READINGS for 2007-10-16
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. – Romans 1:22
Jessa was a student activist. She loved it not only because it gave her a chance to make a contribution to society, but also because her friends were highly intelligent and multitalented.
It felt great to be one of them.
But there was one area in her life that didn’t meet their approval – the fact that she’s a devout Catholic. Her friends felt so intellectually superior that they questioned even the existence of God. Their pride wouldn’t allow them to concede that the mysteries of God are beyond their comprehension.
For me, whenever I try to learn more about God, my heart overcomes my brain and I am overwhelmed by the evidence of His love. I know I’ll never fully understand Him, but I believe that I have understood what really matters.
So did Jessa. After much soul searching, she finally abandoned her activist friends and chose to be true to her faith. After all, a life without God is a life not worth living. Cecille L.
Open your heart, not just your mind, when learning about God.
Grant me the humility to accept that I may never fully understand Your ways.
Paul is very clear about the fact that even if a person has not heard the Gospel, they still ought to be able to discern the existence of God through creation and the gift of their conscience. With their conscience we are also able to know the difference between right and wrong. Therefore, no one has an excuse to live his or her life in sin! This conclusion is important for Paul because it means that everyone stands in need of salvation. No one is exempt from this need.
16 I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek. 17 For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written,“The one who is righteous by faith will live.” 18 The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 While claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. 24 Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshipped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
P S A L M
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
R: The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
1  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2  Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge. (R) 3  Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; 4  through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus must have been pretty close to becoming completely fed up with the Pharisees. They were always nitpicking about things that ultimately were not all that important. They were always focusing on the external rather than the internal response to God. They were consumed by what they could do and not what God wanted to do with their lives. Is the same true for you and me? I hope not, as if it is then we have a long way to go in our faith walk with Jesus!
37 After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. 39 The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. 40 You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? 41 But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”
think: No one has an excuse to live his or her life in sin!
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Matthew 13-14
THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD
Paul speaks to the people of Rome on the power of God revealed through the Gospel. The Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus, is intended for all peoples for their salvation. Notice that Paul stresses the privilege of the Jews. He does so not out of any superiority on part of the Jews nor by means of boasting, but Paul is stating the fact that the Jewish race were a people chosen to fulfill the mission of God – that is the spreading of the Gospel. Salvation is from the Jews, since the Messiah is born of Jewish blood. The very words of God, through the covenant, laws, commands, and messianic prophecies were given to them as the chosen people of God.
They were given the divine task, as a people set apart, to proclaim the marvelous deeds of God. Paul is reminding his readers, emphatically, of the tremendous privilege given them and yet their complete ignorance to this great truth. The people of God knew God; they had no excuse. All was revealed to them yet they became vain in their reasoning and refusing to give glory to God. Therefore, God handed them over to their ignorance and rebellion. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.
This is the sad predicament of the human condition. To quote one of St Augustine’s famous phrases, “you have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. This is profound truth revealed to us. The divine spark is within man, since we are created in the image and likeness of God. God has given us life and love and offer us rest in him yet man desires and prefers his own way. Consequently, the heart of man is restless seeking comfort from the creatures and things God has made rather than God himself. We are meant for God, made for him. That is why many people are prone to addictions of one kind or another. Substance abuse, bodily harm, material greed, are all symptoms of this restlessness. There is a search for our identity. We don’t know who we really are. A life founded on the Gospel is the power of God for our salvation. Jesus alone saves us and heals us through his grace and mercy. A life surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ is the remedy for a heart restless and seeking love and goodness. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: What are those things that become disordered in my life? Where do I find consolation? Do I rest in God or the things he has created?
Lord, you have made me for Yourself and my heart finds its rest in You. Heal me Lord and fill me with the consolation of the truth of Your goodness and love. Amen.
St. Hedwig, widow, pray for us.
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