Friday, April 7, 2017

Today's readings and reflection

FIRST READING (Jeremiah 20:10-13)
I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my familiar friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived, then we can overcome him, and take our revenge on him.”

But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten.

O Lord of hosts, who triest the righteous, who seest the heart and the mind, let me see thy vengeance upon them, for to thee have I committed my cause.

Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.

GOSPEL (John 10:31-42)
At that time: The Jews took up stones again to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?”

The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, `I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,’ because I said, `I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained. And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”

And many believed in him there.

I am the Son of God - Servants of the Word

Rejection for speaking the truth Howie Kalb, SJ

Think about how you wear the Cross Pope Francis

John the Baptist was obviously not as great as Jesus was - he performed no signs like Jesus did. But he did serve his purpose to point people to Jesus.

What a testimony - everything John said about Jesus was true.

John had been beheaded; was gone, but his teaching lived on. May people say about us when we are gone that everything we told them about Jesus was true. May neighbours and co-workers and friends say that we spoke the truth of Jesus in love.

May our kids and relatives and fellow believers know we’re committed to knowing and sharing God’s truth revealed in his Word and in Jesus. And may many believe in Jesus through our testimony as they did there where John had ministered. I pray that you want that kind of legacy - a legacy of loving proclamation of biblical and Christ-honouring truth.

But you will not have that legacy unless you discipline your mind to understand and communicate truth clearly to people of every age.

You may have a legacy of being a nice person, even a caring Christian who did loving acts of service. But you may not leave enough truth behind you for anyone to follow in your footsteps. Please discipline your mind; open your mouth to speak truth to other people.

You will fumble and fail and have to correct yourself and even have to seek forgiveness for wrong words at times. You will even face opposition like Jesus did, but it is worth it. It is worth the joy you’ll have - the love you’ll share. It is worth the effort for the glory of God; the good of others. Be like Jesus; make biblical arguments out of love for souls.

And today, if you are a soul who has never come face to face with the exclusive truth claims of Jesus, then hear him today. He healed all kinds of incurable diseases and afflictions to show his divine power and love. He spoke with undeniable authority and wisdom. He was God in flesh. He lived on earth and then He died to receive the punishment for sin for all who trust him. Then he rose again to prove he conquered of sin and death. So believe; entrust your life to him.
From Blasphemy or Deity? By Mark Vaughan

O my God, I beseech thee, by thy loneliness,
not that thou shouldst spare me affliction,
but that thou not abandon me in it.
When I encounter affliction,
teach me to see thee in it
as my sole Comforter.
May affliction strengthen my faith,
fortify my hope,
and purify my love.
Grant me the grace to see thy hand
in my affliction,
and to desire no other comforter but thee. Amen.
- St Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879)


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