The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
When your security is threatened and danger strikes do you flee or stand your ground? When King Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard that thousands of people were coming to Jesus, he decided it was time to eliminate this threat to his influence and power. That is why some of the Pharisees warned Jesus to flee from the wrath of Herod. Jesus, in turn, warned them that they were in greater spiritual danger of losing both soul and body if they refused to listen to God and to his messengers the prophets. Like John the Baptist and all the prophets who preceded him, Jesus posed a threat to the ruling authorities of his day.
Do not fear those who oppose God Jesus went so far as to call Herod a fox. What did he mean by such an expression? The fox was regarded as the slyest of all animals and one of the most destructive as well. Any farmer will tell you how difficult it is to get rid of foxes who under the cover of night steal and destroy. The fox became a symbol of what was worthless, insignificant, and destructive. It takes great courage to stand up and openly oppose a tyrant. Jesus knew that he would suffer the same fate as the prophets who came before him. He not only willingly exposed himself to such danger, but he prayed for his persecutors and for those who rejected the prophets who spoke in God’s name. Do you pray for your enemies and for those who oppose the gospel today?
Jesus came to set people free from sin and to give them new life Jesus contrasts his desire for Jerusalem – the holy city and temple of God – with Jerusalem’s lack of desire for him as their long-expected Messiah. Jesus compares his longing for Jerusalem with a mother hen gathering her chicks under her protective wings. Psalm 91 speaks of God’s protection in such terms: He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge (Psalm 91:4). Jesus willingly set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing that he would meet certain betrayal, rejection, and death on a cross. His death on the cross, however, brought about victory and salvation, not only for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but for all – both Jew and Gentile – who would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Open the door of your heart to the Lord Jesus Jesus’ prophecy is a two-edged sword, pointing to his victory over sin and death and foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem and the dire consequences for all who would reject him and his saving message. While the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple was determined – it was razed by the Romans in 70 A.D. – there remained for its inhabitants a narrow open door leading to deliverance. Jesus says: I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved (John 10:9).
The Lord Jesus opens the way for each of us to have direct access to God who adopts us as his children and who makes his home with us. Do you make room for the Lord in your life? The Lord is knocking at the door of your heart (Revelations 3:20) and he wishes to enter into a close personal relationship with you. Receive him who is the giver of expectant faith, unwavering hope, and undying love. And long for the true home which God has prepared for you in his heavenly city, Jerusalem (Revelations 21:2-4).
“Lord Jesus, I place all my trust and hope in you. Come make your home with me and take possession of my heart and will that I may wholly desire what is pleasing to you. Fill my heart with love and mercy for others that I may boldly witness to the truth and joy of the gospel through word and example, both to those who accept it and to those who oppose it.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
ARMED AND DANGEROUS
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
Life is a wrestling match against demons (Eph 6:12). Our offensive weapon in this battle is the Holy Spirit working through His Word and in prayer (Eph 6:17-18).
To defeat the devil, we need to do what Jesus did when He was tempted (Mt 4:4, 7, 10) we must wield the sword of God’s Word (see Rv 1:16) in the power of the Spirit. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rm 10:17, our transl.). Therefore, the Word of God is the basis for faith. Moreover, we must grow strong in our “holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). Both proclaiming God’s Word in the Spirit and praying in the Spirit strengthens our faith. By such faith, we conquer the world (1 Jn 5:5) and claim Jesus’ victory over Satan, the prince of the world. The Spirit gives us the gift of faith (1 Cor 12:9) and the fruit of faith (Gal 5:22). Moreover, faith is how we move mountains (Mt 17:20) and destroy the strongholds of the evil one (2 Cor 10:4).
Consequently, Satan repeatedly tempts us to sin and thereby stifle the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). This is his attempt to disarm us. We must resist his temptations and thus live the life in the Spirit, the life of faith and victory. Prayer: Father, may I be armed and Satan disarmed (Lk 11:22), and not vice versa.
Promise: “Pray that I may have courage to proclaim it as I ought.” Eph 6:20
Praise: Jim’s wife felt her parish was dead and wanted to leave the Catholic Church. Jim refused to allow her to leave. Years later, the two are major leaders in several Catholic ministries. (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare.)
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