Thursday, March 10, 2016

TODAY'S READING AND GOSPEL

For the Word of God is living and active. 
Sharper than any double edged sword, it 
penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, 
Joints and marrow; it Judges the thoughts 
and attitudes of the Heart
~Hebrews 4 -12

~*~

How on earth is it possible to disagree with God and have Him change his mind? Its unimaginable, but that is just what he did with Moses.

In today's reading, God is angry at the people that he spared when Moses led them in Exodus. They have taken to making a metal calf and worship it and place burnt offerings on the table. God is FURIOUS! These people are depraved and selfish. They search scripture to justify their behavior, but none is to be found.

God asks Moses "leave me alone" and allow me to reign down my wrath upon them. God promises Moses that he will destroy them and then make a great country for Moses. That's quite an offer, right?

But Moses argues. Why would you want these people to say that God had brought them out of desolation and saved them, only to turn around and destroy them? It would only make God look a bit less than who he truly is. Moses wants one more chance and God relents. Here is what Moses said to God:


Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people. 
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’“


And thus the Lord relented in his punishment of Israel.

As in Hebrews 4:12, we know that the Lord's word is living, every day, in our minds and in our hearts. A doctor may open the heart, but he will not see what lives there. That is for God and YOU!  But fear God, for he will reign down his wrath, dividing soul and spirit, if there is a need for it. You should always fear the Lord in this way - that if you continue to sin, engage in selfishness, speaking ill of others, stealing, drugs, rape, and the murder of the precious unborn children, you can bet that God is going to reign down HARD the next time, and that time is coming soon.

I'm certain that a great number of people still engage in sinful activities, even after God allowed them to go free. Then, in today's Gospel,  a few hundred years later, we see John, the Baptist, preaching the word of God to the people by the riverside. He tells them, "there will come one who is greater than I and he is the Son of God."  Look at all the hands flying up to cover their opened mouths at such a statement.

Jesus said to the Jews: 
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,

because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me. 
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”
 

The purpose of God's only Son is evident, and that is to mean that he will speak the words of His Father in heaven, but he will have a very hard time convincing many. The people believed in Moses, but now they don't? Why? Jesus uses Moses as his example.

Imagine being a pilgrim following Jesus everywhere he preaches, listening to the very word of God directly through his Son, Jesus. Imagine seeing the miracles that Jesus performed. Again, hands flew over mouths in astonishment at every display of a miracle, but some will still believe it is some foolery. There is no fool like an old fool, and there were many. For they called for his crucifixion for claiming to be the Son of God, and thus, Jesus died on the cross for all sin, for all time.

I can see them scourging him mercilessly and all the blood and anguish that Jesus is experiencing. I think "surely this will kill him", but the Romans stopped just short of that. And then, how can a man who has been mercilessly scourged carry his own cross to Calvary? He had help and a lone woman who wiped the blood from his brow along the way.  Jesus knew his destiny, and he asked his father in the garden of Gethsemane if it were possible for "this cup" to pass him by. Only Jesus hears God's words. Surely there was great love exchanged between them, and God expressed his pride in his Son's works, but now, it must be finished to save the world from itself.

Look, they are hammering long, rusted nails into the palms of his precious hands, He cries out with each one. And the last, they use to bind his feet to the cross before raising it and leaving Jesus to die, which took days.

This is the greatest story ever told. It's truths are there for all to see. Jesus' miracles were REAL. He enveloped himself into his ministry and it no doubt brought him much joy to speak to the people and to perform miracles on the sick. And look what we did to him.

This Season of Advent is your time to reunite your heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus! It comes once a year, but will you have another year to make it right? Who knows? All I know is that you must, MUST make things right in your heart with Jesus, for he is the only way through to his Father, God.  Examine your consciences, accept how imperfect you are, but that Jesus still wants your love! We do many things as humans that destroy love between people and it is irretrievable. But with Jesus, there is always forgiveness, always another chance to get it right.

Read these Thoughts and Affections from The Divine Antidote. This just about sums it up.
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
  1. Jesus has worked many miracles by which the Father testifies to his divine mission.
  2. These miracles speak loudly, proclaiming that the Father has sent Jesus.
  3. When the Jews still do not believe, Jesus identifies the obstacle.
  4. They want the Father but not the Father’s messenger, the Beloved Son.
  5. They are blind even to the scriptural prophecies that foretold Jesus.
  6. They cannot pass from death to life because they reject Jesus, the only bridge to the Father.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
  1. Jesus, your miracles invite me to believe in you.
  2. You are Jesus of Nazareth. You come from the Father. You are his Divine Son.
  3. O Jesus, remove my obstacles to faith. Make me a child of light.
  4. Every page of Scripture testifies to you. You wrote it that I would believe.
  5. One truth is certain. When I come to you, I will gain eternal life.

Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY♥

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