READINGS for 2009-10-21
The reign of sin has ended and we have been set free from its powers. Why then do we continue to sin? Simply because that is what we choose to do. This is the ugly truth. Jesus has put the powers of sin to death and offers us the victory through faith. If we do not experience victory over sin the only person we can blame is ourselves for it is we who, by choosing to give in to temptation, choose also to reject the victory Christ offers us all.
12 Brothers and sisters: Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. 13 And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.
P S A L M
Psalm 124:1b-3. 4-6. 7-8
R: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
1 Had not the LORD been with us, let Israel say, 2 had not the LORD been with us — when men rose up against us, 3 then would they have swallowed us alive. When their fury was inflamed against us. (R) 4 Then would the waters have overwhelmed us; the torrent would have swept over us; 5 over us then would have swept the raging waters. 6 Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us a prey to their teeth. (R) 7 We were rescued like a bird from the fowlers’ snare; broken was the snare, and we were freed. 8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (R)
G O S P E L
These parables serve to remind us to live ordered lives. Socrates tells us that we should regularly reflect upon our lives in order to give them meaning. Jesus reminds us of the same truth when He tells us to be prepared for anything. We never know where our faith is going to take us. Next year, next month, next week you might be called to leave your home and family to become a missionary. This is probably unlikely, but you never know where the Spirit will lead us…
39 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” 41 Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” 42 And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute [the] food allowance at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 47 That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; 48 and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
think:The reign of sin has ended and we have been set free from its powers.
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 16-20
sin And gRAce
In today’s reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we find him struggling with the mystery and power of sin contra grace. It is a reality we all struggle with. We human beings have a free will to decide. And we have to make daily choices between good and evil. Our choices depend very much on whom we have chosen as our ‘master’ whom we have chosen to obey.
Even though we were baptized and so have chosen Christ to be our Master, we still have the free will to disobey Him. And often we do. For the power of sin works like a virus in us and the “antibiotics” of grace are at times threatened and made ineffective. It all depends on us. We cannot blame God or the environment for becoming slaves of sin and evil. No, having chosen Christ as our Master, St. Paul urges all followers of Christ to strive hard to obey Him in order to become free from the power of sin.
It seems to be a paradox, but the more we obey God, the freer we become — from vices, from evil attractions and habits, from sin. The happiest people I have met are those who try to live a life in obedience to the teachings of Christ. I cannot forget the eyes of Blessed Mother Teresa, sparkling with inner peace and joy (in spite of her “dark nights” of faith). I cannot forget her unpretentiousness, her simplicity; she was herself — an absolutely free person.
Another similar “living saint” I was graced to meet was Bro. Roger, the founder and leader of the community at Taize, France. He, like several others who had made Christ their center, had one thing in common: they were all so free, so happy, so serene.
Look around and look for examples who have freed themselves from this ugly master and successfully battled the virus of sin — those who have chosen Christ as Master and obey Him always regardless of what the world and the society may think and say. Freedom and inner happiness are worth more than being acknowledged by a society where sin is rather powerful. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Is Christ really my Master? Do I detect in me bad habits which indicate that I still obey sin?
Lord, thank You for giving me today this rather difficult passage from the letter of St. Paul. He has struggled and succeeded. May his example and the example of the many saints and good people around me inspire me to keep You as my only Master and obey You with joy.
St. Ursula and Companions, Martyrs, pray for us.
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