READINGS for 2008-07-19
PICKING YOUR BATTLES
When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. – Matthew 12:15
I was in the middle of a misunderstanding inthe office and I was already in tears. Despite my best efforts to explain and perform, I felt I was being treated unfairly. Seeds of resentment were being sown in my heart towards the people I could not see eye to eye with.
I was torn between meeting them head on and backing off. Was this something I would blow out of proportion, making it a personal bone I would nitpick on? Or was this something I could still surpass — simply by doing my job well and delivering what was needed?
I prayed about it. And prayed about it some more. It was then that I realized that in this life, you really need to pick your battles. And that sometimes, withdrawing and backing off does not make you a loser. I chose the second option and just kept doing my job. True enough, the storm passed. I was able to deliver the project, and preserve valued relationships. That’s not a bad package if you ask me. Not bad at all. Cess Cosico
“If a king is about to... do battle... will he not... consider whether, with 10,000 men, he can withstand an enemy coming against him with 20,000? If he cannot, he will send a delegation while the enemy is still at a distance, asking for terms of peace.” (Luke 14:31-32)
Lord, help me pick my battles, knowing that with You on my side, I will always win.
Micah is reflecting upon the lot of those who live unrighteous lives. He seems to be saying that they will eventually be brought to account for their sinful ways. Sometimes this truth is the only consolation we have when we are wronged by others, and the law of the land is not able to bring us justice. Sometimes the Christian response is simply to turn the other cheek knowing that God sees all that is done in the world. Justice can be elusive in the world but nothing will escape the judgment of God.
Micah 2: 1-5
1 Woe to those who plan iniquity, and work out evil on their couches; in the morning light they accomplish it when it lies within their power. 2 They covet fields, and seize them; houses, and they take them; they cheat an owner of his house, a man of his inheritance. 3 Therefore thus says the LORD: Behold, I am planning against this race an evil from which you shall not withdraw your necks; nor shall you walk with head high, for it will be a time of evil. 4 On that day a satire shall be sung over you, and there shall be a plaintive chant: “Our ruin is complete, our fields are portioned out among our captors, the fields of my people are measured out, and no one can get them back!” 5 Thus you shall have no one to mark out boundaries by lot in the assembly of the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 10: 1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 14
R: Do not forget the poor, O Lord!
1 Why, O LORD, do you stand aloof? Why hide in times of distress? 2 Proudly the wicked harass the afflicted, who are caught in the devices the wicked have contrived. (R) 3 For the wicked man glories in his greed, and the covetous blasphemes, sets the LORD at nought. 4 The wicked man boasts, “He will not avenge it”; “There is no God,” sums up his thoughts. (R) 7 His mouth is full of cursing, guile and deceit; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity. 8 He lurks in ambush near the villages; in hiding he murders the innocent; his eyes spy upon the unfortunate. (R) 14 You do see, for you behold misery and sorrow, taking them in your hands. On you the unfortunate man depends; of the fatherless you are the helper. (R)
G O S P E L
Why do people plot against good people? There are probably many different answers to this question but none of them are good. People who give their lives over to corruption are always afraid that they are going to be unmasked and punished, and thus will seek to hide their sins even if it means committing more and more serious sins. This is the dynamic we are dealing with when we take on a life of sin. The wise person will avoid sin altogether so that his life will not be compromised by an ever deepening slide into the depths of immorality.
Matthew 12: 14-21
14 The Pharisees went out and took counsel against him to put him to death. 15 When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many [people] followed him, and he cured them all, 16 but he warned them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. 21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
think:The wise person will avoid sin altogether so that his life will not be compromised by an ever deepening slide into the depths of immorality.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Ester A-4
GivE thanks tO thE lOrd
Like Isaiah, Micah challenged the social conditions of their time. He foretold the fall of Samaria, the capital of Israel, and prophesied the desolation of Judah. He spoke on the judgment and deliverance of God. He speaks of woe and hope to the people of God. Micah prophesied the impending disaster of exile that was approaching the people.
Today’s first reading is a challenge to the wealthy landowners who oppressed the poor. The rich controlled the structure of society. Their wealth won their way through many bribes and they posed their influence on those who were less fortunate. The rich became richer while the poor became poorer.
Inheritance of land was an issue during Micah’s day. Land was essential for farming, building, and it was seen as a blessing from God. There was much influence on the part of the rich to dissuade a person from using, and taking away that which was rightly theirs. The rich took for granted the blessing of God in their lives. They were so caught up in their crime and corruption that they turned a blind eye to the needy in their midst. They violated the tenth commandment. They coveted others’ property because of their greed.
God looks upon all as equal. For God there is no slave or freeman, no Gentile or Jew, rich or poor — all are one in Him. This was made possible through Jesus who, having destroyed the barrier of hostility, united the Jews and Gentiles. He has brought peace by the blood of the cross. We are to live as one people, a holy people set apart for God.
We easily become jealous of others when we see them advancing in ways beyond ourselves. We become greedy and want what they have, but know we cannot have it. Rather than giving thanks to God for others’ blessings, we hold grudges and breed resentment in our lives. All that we have is grace from God. St. Paul teaches us that those who are jealous, covetous, idolaters will never enter the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 5). Fr. Brian Steele
Do I allow myself to become jealous or envious of others? Do I give thanks to God for those whom He has blessed?
Lord, thank You for the blessings of my life. May I never take for granted the gifts You have given me. Amen.
Sts. Justa & Rufina, virgins and martyrs, pray for us.
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