Posted: 13 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:15-20
Reflection: One of the lessons we learn from this paragraph of scripture is that of forgiveness.
But there are other lessons too and one of them is the Christian attitude towards morality, ethics and the importance of education and teaching people the right doctrine.
The task that Jesus enjoins on us is not an easy one; imagine, the brother who sins against you is that wild one, the notorious type who may come back to trample you under his foot for having given him the pearl of a good advice on good behavior. (cfr. Mt. 7:6)
That would always be difficult but scripture always teaches us the extremes of love “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Jesus did it perfectly on the cross and likewise his dedicated disciples.
We as Christians are called to teach the world the morality of living, which primarily begins with teaching ourselves first in the school of Christ, who still teaches us the way of God:
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 (cfr. 1 Jn. 2:27)
It is only after we have learned in this school, with the tradition, scripture and magisterium to enable us that we can be instruments to correct our brothers and sisters when in the wrong.
If anyone thinks that this is like acting superior then they are self-conceited and do not understand the revealed word of God; Jesus Christ.
They could be termed as pseudo-disciples or pseudo-Christians working like fifth columns as Satan’s instrument to destroy the church of Christ.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Eph 5:17
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for the anointing you give us, may we always seek to learn from what you have given us.
DD = Dedicated Discipleship: Come grow in the Lord with us
Posted: 14 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechari’ah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” 46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, 52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. Luke 1:39-56
Reflection: The argument presented is this: How can Mary be called the mother of God? Does God have a mother or can God have a mother?
The Catholics have always addressed Mary as the Mother of God and even celebrate with great solemnity the feast of Mary as mother of God. (1st January)
Then does God really have a mother?
Plainly speaking God does not have a mother nor does Jesus the eternal word of God was ‘begotten not made’ (Apostles Creed) but eternally existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit in their triune nature as one God.
But when God chose to become incarnate among us as a man, for our salvation, he chose the womb of an ordinary simple creature; Mary the woman of Nazareth.
Jesus the God made man, having the divine and human nature in himself, was born of the Virgin Mary.
Rationally seen and interpreted; this action of God, with whom nothing is impossible, can remain an insipid theological truth if not looked at as the great love action of God. (Cfr. Jn. 3:16)
This truth is not just proclaimed in the great tradition of the church but is also found in scripture when Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit exclaims: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Vs. 42) and in the same breath she further exclaims:
“And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (vs. 43)
Surely, this can’t be flesh and blood who revealed this to her but her Father in heaven who through the action of the Holy Spirit who revealed this to her.
For further affirmation we have the angel affirming the same twice before:
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; Luke 1:32a
Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. Luke 1:35d,e
Prayer: God our Father, increase our faith in the motherhood of Mary and the special place she enjoys in our salvation, through her assumption.
DD = Dedicated Discipleship: Come grow in the Lord with us