READINGS for 2007-09-24
LEARNING ANOTHER LANGUAGE
“Take care, then, how you hear.” – Luke 8:18
In John Gray’s book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, he mentions that Martians and Venusians speak different languages. They use the same words but the way they are used have different meanings.
This causes misinterpretation, which eventually leads to conflicts and arguments. Check this out.
Man says: “I’m OK.”
Woman hears: “I am not willing to share with you my upset feelings. I do not trust you to be there for me.”
What he means: “I am ok, I can deal with my upset feelings. I don’t need any help, thank you.”
Woman says: “We never go out.”
Man hears: “You are not doing your job. Wenever do anything together anymore because you are lazy, unromantic and just boring.”
What she means: “I feel like going out and doing something together. Would you take me out to dinner?”
Even in our faith walk, we are sometimes guilty of misinterpreting God’s Word. At times, we twist the Word of God to conform to what we want or need at the present moment. In order to avoid misinterpreting God’s Word, we need to learn, understand and speak His language. Judith C.
How much effort do I make to learn Godspeak?
You hear me speak, and understand perfectly. May I grow in learning Your Word.
Cyrus, the King of Persia has recently conquered most of the Near East and in a display of great benevolence is setting the Jews free from their exile and allowing them to return home. It was yet another beginning for the Jews as they returned to the ruins of Jerusalem and the temple and began to rebuild them. It seems that God inspired some to return to this task but not all. Why this is the case we do not know.
1 In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing 2 “Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia ‘All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him! 4 Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt, be assisted by the people of that place with silver, gold, goods, and cattle, together with free-will offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.’” 5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites — everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so — prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors gave them help in every way, with silver, gold, goods, and cattle, and with many precious gifts besides all their free-will offerings.
P S A L M
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
R: The Lord has done marvels for us.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. 5 Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) 6 Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. (R)
G O S P E L
The truth will ultimately prevail. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that the light of the truth will, in the end, shine for all to see. It does not matter how hard we try to keep something in the dark, it will eventually be brought into the light. This is the nature of truth in that it cannot be altered or overcome. “The truth will set us free,” Jesus says in John’s Gospel. This is almost a redundant statement in that truth is at the heart of freedom and thus the statement is little more than a definition of truth.
16 “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
The truth will ultimately prevail.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Habakkuk 1-3
GOD’S LITTLE LAMP
When we light a lamp and cover it with a bowl, the lamp is put out. It lacks oxygen. Oxygen is needed for fire.
When we light a lamp and put it under a bed, we set the bed on fire.
Eventually, the room where the bed is and the house where the room is catch fire too. A single, burning lamp under a bed spells catastrophe.
But who lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to place it under a bed?
Only a fool does.
A lamp is lighted to give light. It is, therefore, meant to be exposed. A lamp is burnt not to burn. Care is, therefore, taken to keep its flame at a considerable distance away from anything. Exposed but at a distance – the lamp.
Our good deeds are like the light of a lamp. They must be exposed and those who see them or benefit from them give the glory to God. So that they give the glory to God and not to our selves, we have to be at a certain distance from our good deeds. If we keep on attaching our selves to our good deeds, our good deeds lose their light under the shadow of selfglorification.
No longer giving light, our good deeds can make people blind.
He who does good deeds and flaunts it is a fool. But he who refuses others to see or benefit from his good deeds lest God be glorified is a greater fool.
A lamp covered with a bowl is useless. A lamp under a bed is dangerous.
Let us make our good deeds useful by putting them at the right place. Put them at God’s disposal. Use them to glorify God not the self.
If the motive for our good deeds is other than the greater glory of God, it will show. There is nothing hidden that will not be made clear and nothing secret that will not be made known, the Gospel warns us. Let us be honest with our motive for every good deed we do.
Now, writing this reflection really made me think. Are my motive, always and only, ad majorem Dei gloriam (“for the greater glory of God”).
If it is not, forget me. Remember God. He is the light, not me. He is the one that keeps me burning.
All I want is to be God’s little lamp. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What are my motives in everything I do?
Lord Jesus Christ, true Light of the world, enlighten my life with Your holy light. Let the fire of Your light consume every impure motive in all that I do. Shining upon men and women, may I not call attention to my self, but lead them all to You. Amen.
Martyrs of Chalcedon, pray for us.
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