Readings 20150109

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com

VICTOR OR VICTIM?

“Who, then, is conqueror of the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” —1 John 5:5
We are victors over the world or victims of the world. Only by faith in Jesus as God will we escape being victimized. Unless we pray to the Lord, we will become the prey of the world. Either Jesus runs our lives, or we are manipulated into running our lives into the ground, even into hell. By ourselves, we are unable to protect ourselves from unscrupulous, hateful demons. Of ourselves, our lives are necessarily out of control. Jesus is the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). He is our only Hope, but the only Hope we need.

Let us thank Jesus for becoming a human being, saving us, and being willing to take over our lives. He has saved us from the damning trap of supposedly doing our own thing. As we near the end of the Christmas season, let us accept our privilege of surrendering totally our lives to Him. Only in this way will we escape being victimized and have eternal life (1 Jn 5:11-13). Thank You, Jesus our Savior!

Prayer: Father, on these last days of Christmas, do in me what You must in order to do through me what You will. Promise: “Jesus stretched out His hand to touch him and said, ‘I do will it. Be cured.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.” —Lk 5:13 Praise: Tired of feeling like a “poor pitiful” victim, Sarah’s day of retreat turned her into feeling like a victor through Jesus. (For a related teaching, order our tape on Hope for the Hopeless on audio AV 63-1 or video V-63.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 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) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you seek the Lord Jesus with expectant faith? No one who sought Jesus out was refused his help. Even the untouchables and the outcasts of Jewish society found help in him. Unlike the people of Jesus’ time who fled at the sight of a leper, Jesus touched the leper who approached him and he made him whole and clean. Why was this so remarkable? Lepers were outcasts of society. They were driven from their homes and communities and left to fend for themselves. Their physical condition was terrible as they slowly lost the use of their limbs and withered away. They were not only shunned but regarded as “already dead” even by their relatives. The Jewish law forbade anyone from touching or approaching a leper, lest ritual defilement occur.
This leper did something quite remarkable. He approached Jesus confidently and humbly, expecting that Jesus could and would heal him. Normally a leper would be stoned or at least warded off if he tried to come near a rabbi. Jesus not only grants the man his request, but he demonstrates the personal love, compassion, and tenderness of God in his physical touch. The medical knowledge of his day would have regarded such contact as grave risk for incurring infection. Jesus met the man’s misery with compassion and tender kindness. He communicated the love and mercy of God in a sign that spoke more eloquently than words. He touched the man and made him clean – not only physically but spiritually as well.

How do you approach those who seem difficult to love, or who are shunned by others because they are deformed or have some physical or mental weakness? Do you show them kindness and offer them mercy and help as Jesus did? The Lord Jesus is always ready to show us his mercy and to free us from whatever makes us unclean, unapproachable, or unloving.

Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love and make me clean and whole in body, mind, and spirit. May I never doubt your love nor cease to tell others of your mercy and compassion.”

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