READINGS for 2008-10-09
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For the one who asks receives, and the one who searches finds and to him who knocks the door will be opened.” – Luke 11:9-10
I was really tired. All I wanted to do was crash down on the bed and sleep until I felt tired of sleeping. I silently made my way to my bed inside our dorm.
But I had a problem. It was pitch black. I could have used my cell phone as a flashlight to move towards my bed but the battery was dead so I couldn’t make it light up. And I didn’t want to wake my roommates by turning on the lights. So I crept my way in the darkness.
After a couple of hushed “Ouch!” from bumping into things littered around the dorm, I was startled when a light came from one of the beds. I stopped, rubbed my knee and looked at my roommate who had turned on her lamp. She asked, “Why are you walking in the dark?”
I whispered, “I didn’t want to wake you up by turning on the lights.”
“Well you could have asked,” she replied. We’re like that sometimes. We insist on walking in the darkness when we could have light all along. All we have to do is ask. Tina Matanguihan
“We have no business to remain in the dark about the character of the Father when He has made His character very clear to us.” (Oswald Chambers)
Father, may I never be too shy to approach You anytime.
Paul does not mince his words with the Galatians. He is horrified at how quickly and easily they were led astray by all sorts of false doctrines. Perhaps it is helpful for us to reflect on this a while and consider how vulnerable we can be if we remove ourselves from the spiritual authority of the Church. We may not always like what the Church teaches but so what. Truth is not always comfortable. You know that from experience!
Galatians 3: 1-5
1 O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard? 3 Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? 4 Did you experience so many things in vain? — if indeed it was in vain. 5 Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works mighty deeds among you do so from works of the law or from faith in what you heard?
P S A L M
Luke 1:69, 70-71, 72, 73 -75
R: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
69 He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. (R) 70 Through his holy prophets he promised of old: 71 that he would save us from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. (R) 72 He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. (R) 73 This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to set us free from the hand of enemies, free to worship him without fear, 75 holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. (R)
G O S P E L
I do not think there are many Christians who really like this passage of Scripture. I am sure we would all much prefer it if God just gave into our requests when we first ask rather than for us to persevere in asking. Sorry, it does not work like that. If everything was that easy we would never value it. The grace of God is never cheap (Bonhoeffer) and I say this is a good thing because we have to realize that our salvation was brought at the terribly high price of the suffering and death of the Son of God!
Luke 11: 5-13
5 Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ 7 and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. 9 “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12 Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
think:The grace of God is never cheap.
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 Sirach 5-8
LIVING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
St. Paul is appalled by the Galatians’ tendency to move back to living according to the outward observances of the Law even though they have heard the Gospel – the call to focus on our interior or spiritual response to God’s word. The latter is much easier to do and to measure, and perhaps this is why we tend to always slide in that direction. The challenge for us all is to maintain a consistent approach to looking at our spiritual response to the Gospel and to ensure that we do not neglect this aspect of our lives.
St. Paul asks the Galatians to reflect upon their experience of conversion. Did their conversion, and hence salvation, depend upon their obedience to the Law or was it the work of God that we freely receive through faith in the power of the Holy Spirit? They know the truth; now it is up to them to live it. This means making decisions to place spiritual realities at the forefront of our lives. We cannot afford to ignore God’s call to obedience, or if we do, we do so at the peril of our salvation. In Paul’s mind, only a fool would ignore the Gospel demands of spiritual renewal once a person has started on that path. By this time, a person should already be convinced of the truth of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ or else one would not have embarked on the journey of faith in the first place.
This is what Paul cannot understand with the Galatians – they know the truth but seem to be happy to ignore it, and to go back to their old way of life. Where is the sense or logic in that? Before we also stand in judgment over the Galatians, let us make sure that we have not committed the same error. Let us maintain constancy in the life of the Spirit and do not allow a preoccupation with the Law to lead us astray. Let us ensure our lives are truly submitted to both the Word of God and the Spirit of God lest we fall into the same trap as the Galatians. Fr. Steve Tynan
In my faith walk with Jesus, do I tend to measure how I am doing according to precepts of the Law or the demands of the Spirit? The Law is important but without the Spirit, it will merely be legalism.
Holy Spirit, help me to live a life under Your grace and power, always seeking to live the truth and the law by the grace You give to me.
St. John Leonardi, priest, pray for us.
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