Readings 20141110

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

“BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED”  

“My purpose in leaving you in Crete was that you might accomplish what had been left undone…” —Titus 1:5   Paul left Titus behind in Crete to minister to the Cretans. However, “Cretans have ever been liars, beasts, and lazy gluttons” (Ti 1:12). Paul probably didn’t get too many resumes from candidates looking to get the job in Crete. Titus accepted the grace and faithfully established the foundations of the Church in Crete.

After Jesus set a Gerasene man free from a legion of demons, He did not allow the man to accompany Him (Mk 5:18ff). Instead, Jesus sent him back to witness to his family. “At that the man went off and began to proclaim throughout the Ten Cities” — above and beyond what Jesus asked of him — “what Jesus had done for him. They were all amazed at what they heard” (Mk 5:20). Jesus refused Peter’s request to remain atop the Mount of Transfiguration amidst the scene of His glory (Mt 17:4ff). Instead, Peter had to keep quiet about this wonderful experience (Mk 9:9) and return to failure and rebuke down in the valley (Mk 9:18-19). By the Holy Spirit, Peter persevered and soon led three thousand people to Jesus in one day (Acts 2:41). Jesus may plant us in a sprawling weed patch (Mt 13:30). He often calls us to stay put (1 Tm 1:3) and “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). “Do whatever [Jesus] tells you” (Jn 2:5). Remember that, in Jesus, “you are the light of the world” (Mt 5:14). Because of you, may the weeds one day testify: “A people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen” (Mt 4:16).  

Prayer: “To do Your will, O my God, is my delight” (Ps 40:9). Promise: “If he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times a day turns back to you saying: ‘I am sorry,’ forgive him.” —Lk 17:4 Praise: Pope St. Leo preached life-changing sermons and called many to holiness. His sermons are still read today by the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours.   (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)   

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 following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net What’s the driving force in your life? Jesus speaks of two forces at work in our lives – the power of the temptation to sin and cause harm and the power of faith to overcome obstacles and difficulties that stand in the way of loving God and our neighbor. The Greek word for temptation (scandalon) is the same as the English word scandal. The original meaning of scandal is a trap or a stumbling block which causes one to trip and fall. The scriptures warn us about the snare or enticement to go astray and to do what is evil. Keep me from the trap which they have laid for me, and from the snares of evildoers! (Psalm 141:9) Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling (1 John 2:10). Jesus commands us to not give bad example or lead others into sin The Jews held that it was an unforgivable sin to teach another to sin. If we teach another to sin, he or she in turn may teach still another, until a train of sin is set in motion with no foreseeable end. Jesus warns his disciples of the terrible responsibility that they must set no stumbling block in the way of another, that is, not give offense or bad example that might lead another to sin. The young in faith are especially vulnerable to the bad example of those who should be passing on the faith.

The power of faith for overcoming obstacles While Jesus warns against the danger of giving bad example and causing scandal, he also demonstrates the power of faith for overcoming obstacles and temptation to sin. What did Jesus mean when he said that our faith can move trees and mountains as well (see Matthew17:20; Mark 11:23)? The term “mountain remover” was used for someone who could solve great problems and difficulties.

The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in expectant faith Don’t we often encounter challenges and difficulties which seem beyond our power to handle? What appears impossible to human power is possible to those who believe in God’s power. Faith is a gift freely given by God to help us know God personally, to understand his truth, and to live in the power of his love. God expects more from us than we can simply do by ourselves. That is why Jesus gives us the gift and power of the Holy Spirit who helps us to grow strong in  faith, persevere in hope, and endure in love. Faith in God is the key for removing obstacles and difficulties which keep us from doing his will. We belong to God and our lives are no longer our own. Our joy and privilege is to follow the Lord Jesus and to serve in the power of his love and goodness. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to work in and through us for his glory. For our faith to be effective it must be linked with trust and with obedience – an  active submission to God and a willingness to do whatever he commands. Do you trust in the grace and strength which God freely gives to help us resist temptation and to overcome obstacles in doing his will?

“Lord Jesus, you give us victory over the destructive forces of sin and harmful desires that keep us from doing your will. Give me the strength to always choose what is good and to reject what is wrong. May your love rule my heart that I may forgive those who cause me harm and guide those who need your help.”

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