Sunday, August 14, 2016

Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10, Psalm 40:2-4, 18, Hebrews 12:1-4, Luke 12:49-53

My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me. Jn 10:27
Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10, Psalm 40:2-4, 18, Hebrews 12:1-4, Luke 12:49-53
Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
My soul's beloved, we live in a world that abhors truth just as the people in the time of Jeremiah the prophet did. No one wanted to hear that they were sinners and that if they did not give up their evil ways then they would be destroyed. Political correctness can be the death of us. A true prophet is unafraid to be the lone voice of truth in a world that insists that black is white. The enemies of truth were willing to murder the prophet and they convinced the king that it was for the good of the nation that it was expedient to get rid of him.
Many good people who insist on shouting the truth from the rooftops also find themselves isolated, imprisoned, silenced, and punished. But truth by its very nature cannot be hidden for there are grave consequences that are the result of living a lie and they become so self evident that in the end one has to acknowledge the truth. In the end Jeremiah was freed and in the end truth too will be set free and so will all who fight on the side of truth.
Psalm 40:2-4, 18
My soul's beloved, I am truly grateful for the comforting and consoling words of this psalm. I know that all I need do in times of trouble is call on Your Name and You will make haste to help me for You honor all who trust in You and are constantly stooping over those who place all their hope and trust in You. You always hear my cries of distress and You lift me out of the pit of sin. You wash me in Your own precious Blood. You cleanse me from all sin and You robe me once more in the garments of white. You set my feet on solid ground and You take me by the hand and steady me. When I look at all the good things that You have done for me I rejoice. You give me a song of joy and gladness as I recall all that You have done for me. How You saved me and made me a new creation in You.
Thank You my Lord and my God. My Deliverer, my Refuge, my Rock, my salvation,
Hebrews 12:1-4
My soul's beloved, God so loved us that He sent You into the world in order that all may be saved and return to the place that He has reserved for us since the dawn of creation. Through the ages we have had countless Saints who having followed the Way of Perfection and many who were willing to die for the sake of the Truth and for the Gospel have become for us a source of inspiration. They were like us and they have shown us that it is possible despite all the obstacles that the world, the flesh and the devil set before us, that we can with all the help that God makes available to us, also choose good over evil even if it means losing our life. We receive grace each day to stay the course keeping our eyes fixed on You always who constantly urge us on and encourage us. You do not condemn us when we falter but encourage us to get up and strive anew.
You have shown us that we ought never to be afraid of men can do to us. They put You to death on the Cross but that was all they could do. You rose again  and in Your glorious resurrection You have given us hope making the Cross a sign of victory for all eternity. You took the instrument of torture and shame and raised it up in the face of evil thus crushing under its weight Satan and destroying death forever.  
St. Paul reminds us today that we too will receive the same inheritance, the Kingdom of heaven, if for a while we endure sorrow and suffering for the sake of the Gospel as we struggle against sin and evil even to the shedding of blood as so many are called to do today. Should we too be granted the privilege of shedding blood let us do so with joyfully knowing that You will carry us to the bosom of the Father.

Luke 12:49-53
My soul's beloved, these words that You spoke to Your disciples can be very confusing if taken out of context, 
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
If we take the Gospel seriously and if we are prepared to go out into the world and boldly proclaim the Good News that takes us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to walk the narrow way as we urge those around us to do the same, then we become a sign of contradiction in the world just as You were. The enemies of truth and the friends of the world and of evil even those members is our own family who are given over to soft living and self indulgence, will fight us even to the point of ostracizing us from our own home and from those we love by those who are our own family members. This is the division that You warn us of where truth is rejected just as You were rejected. Let us never be afraid of those who can kill the body but after that can do no more. Rather as You have said, let us be afraid of the One who can kill both body and soul consigning us to the flames that never go out.


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