The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
“What great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” Deuteronomy 4:8
“God is Love” (1 Jn 4:16). Accordingly, He wants to give people the best, the greatest. Therefore, He raises up great people to do great things. God calls us to greatness because He is Love.
We will be great and our nation will be great if we:
- observe God’s law carefully (Dt 4:6-8; Mt 5:19),
- teach God’s commands (Mt 5:19), and
- serve people (Mt 20:26).
This obeying, teaching, and serving is so demanding that, like Jesus, we give our lives for others (Mt 20:28). Greatness means not self-realization but self-dying. Greatness is not being like Pontius Pilate, Herod, the Pharisees, or Jesus’ executioners but being like Jesus on the cross. The road to greatness is the way of the cross.
Do you want to be great by Jesus’ standards? Even if you don’t, will you be great anyway for love of God and His people? Choose greatness. Choose obedience, teaching, serving, dying, and loving. Be great for Love (1 Jn 4:16).
Prayer: Father, may I please You by aspiring to greatness by serving others (see Mt 20:26). Promise: “He sends forth His command to the earth; swiftly runs His word! He spreads snow like wool; frost He strews like ashes.” Ps 147:15-16Praise: Little Eileen looked forward to her First Communion more than to her birthday. (We have several tape series to help you read the Bible. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching – New Testament is forty audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each book of the Bible is thirty-two audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or seventeen video tapes starting with V-21.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 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 view God’s law negatively or positively? Jesus’ attitude towards the law of God can be summed up in the great prayer of Psalm 119: “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” For the people of Israel the “law” could refer to the ten commandments or to the five Books of Moses, called the Pentateuch, which explain the commandments and ordinances of God for his people. The “law” also referred to the whole teaching or way of life which God gave to his people. The Jews in Jesus’ time also used it as a description of the oral or scribal law. Needless to say, the scribes added many more things to the law than God intended. That is why Jesus often condemned the scribal law. It placed burdens on people which God had not intended. Jesus, however, made it very clear that the essence of God’s law – his commandments and way of life, must be fulfilled.
Jesus taught reverence for God’s law – reverence for God himself, for the Lord’s Day, reverence or respect for parents, respect for life, for property, for another person’s good name, respect for oneself and for one’s neighbor lest wrong or hurtful desires master us. Reverence and respect for God’s commandments teach us the way of love – love of God and love of neighbor.
The transforming work of the Holy Spirit
What is impossible to men and women is possible to God and those who put their faith and trust in God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord transforms us and makes us like himself. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) because “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). God gives us the grace to love as he loves, to forgive as he forgives, to think as he thinks, and to act as he acts.
The Lord loves justice and goodness and he hates every form of wickedness and sin. He wants to set us free from our unruly desires and sinful habits, so that we can choose to live each day in the peace, joy, and righteousness of his Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17). To renounce sin is to turn away from what is harmful and destructive for our minds and hearts, and our very lives. As his followers we must love and respect his commandments and hate every form of sin. Do you love and revere the commands of the Lord?
“Lord Jesus, grant this day, to direct and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts and bodies, so that all our thoughts, words and deeds may be according to your Father’s law and thus may we be saved and protected through your mighty help.”