Friday, September 30, 2016

In what area of your life do you usually “edit” the efficacy of God’s Word? Pray for healing in that area - Daily Reflections September 30, 2016

I remember one time I was celebrating Mass. The Gospel then was Matthew 18, where Peter asked Jesus whether one should forgive as many as seven times. In response Jesus said, “No, not seven times, but seventy times seven!” I was hurting that time from an offense a trusted friend inflicted on me. I must confess, I didn’t feel like reading Jesus’ response. I even felt like changing Jesus’ words to “forgiving once is enough, Peter.”
       There are days like that when God’s Word hits so close to home, they make real demands and you feel like changing God’s Word altogether. But the Word of God is the Word of God. In today’s First Reading, we are reminded: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (verses 16-17). Notice that it says “all,” not “some parts” of the Scripture. We cannot pick through Scriptures that simply suits us. The Word of God is comforting but it is also meant for rebuking and correcting.
       A temptation for all believers is to domesticate God’s message — to make it convenient, less demanding, non-exacting. The Israelites of Moses’ times complained about the demands Yahweh was expecting from them. What did they do? They carved their own God, a molten calf — a God that they can manipulate, a “mute” God who will not make demands from them.
       We still have that mentality in our day and age. Instead of conforming ourselves to God’s image, we want God to conform into ours. Be it in the area of religion, work, public life or sex life, we manipulate God’s Word to our own convenience. Yes, God became Man. But it did not stop there. God became Man so that man might become like God. Let us not invert the process.
     Jesus is to be trusted. He is our Shepherd and everything He proposes is to our best interest. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: In what area of your life do you usually “edit” the efficacy of God’s Word? Pray for healing in that area.
Lord Jesus, I believe in Your wisdom and love. Your commands will not enslave. Banish in my heart the fear of Your commandments. Put in its stead trust and confidence. Amen.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts - Daily Bible Readings September 30, 2016

 Job’s meditations are profound but are tied up by a few simple principles. One of these is to trust in God, even if we do not fully understand what or why He is doing it. Job suffered greatly at the hands of Satan, yet he refused to curse God or his luck. He chose the path of patient suffering, trusting that God would vindicate him in the end.
Job 38:1, 12-21; 40: 3-5 (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
1 The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: 12 Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place 13 for taking hold of the ends of the earth, till the wicked are shaken from its surface? 14 The earth is changed as is clay by the seal, and dyed as though it were a garment; 15 but from the wicked the light is withheld, and the arm of pride is shattered. 16 Have you entered into the sources of the sea, or walked about in the depths of the abyss? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you, or have you seen the gates of darkness? 18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell me, if you know all: 19 which is the way to the dwelling place of light, and where is the abode of darkness, 20 that you may take them to their boundaries and set them on their homeward paths? 21 You know, because you were born before them, and the number of your years is great! 40:3 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 4 Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more.
Psalm 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14
R: Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
1 O Lord, you have probed me and you know me; 2 you know when I sit and when I stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. 3 My journeys and my rest you scrutinize, with all my ways you are familiar. (R) 7 Where can I go from your spirit? From your presence where can I flee? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I sink to the nether world, you are present there. (R) 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall guide me, and your right hand hold me fast. (R) 13 Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. 14 I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. (R)
The Word of God is available to us in the Scriptures. Ignorance of Christ is an inexcusable sin. St. Jerome, whose feast we celebrate today, was a great lover and interpreter of the Word of God. His love for the Scriptures is unparalleled in the Church and he spent most of his life translating and commenting on them. Let us pray for a deeper love of the Word of God.
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Luke 10:13-16 (or Matthew 13:47-52)
13 Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’” 16 Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
think: Ignorance of Christ is an inexcusable sin.
Thank You Lord for: __________________
God’s special verse/thought for me today_
Did I fulfill my last quarter goals?
What were the most important words the Lord gave to me this quarter?
What were my greatest blessings these past three months?
What are my most pressing needs for the next quarter?

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