Readings 20141111

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com   THE STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE   “Reject godless ways and worldly desires.” —Titus 2:12  

Many of our desires are contradictory and destructive. Therefore, in His mercy, “the grace of God has appeared, offering salvation” and training us “to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age” (Ti 2:11-12). The Lord commands us: “Live soberly” (1 Pt 1:13), and “do not yield to the desires that once shaped you in your ignorance” (1 Pt 1:14). “You are not to spend what remains of your earthly life on human desires but on the will of God” (1 Pt 4:2). “You must lay aside your former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through illusion and desire” (Eph 4:22). Unless worldly desires are rejected, they will deform us, take away our lives, and cause our lives to deteriorate. Therefore, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). Father Al Lauer, founder and long-time author of One Bread, One Body, said near the end of his life: “The more I say ‘No’ to myself, the more I say ‘Yes’ to the Holy Spirit.” Ask the Spirit to lust against the desires of your flesh (Gal 5:17) and give you the strength to crucify your desires. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). Do not be enslaved by your desires but be free in the Holy Spirit.  

Prayer: Father, may my desire for You be so encompassing that all my worldly desires will be rejected and crucified. Promise: “The just shall possess the land and dwell in it forever.” —Ps 37:29 Praise: St. Martin strove to do the right thing his entire life and was used by God because of his great zeal. He spent the last eleven years of his life in humble toil, preparing for glory.   (For a related teaching, order our tape on Don’t Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)   

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

Are you ready to give the Lord your best, regardless of what it might cost you? Perhaps we are like the laborer in Jesus’ parable who expected special  favor and reward for going the extra mile? How unfair for the master to compel his servant to give more than what was expected! Don’t we love to assert our rights: “I will give only what is required and no more!” But who can satisfy the claims of love?

We are called to serve God and neighbor selflessly and generously Jesus used this parable of the dutiful servant to explain that we can never put God in our debt or make the claim that God owes us something. We must regard ourselves as God’s servants, just as Jesus came “not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Service of God and of neighbor is both a voluntary or free act and a sacred duty. One can volunteer for service or be compelled to do service for one’s country or one’s family when special needs arise. Likewise, God expects us to give him the worship and praise which is his due. And he gladly accepts the  free-will offering of our lives to him and to his service. What makes our offering pleasing to God is the love we express in the act of self-giving. True love is sacrificial, generous, and selfless. The love of God compels us to give our best How can we love others selflessly and unconditionally? Scripture tells us that God himself is love (1 John 4:16) – he is the author of life and the source of all true relationships of love and friendship. He created us in love for love, and he fills our hearts with the boundless love that gives whatever is good for the sake of another (Romans 5:5). If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us (1 John 4:12).

God honors the faithful servant who loves and serves others generously. He is ever ready to work in and through us for his glory. We must remember, however, that God can never be indebted to us. We have no claim on him. His love compels us to give him our best! And when we have done our best, we have simply done our duty. We can never outmatch God in doing good and showing love. God loves us without measure. Does the love of God compel you to give your best? “Lord Jesus, fill my heart with love, gratitude and generosity. Make me a faithful and zealous servant for you. May I generously pour out my life in loving service for you and for others, just as you have so generously poured yourself out in love for me.”

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