READINGS for 2008-10-14
In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor the lack of it counts for anything; only faith which expresses itself through love. – Galatians 5:6
I read a book before which gave this analogy regarding faith and love. It said that faith is like the flashlight we need in darkness but love is the battery. One is useless to give light without the other.
The Pharisees during Jesus’ time were proud of all their laws and traditions which they meticulously followed. It gave them a feeling of spiritual superiority over everyone else. They were flabbergasted that Jesus was breaking protocol and not following their age old traditions which they upheld over everything else.
Jesus followed a higher law above all their laws. He made it clear though that He did not come to abolish their laws but to fulfill it. The law of Love is the fulfillment of everything we are trying to do on this earth. Love is the reason why we do the things we do — either it’s love for God or love for our neighbor. It is the force that gives power to our every act and to our every thought. If love is not there, then our faith is as powerless as a toothless dog. All bark but no bite. We are then left in the dark holding a powerful flashlight but with no batteries.Ronna Ledesma
Are you praying right now out of love or out of habit?
Lord, remind me always to season all that I do with the salt of love.
Paul reminds the Galatians that faith has priority in the life of a Christian. This point ought to be obvious to all of us that we are incapable of saving ourselves from sin and death. Our only hope is that someone else can do this for us, and that we can avail of the grace they offer us through faith. God does not sell us salvation nor can we earn it through doing certain things. It is made available to us only through faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5: 1-6
1 Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. 2 It is I, Paul, who am telling you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised that he is bound to observe the entire law. 4 You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
P S A L M
Psalm 119:41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48
R: Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
41 Let your mercy come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise. (R) 43 Take not the word of truth from my mouth, for in your ordinances is my hope. (R) 44 And I will keep your law continually, forever and ever. (R) 45 And I will walk at liberty, because I seek your precepts. (R) 47 And I will delight in your commands, which I love. (R) 48 And I will lift up my hands to your commands and meditate on your statutes. (R)
G O S P E L
Get the focus right and all will be well. This is the message of today’s Gospel. It is too easy to look to the external realities, and be fooled one way or the other into believing something that is false. Traditional practices can also lead people into the wrong sort of focus. We need to be careful that we understand why we do the things we do so that we will not be led astray by a false understanding of our traditional religious practices.
37 After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. 39 The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. 40 You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? 41 But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”
think:We need to be careful that we understand why we do the things we do.
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 24-26
THE FRUSTRATIONS OF DISCIPLING OTHERS
When we read through the Gospels, we find many frustrating moments for Jesus when He preaches the Gospel to the crowds and they were seemingly incapable of understanding and embracing the truths they hear. In today’s reading, for example, Jesus expresses it in terms of the people focusing on keeping the outside of the cup clean when they should have realized that it is from within their hearts and minds, within themselves, that the greatest forms of impurity are derived. The same still holds true today.
Parents go to great lengths to see that their children receive good moral teachings and are exposed to good Christian values as they grow up. However, the vast majority of kids are given free reign over what they watch on television. There is a huge contradiction here. More often than not, the values being expressed in television shows, cartoons and others are patently non-Christian. Violence, revenge, sex for pleasure, adultery are just some of the common fare in today’s world of entertainment. Media plays a huge role in forming the values of children particularly when their parents abdicate their responsibility in this matter and use the television or VCD or DVD as a baby-sitter.
Yes, there are some shows and movies that promote good values but they are few and far between. There are even some shows that responsibly question worldly values and ideals but they must be viewed with constant parental supervision so that they are not misinterpreted by the child. The simple answer on why teenagers are often seemingly “out of control” and undisciplined is precisely because they have imbibed these values of the world directly from the media to which they have such easy and unsupervised access. It is not easy being a parent — it is a huge responsibility that ends only with the correct formation of the child’s character. If someone then chooses a life of sin, then that is truly the choice they have made. But let us not allow the values of the media to become the default formation position for our children. Fr. Steve Tynan
As a parent, am I doing all that I can to form my children’s minds and hearts in the truth of the Gospel? What more can I do in this regard?
Holy Spirit, help me to set a good example of a life lived according to the truths of the Gospel, and the dignity of the human person for all the young people I know.
St. Callistus I, pope and martyr, pray for us.
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