READINGS for 2007-10-27
“But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” – Luke 13:3
As I write this piece, I am reminded of the many people who perished in the tragedies that happened in our country – the Leyte landslides, the “Wowowee” stampede. Deaths of even greater proportions happened in other countries in the recent years.
When these things happen, we normally ask, “Why, Lord?”
Indeed, “Why, Lord? Why do you allow innocent people to die?”
There’s no answer. Only God knows why He allows these things to happen. Only God knows why He takes even the least prepared for His kingdom.
But we who are left behind have lessons to learn. We ought to be always prepared, for we never know when and how we will meet our own death. TessVA.
God always has a reason for everything that happens in us or around us. Do we pause and listen?
May I see, Lord, Your Hand in everything that happens in our lives.
Paul begins his discussion on how the Holy Spirit forms the foundation upon which the Christian life is lived. Without the power of the Holy Spirit we are helpless in the face of sin. With the Holy Spirit it is a totally different story – nothing is impossible! It is our life in the Spirit that sets Christians apart from the rest of humanity. It is this power available to us that forms the basis of our witness of life to the world. The Spirit makes a difference in our lives that should translate into the reality of an evangelistic lifestyle that draws others to Christ.
1 Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do, this God has done: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us, who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit. 6 The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. 7 For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you.
P S A L M
Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
1 The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. 2 For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (R) 3 Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place? 4 He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. (R) 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. 6 Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. (R)
G O S P E L
The random nature of natural or even man-made disasters is merely a reminder to us that we are mortal and that we cannot be sure when our life on earth will come to an end. If we are bearing good fruit in our lives, we have nothing to worry about. If our lives are being wasted and under the powers of sin, then we have every reason to be very worried – we will be like the fig tree under condemnation of death unless it produces fruit within the next season.
1 Some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. 2 He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? 3 By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! 4 Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? —5 By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” 6 And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, 7 he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ 8 He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; 9 it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
think: The Spirit makes a difference in our lives that should translate into the reality of an evangelistic lifestyle that draws others to Christ.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Mark 12-13
THE SPIRIT DWELLS WITHIN YOU
In this chapter of Romans, Paul gives us an excellent treatise on the role of the Holy Spirit. It’s almost as if we are watching a drama unfold before our eyes. Sin, Law and Death have been characters up until this point. The drama of humanity unfolds before our eyes as the Spirit takes centre stage. There is now a new law given to us, the old has passed the new has come. This new law is the law of the Sprit. Now we can live according to the law of the Spirit. This is not like the old law since it gave us only directives to keep and commands to obey. This law however, dwells within you. The old law taught the way of sin and death, the new law is of peace and life. The very same Spirit that raised Jesus from death lives within you. Hence, Paul says, “If the spirit of the one who raised Jesus from dead dwells in you, then one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you.” This is great news. We no longer live under the law of sin and death. Now there is no condemnation for we are in Christ Jesus. Sin has been condemned in the body of Jesus as he died on the Cross. What the law was powerless to do, that is save us from sin, Jesus took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh. He the sinless one was made into sin that the requirements of the law could not fulfill.
“Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” This is unshakeable truth. However, we know that often we are the very ones who condemn ourselves. As John writes in his letter, “...set our hearts at rest in his presence, whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything”. We must learn to accept and receive this free gift Jesus has given us in the Holy Spirit. Some of us feel we have to pay for what we have done wrong, this is born from a guilt complex, the answer to this is Christ. He has provided us the way to life and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Because we live in a consumerist society we find it hard to have anything free. Things have a price attached to it. Not so with God. He has canceled the debt of sin so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: Reflect upon the Spirit that dwells within you, ask the Lord to give you an anointing of His Holy Spirit in your life.
Come Holy Spirit. Melt me, mold me use me and fill me. Refresh my heart in the power of Your Love. Amen.
St. Desiderius, bishop, pray for us.
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