Sunday, 30 June 2019
Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 1 Kgs. 19:16,19-21; Gal 5:1,13-18; Lk 9:51-62
To read the texts click on the texts:1 Kgs. 19:16,19-21; Gal 5:1,13-18; Lk 9:51-62
"Rejection” seems to be one word that summarises, at least partly, the readings of today. Other words are “perseverance, determination, and commitment.” As soon as Jesus sets out for Jerusalem where he will be finally rejected, he faces rejection in a Samaritan town. However, he will not be deterred. His face will be set like flint for Jerusalem because that is where the will of God will be finally accomplished. This is all that matters for Jesus: to do God’s will no matter the consequences. He is determined to see the completion of the task assigned to him. He is committed till the end. He will persevere.
The response of Jesus to James and John, who want to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans, is a double response. On the one hand, Jesus is not Elijah and so will not call down fire from heaven like Elijah did. On the other hand, Jesus’ response makes clear that his mission is not to pull down and destroy but to build up and enhance. He has come not to condemn but to save.
Though the mission of Jesus is not to win through domination and subjugation, but rather through unconditional and continual love, he will demand from his disciples an unconditional following. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because his way is more challenging than the way of conquest and invasion that there can be no half hearted or lukewarm response to his call. Unlike Elisha, who is allowed to go back and say farewell to his father and mother, Jesus demands radical and total commitment. This kind of commitment can result in being able to fulfil the task of discipleship. It is a decision that is not made lightly, but after much thought, consideration, and contemplation.
Jesus does not use coercion or force to gain disciples. He only invites. However, even as he invites, he makes it abundantly clear to those who dare to follow what the consequences will be of their following. They will have to be as ones who have no security of home or hearth. They will have to be as ones who have no family to call their own. They will have to be as ones who are ready to face opposition, hostility, and conflict. They will be as ones who profess total and complete detachment. This is the kind of detachment that Elisha shows when he slaughters his oxen and uses the equipment that comes with them for fuel. Through this act, Elisha, though allowed to say farewell to his father and mother, demonstrates that he is prepared for an unconditional following of God through his mentor, Elijah.
The work of the kingdom which Jesus inaugurated is heavy and demanding work. It requires a persevering commitment. It is easy to get discouraged and want to give up in the face of trials and difficulties and what sometimes seem to be insurmountable odds. It is easy give up in the fact of rejection. It is because of this that Jesus states, in unambiguous terms, what it entails to follow him. The disciple who follows will have no place to lay his/her head.
Following Jesus will mean, as Paul explicates in the second reading of today, the desire to communicate love and to do it constantly, even in the face of fear and rejection. Love indeed sums up the whole law. Those who decide to follow will have to show through both word and deed this love which Jesus manifested when he was on earth. This means first, living by the spirit and not by the flesh. This means that any kind of behaviour which makes the self more important than others is unacceptable and not part of the kingdom. This means that, even in the face of haughtiness, arrogance, pride, and conceit, the disciple will always respond with modesty, humility, and love.
Like Elijah before him, Jesus knew that if the work of the kingdom had to be carried on, he had to choose disciples who would do this. To be sure, the disciples would not be perfect. They would stumble and fall numerous times and would pick themselves up again and again. Yet, the work of the kingdom would go on. Even Elijah, who had experienced God’s providence and power, had his moments of darkness. He had been blessed with much success, but at the slightest sign of a reversal of fortune, he was ready to quit. He was quick to blame others for the situation in which he found himself. On numerous occasions, he felt all alone. Yet, just as in all these situations he was consoled by God and invited to carry one, so too will the disciples of Jesus who feel alone be consoled by him. They will feel the presence of God in Jesus even when they and their message are rejected and go unheeded. On their part, they must make it their constant endeavour never to give up, but to carry on with perseverance, determination, and courage. Rejection of the message of love must not be a hindrance to the disciples task of spreading this love to everyone they meet. They had been set free by Christ. Now it is their responsibility to set others free from the bondage of fear and self centeredness. Now it is their responsibility to free others for the true freedom of love.
Rejection of the message of love must not be a hindrance to the disciples task of spreading this love to everyone they meet. We been set free by Christ. Now it is our responsibility to set others free from the bondage of fear and self-centeredness. Now it is our responsibility to free others for the true freedom of love.
Saturday, 29 June 2019
Today we celebrate the fidelity of Peter and Paul, sinners like us all. Initially, they were both found wanting. When they eventually repented, they were forgiven by God in Christ. Though they faced persecution, their commitment to Christ gave them the courage they needed. Their victory is evidence that the truth will overcome untruth, light will overcome darkness and life will overcome death. Their victory is evidence that we shall indeed overcome.
Saturday, June 29, 2019 - Saints Peter and Paul - Will you witness to Jesus like Peter and Paul did? How?
To read the texts click on the texts:Acts12:1-11; 2Tm 4:6-8, 17-18; Mt 16:13-19
There is an old story about the death of St. Peter in Rome during the persecution of Nero. Peter heard about Nero's plan to burn the city and blame the Christians. He figured as the one who presided over the church in the city he would be arrested and put to death. So he did the sensible thing - Peter was always a sensible man - he got out of town, and at night. The Appian Way was dark for a while as Peter snuck down it. However, as the night wore on the sky was illuminated by the flames rising from the city. Peter hurried on and eventually was far enough away from the city that it was dark again. Then he saw someone coming in the opposite direction, someone who even at night seemed familiar. It was the Lord himself. What was he doing out at night and walking towards Rome? “Where are you going, Lord?” Peter asked him. “To Rome”, Jesus replied, “to be crucified again in your place”. Peter turned around and returned to Rome and according to tradition was crucified there.
Though this story does not agree with what is narrated in the first reading of today from the Acts of the Apostles, in which we are told that Peter was imprisoned, it does agree with what the Gospels narrate about Peter’s denials, and brings out an important facet of the meaning of the feast: Jesus did not choose strong, brave and courageous individuals to continue the work that he had begun. He chose weak, frail and cowardly humans. He chose individuals who would falter and fail. This is the Peter who confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and to whom the Jesus handed over the “keys” of the Church, knowing full well that there would be times when the lofty confession would turn into a base denial.
Paul’s conversion story is narrated twice in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul himself speaks of it in some of his letters. His commission as an apostle of Christ began with a divine revelation of the identity of the Lord Jesus. He reports the events surrounding his recognition of Jesus as the Lord of glory and his appointment as apostle to the gentiles. Felled to the ground by a brilliant light from heaven and hearing a reproachful voice addressing him by name his first need was to know who it was who broke into his life with such awe-inspiring power. Just as Jesus told Peter that he would assign to him the charge of leading his Church once the Peter recognized his master's true identity, so also Paul's task was given to him only after Jesus revealed himself as the glorified Lord.
The apostles' mission thus grew out of their loving knowledge of the person of Jesus, the Son of the living God. Their work, indeed their whole life, was to follow from this surpassing knowledge of Christ which became the basis of all their dealing with others. They were given to the whole Church to teach us not only what Christ revealed and taught but also how to live as he himself had put into practice the things willed by the Father.
Today we marvel at the transformation of these previously weak human leaders. Peter’s newfound passionate commitment to his Lord and to the fledgling church resulted in his imprisonment. Paul too was jailed. He did not see this as failure, but as the destiny that was his in consequence of his commitment to the Gospel. He had fought the good fight, he had run the race, and he had kept the faith. He faced death, and he knew it. That was the price they had to pay for their commitment and fidelity to the Lord.
Their personalities were very different, their approaches to spreading the Faith were very different, and their relationships with Christ were very different. Although the two were both Apostles, there were moments of disagreement and conflict between them. And yet, they are bound together on this single feast, as they were bound together by the one Faith, confessing the one Lord, shedding their blood for him and his mission of peace, justice and love.
Within the recent past, the church has been tossed to and fro in storms of controversy. Not one storm, but many storms, and not in one country, but in many countries. It has been the target of fierce persecution from without, and it has also allowed evil to corrupt it from within. Whether in circumstances of harassment or scandal, the lives of many have been diminished, their confidence undermined and their faith tested.
Without minimizing the suffering in our current situations, we should remember that dire trials are really not new to the church. From its very beginning it has faced opposition. The first reading for today’s feast describes one such situation.
Despite its trials, however, the church has survived and even flourished. This is not due to the strength and holiness of its members. Though Jesus told Peter that the church would be built upon him, the church’s real foundation was and continues to be Jesus Christ its Lord. He is the one who commissioned Peter; he is the one who assures the church of protection. He is the one who stood by Paul and gave him strength to bring the Gospel to the broader world. The church may have been built on Peter the former denier and spread by Paul the former persecutor, but it is the church of Jesus Christ, and it will endure because of his promise.
Today we celebrate the fidelity of Peter and Paul, sinners like us all. Initially, they were both found wanting. When they eventually repented, they were forgiven by God in Christ. Though they were victims of persecution, their commitment to Christ and to the church made them heroes. Their victory is evidence that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Their victory is evidence that we shall indeed overcome.
Saturday, June 29, 2019 - Acts 12:1-11; 2 Tim 4:6-8, 17-18; Mt 16:13-19
Friday, 28 June 2019
To read the texts click on the texts: Ez 34:11-16; Rom 5:5-11; Lk 15:3-7
Ever since the seventeenth century when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was granted visions of the Sacred Heart and asked to spread this devotion, the Jesuits represented by her confessor St. Claude de la Colombière, played a fundamental role in spreading this devotion. Colombière, spoke with Margaret Mary a number of times and after much prayer, discernment and reflection became convinced of the validity of her visions.
In recent times, one of the most loved and admired Generals of the Society of Jesus Fr. Pedro Arrupe was instrumental in reviving this devotion and placing Jesuits once again at the forefront of spreading this devotion. This devotion according to Arrupe was “the centre of the Ignatian experience”. It is an “extraordinarily effective means as much for gaining personal perfection as for apostolic success”. Arrupe was aware of the fact that the devotion had to be spread using newer symbols and made every attempt to do so.
According to one of the visions made to Margaret Mary, Jesus made twelve promises to those who would have devotion to the Sacred Heart. Of these one is of special significance. It reads “Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy”. This promise is totally in keeping with the message of Jesus on every page of the New Testament. Jesus, the revelation of the Father’s love, was consistent and constant in his message of the unconditional love of God. His inaugural proclamation as he began his ministry in Galilee was that the kingdom had indeed come, that God’s love and mercy and forgiveness was being given freely to anyone who was willing to open their hearts to such love. His table fellowship with “tax collectors and sinners” (who were regarded as outcasts and so not to be associated with) was tangible proof of this promise. Jesus even went as far as to say “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners” (Mk 2:17). The parables like those of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and ‘Prodigal Father’ (Lk 15:1-32) are further confirmation of this promise. As a matter of fact a clear connection is made between the murmurings of the ‘Scribes and Pharisees’, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them” (Lk 15:2) and Jesus’ telling the parable of the Lost Sheep (Lk 15:3-7). Thus, while “sinners shall find an infinite ocean of mercy” in the Sacred Heart is not a new teaching, it is an important reminder to us of how gracious God is, in the heart of Jesus.
What then does the Feast of the Sacred Heart mean for us today? First the heart is a symbol of the whole person and so the Sacred Heart of Jesus represents the whole Christ who is and will always be unconditional and eternal love. This love of Christ is given freely, without reservation and measure to all who open themselves to receive it. Second, the feast reminds us of the constant care and concern that God has even now for each one of us and the whole Universe. By celebrating the feast we make present the self-sacrifice of Jesus for all humankind. Our God is a God ‘with us and for us’. God is Emmanuel. Third, the feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us of the intimate connection between the Sacrament of the Eucharist and devotion to the Sacred Heart. The Eucharist was that pivotal event in the life of Jesus when he showed how much he loved the whole world. Just as the bread was broken so would his body be and just as the wine was shared so would his blood be spilled. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist we receive the real, whole and risen Christ, so in the devotion that we profess to the Sacred Heart we relive this encounter.
The feast is thus not only a privilege and grace, but also carries with it a responsibility. First, the love that we receive from the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not a private possession, but one that must be shared with all. Just as the Father makes no distinction and makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good (Mt 5:45), so must we in our sharing of the love of Christ. Second, the concern that God has for us and our Universe must be a concern which we must show to our world. The wanton destruction of nature, excessive and abusive use of scarce resources like water, indiscriminate cutting of trees for selfish gain, unlawful and criminal killing of wild animals are signs that we are working against God’s concern. If God cares for us so much, must we not care for our world? Third, the intimate connection of the Sacred Heart and Eucharist reminds us that just as Christ is so easily available to us, we must also be to each other. The Eucharist and the feast of the Sacred Heart ought not to be private and passive devotions, but celebrations that make us ready to reach out in service and availability to anyone who needs us.
The feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us that the love of Jesus is not a private possession for a select few, but is shared with all. Since God loves us and nature, we have a responsibility to love our world. This means that we will use what we use responsibly. We can resolve to use less water and paper and everything else and never, never, never to waste food.
Friday, June 28, 2019 - Ez 34:11-16; Rom 5:5-11; Lk 15:3-7
Thursday, 27 June 2019
Our actions must speak louder than words. If our actions match our words there is harmony in our lives. Dichotomous people say but do not do. They also say one thing and do another. It is thus better to act first and then speak.
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
To read the texts click on the texts: Gen 16:1-12,15-16; Mt 7:21-29
While the Sermon on the Mount began with Jesus calling his disciples to him and sitting down like a Rabbi to begin to teach them (5:1-2), it ends with Jesus addressing the crowds as a prophet (7:29). The last part of the Sermon, which forms our text for today, is about action rather than words. Prophesying in the Lord’s name will be of no help if one is not willing TO DO the will of God. The examples of the one who built his/her house on rock and the one who built his/her house on sand reiterate this point. The Sermon calls everyone to action.
If the foundation of our lives is strong, then what we build on it will also be strong. If we have a strong sense of values and know what our priorities are in life, we can continue to be focussed on what we have to do.
Thursday, June 27, 2019 - Gen 16:1-12,15-16; Mt 7:21-29
Tuesday, 25 June 2019
To read the texts click on the texts: Gen 15:1-12,17-18; Mt 7:15-20
The text of today is from the latter part of the Sermon on the Mount. In it Jesus asks his listeners to focus on the internal i.e. the heart from which everything else flows. If the heart is pure than everything that a person does or says will also be pure. The external is only an expression of the internal. A person's actions or words flow from what is in his/her heart.
Our actions do not often coincide with our words, because we do not always mean what we say. Sometimes we say one thing and do another. There is a dichotomy between our words and actions. We are called to synchronise the two.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - Gen 15:1-12,17-18; Mt 7:15-20
Monday, 24 June 2019
John the Baptist was a man who knew exactly his role in the world and lived it out to perfection. At every stage of his life he knew where his authority ended and so was able to live as God expected him to. His one aim in life was to point Jesus out to people and lead them to Jesus. Each one of us has a similar role. Will we live it out as John did?
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - The words that you use to complete this sentence will give you a fairly good idea of how you treat others: People are usually …………………… How will you show that you have chosen the narrow gate?
To read the Texts click on the texts: Gen 13:2,5-18; Mt 7:6,12-14
The first verse of today (7:5) introduces a new subject: holiness. The point that seems to be made here is that holy things have their place and should not be profaned. 7:12 has often been termed, as the Golden rule, which the Matthean Jesus states, is a summary of the law and prophets. Here it is stated positively. One must treat others in the same way that one expects to be treated. This also means that one must take the initiative in doing the loving thing that does not wait to respond to the action of another. In the final two verses of this pericope (7:13-14) the point being made is that it is the narrow gate that leads to life and salvation and the broad or wide gate to damnation. One must make a choice for one or another.
We wish that people would be kind and understanding with us but we are seldom kind and understanding towards them. Often the behaviour that we find revolting in others is the behaviour we ourselves are guilt of. When we criticise others for being too harsh, we need to ask whether we have not been so.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - Gen 13:2,5-18; Mt 7:6,12-14
Sunday, 23 June 2019
The feast of Corpus Christi is a feast during which we remember the self-emptying of Jesus. He identified himself with bread so that he could be easily available to the world. When we dare to become bread for others like Jesus did, then we truly celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Monday, June 24, 2019 - The Birth of John the Baptist - Will you speak God's word to at least one person today?
To read the texts click on the texts: Isa49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Lk 1:57-66,80
The Birth of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24 each year. The reason for this is the mention in the Gospel of Luke that Elizabeth was in her sixth month when the Announcement was made to Mary (Lk 1:36) about the birth of Jesus. Thus if Christmas is celebrated on December 25 each year, John the Baptist who was the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah had to have been born six months before Jesus.
According to some, John is born when the days are longest (June 24), and from his birth on they grow steadily shorter. Jesus is born when the days are shortest (December 25), and from his birth on they grow steadily longer. John speaks truly when he says of Jesus, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (Jn 3:30).
The Gospel text of today is from the Gospel of Luke. Luke does not give us too many details about the birth of John, and he narrates it with a short sentence. He focuses more on the events that follow the birth and, through them, show that God’s word spoken through the angel, Gabriel, is being fulfilled. Elizabeth does bear a son and the people rejoice at the birth because of the great mercy shown by God.
Circumcision of the child on the eight day was in accord with Gen 17:9-14 where God makes circumcision on the eight day a sign of the covenant with Abraham. It was the father who normally named the child and, in doing so, recognized the child as his own. Sometimes, the child was named after the father, especially if the father was a person who was highly esteemed. Objections were raised to the name “John” (“God had been gracious”), chosen by Elizabeth. That the people made signs to Zechariah to ask him what he wanted to name the child indicates that, besides being dumb, he was also deaf. The moment Zechariah writes the name “John” on a writing tablet, Zechariah regains his speech. Once again, God’s word comes to pass. The fear and amazement with which the people respond to these happenings is an indication that they experienced God’s awesome power. The question that the people ask, about what the child would turn out to be, is answered in summary form by Luke when he ends this narrative by stating that “the hand of the Lord was with him.”
God’s word is a word of power and will come to pass, no matter how many obstacles we may put in its way. It is a word that enhances and builds up, a word that gives life. To be sure, we may not always be able to understand and accept it for what it is, but in the final analysis, it is always a word that is for our good and for his glory.
Monday, June 24, 2019 - The Birth of John the Baptist - Isa 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Lk 1:57-66,80
Saturday, 22 June 2019
Tension and anxiety are caused not by the external stimulus, but by how we respond to what happens. When we have choices (the more choices we have the better) about the outcome of anything we will not get tense as easily. This does not mean that I do not strive to get what I want. It means that if after striving, I do not get what I want, I learn to be contact with what I get.
Sunday, June 23, 2019 - Corpus Christi - The Body and Blood of Christ - Will you like Jesus become bread for others today? Will your participation in the Eucharist make you more giving?
To read the Texts click on the texts: Gen14:18-20; 1 Cor 11:2-26; Lk 9:11-17
In Luke, the placement of the periscope on the feeding of the five thousand is in an extremely significant position. This must be understood if the significance of the miracle is to be understood if the significance of the miracle is to be understood in its entirety. Immediately after Jesus sends his disciples out on mission, Luke inserts the question that Herod asks about Jesus’ identity. This is followed by the return of the twelve, the feeding of the five thousand, and a repetition of the question about Jesus’ identity. The placement of these incidents in this order is to indicate that Christology and mission, proclaiming Christ and doing what he would have done, are wedded as two sides of the same reality. Jesus’ identity is revealed in what he is and does and what he calls others to be and do. By the same token, those who desire to see and know who Jesus is, will see and know him only if they respond to his call to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and feed the hungry. This forms the background for the meaning of the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, the Eucharist.
The Eucharist, which is often relegated to the level of a ritual, was never meant to be merely that. The blessing at the end of the ritual states that those who have partaken of the Eucharist are sent forth to love and serve just as Jesus loved and served. The disciples are thus, expected to go beyond the ritual and take the Eucharist to the world. This is why, when Jesus saw the crowds following him, he not only welcomed them and spoke about the kingdom of God but he also healed and cured those who needed to be made whole. Not content with that, Jesus ordered that the crowds be fed with bread that the disciples were expected to provide. He then shows them how. Because Jesus fed the multitude, his disciples saw that he was God’s anointed one. In Luke, this combination of the feeding of the five thousand and Peter’s confession suggests that the recognition of Jesus as the Christ of God is linked to his action of reaching out and feeding the hungry. It is also a signal of what the Eucharist is really meant to be.
Thus, the Body of Christ today cannot be restricted to the bread and wine that is broken and shared on the altar. It is also made of the community who participate in the act. The second reading of today makes precisely this point. The “remembrance” to which the Corinthian community and those who partake in the Eucharist are called, is not merely to remember a past event to but making the past, present. The narrated history in the Eucharist becomes also the history of the partakers. The past of the event becomes their present. When they do this, they begin to”proclaim” even in the present, the Lord’s death until he comes. This means that they live out fully the implications of partaking in the body of Christ. Their faith makes itself known through who they become and what they do. This faith, which is alive and active, manifests itself to others and makes an impact on them. Others want to know what it is about the Christian community that makes them what they are and what gives them the motivation for what they do. Every time believers take part in the supper of the Lord, they relive God’s story as revealed in the Christ event. If they live it as they should, their very lives will become a fitting proclamation of the gospel to the world.
Therefore, the Eucharist is communion in a double sense. It is the most intimate sharing and participation with Christ. And, that very communion with Christ is also the sharing in and with other believers who, by definition, are also those “in Christ.” The Eucharist is thus inextricably both personal and communal. On the one hand, each individual receives the whole body of Christ. On the other hand, the whole community, gathered together in faith, also receives the whole body of Christ and becomes that body.
In a sense therefore, the Eucharist never ends. It goes on and on. As the identity of Jesus was revealed after the feeding of the five thousand, and act which shows concern, compassion, and empathy, so will the identity of believers be revealed, not merely when they, who have received the body of Christ, become that Body. They do this by going like Christ into the world and daring to become bread for everyone they meet.
Sunday, June 22, 2019 - Gen 14:18-20; 1 Cor 11:2-26; Lk 9:11-17
Friday, 21 June 2019
Saturday, June 22, 2019 - How often do I try to be in two places at the same time or at two times in the same place?
To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Cor 12:1-10; Mt 6:24-34
The text of today begins by stating a general rule that undivided attention can be given to one person alone at a time. If there is more than one, then the disciple’s loyalty is certainly split. One must decide whether one will allow oneself to be controlled by wealth and the things of this world, or whether one will realise that they cannot bring true happiness.
The prohibition, “Do not worry” dominates the rest of this pericope and is used six times in it. The call to look at nature (the birds of the air and the lilies of the field) is a call to learn how God in his providence provides for them. This does not mean that human beings do not have to work for their living, rather it means that even after working as hard as they can, humans must realise the life is much more than simply work and earning a living. It has also to do with being.
There are indeed many distractions in life, which sometimes can take us away from where we ought to look and focus. While planning is good and desirable, what is undesirable is useless worry or anxiety.
When we stir the sugar in our coffee or tea every morning we are already thinking of drinking it. When we are drinking our coffee or tea, we are already thinking of washing the cup. When we are washing our cup, we are already thinking or drying it When we are drying it, we are already thinking of placing it on the rack and when we are placing it on the rack we are already thinking of what we have to do next. We have not stirred the sugar, nor have we have drunk the coffee, nor have we washed it nor placed it on the rack.
If one takes one moment of one day at a time and gives of one’s best to that moment, life will be well lived.
Saturday, June 22, 2019 - 2 Cor 12:1-10; Mt 6:24-34
Thursday, 20 June 2019
The prayer that Jesus taught his disciples is a prayer of dependence. We are dependent on God for everything though we may not know it. While we are dependent on God for something as magnificent as the Kingdom, we are also dependent on God for something as ordinary as bread.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6c-RMxL6P4
Friday, June 21, 2019 - If you were given the chance to take just ONE THING with you when you die, what would it be?
To read the texts click on the texts:2 Cor 11:18,21-30; Mt 6:19-23
The section that begins in 6:19 concerns knowing where one’s priorities lie. Treasure stored on earth is of not much use because it is temporary and passing and gathers rust and also can be stolen. Rather heavenly treasure is permanent and eternal. A person’s attention will be concentrated on where his/her treasure is. Thus instead of concentrating on the temporary it is better to concentrate on the eternal, the impermanent.
If one does not perceive correctly, one’s whole orientation will be incorrect and one will live a life of futility, concentrating on what is really not essential.
Sometimes we lose focus in our lives and waste so much time on trifles. We are so concentrated on gathering up for tomorrow and the next day, that the present day passes us by and we find that we have lived it unaware. An occasional examination of our priorities is required to bring back our focus on what is really necessary.
Friday, June 21, 2019 - 2 Cor 11:18,21-30; Mt 6:19-23
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
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Thursday, June 20, 2019 - Is there someone who you think has hurt you whom you have not yet forgiven? Will you forgive that person today?
In the text of today, we read what is commonly known as the "Our Father". However, a better term for this would be "The Lord's Prayer". The reason for this is because there are two versions of the same prayer. The other is found in Lk. 11:2-4. There, the pronoun "Our" is missing and the prayer begins simply with "Father". Also the context of the prayer in Matthew and Luke is different. While in Matthew the prayer is told in the context of the Sermon of the Mount, in Luke it is told in response to the disciples’ request to Jesus to teach them how to pray (Lk 11:1).
Be that as it may, in both Matthew and Luke the point is clear that the prayer is primarily a prayer of dependence on God who is Father. This dependence is for something as dramatic and magnificent as the Kingdom and also for something as routine and regular as bread. Both prayers have also the theme of forgiveness, which is received from God and given to others.
The Lord’s Prayer is not just a prayer; it is also a way of life. The words of the prayer communicate the attitude that one must have toward God and others. While we must acknowledge our dependence on God for everything that we need and regard him always as the primary cause, our attitude to others must be one of acceptance and forgiveness.