READINGS for 2007-10-15
IGNORING THE EXPERT
“…there is something greater than Solomon here.” – Luke 11:31
Patricia had just volunteered to sing with the choir and they were learning the next song. It was a song she knew by heart. You see, she belonged to another more popular choir who had commercially recorded it and Patricia was the one who sang the solo.
But Jane, choirmaster at this new group, had no idea who Patricia was. When she started to teach Patricia the solo part with the wrong notes, she put Patricia in a dilemma. Patricia carefully asked, “Aren’t we supposed to sing it this way?” and proceeded to sing the way she knew was right.
“No, no, no, that’s not how you sing it,” Jane insisted. Patricia simply smiled and allowed Jane to teach her the “new” song.
Like most people I know, I give more bearing to the words of authority figures I respect and recognize than to unsolicited advice from total strangers. It would be completely my fault then if that stranger turned out to be a real expert after all.
Sadly, though, there are times when I knowingly ignore the words of Someone who is infinitely wiser than I am. These are the times when I turn God into a stranger, completely disregard His voice, and listen instead to less reliable sources, including myself. How crazy is that? Anna dG.
Who do you listen to when in a dilemma?
May I always hear Your voice above the din of less reliable experts.
For Paul the Christian life is not about himself but about Jesus. What I mean here is that the focus of our lives shifts from something selfish to being selfless and offering our lives in the service of the Gospel. Paul writes to the Romans to introduce himself to them so that they will provide a base for his proposed missionary journeys further west. These do not eventuate but what we have here is Paul’s most systematic and argued account of the faith.
1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, 4 but established as Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, 6 among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; 7 to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
P S A L M
Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
R: The Lord has made known his salvation.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R)
G O S P E L
We can waste an enormous amount of time seeking signs for this and signs for that to the point that it may even be sinful. There comes a time when we should just act and see how things go. Sometimes we may make a mistake. This is not a real problem unless we continue in it! I am not saying we should not discern God’s call, but we ought to realize we will never have 100% certainty about the things of faith and sometimes we simply have to trust that we have heard the Lord correctly and move on.
29 While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. 30 Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. 32 At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
think: We will never have 100% certainty about the things of faith and sometimes we simply have to trust that we have heard the Lord correctly and move on.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Matthew 10-12
WE ARE THE BELOVED OF GOD
Paul is in Corinth on his third missionary journey when this letter is written to the people of Rome. He writes of his fervent desire to come and visit these people since he has heard of their faith from abroad. The Church at Rome had not been established by the community but Paul is proud of the news he has heard of their belief in God. He writes to encourage them to keep the faith, they who are the beloved of God. Paul’s story is a great tribute to what God can accomplish through one who is obedient to Him. We are all aware of his conversion to the faith, once persecutor of the Church he turns completely around so as to serve the Church through his missionary travels proclaiming Jesus as Savior of the world. Paul writes to all his churches convinced of his call to make known the Gospel of God. The Holy Spirit is the key that unlocks the understanding of Paul to come to the full realization of the truth that Jesus, the Son of God promised through the prophets, descended from David and raised from the dead is the Holy one.
Paul opens his letter to the community at Rome encouraging them in their faith. We all belong to God. We are the beloved of God. From all time God had this purpose in mind that there would be a people in relationship with him. The beloved of God in Rome are to be holy. Their lives are to be a witness to the citizens of Rome. They are to stand out and make a difference to the society in which they live, the very essence of Christianity. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God the Father invites a people into relationship with Him. These people are to be a holy people, born of the Spirit with the mission of spreading the gospel through the grace of apostleship.
This is our task too, we who are the beloved of God. Jesus has made us His brothers and sisters giving us access to a relationship with God as Father through His death and resurrection. The task is given us that we too would be “apostles”, a people sent to proclaim the marvelous deeds of God. The blessing that Paul invokes upon the people of Rome, “grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” is the same greeting we receive from the priest at the beginning of Mass. The Grace and peace of God our Father is with us and we are to share that with others. God has remembered His kindness and faithfulness by letting us be called the beloved of God. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: Reflect upon your relationship with God as Father. Can you truly see yourself as the beloved of God?
Father, I thank You for the relationship I have with You. You are my Savior and my God. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love that excel all we ever knew of You. Amen.
St. Agileus, martyr, pray for us.
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