READINGS for 2008-10-05
INstANt NOODLEs OR GOuRmEt FOOD
Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:9
I used to be one of those who wanted quick fixes in my life. Growing up with instant noodles and fast food, I foolishly thought that personal transformation could be attained by acquiring self-help books.
I joined retreats and workshops and even two Life in the Spirit Seminars, looking for that bombastic event that would change my life. I heard dozens of testimonies from people who claimed to have been changed by God in ways that would make you think they were under Heaven’s Marketing Department. Then one time, while attending a healing retreat, a wise nun told me, “Red, healing is not an event. It’s a process. It’s not instant noodles but more of gourmet cooking. It takes a while.”
It hit me like a brick on my chest. I realized that an experience of God is not a one-time deal. It’s something that we constantly need to strive at every day of our lives. It’s a journey of saying “yes” that will lead to open other doors of “yeses.” And the more I struggle in my daily life in terms of what I learn, receive, hear and see from the Gospel, the more at peace I am with myself. Red Cerrer
Which would you prefer, instant noodles or gourmet food?
Jesus, create in me a new You each day.
The only reason that this winepress brings forth sour grapes is that the people are not acting according to God’s will. The story is symbolic and teaches us that the sweetness of the fruits of our lives will be dependent upon our acting in accordance with God’s will. Yes, we may be able to achieve much using the gifts God has given us but is it what God wants us to achieve? If we move outside His will, we are moving outside the realm of His grace, and we cannot expect that all will necessarily be smooth and easy there.
1 Let me now sing of my friend, my friend’s song concerning his vineyard. My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; 2 he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes. 3 Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes? 5 Now, I will let you know what I mean to do to my vineyard. Take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled! 6 Yes, I will make it a ruin. It shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it. 7 The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his cherished plant; he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!
P S A L M
Psalm 80:9 and 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19- 20
R: The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
9 A vine from Egypt you transplanted; you drove away the nations and planted it. 12 It put forth its foliage to the Sea, its shoots as far as the river. (R) 13 Why have you broken down its walls, so that every passer-by plucks its fruit, 14 The boar from the forest lays it waste, and the beasts of the field feed upon it? (R) 15 Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see; take care of this vine, 16 and protect what your right hand has planted: the son of man whom you yourself made strong. (R) 19 Then we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name. 20 O LORD, God of hosts, restore us; if your face shine upon us, then we shall be saved. (R)
Here is one of the not so well-kept secrets to becoming holy. We have to fill our minds with the truth, and all the things that come from God, rather than the lies and distractions of the world. This makes an enormous amount of sense to me. How can I expect to develop the mind and heart of God for His people if I am constantly submitting my mind to the rubbish available on TV and other forms of media, and I am rarely studying the Scriptures? Do I need to reprioritize my reading material in the light of this text in Philippians?
6 Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.
G O S P E L
These tenants are worse off than those in the story from the prophet Isaiah; they are deliberately seeking to usurp the land they have rented. They are not just bearing bad fruit! There are varying degrees to which we can sin, depending on what we do, or fail to do. It is important to recognize this as it is the serious sins that we need to address more urgently in our lives as these are capable of depriving us of eternal life! This is not to be taken lightly unless you want to live eternity apart from the love of God.
33 Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. 34 When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. 35 But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. 36 Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ 39 They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” 41 They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? 43 Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
think:How can I expect to develop the mind and heart of God for His people if I am constantly submitting my mind to the rubbish available on TV and other forms on TV and other forms of media, and I am rarely studying the Scriptures?
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 Wisdom 9-12
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
THE HORROR AND TRAGEDY OF SIN
One of the important things everyone must realize is the horror and tragedy of sin. Sin is a destructive reality that needs to be avoided at all costs. There is always a better option than sin. Whenever we give in to sin, we give in to a lesser form of who we can be in the eyes of God. Jesus, in every sense, is the perfect example of this principle in that He is without sin and able to be the mediator of the New Covenant. The sinlessness of Jesus is a necessary aspect of the gift of salvation. The call to holiness that is given to every Christian as a part of his or her salvation is the call to imitate the sinless nature of Jesus’ life. This is life-long work that will challenge all of Jesus’ disciples.
The parable in today’s Gospel illustrates for us how low sin can cause people to stoop. The people who lease the vineyards are really quite stupid in thinking they can get away with killing the son of their landlord. You may agree with this sentiment or not, but before you make a final decision about it, it is important to recognize that every sin we commit is of exactly the same sort as those tenants. Every time we sin, we go against the will of God, our Creator.
Coming to a deep understanding of the full reality and nature of sin will motivate us to fight temptations to sin when they come to us. It is only in resisting them that we will deal with them decisively. If we just let temptation hang around our lives, that is, if we allow ourselves to remain in the company of sin and sinners without doing something to correct the situation, we will ultimately succumb to the temptation. The wise man or woman will flee from sin as soon as he or she realizes that that is what he or she is dealing with. Fr. Steve Tynan
How decisively do I deal with sin in my life? Am I truly aware of the nature of sin and thus horrified even by the thought of entertaining it, let alone doing it?
Jesus, help me to realize that to deal with sin will require radical decisions on my part. Grant me the grace to make these decisions as soon as possible.
St. Flora, virgin, pray for us.
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