The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
What is the good life which God intends for us? And how is it related with the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not our desire and longing for true happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. The heart of Jesus’ message is that we can live a very happy life. The call to holiness, to be saints who joyfully pursue God’s will for their lives, can be found in these eight beatitudes. Jesus’ beatitudes sum up our calling or vocation – to live a life of the beatitudes. The word beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness”. God gives us everything that leads to true happiness What is the significance of Jesus’ beatitudes, and why are they so central to his teaching? The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. They teach us the final end to which God calls us, namely the coming of God’s kingdom (Matthew 4:17) , the vision of God (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 2;1) , entering into the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21-23) and into his rest (Hebrews 4:7-11) .
Jesus’ beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal. Jesus’ tells us that God alone can satisfy the deepest need and longing of our heart. Teresa of Avila’s (1515-1582) prayer book contained a bookmark on which she wrote: Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass – God never changes. Patience achieves all it strives for. Whoever has God lacks nothing -God alone suffices. Is God enough for you? God offers us the greatest good possible – abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) and the promise of unending joy and happiness with God forever. Do you seek the highest good, the total good, which is above all else?
The beatitudes are a sign of contradiction to the world’s way of happiness The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution? Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest treasure possible. Hunger of the spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God’s word and Spirit. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression.
God reveals to the humble of heart the true source of abundant life and happiness. Jesus promises his disciples that the joys of heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world. Thomas Aquinas said: “No one can live without joy. That is why a person deprived of spiritual joy goes after carnal pleasures.” Do you know the happiness of hungering and thirsting for God alone? “Lord Jesus, increase my hunger for you and show me the way that leads to everlasting peace and happiness. May I desire you above all else and find perfect joy in doing your will.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN “Who are these people all dressed in white? And where have they come from?” Revelation 7:13
Some people think that the name for this holy day, “All Saints,” means that all people become saints and go to heaven. However, “the gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!” (Mt 7:13-14) How do we escape damnation and become a saint, that is, become holy? We become holy not by our power but by the Holy Spirit (see Zec 4:6). We become holy when in one Spirit we are baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13). We grow in holiness as we follow the lead of the Spirit, Who makes us holy (Gal 5:25). “If by the Spirit” we “put to death the evil deeds of the body,” we will live and become holy (Rm 8:13). If we pray in the Spirit (Eph 6:18; Jude 20) and love in the Spirit (see Gal 5:22), we will become holy as the Lord is holy (1 Pt 1:16). We will become holy in every aspect of our conduct (1 Pt 1:15) as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). May this holy day be truly holy by the power of the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Father, I choose to be poor, sorrowing, and lowly in my hunger for righteousness and holiness (see Mt 5:3-6).
Promise: “We are God’s children now; what we shall later be has not yet come to light. We know that when it comes to light we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 Jn 3:2
Praise: “They cried out in a loud voice, ‘Salvation is from our God, Who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb!’ ” (Rv 7:10) (To have a rocklike faith, read the Bible daily. For encouragement, order any or all of these audio or video tapes: Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ, AV 82-1, V-82, How to Pray the Bible on audio AV 82-3 or on video V-82, How to Read the Bible on audio AV 46-3 or on video V-46, Principles of Bible Interpretation, audio AV 79-1, video V-79.)
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