READINGS for 2008-03-01
THE FALL OF REV. TED HAggARD
“For everyone who makes himself great will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be made great.” – Luke 18:14
Rev. Ted Haggard was one of the most famous evangelical leaders in America. His credentials: senior pastor of the 14,000 member New Life mega-church he founded 20 years ago and the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a 30-million strong organization in America. He was even named by Time as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. He’s a 50-year-old married man with five kids.
But in 2006, Mike Jones, a gay prostitute, accused Haggard of hiring him for sex for the past three years.
Haggard admitted to sexual immorality. His church board has dismissed him as senior pastor. As I read the news about him, I asked myself, how many times have I covered up my own sins? In my book, Your Past Does Not Define Your Future, I told everyone that I was addicted to pornography and sexual fantasies. To this day, I’m still tempted to go back to my old addictions. But writing about my weakness became my salvation. It wasn’t easy but I humbled myself and became honest.
Friends, the road to greatness starts with humility. Always. Bo Sanchez
The road to greatness in God’s eyes starts with humility. Are you on the right track?
Lord, help me catch myself when I am being arrogant so that I may change my ways.
We all have eMotions and feelinGs
When we read about the sentiments of the Jewish people in the Psalms and the writings of the prophets, it is very easy to see that they are a people who are not afraid of their feelings, nor are they afraid to put these feelings into words. Today, we hear them lamenting the fact that they believe God has abandoned them and punished them with great suffering because of their sins. This may be what they feel; however, it is far from the truth. It is not that God is punishing them nor has He abandoned them — it is through their sin that they have abandoned God and all the suffering they experience is really just a result of their own sinfulness.
In our daily lives, I am sure there are times when we think like the Jewish people in the time of Hosea. Yet, this is not true. The promise of the Scriptures is that God will not abandon us – He will be with us to the end of time – and He does not want to punish us for our sins. The nature of sin is that it separates us from God by our own choice, not the choice of God. If God has His way, He would never want to be apart from us. And maybe deep down in our hearts, we have the same sentiment as God, but the challenge for us rests in acting upon that deep desire in such a way that we deny sin a place in our lives.
It is only when we embrace the love of God in an unconditional way that we can deny sin and temptation. As soon as we begin to insist on our own will and desires in opposition to those of God, we get into trouble and our lives begin to spin out of control. Through constant discipline and attention to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can remain faithful to God’s will. Sometimes people protest that we are supposed to be free to do what we want to do. Yes, we are free to do that, but the catch is, if we want a fulfilling life, we will have to surrender we free will to the truth of God about humanity, and a part of this is His will for our life. Fr. Steve Tynan
What are your most common feelings and emotions about your relationship with God? Do you think you are balanced in this or not? Are there decisions you need to make regarding your emotions and how you express them?
Holy Spirit, sometimes my emotions get the better of me. Help me to realize they are only servants and that I have the responsibility to deal with them well.
St. Albinus, bishop, pray for us.
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