Readings 20141115

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

DRIVING A CONVERT-ABLE  

“Listen to what the corrupt judge has to say.” —Luke 18:6   More people than ever respect “neither God nor man” (Lk 18:2). These people are powerfully continuing and promoting great injustices. They “care little for God or man” (Lk 18:4). They are “lovers of self and of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, profane, inhuman, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating the good. They will be treacherous, reckless, pompous, lovers of pleasure rather than of God” (2 Tm 3:2-4). “They did not see fit to acknowledge God, so God delivered them up to their own depraved sense to do what is unseemly. They are filled with every kind of wickedness: maliciousness, greed, ill will, envy, murder, bickering, deceit, craftiness. They are gossips and slanderers, they hate God, are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wrongdoing and rebellious toward their parents. One sees in them men without conscience, without loyalty, without affection, without pity” (Rm 1:28-31).

These people are extremely dangerous. They could murder, rape, and mutilate you without feeling even a tinge of guilt. However, these people are afraid. They are like the unjust judge in today’s Gospel reading who was paranoid enough to think that the defenseless widow in his court room would end by doing him violence (Lk 18:5). Evil people are always unstable. As St. Augustine said, their hearts are restless until they rest in God. This means that these people are not only dangerous but changeable, even “convert-able.” Some of the most evil people in the world are about to repent. Be like Ananias and go to the raging, hateful Sauls of the world to offer them new life in Jesus (Acts 9:10ff).  

Prayer: Father, use me to reach those most desperately lost. Promise: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find the faith on the earth?” —Lk 18:8, our transl. Praise: Just by being herself, Michelle brought her Catholic faith and views into her college classroom discussions.   (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Mission Impossible.)   

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 can a shameless and unjust judge pitted against a crusty and pestering woman teach us about justice and vindication in the kingdom of God? Jesus tells a story that is all too true – a defenseless widow is taken advantaged of and refused her rights. Through sheer persistence she wears down an unscrupulous judge until he gives her justice. Persistence pays off, and that’s especially true for those who trust in God. Jesus illustrates how God as our Judge is much quicker to bring us his justice, blessing, and help when we need it. But we can easily lose heart and forget to ask our heavenly Father for his grace and help.

Faith-filled persistence reaps the fruit of justice and grace Jesus told this parable to give fresh hope and confidence to his disciples. In this present life we can expect trials and adversity, but we are not without hope in God. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices perpetrated by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death (Song of Songs 8:6). The just who put their trust in God can look forward with hope to that day when they will receive their reward.

Jesus ends his parable with a probing question for us. Will you and I have faith – the faith that perseveres to the end – when Jesus returns in glory to judge the living and the dead? Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. If we want to live, grow, and persevere in faith until the end, then we must nourish our faith with the word of God and ask the Lord to increase it (Luke 17:5). When trials and setbacks disappoint you, where do you place your hope? Do you pray with expectant faith and confidence in God’s merciful care and providence for you?

“Lord Jesus, make my faith strong that I may never doubt your promises. When I face trials and difficulties, help me to trust in your unfailing love and to find joy and contentment in you alone.”

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