be far more likely to develop a society with a greater care for the poor and a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources. None of us can afford to take this responsibility lightly as there is the distinct possibility that our actions here and now will have a bearing on whether or not we ever get to receive the riches of eternal life.
1 Then he also said to his disciples,“A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. 2 He summoned him and said,‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ 3 The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ 7 Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ 8 And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9 I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. 11 If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? 12 If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? 13 No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The greatest riches that we are promised is the gift of eternal life.
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Four clichés about money: (1.) “Money changes everything;” (2) “Money makes the world go round;” (3.) “When money speaks everybody listens;” (4.) “Money is the root of all evil.” Are they all true? What truth can we learn from them to guide us in our Christian living?
Does money really change everything? The answer is best found in each of us. Our lifestyle, viewpoint, and attitude tell if the abundance of money, the sufficiency of it, or the lack of it truly change everything. Even if there is only one person whose life is not affected by the abundance, the sufficiency, or the lack of money, then it is not true that money changes everything.
If money makes the world go round, this must be the reason why life has become too exhausting. People cannot stop when the world keeps on moving. The alarming thing about it is that while the world keeps on moving, the world seems to be going nowhere but round and round in circles. In the days of our ancestors, people work in order to live. But by mere observation, one may be inclined to say that people nowadays live in order to work. Thus, there are people who are still in their thirties but already want to retire from their work.
“When money speaks everybody listens” is nearly true. Those who have much money are listened to while those who have less or no money at all hardly gain a hearing. But there are exemptions. There are still upright men and women who cannot be bribed or blinded by money. Also, there are still those who are affluent but they do not flaunt their wealth nor use their money to get their way.
Money is not the root of all evil. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Money in itself is not evil. Money can also make many good things possible. Nonetheless, money is a good slave but a terribly bad master. For what end we use money as means, shows whether money is the root of all evil or not.
Jesus makes it clear and simple for us today: “You cannot serve both God and money.” Life cannot be any simpler. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Know your priorities; know your master.
Free me, O Lord, from love of money. Help me to use money and never allow money to use me. But save me from using money on others; instead, may I use money for the good of others. Yes, Lord, I want to be rich, but only if it is Your will and if it is Your way. Amen.
St. Linus, bishop, pray for us.
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