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Dec 04th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Nov 2, 2009 - Monday Meditation (All Soul's Day - Choices and Consequences)
Nov 2, 2009 - Monday Meditation (All Soul's Day - Choices and Consequences) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 31 October 2009 17:43

T he kind of life we choose to live now and the moral choices we make will have consequences that determine our future – for better or for worse. Separation is an inevitable consequence of judgment. We are created with an intrinsic emptiness, an unquenchable thirst, a driving hunger, a holy longing which only God can satisfy. 


The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

Wisdom 3:1-9

Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

Romans 5:5-11

J ohn 6:37-
40 Jesus said to the crowds: “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”


Meditation by Don Schwager

W hat kind of future are you preparing for? What about the life to come after our death? God puts in the heart of every living person the desire for unending life and happiness with him. While death claims each of us at the appointed time, God gives us something which death cannot touch – his own divine life and sustaining power. In the Old Testament, one of the greatest testimonies of faith and hope in the midst of great suffering and pain is that of Job: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another (Job 19:25-27). Jesus made an incredible promise to his disciplies and a claim which only God can make and deliver: Whoever sees and believes in Jesus, the Son of God, shall have everlasting life and be resurrected!


How can we see Jesus? He is present in his word, in the breaking of the bread, and in the church, the body of Christ. Jesus reveals himself in many countless ways to those who seek him with eyes of faith. When we read the word of God in the bible Jesus speaks to us and reveals to us the mind and heart of the Father. When we approach the table of the Lord, Jesus offers himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us (I am the bread of life, John 6:35). He promises unbroken fellowship and freedom from the fear of being forsaken or cut off from everlasting life with God.  And he offers us the hope of sharing in his resurrection.  Is your hope and desire to see God face to face?


Jesus' parable of goats and sheep invites his audience to consider their lives in view of the age to come. What happens when you put sheep and goats together? Jesus' audience readily understood the need for separating the two. In arid lands, like Israel, goats and sheep often grazed together during the day because green pasture was sparse. They were separated at night because goats needed shelter. Goats were also less docile and more restless than sheep. They came to symbolize evil and the term "scape-goat" has become a common expression for someone bearing blame for others.  (See Leviticus 26:20-22 for a description of the ritual expulsion of sin-bearing goat on the Day of Atonement.) What's the point of this story for us? The kind of life we choose to live now and the moral choices we make will have consequences that determine our future – for better or for worse. Separation is an inevitable consequence of judgment.

The Day of Judgment will reveal who showed true compassion and mercy toward their neighbor. As much as we might like to judge the parables, the parables, nonetheless, judge us. Jesus teaches us a very important lesson about loving our neighbor and taking responsibility for others. God will judge us not only for the wrong we have done but also for what we have failed to do. Now is the time of God’s mercy, for seeking his help and grace to turn away from sin, and to walk in his way of love. We can love freely, generously, and unconditionally because God has already poured his love into our hearts through the gift and working of his Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 5:5). Ask the Holy Spirit to purify your heart and to free you from hurtful desires that you may love as God loves and live charitably with all.


This parable is similar to the parable about Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31). The rich man let Lazarus die on his doorstep and was doomed to crave for drops of cold water he had not thought of giving to the poor man. When Martin of Tours (who lived in the 4th century), a young Roman soldier and seeker of the Christian faith, met an unclothed man begging for alms in the freezing cold, he stopped and cut his coat in two and gave half to the stranger. That night he dreamt he saw the heavenly court with Jesus robed in a torn cloak. One of the angels present asked, "Master, why do you wear that battered cloak?" Jesus replied, "My servant Martin gave it to me." Martin’s disciple and biographer Sulpicius Severus states that as a consequence of this vision Martin “flew to be baptized.” God is gracious and merciful; his love compels us to treat others with mercy and kindness. When we do something for one of Christ's little ones, we do it for Christ.  Do you treat your neighbor with mercy and love as Christ has treated you?


The scriptures present us with the choice between two kingdoms – the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. The choice is ours. Which kingdom do you serve?  God's kingdom lasts forever because it is built on the foundation of God's love and justice. To accept Jesus as Lord and King is to enter a kingdom that will last forever where righteousness, love, truth, and peace dwell. Is your life submitted to the Lordship of Jesus?


"Lord Jesus Christ, you are my King and there is no other.  May your love rule in my heart that I may think and act with charity towards all.”


Supplementary Reading



You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter. – Luke 11:52


I finished giving one of my very first provincial talks and felt so happy! Let me tell you a speaker’s secret: all of us, consciously or unconsciously, want to hear an affirmation regarding how we did. I went down the stage still intoxicated with joy. Then, I saw a team of known preachers during my time gathered in one table at the back of the hall. My heart pumped quickly as I wondered what they thought about my talk.

Shyly, I approached them and divulged that I’ve looked up to them as my role models. All of them merely cast a quick glance at me and went back to their highly “spiritual” discussion as if just momentarily disturbed by a shadow that happened to be me. I couldn’t believe it! I was so disappointed that my role models had no time to even know my name and what I do.

I wept in God’s presence. I took refuge in His embrace. I received His love. From that point on, I had a conviction that I would never give a talk if there were a tinge of callousness in me. I resolved to preach the Gospel through love and love alone. And if necessary, I’ll speak. --- Obet Cabrillas



Love cannot be mimicked; for from the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.


From sour-faced saints deliver us, Lord. (St. Teresa of Avila)


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Quote of the Day

If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626