Readings 20141113

Video Reflections: http://bcove.me/2e7pudr0

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Readings 20141015

Like yesterday I feel these readings point to most governments in the world.

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Why does Jesus single out the religious teachers and lawyers for some rather strong words of rebuke? The word woe can also be translated as alas. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity as it is of anger. Why did Jesus lament and issue such a stern rebuke? Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God’s word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of God. The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of Moses and regarded themselves as legal experts in it. They divided the ten commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were so exacting in their interpretations and in trying to live them out, that they had little time for anything else. By the time they finished compiling their interpretations it took no less than fifty volumes to contain them! In their misguided zeal, they required unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and love of neighbor. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.
Jesus used the example of tithing to show how far they had missed the mark. God had commanded a tithe of the first fruits of one’s labor as an expression of thanksgiving and honor for his providential care for his people (Deuteronomy 14:22; Leviticus 27:30). The scribes, however, went to extreme lengths to tithe on insignificant things (such as tiny plants) with great mathematical accuracy. They were very attentive to minute matters of little importance, but they neglected to care for the needy and the weak. Jesus admonished them because their hearts were not right. They were filled with pride and contempt for others. They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity, especially to the weak and the poor. They meticulously went through the correct motions of conventional religion while forgetting the realities.

Why does Jesus also compare them with “unmarked graves”? According to Numbers 19:16 contact with a grave made a person ritually unclean for seven days. Jesus turns the table on the Pharisees by declaring that those who come into contact with them and listen to their self-made instruction are likewise defiled by their false doctrine. They infect others with wrong ideas of God and of his intentions. Since the Pharisees are “unmarked”, other people do not recognize the decay within and do not realize the danger of spiritual contamination. The Pharisees must have taken Jesus’ accusation as a double insult: They are not only spiritually unclean themselves because they reject the word of God, but they also contaminate others with their dangerous “leaven” as well (see Luke 12:1).

What was the point of Jesus’ lesson? The essence of God’s commandments is love – love of the supreme good – God himself and love of our neighbor who is made in the image and likeness of God. God is love (1 John 4:8) and everything he does flows from his love for us. God’s love is unconditional and is wholly directed towards the good of others. True love both embraces and lifts the burdens of others. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us” (Romans 5:5). Do you help your neighbors carry their burdens? God gives each of us sufficient grace for each day to love as he loves and to lift the burdens of others that they, too, may experience the grace and love of Jesus Christ.

“Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most – love of you, my Lord and my God, and love of my fellow neighbor whom you have made in your own image and likeness. Free my heart from selfish evil desires that I may only have room for kindness, mercy, and goodness toward every person I know and meet.”

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
FLESHING IT OUT

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” —Galatians 5:24
By “the flesh,” the Bible refers to our fallen human nature. “The tendency of the flesh is toward death” (Rm 8:6). “The flesh in its tendency is at enmity with God; it is not subject to God’s law. Indeed, it cannot be; those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rm 8:7-8). A few of the works of the flesh are: “lewd conduct, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, bickering, jealousy, outbursts of rage, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal 5:19-21). The flesh can be used to enslave us (see Rm 7:14) and will try to start a civil war against our own souls (1 Pt 2:11). Therefore, it is unrealistic and foolish to make provisions for the desires of the flesh (see Rm 13:14; 8:12). The flesh must not only be controlled, but crucified (Gal 5:24). Otherwise, we will stifle the Spirit (see Gal 5:17), become slaves, and destroy ourselves.

We crucify “the flesh with its passions and desires” by living in the Spirit and following the Spirit’s lead (Gal 5:25). The Spirit lusts “against the flesh; the two are directly opposed” (Gal 5:17). “If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the body, you will live” (Rm 8:13). The Holy Spirit wants to get all our attention, time, and energy. Then there’s nothing left for the flesh, which then dies of neglect and starvation. Even when the flesh tries to assert itself, its desires are ignored because of our immersion into, that is, baptism in the Spirit. May we live in the Spirit and with the Spirit in us. May we be so Spirit-filled that there is no room for the flesh.

Prayer: Father, may I love You so much that I will crucify my flesh and be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). Promise: “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity.” —Gal 5:22-23 Praise: St. Teresa wrote: “How different (our love) would be, how much more like that of heaven, if we really knew our Lord!”
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

Readings 20141014

Both readings remind me of today’s government. Follow gods laws and less government is needed.

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

Is the Lord Jesus welcomed at your table and are you ready to feast at his table? A Pharisee, after hearing Jesus preach, invited him to dinner, no doubt, because he wanted to hear more from this extraordinary man who spoke the word of God as no one else had done before. It was not unusual for a rabbi to give a teaching over dinner. Jesus, however, did something which offended his host. He did not perform the ceremonial washing of hands before beginning the meal. Did Jesus forget or was he deliberately performing a sign to reveal something to his host? Jesus turned the table on his host by chiding him for uncleanness of heart.
Which is more important to God – clean hands or a clean mind and heart? Jesus chided the Pharisees for harboring evil thoughts that make us unclean spiritually – such as greed, pride, bitterness, envy, arrogance, and the like. Why does he urge them, and us, to give alms? When we give freely and generously to those in need we express love, compassion, kindness, and mercy. And if the heart is full of love and compassion, then there is no room for envy, greed, bitterness, and the like. Do you allow God’s love to transform your heart, mind, and actions toward your neighbor?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your love and increase my thirst for holiness. Cleanse my heart of every evil thought and desire and help me to act kindly and justly and to speak charitably with my neighbor.”

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
THE POINT OF MOST RESISTANCE

“If you give what you have as alms, all will be wiped clean for you.” —Luke 11:41
To have all our sins wiped clean, we must repent and give our lives to Jesus. This conversion is an interior decision expressed in a tangible way. For some, conversion is most pointedly expressed by changing jobs or changing friends. For others, forgiving an enemy or returning to church are critical issues. For still others, such as the Pharisees, the concrete expression of conversion is a matter of money, since the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tm 6:10).

Many of the Pharisees observed only the letter of the law. They tithed (Lk 11:42) and gave alms. However, they did not live the spirit of the law, for they were avaricious men who gave themselves to money rather than to God (Lk 16:13-14). Jesus challenged them to heartfelt almsgiving. This would have been a sign of their conversion, and all would have been wiped clean for them.

What would be evidence that you have repented and given your life to Jesus? (see Lk 3:8) Where do you need to swallow your pride? Where are you holding back on the Lord? What are you doing only in the letter of the law and not the spirit? Give in; give all, and “all will be wiped clean for you” (Lk 11:41).

Prayer: Father, I give in to Your will at my point of most resistance. Promise: “Let Your kindness come to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your promise.” —Ps 119:41 Praise: Pope St. Callistus I, one of the early pope-martyrs, praised God by living a life of extraordinary forgiveness. (To stay focused on seeking first the Kingdom, read the Bible every day. We have several tape series to help you. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching – New Testament is forty audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each Book of the Bible is 32 audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or 17 video tapes starting with V-21.)
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

Readings 20141013

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

SECONDS

“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

The Ten Commandments

How do you stack up?

Exodus 20: 1-26

The Ten Commandments.*

1
Then God spoke all these words:

2
(a) I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,(b) out of the house of slavery.
3
You shall not have other gods beside me.*
4
You shall not make for yourself an idol(c) or a likeness of anything* in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
5
you shall not bow down before them or serve them.(d) For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation*;
6
but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7
You shall not invoke the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.* (e) For the LORD will not leave unpunished anyone who invokes his name in vain.
8
Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy.*
9
Six days you may labor and do all your work,
10
but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God.(f) You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates.
11
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested.(g) That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.*
12
* (h) Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.(i)
13
You shall not kill.* (j)
14
You shall not commit adultery.(k)
15
You shall not steal.(l)
16
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.(m)
17
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.(n)

Moses Accepted as Mediator.

18
Now as all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blast of the shofar and the mountain smoking, they became afraid and trembled.(o) So they took up a position farther away
19
and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we shall die.”
20
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid, for God has come only to test you and put the fear of him upon you so you do not sin.”
21
So the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.
The Covenant Code.
22
* The LORD said to Moses: This is what you will say to the Israelites: You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven.
23
You shall not make alongside of me gods of silver, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.(p)
24
An altar of earth make for me, and sacrifice upon it your burnt offerings and communion sacrifices, your sheep and your oxen.(q) In every place where I cause my name to be invoked* I will come to you and bless you.
25
But if you make an altar of stone for me,(r) do not build it of cut stone, for by putting a chisel to it you profane it.
26
You shall not ascend to my altar by steps, lest your nakedness be exposed.

(http://www.usccb.org/bible/exodus/20 (Link to footnotes))