Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dont be Ignorant!

“Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22: 29)

God is all powerful. He is also faithful all the time. These are two attributes of him that we learn from Sacred Scripture. The knowledge that God is all powerful and all faithful can transform our weak faith into a strong living faith. But the ignorance of this truth can keep us in the place of fear and servitude.

This is the point that Christ makes when he said that some are wrong in the way they think of God. At the root of this ignorance is ignorance of scripture. St. Jerome said that “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

In scripture, God reveals himself to us. How do we understand scriptures? We can only understand scripture through the light of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes scripture a lamp that illuminates our path and a joy to our heart.

Friday, November 25, 2005

God and Caesar

“Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:21)

Caesar represents earthly powers and governments. Christ says that we recognize the rights of earthly powers and governments. Scripture teaches that God installs governments. We are not only to obey them but we are urged to pray for them.

We offer to God what is properly his. This includes adoration, worship, love, obedience and service.

Is there a conflict? When Caesar wants what belongs to God, the Christian must say no. We must obey God rather than man, St. Peter said. Jesus Christ foreseeing the conflict urges his follower not to fear the person who can destroy the body and can do nothing more. The person to fear is God, who can destroy body and soul in hell.

The martyrs of the Church never tried to deprive Caesar of what belongs to him. It was always Caesar who keeps what belongs to him and wants to deprive his creator of what belongs to God.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I will not come to your party

“The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.”
(Matthew 22: 8 -9)

The excuses for rejecting the wedding invitation are: ‘I am busy going to my farm; I am busy tending my business. Don’t you understand that these have greater priority than your wedding?” The whole point of farming and business is to create wealth in order to have a good life. The king is offering this good life during the wedding party to the invitees. There will be rich food and wine. There will be good music, dancing and very good company. There will be a lot of fun for everybody. This is an opportunity that does not come everyday.

Every Sunday, the Lord invites us to the Eucharistic celebration. Many excuses are given for not accepting the invitation. The attitudes of those who refuse the invitation are not different from those in the parable of Jesus. They mean: ‘whatever my reason for not coming, understand that it is more important than your Eucharist.”

It is the mystery of the human situation that a man can say no to the invitation of his king, boss and Lord to a beautiful and bountiful wedding. The king and Lord who invites you to his party is the owner of the land for the farm, the capital for your business and your time.

The king is determined to go ahead with his party and so he invites everybody at the crossroads in the town. Man cannot derail God’s plan.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Rejected Stone

“Jesus said to them, ‘have you never read in the scriptures: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see.” (Matthew 21:42)

Jesus Christ was the stone rejected by the empire builders who became the keystone of an everlasting empire. Where is today the empire of Israel? Where is the Roman Empire? Where are other empires of history? All of them are in the dust bin of history.

Why was Christ rejected by the empire builders? The simple reason is because he was both a prophet and a teacher. Those who were threatened by the Truth believed that by rejecting and killing him, they can perpetuate an empire of falsehood. But they forgot that “If the Lord does not build the house, they labor in vain who builds it.” (Psalm 127: 1-2). But when the Lord builds the house and is the keystone, the house stands.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Working in the Vineyard

“What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, ‘My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, ‘I will not go,’ but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, ‘Certainly, sir’, but did not go. ‘Which of the two did the father’s will?” (Matthew 21: 28 – 31)

The Father speaks to us always. He says, ‘go and work in my vineyard today.’ Where is the vineyard? The vineyard is the home, the place of work, the car lot, the shopping center. It is any place where you can be a good neighbor.

When we work in the vineyard today, fulfilling one need or the other, we have the joy and happiness of knowing that we are where the Father wants us to be and doing what he wants us to do.

Help us Lord to work in your vineyard today with willingness and joy.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Promise of Faith

“I tell you solemnly, if you have faith and do not doubt at all, not only will you do what I have done to the fig tree, but even if you say to the mountain, ‘Get up and throw yourself into the sea’, it will be done. And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer you will receive.” (Matthew 21:21)

Faith gives us access to all the promises of God. What are these promises? They cover every area of our life. I like to look at them as the 6 P’s:

When I put my faith in God’s word and do not doubt it at all, nothing will be impossible to me.

What causes doubt, hesitation and unbelief? First, lack of spiritual understanding of God’s word. Then, when we look at the evidence of our senses which may contradict what the word of God is saying to us. When we do this, we weaken in our faith. Impatience or the desire to see things happen immediately is another culprit.

What then is the remedy against weak faith? Through the light of the Holy Spirit, develop a spiritual understanding of God’s word. Rely on this word, stand firm on it, season and out of season.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Children Praising God

Children Praising God

“By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of your praise.” (Matthew 21: 16)

Children are made to praise God. This scripture reinforces Christ’s teaching on children:
  • Children are very dear to God.

  • We must love and respect them.

  • They are pure.

  • They praise God.

We thank you Lord for this teaching on children. Help us to love little children as you love them.