READINGS for 2008-10-23
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. “ – Luke 12:51
Truth divides. Stand up for the truth and “close” workmates start seeing you as a three- headed hideous freak.
After “accidentally” getting to know Jesus in a seminar, I had to say no for the first time to friends — people whom I previously led to overnight sessions of doing stupid things. The next day, I was expelled from the “circle of trust.” And when I entered the seminary, my parents got angry, thinking I had completely lost it by following God’s will rather than pursuing a career of their choice.
Through it all, I learned one thing. It’s always better to be respected than liked. Those who respect me now may like me later. But the reverse is never true. When workmates and friends hit the rock bottom of misery because of their sins, they never turned to one another for “life rescue.” They liked each other so much that they couldn’t trust each other with serious matters. Instead, they turned to me whom they respected.
Now they love me more than their “likeable” former friends. As for my parents, they love me more now than they ever did.
Yes! Truth divides. But only for moment. After the smoke clears, Truth unites. And what an invincible bond you have!Jon Escoto
Are you having second thoughts about living for the truth and compromise seems comfortable? Hang on! Truth always pays.
Lord, following You has a tremendous price. It’s hard because it’s daily. Overwhelm me with Your love that I may always remember that what I pay is nothing compared to what You give in return.
I do not believe that any of us has come even half-way in understanding the potential of the full power of God that would be unleashed if we were all obedient to His call. Paul hints that God’s power is beyond our imagination. Well, I can tell you, I can imagine a fair bit of power! If what Paul says is true, and it is, we should look seriously at surrendering our entire lives to the Lord and not just the little that is comfortable for us to surrender.
Ephesians 3: 14-21
14 Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
P S A L M
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
R: The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
1 Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. 2 Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. (R) 4 For upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. 5 He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. (R) 11 But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. 12 Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. (R) 18 But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. (R)
G O S P E L
The desire of Jesus’ heart is an all-or-nothing reality. He is constrained by the fact that He has not yet been able to offer the ultimate sacrifice of His life, thus reopening for us the way of return to the Father. Let us seek to imitate this all-or-nothing attitude of Jesus in the way we follow Him as His disciples. Let us live for excellence in obedience to God’s will and never be willing to settle for second best!
49 Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! 50 There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
think:Let us seek to imitate this all-or-nothing attitude of Jesus in the way we follow Him as His disciples.
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 Isaiah 5-8
THE FIRE OF GOD’S LOVE
In today’s Gospel, we hear the urgency of Jesus’ mission as He Himself understands and experiences it. Jesus laments the fact that He is constrained from letting loose the full power of God’s love among the people to whom He preaches. He knows, or at least intimates that He knows, there is a “baptism” that He is yet to undergo that will be the key to letting loose God’s love in the world. In retrospect, it is easy for us to discern that this baptism is really His passion and death. Only after His resurrection from the dead will there be the physical and incontrovertible “proof” that God’s love is so great, even death and sin cannot overcome it.
Now that we are aware of how Jesus feels about this matter, perhaps it is good to examine our own approach to the call to spread the Good News of God’s love to all men and women. How eagerly do we look for opportunities to share with others what God has done in our lives? This is an essential aspect of discipleship. If we who have known and experienced God’s work in our lives do not share it with others, how will those who do not know God come to know Him? When we read the letters of St. Paul and look at his life story in the Acts of the Apostles, we see his response to the gift of receiving the Good News. The same is true of the lives of the saints.
Many of the examples the Church places before us are about total commitment, that is, the people give their total lives for this purpose. We, too, can still do this, no matter what our vocation or occupation may be. It is merely a matter of having a mindset that is open to sharing the Gospel with others. Let us remember that this is one of the duties of being a Christian. Fr. Steve Tynan
When was the last time I shared the Gospel with someone I know – with someone I do not know?
Holy Spirit, give me a greater zeal to share the Gospel with others so that the name of Jesus will be glorified and all may come to know the saving love of God through faith in Him.
St. John of Capistrano, priest, pray for us.
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