READINGS for 2008-10-24
bLINDNEss that DOEsN’t hEAL
“Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” – Luke 12:56
“Gifted” people are good in seeing “hidden signs.” One business visionary sees money trends in the next 50 years and gives advice on how to rake in millions. World-renowned designers interpret fashion signs and can forecast “what’s hot” for the next 10 years. Chinese businessmen see money from what others think is a garbage heap and turn them into mega businesses controlling the national economy.
Too bad though that some people don’t look far enough to see what’s near enough. A celebrity mother didn’t have the time to see the signs of a depressed son and the suicide that ended his life. The basketball superstar missed the red light signaling that his marriage was falling apart. The business magnate refused to look at the pale faces of the dead poor, who were drowned by the flashfloods caused by of his illegal logging money machine uphill.
Jesus calls out: “Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” Is He calling your name too? Jon Escoto
What do the signs of your present time and situation tell you? Look at what’s near: your family, neighbors, relationship with the Lord. What’s the Lord asking you to do about it?
Lord, I thought I could see clearly. Now I know my heart has been blinded from You and Your word. Open the eyes of my heart to love.
There is absolutely no doubt from a scriptural point of view that unity among Christians is the desire and the heart of God. This is why we cannot be satisfied with the divided Christianity that we experience across the globe today. It is important that we do all we can to restore the unity of the Spirit among Christians, and to do so quickly and with integrity, so that the witness of the Gospel proclamation will no longer be harmed by all the divisions.
Ephesians 4: 1-6
1 Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, 3 striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: 4 one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
P S A L M
Psalm 24: 1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
R: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
1 The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. 2 For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (R) 3 Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place? 4 He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. (R) 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. 6 Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. (R)
G O S P E L
Think of the amount of money the world spend on scientific research for weather prognosis, tsunami early warning, volcano studies, etc., and all for the sake of being able to predict coming disasters, and so ameliorate the effects of them. How much effort and time, and money, if you like, do we spend on increasing our knowledge of our faith and seeking to deepen our ability to hear and interpret the signs of God’s word to us in our lives? The former is a good thing but should it be to the virtual exclusion of the latter? I do not think so!
Luke 12: 54-59
54 Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain — and so it does; 55 and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot — and so it is. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? 57 “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. 59 I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
think: It is important that we do all we can to restore the unity of the Spirit among Christians.
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 9-12
BEING ONE IN THE SPIRIT
One of the great scandals within Christianity is our lack of unity. In some cities, there are tens of thousands of different denominations that all call themselves Christian. Many of these are directly in opposition to one another, and find it difficult to say anything good about the other. The author of the Letter to the Ephesians exhorts us to “preserve the unity of the spirit (of the followers of Jesus Christ) through peace in one body and one Spirit.” What else can he mean other than that we should be living in unity with one another?
Maybe as individuals, we do not have the power to bring about reconciliation or unity at the level of the church institutions. However, we do have the ability to work with other like-minded Christians in projects that will be a starting point for reconciliation at higher levels. Perhaps some of the best areas to begin are various social projects within a given area. If each group has their own small project then there will be an inevitable repetition of infrastructure that, if shared, would make available both more manpower and more resources for the actual project. I am sure that in the vast majority of the social projects there will not be any dispute as to either the goal or the means by which the project will be pursued.
When we consider that we are all professing faith in Jesus Christ we ought to be able to work together in a lot of the things we do, and even in certain worship settings as well. With a little bit of goodwill coming from the various groups, there ought to be the possibility of developing a strong sense of unity and togetherness as we serve the Gospel. There will be inevitable frictions and conflicts, but let us seek to work our way through them rather than become a part of the problem by walking away and refusing to talk or work with others.
The same goes for the various groups within our local church communities. Let us seek to deal with problems that may arise while they are still small as when they escalate they become proportionally more difficult to resolve. Fr. Steve Tynan
Am I a force for unity within my community, or do I tend to gather people behind my idea over and against the views or plans of others?
Holy Spirit, Spirit of peace and unity, work in my life to make me a force for unity and peace within my local community and beyond.
St. Anthony Mary Claret, bishop, pray for us.
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