READINGS for 2009-06-10
For if what was going to fade was glorious, how much more will what endures be glorious. – 2 Corinthians 3:11
I had been absent from the prayer meeting for a few Sundays and my spirit was athirst. As soon as the worship leader began, the songs and prayers began to pierce my heart. No longer was I surrounded by a crowd of people. And the choir ceased to be the music ministry that they were. Instead, I was transported into God’s presence, His warm embrace melting away the distance between us.
Ah… this is The Feast held at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig every Sunday. Whenever I come, my soul is nourished, my resolve to love the Lord strengthened and my life purpose reinforced. And I know it doesn’t just happen to me. I see it in the faces of the ever-increasing number of attendees that come every week. They leave The Feast with bright eyes, a spring in their steps and hearts overflowing with hope.
I wonder, if an ordinary prayer meeting can bring me to such heights, how much more marvelous will it be when we finally reach the Heavenly City where there is no night and where we will worship the Lord 24/7? After all, our prayer meetings and times of worship are but a practice for the real thing in heaven.Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
Do you experience the presence of God when you come to worship Him?
Lord, how lovely is Your dwelling place! How I long to be in Your presence every moment of my life.
None of us is worthy, nor do we have the necessary training to be fully capable of being the administrators of the New Covenant. However, this does not matter because as soon as God chooses us for a particular mission or claims us as His own witness to the truth of the Gospel, He gives us the necessary grace to carry out this task. All that remains to us is obedience. Obedience may not always be easy but it is better than trying to accomplish an impossible task.
2 Corinthians 3:4-11
4 Brothers and sisters: Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, 6 who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious that the Israelites could not look intently at the face of Moses because of its glory that was going to fade, 8 how much more will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory. 10 Indeed, what was endowed with glory has come to have no glory in this respect because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was going to fade was glorious, how much more will what endures be glorious.
P S A L M
Psalm 99:5. 6. 7. 8. 9
R: Holy is the Lord our God.
5 Extol the LORD, our God, and worship at his footstool; holy is he! (R) 6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, and Samuel, among those who called upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. (R) 7 From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them; they heard his decrees and the law he gave them. (R) 8 O LORD, our God, you answered them; a forgiving God you were to them, though requiting their misdeeds. (R) 9 Extol the LORD, our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for holy is the LORD, our God. (R)
G O S P E L
What then is the place of the Law of Moses in our call to live by grace? The answer is quite simple. It is only under the power of the grace of God that we are able to live out and fulfill the Law of Moses. That is, the Law of Moses remains for us the measure of human actions per se. Up until Jesus, we were largely left to our own strength and devices; now we have the grace of God to empower us.
17 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
think:It is only under the power of the grace of God that we are able to live and fulfill the Law of Moses.
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 Psalm 95-99
the Glory oF the neW covenAnt
Paul wants to contrast the glory of the Old and New Covenants so that we can truly see how immensely blessed we are in having been given the Gospel and the opportunity to place our lives under its grace and power. The Jews have a tremendous respect and love for the Old Covenant. Paul knows this as he was once a very zealous Pharisee. Paul personally experienced the grace and power of the New Covenant in his conversion experience and thus now believes that the Old Covenant is but a shadow of the New Covenant and that we as Christians have far more to glory in than the Jews ever did.
Paul is the ideal person to speak about this contrast as he has been intimately involved in both camps. We who are Christians without any explicit Jewish background can only reflect upon the contrast from our standpoint. It is therefore very important for us to listen to what Paul has to say. The end result being that we are fundamentally more blessed than the Jews in that we have chosen to receive the fullness of salvation through baptism.
Paul characterizes the Old Covenant as one based on condemnation as it is built upon The Law — a Law which cannot save per se. It can only point out the sin, not overcome it. The New Covenant is different as it not only identifies sin, it also contains the means by which we can overcome sin and its powers. This is why Paul tells us that the glory of the New Covenant far surpasses that of the Old. Christianity has the definitive answer to sin and can fully reconcile us with God the Father. Judaism reveals certain aspects of God to us and can help us to identify the sin in our lives but does not provide the means by which we can be reunited with our Creator. This is why Paul tells the Philippians that the righteousness he has discovered in the New Covenant is far more powerful than the righteousness that comes from obedience to the Law (Philippians 3:7ff). Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
How often do I reflect on the awesome power of the Gospel to reconcile us with God and empower us to be His disciples?
Father, You desire all men and women to come to the knowledge of the truth. Help me to live the Gospel so that all I meet will be drawn to seek You more closely because they can see in my life something of the glory of Your kingdom and righteousness.
St. Getulius and Companions, Martyrs, pray for us.
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