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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Aug. 23, 2010—Monday Meditation (Grow in Love for God's People!)
Aug. 23, 2010—Monday Meditation (Grow in Love for God's People!) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Sunday, 22 August 2010 11:29

 

To browse more spiritual readings, please go to: http://www.webprayze.com



God's desire is to see you grow and increase in every area of your life—especially in your love for others. That's because love is the greatest thing, and it is all that matters in eternity.

   

Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12

Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 4-5

 

M atthew 23:13-22 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. (15) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you  make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. (16) "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is  bound by his oath.' (17) You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? (18) And you say, `If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' (19) You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? (20) So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; (21) and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; (22) and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

 

Meditation by Don Schwager

 

W hen God knocks on your door are you ready to let him in (Rev. 3:20)? God offers each of us an open door to his kingdom, but we can shut ourselves out if  we reject his offer. What is the door to heaven? When Jacob fled from his brother Essau, who wanted to kill him for stealing his birthright (Genesis 27:41), he sought refuge in the wilderness. There God pursued him and gave him a vision that both changed his life and the life of his people. As Jacob slept on a star-lit hillside God showed him a great ladder or stairway that extended from earth to heaven. This stairway was filled with a multitude of angels ascending and descending before the throne of God. God opened heaven to Jacob, not only to give him a place of refuge and peace, but to offer him the blessing of dwelling in intimate friendship with the living God.

 

God spoke to Jacob and renewed the promises which he had made to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac, and now to Jacob and his posterity. God promised not only to bless and protect Jacob, but to make him and his descendants a blessing to all the nations as well. When Jacob awoke he exclaimed:  "How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven" (Genesis 28:17). God opened a door for Jacob that brought him and his people into a new relationship with the living God.

 

Jesus proclaimed to his disciples that he would fulfill the dream of Jacob in his very own person: "You will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51). Jesus proclaimed that he is the door (John 10:8-9) and the way (John 14:6) that makes it possible for us to access heaven and God's very throne. But Jesus woefully warned the religious leaders and successors of  Jacob that they were shutting the door of God's kingdom not only on themselves but on others as well.  The word woe expresses sorrowful pity and concern as well as grief and extreme sadness.

 

Why did Jesus lament and issue such a stern rebuke? Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God's word and they misled the people they were supposed to teach and lead in the ways of God. Jesus gave a series of examples to show how misguided they were. In their zeal to win converts, they required unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and love of neighbor. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God. Jesus also chastised them for their evasion of binding oaths and solemn promises.

 

Oaths made to God were considered binding, but the Pharisees found clever ways to evade the obligation of their oaths when convenience got in the way. They forgot that God hears every word we utter and he sees the intention of the heart even before we speak or act. The scribes and Pharisees preferred their idea of religion to God's idea. They failed as religious leaders to teach others the way of God's kingdom because they failed to listen and to understand the intention of God's word. Through their own pride and prejudice they blindly shut the door of their own hearts and minds to God's understanding of his kingdom.

 

How can we shut the door of God's kingdom in our lives? By closing our ears to Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelations 17:14; 19:16), who speaks words of life and love, truth and freedom, hope and pardon. The Lord Jesus wants to dwell with us and to bring us his kingdom.  He opens the way for each of us to "ascend to heaven" and to bring "heaven to earth" in the daily circumstances of our lives. God's kingdom is present in all who seek him and who do his will.  Do you pray as Jesus taught, "May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10)?

 

"Lord, your word is life for me. May I never shut the kingdom of heaven through disbelief, indifference, or disobedience. Help me to listen to your voice and to conform my life more fully to your word."

 

 

Supplementary Reading

Let Your Love Grow

 

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing - 2 Thess 1:3

 

G od's desire is to see you grow and increase in every area of your life—especially in your love for others. That's because love is the greatest thing, and it is all that matters in eternity.

 

The book, Love at Last Sight: 30 days to Grow and Deepen Your Closest Relationships by Pastors Kerry and Chris Shook, sums it up perfectly. It says, "At the end of the day—in this all-too-short life we all share, all we really have are relationships with people we love and who love us. In light of relationships, the job and career we set as goals now aren't really so important; the ladders we try to climb don't matter so much; the objects we long to possess seem utterly trivial. What really matters in the end is that special look that you share with your spouse, the arms of your child reaching up to you, the quiet comfort of being with a friend who stands by your side in a difficult time."

 

Today, I pray that your love continues to grow and build a solid foundation for your faith. I pray that through your connection with the Father, you are strengthened in all of your relationships as you move forward into the life of blessing He has for you!

 

Father God, thank You for loving me and transforming me into Your image. I invite You to search my heart and mind today. Help me to keep Your plans and purposes first and to love others the way You love me. In Jesus' Name. Amen. - Joel & Victoria Osteen

 

GOD BLESS US ALL!

O Theos Na Mas Evlogisi!
PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.

 

For past gospel meditations or to browse spiritual readings, you may visit the following:

 

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=216458741502#!/home.php?sk=mynotes

 

http://his-ways-better-than-our-ways.blogspot.com

 

http://www.webprayze.com

 

 



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Last Updated on Monday, 23 August 2010 12:11
 
Comments (1)
1 Monday, 23 August 2010 12:08
mabuhay
DOCILITY IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

Taken from Francis Fernandez's Book, "IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD"

We need someone to guide our soul on its journey towards God.

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, writes Saint Paul to the Christians of Thessalonica. We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, as is fitting because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing (2 Thess 1:1-3). Thanks to the Holy Spirit’s help, the first Christians benefited from the self-sacrificed vigilance of their pastors. The Pharisees, by contrast, were unable to guide the Chosen People effectively because, through their own fault, they remained in darkness, and laid upon the children of Israel a hard and heavy burden, one which moreover didn’t lead them to God. In the Gospel of today’s Mass (Matt 23:23-26) Our Lord calls them blind guides, incapable of showing others the right path to follow.

One of the greatest graces we can get is to have someone to guide us along the pathways of the interior life; and if we haven’t yet found someone to teach us and advise us, in God’s name, in the construction of our spiritual edifice, then let us ask God for it now: every one who asks, receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matt 7:8). He will not fail to give us this great gift.

In spiritual direction God provides us with a person who knows the way well, to whom we open our heart and who acts as a teacher, a doctor, a friend, a good shepherd in the things that relate to God. That person points out to us the possible obstacles, and invites us to strive higher in our interior life and to fight on specific points more effectively. Thanks to the director’s help we are continually encouraged to keep going, we discover new horizons and our soul is roused to a hunger and thirst for God which lukewarmness, always lurking nearby, would like to quench. From earliest times the Church always recommended the practice of spiritual direction as a very effective means of making progress in the interior life.

It is very difficult for one to be his or her own guide in the interior life. it can happen very often that the impulses of our nature, the lack of objectivity with which we see ourselves, our self-love, the tendency to be drawn to what we like most or what we find easiest to do, can all tend to obscure the path to God - even though at the beginning it was perhaps very clear - and when that hap pens we begin to get bogged down, to get discouraged and lukewarm. A soul without a director is like a kindled coal, which, left by itself cools instead of burning. He who insists on being left to himself without a director to guide him, is like an unowned tree by the wayside; however fruitful it may be, the travellers pick its fruit, and none of it ripens (St John of the Cross, Spiritual Maxims, 177-178, in The Living Flame of Love).

It is a very special grace from God to have a person who can help us effectively in our sanctification and in whom we can confide in a very human and at the same time a supernatural way. What a joy it is to be able to communicate our deepest feelings, so as to direct them to God, to someone who understands us, who encourages us, who opens new horizons for us, who prays for us and has a special grace to help us!

In spiritual direction we encounter Christ himself, who listens to us attentively, who understand us, and who gives us new energies and insights to help us keep going.

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez.

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