The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you pay attention to warning signs? Many fatalities could be avoided if people took the warning signs seriously. When the religious leaders demanded a sign from Jesus, he gave them a warning to avert spiritual disaster. It was characteristic of the Jews that they demanded “signs” from God’s messengers to authenticate their claims. When the religious leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims he says in so many words that he is God’s sign and that they need no further evidence from heaven than his own person.
The Ninevites recognized God’s warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented. And the Queen of Sheba recognized God’s wisdom in Solomon. Jonah was God’s sign and his message was the message of God for the people of Nineveh. Unfortunately the religious leaders were not content to accept the signs right before their eyes. They had rejected the message of John the Baptist and now they reject Jesus as God’s Anointed One (Messiah) and they fail to heed his message. Simeon had prophesied at Jesus’ birth that he was “destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that inner thoughts of many will be revealed” (Luke 2:34- 35). Jesus confirmed his message with many miracles in preparation for the greatest sign of all – his resurrection on the third day.
The Lord Jesus came to set us free from slavery to sin and hurtful desires. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he pours his love into our hearts that we may understand his will for our lives and walk in his way of holiness. God searches our hearts, not to condemn us, but to show us where we need his saving grace and help. He calls us to seek him with true repentance, humility, and the honesty to see our sins for what they really are – a rejection of his love and will for our lives.
God will transform us if we listen to his word and allow his Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Ask the Lord to renew your mind and to increase your thirst for his wisdom. James says that the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity (James 3:17). A double-minded person cannot receive this kind of wisdom. The single of heart desire one thing alone – God’s pleasure. God wants us to delight in him and to know the freedom of his truth and love. Do you thirst for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)?
“Lord Jesus, give me a heart that loves what is good and in accord with your will and fill me with your wisdom that I my understand your ways. Give me the grace and the courage to reject whatever is evil and contrary to your will.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
“Stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time!” Galatians 5:1
If Jesus sets us free, we are really free (Jn 8:36). If, however, we take on ourselves “the yoke of slavery a second time,” we are in the worst condition possible for a human being. “When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first. It would have been better for them not to have recognized the road to holiness than to have turned their backs on the holy law handed on to them, once they had known it” (2 Pt 2:20-21). If we ever give up our God-given freedom, seven demons far worse than anything we have previously experienced may enter and dwell in us. “The result is that the last state of the man is worse than the first” (Lk 11:26). The people who have done the worst things in history are often former Christians. This does not indicate that Christianity is bad but that leaving Christianity is very bad. We must get free in Jesus and stay free.
You can guard against the second slavery which leads to the second death (see Rv 2:11) and deprives you of the graces of the second birth (see Jn 3:3, 5) if you do the following:
Repent and go to Confession at least monthly.
Live a communal life (Acts 2:42) and do not absent yourself from the assembly (Heb 10:25).
Read and pray the Bible daily.
Submit to the Pope and the universal Church.
If you lose your freedom, you lose everything. Don’t ever lose your freedom in Christ.
Prayer: Father, give me lasting freedom. Promise: “You have a greater than Jonah here.” Lk 11:32 Praise: Jesus healed Ellen’s cancer by removing her tumor when Fr. Angelo laid hands on her in prayer.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 24, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements