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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Is the preacher or leader a deciding factor before you attend a religious activity? Or do you go whoever is the preacher or leader? - Daily Reflections July 12,2015

WHAT MATTERS MOST
 
When I was young, members of the Baptist religion used to visit our place every Saturday afternoon. Those were the days when you could still trust strangers and welcome them into your home. Our parents trusted those Baptist missionaries when they brought us to their chapel near our place. In the chapel, we had Bible lessons and were served with snacks afterwards. It was their way of attracting us to fulfill their mission. However, it did not last. We came to a point when we missed our afternoon games. One day, we just stopped accepting their invitation.
       The point of Jesus in today’s Gospel is for the Apostles to rely on the Word of God in accomplishing their work. While many things may be used to attract people, in the end it is still the message that should interest them. It is the message which will help and save them. Thus, Jesus gave instructions to the Apostles not to bring anything that will hinder and divert their focus on the task at hand. He made them to be witnesses to the Gospel alone. Once they encounter the people, the Good News of salvation — and not anything they possess — should draw and amaze them.
       Jesus did not mean that those things were bad. He just wanted to inculcate in His Apostles the importance of the Good News. He did not want the Good News of salvation to be superseded by anything or even by the Apostles. We are also given the same warning today. At times we are attracted more by the person and ways of the preacher. If it leads us to understand and live out God’s Word, well and good. But if, in the process, we only remember the preacher and his ways and forget the message, the exercise was in futility.
       “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). Fr. Benny Tuazon
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Is the preacher or leader a deciding factor before you attend a religious activity? Or do you go whoever is the preacher or leader?
 
Help me to focus on Your message, Lord, and not on the messenger, whenever I listen to talks or attend religious gatherings.

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