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Sep 28th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. March 03, 2009 - Tuesday Meditation (Builder of Bridges or Walls?)
March 03, 2009 - Tuesday Meditation (Builder of Bridges or Walls?) PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 02 March 2009 12:56

The cross of Jesus is the supreme symbol of a perfect bridge. The vertical plank connects us to God and the horizontal plank connects us to our neighbors.

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19 

Matthew 6:7-15  "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (9) Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread; (12) And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; (13) And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. (14) For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; (15) but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
(10) "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, (11) so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Devotions taken from the
"Power for Life Daily Devotional."


PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on

Meditation by Don Schwager (RC Net):

Do you believe that God’s word has power to change and transform your life today? Isaiah says that God’s word is like the rain and snow which makes the barren ground spring to life and become abundantly fertile (Isaiah 55:10-11). God’s word has power to penetrate our dry barren hearts and make them springs of new life. If we let God’s word take root in our heart it will transform us into the likeness of God himself and empower us to walk in his way of love and holiness. God wants his word to guide and shape the way we think, act, and pray. Ambrose, a fourth century church father, wrote that the reason we should devote time for reading scripture is to hear Christ speak to us. "Are you not occupied with Christ? Why do you not talk with him?  By reading the scriptures, we listen to Christ."

We can approach God confidently because he is waiting with arms wide open to receive his prodigal sons and daughters. That is why Jesus gave his disciples the perfect prayer that dares to call God, Our Father. This prayer teaches us how to ask God for the things we really need, the things that matter not only for the present but for eternity as well. We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace, mercy, and kindness. He is good and forgiving towards us, and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. God has poured his love into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). And that love is like a refining fire – it purifies and burns away all prejudice, hatred, resentment, vengeance, and bitterness until there is nothing left but goodness and forgiveness towards those who cause us grief or harm.

Consider what John Cassian, a 5th century church father who lived in a monastery in Bethlehem and then with Egyptian monks, wrote about the Lord’s Prayer and the necessity of forgiving others from the heart:
“The mercy of God is beyond description. While he is offering us a model prayer he is teaching us a way of life whereby we can be pleasing in his sight. But that is not all. In this same prayer he gives us an easy method for attracting an indulgent and merciful judgment on our lives. He gives us the possibility of ourselves mitigating the sentence hanging over us and of compelling him to pardon us. What else could he do in the face of our generosity when we ask him to forgive us as we have forgiven our neighbor? If we are faithful in this prayer, each of us will ask forgiveness for our own failings after we have forgiven the sins of those who have sinned against us, not only those who have sinned against our Master. There is, in fact, in some of us a very bad habit. We treat our sins against God, however appalling, with gentle indulgence: but when by contrast it is a matter of sins against us ourselves, albeit very tiny ones, we exact reparation with ruthless severity. Anyone who has not forgiven from the bottom of the heart the brother or sister who has done him wrong will only obtain from this prayer his own condemnation, rather than any mercy.” Do you treat others as you think they deserve to be treated, or do you treat them as the Lord has instructed us – with mercy, steadfast love, and kindness?

"Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart and mind with your truth and  love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you. Help me to be kind and forgiving towards my neighbor as you have been towards me."

Supplementary Reading
The Planks of Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God – Matthew 5:9

Where God sees a breach between people, he builds a bridge. And he uses his children to help with the construction. God calls us to be peacemakers, building bridges across chasms separating individuals or groups, providing a common plank of understanding across which we can walk together.

Needless to say, Jesus Christ is the ultimate peacemaker. He laid down his life to build a bridge—between God and us, and between us and our fellow man. The cross of Jesus is the supreme symbol of a perfect bridge. The vertical plank connects us to God and the horizontal plank connects us to our neighbors.

In times of conflict, think of the cross and its high cost, lovingly paid. If you serve the cause of peace on the bridge of the cross, your efforts will not be in vain.

* * *

Are there any chasms separating individuals or groups whose lives you are part of? Look for a way to provide a common plank of understanding between those who are separated. Then experience the joy of being a peacemaker.  # # #

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Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2009 13:43

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