Readings 20141120

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

What enables us to live in peace and harmony with God and with one another? The Father in heaven sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to reconcile us with God and to unite us with one another in a bond of peace and mutual love. Jesus’ earthly ministry centers and culminates in Jerusalem, which Scripture describes as the holy city and throne of God on earth (Jeremiah 3:17), and the place which God chose for his name to dwell (1Kings 11:13; 2 Kings 21:4; 2 Kings 23:27),  and the holy mountain upon which God has set his king (Psalm 2:6). Jerusalem derives its name from the word “salem” which mean “peace”. The temple in Jerusalem was a constant reminder to the people of God’s presence with them.

Tears of mourning and sorrow over sin and refusal to believe in God When Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the multitude of homes surrounding the holy temple, he wept over it because it inhabitants did not “know the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:42). As he poured out his heart to the Father in heaven, Jesus shed tears of sorrow, grief, and mourning for his people. He knew that he would soon pour out his blood for the people of Jerusalem and for the whole world as well.

Why does Jesus weep and lament over the city of Jerusalem? Throughout its long history, many rulers and inhabitants had rejected the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord because of their pride and unbelief. Now they refuse to accept Jesus as their Messiah whom God anointed to be their Savior and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus is our only hope – the only one who can save us and the world Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem was a gracious visitation of God’s anointed King to his holy city. Jerusalem’s lack of faith and rejection of the Messiah, however, leads to its eventual devastation and destruction by the Romans in 70 A.D. Jesus’ lamentation and prophecy echoes the lamentation of Jeremiah who prophesied the first destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. Jeremiah’s prayer of lamentation offered a prophetic word of hope, deliverance, and restoration: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies are new every morning …For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men” (Lamentations 3:21-22, 31-32). Jesus is the hope of the world because he is the only one who can truly reconcile us with God and with one another. Through his death and resurrection Jesus breaks down the walls of hostility and division by reconciling us with God. He gives us his Holy Spirit both to purify us and restore us as a holy people of God. Through Christ we become living temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). 

God has visited his people in the past and he continues to visit us through the gift and working of his Holy Spirit. Do you recognize God’s gracious visitation today?

God judges, pardons, heals, and restores us to new life When God visits his people he comes to establish peace and justice for us by rooting out the sin which cling to us. The Lord sets us free from all the forces that seek to lead us  away from God and his will for our lives. Scripture calls these sinful forces (1 John 2:15-16, and 1 John5:19) the world – that society of people who are opposed to God and his ways, the flesh – our own sinful cravings or inordinate desires that lead us into sin, and the devil (called Satan and the father of lis) who tempts us to go our own way apart from God. God judges sin and  he purifies his people to heal and restore us to his way of holiness, peace, and love. God our Father disciplines those whom he loves for our good so that we may share his holiness (Hebrews 12:6,10).

Are God’s judgments unjust or unloving? Scripture tells us that “when God’s judgments are revealed in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9). To pronounce judgment on sin is much less harsh than what will happen if those who sin are not warned to repent. The Lord in his mercy gives us grace and time to turn away from sin, but that time is right now. If we delay, even for a moment, we may discover that grace has passed us by and our time is up. Do you accept the grace and strength God gives to help us to turn away from sin and to walk in his way of love and holiness?

“Lord Jesus, you have visited and redeemed your people. May I not miss the grace of your visitation today as you move to bring your people into greater righteousness and holiness of life. Purify my heart and mind that I may I understand your ways and conform my life more fully to your will.”

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

THE “LION-KING”  

“The Lion of the tribe of Judah…” —Revelation 5:5   In his heavenly vision, John hears the elder announce the entry of “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rv 5:5), Who has triumphed. When John looks for the Lion, he instead sees “a Lamb standing, a Lamb That had been slain” (Rv 5:6). Jesus has the strength of a Lion; He “roars from on high” (Jer 25:30; see also Am 3:8; Hos 11:10). Yet His strength is also the strength of love, displayed by the meekness of the Lamb. The Lamb is a sacrificial Victim, Who was slain, and He triumphs through His outpoured blood more than through His roaring. The chosen people expected the Messiah to be a “lion-king” (see Gn 49:9-10). This lion-Messiah would be a warrior, preying on his enemies and subduing them (Gn 49:9). Yet even prophetic revelation couldn’t prepare the Israelites to understand a Messiah Who was “like a lamb led to the slaughter” (Is 53:7).

Isaiah prophesied that the lion and the lamb would be linked together (Is 11:6-7). In the person of Jesus, the Lion and the Lamb, awesome power and sacrificial love are united. In Jesus, the Lion and the King, there is the union of invincible strength and royal dignity. In three days, we celebrate the great feast of Christ the King. As we worship our King, keep in mind the heavenly vision of the Lion of Judah (Rv 5:5), Who is both the King of kings and the Lamb of God. “To Him be glory forever” (Rm 11:36).  

Prayer: Jesus, may I always fall down and worship You (Rv 5:8). Promise: “The Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory.” —Ps 149:4 Praise: Through daily reception of the Eucharist, Becca began to see holy changes in her own behavior.  

(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)(For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek First the Kingdom.)   

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

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