Friday, May 27, 2016

1 Peter 4:7-13, Psalm 96:10-13, Mark 11:11-26


1 Peter 4:7-13, Psalm 96:10-13, Mark 11:11-26

1 Peter 4:7-13

My soul’s beloved, St. Peter urges us to live holy and upright lives for we are living at the end of the age. God is slowly but surely reconciling all things to Himself through You. The Apostles faithfully handed down all that You said and taught them. They understood very little of what You said during the time You were with them but after they were baptized in the Holy Spirit everything became clear. They understood Scripture and all its references to You. 

We the faithful who believe, are called to live according to the Law of Love as given to us in the two great commandments. If we follow these then all that St. Peter urges us to do will be possible because we love. We will be generous, openhearted, welcoming strangers and sharing the gifts that we have received to build up and strengthen the Kingdom of God. If these bring us trials and persecutions then we ought not to be surprised for through suffering we are made perfect.

Psalm 96:10-13

My soul’s beloved, it is good for us to always remember that, “We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.”  We have an unquenchable hope because we have placed all our trust in You who are worthy. You reign in glory and splendor over the heavens and the earth and every man, woman and child will be judged in righteousness. The heavens and the earth rejoice because we belong to You we sing with joy as we glorify You with songs of praise, worship, thanksgiving and adoration. We exult in Your love and care for us as we wait in joyful hope for that day when You will receive us at the hour of death to live with You forever.

 Mark 11:11-26

My soul’s beloved, we are told here that You were hungry, You saw a fig tree in the distance which was covered with healthy leaves – a tree which one could expect to be laden with fruit. However, when You drew close You found it barren. Without fruit it was useless for it did not fulfill the purpose for which it was planted. But the Gospel writer also tells it was not the season for figs yet You condemned it saying that no one would eat its fruit. The disciples would have thought it strange that You expected to find figs on the tree even though it was not the season for it.

The next scene shifts to the Temple where people were buying and selling and we know the famous scene well where You overturned tables and chased everyone who was defiling the place out of it. You then began to teach the people who had gathered around You. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were furious at what You had done. You acted as if You and not they were in charge.  They were filled with impotent rage because the people were captivated by all that You said and taught and they could do nothing.

It is now early morning of the third day. You and disciples are on the road and they notice that the fig tree  You had cursed is withered to its roots and they are astonished that what You said has occurred. When they commented on it You assured them that if they had faith they could do the impossible. If we believed all that we asked for in prayer would be given to us. However, there was a condition attached to this promise. We are to forgive whatever we hold in our hearts against anyone only then will we be forgiven. When we stand before God to pray forgiveness is key to receiving all that we ask for.

The thing to remember is this – we are called to bear fruit in season and out of season. We are to ensure that the temple of God which is our body, is never desecrated and finally we must forgive from the heart any offenses and grudges we may have against anyone. If we do then we can be certain that Your peace which surpasses human understanding will be ours always.

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