Saturday, November 19, 2005

A House of Prayer

A House of Prayer

“According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be called a hose of prayer; but you are turning it into a robber’s den.” (Matthew 21:13)

What is your attitude to God’s house? Do you regard God’s house a place of worship, a place of prayer? Do you go to God’s house to seek the face of God? It is important to remember these at all times.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What is the Plan?

“This took place to fulfill a prophecy: ‘Say to the daughter of Zion: look, your king comes to you: he is humble, he rides on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” (Matthew 21:5)

Christ here fulfills a scripture about himself. God had long established a plan for Jesus. His life and mission is a faithful adherence to that plan, to the will of God for him. This plan was foretold by many prophecies.

This particular prophecy presents Christ as king. This is not a worldly king entering his city with a grand military procession. We see rather a humble, spiritual king. This view is consistent with most prophecies about Christ: humble and unassuming.

God has a plan for each of us. This plan is unfolding. No matter who we are, the plan of God for our life will have three common elements: knowing God more, loving him more and serving him with all our gifts.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Have Pity on Us

“Lord! Have pity on us, son of David.’ Jesus stopped, called them over and said, ‘what do you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, let us have our sight back’. Jesus felt pity for them and touched their eyes, and immediately their sight returned and they followed him.” (Matthew 20: 32 – 34)

“Have pity on us, son of David.” Jesus had pity on them and gave them back their sight. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. Just as he had pity on the blind men and gave them back their sight, so will he come to our aid today when we cry out to him for mercy. But before we can cry for pity, we must meet Jesus. That is the critical point. The only way to meet Jesus today is by faith. How can this be done? Jesus comes to meet us in prayer, in his word and the sacraments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Truth and Renewal

“The truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)

God’s truth heals us gradually through the renewing of our mind. When we read the word of God, pray or receive the sacraments, our mind is renewed. Our strength is renewed like an eagle.

The Thesaurus has these synonyms for Renew: breathe new life into, recreate, refresh, refurbish, regenerate, rejuvenate, renovate, replenish, restore, revitalize, transform.

What is the result of renewal? We become new man, new creation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Serving like Christ

“Anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20: 27 – 28)

To imitate Christ, we must serve people. But what does it mean to serve people? How did Christ serve people? Christ preached the goodnews to people; he taught them and healed the sick. He fed the hungry. When we do the work God has given us, we serve God and people through it. Service is fulfilling God’s will here and now. What is God’s will for us today? To know him more, love him and serve him through our work. We fulfill some of these through prayer, study of God’s word, and doing our share of our daily work.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Prepared for Opposition?

“Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man is about to be handed over the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.”
(Matthew 20: 17 – 19)

Today I hear Christ foretell about his passion. What does this say to me?
  • Be prepared about what will surely happen. You are warned.

  • Shocking events will take place. If you are prepared, it helps you to absorb the shock.

  • I am the Master of events and in control of every situation. This is why I know of these events.

  • I say to you: be prepared and have confidence in me.

As I answer the call to follow Christ, to renounce myself, pick up my cross and follow him, this prophecy of Christ about his passion applies to me as well. The world will oppose me. Am I prepared for this opposition?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Invitation of the King

“Why have you been standing here idle all day? You go into my vineyard too.”
(Matthew 20: 6 – 7)

In this parable, Christ assures us that we have a place in his vineyard. Everybody who is prepared to work is welcome. So stop worrying about job. Christ says to you: “You go into my vineyard too.” He promises to pay you a fair wage. But first, you must go to the market place where workers are hired. Make yourself available through listening to God’s word and doing whatever he tells you.

Today, we recall two teachings of Jesus with regard to job:
  • “Come and follow me and I will make you fisher of men.”

  • “You go into my vineyard too.”

What is your response? This is the invitation of the King.