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Posts Tagged ‘betrayal’


Matthew 5:27-30: Teaching on AdulteryDishonesty

Monday, April 25, 2022

These words spoken by Jesus may be difficult to understand and so we may want to read various versions in order to allow God’s teaching to settle into our consciousness.

God says: Adultery has many ways of seeping into your being. You may be deeply sad and looking for happiness in places and ways you will never find it. Infidelity has many forms of appearing in your lives. You may have arrived at performing ritual rather than actively engaging with me and with others. Deceit has many slippery slopes on which you may take the first perilous step. You may be seeking to deny a truth that stands before you; reality may be too difficult to take in or comprehend. No matter what form this betrayal takes, and whether you are the betrayer or the betrayed, remain close to me at all times so that you might recognize dishonesty when you see it at its inception. Remain in me so that you might have awareness of its strength. Remain for me so that you might overcome it at all times in all places.

Faithlessness is more that the sin of lust. It is even more than stepping into an act that we know is dishonest or unfaithful. It is the smallest turning away from what we know to be true. Let us consider Jesus’ teaching today and determine how we might bring Easter salt and light into the smallest part of each day.

Tomorrow, Jesus’ teaching about divorce.


Image from: http://www.skipprichard.com/tag/dishonesty/

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Matthew 5:7: The Mercifulmercy

Easter Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

Perhaps endurance is the quality we most need if we are to be merciful servants. Endurance indicates our fidelity and perseverance. Endurance reinforces our strength and courage. Endurance in Christ, remaining in the Spirit, commitment to God  . . . all of this endurance in God brings us the gift of mercy.

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. (James 5:11)

It is so difficult to wait for mercy when we need it. It is so difficult to show compassion when we are betrayed; yet Jesus tells us so often that we are forgiven as we forgive. In Psalm 55, the psalmist tells us that when we are betrayed by one near to us – our own intimate friend – we must continue in mercy, even when this seems impossible, by enduring through and with and in God. On this Easter Tuesday let us reflect on the mercy we have granted those who wrong us. Let us remember the mercy we seek in our daily lives. And let us determine to cast our burden upon the broad shoulders of the Lord, for they are wide and broad and ready to take on all that we have to offer.

Tomorrow, the clean of heart.


Image from: https://hrh413.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/merciful-giver-or-doormat/

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hosea and gomerSaturday, January 8, 2022

Joy and Hosea – Metaphor

The prophets chronicle a people’s yearning for union with their creator and un uncanny understanding of their own vulnerabilities. Their words warn, threaten, exhort, and promise us that God is always present, even though we may not recognize this presence. The Old Testament prophecies foreshadow the good news of the New Testament, and they remind us that no matter our circumstance God’s joy rescues us from sure destruction, Christ’s joy redeems us from our recklessness, and the Spirit’s joy heals us despite the gravity of our wounds.  Today Hosea shows us his love for Gomer, his unfaithful wife. And he tells us that God’s joy will renew the darkest betrayal.

“A very sensitive, emotional man who could pass quickly from violent anger to the deepest tenderness. The prophecy pivots around his own unfortunate marriage to Gomer, a personal tragedy which profoundly influenced his teaching. In fact, his own prophetic vocation and message were immeasurably deepened by the painful experience he underwent in his married life”. (Senior 1108)

Hosea 2:15: There I will give back her vineyards to her and transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope. She will respond to me there, singing with joy as in days long ago in her youth after I had freed her from captivity in Egypt.

We might see this prophecy as a description of God’s infinite capacity for unrelenting compassion and restoration. And we might also experience it as a call to our own potential to forgive and heal.

I will give back her vineyards . . .

We might see this prophecy as Gomer’s inability to remain steadfast or faithful. And we might also experience it as our own opportunity to change.

She will respond to me there . . .

We might see this prophecy as Hosea’s journey from sorrow to joy. And we might also experience it as our own deepening joy in God’s presence in our lives.

She will sing with joy . . .

joySearch the verses of this prophecy and look for the metaphors that reflect your own valleys of troubles and doors of hope. In what relationships have you experienced betrayal by someone quite close to you? Where are the deserts and vineyards in your life? What idols and their priests have drawn you into their false promise? What doors of hope and joy have opened to you?


Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 1108. Print.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to further explore scripture, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right-hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar.

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parent-worthyWednesday, October 6, 2021

1 Thessalonians 2:11-13

God’s Eternal Call

As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you conduct yourselves as worthy of the God who calls you . . .

We linger with the thoughts that Jeremiah’s words bring to us in the 21st Century. This prophecy continues to move us millennia after it was first spoken. Each of us has experienced exile from a loved one or a loved place. Each of us has known the devastation of corrupt leadership and betrayal. Each of us has received God’s call to live in a manner worthy. Before we allow the words of the prophet to cease their resonating power, let us reflect on the power of God’s persistent, endless love.

God’s Eternal Call

This stillness of separation nurtures sweet embers of hope . . . for God is near.

The darkness of rejection gives way to a rising spark of confidence . . . for God is at hand.

Vertigo of displacement, sting of betrayal, agony of deception . . . consumed by God’s burning desire to live within.

Overcome not by darkness but by the piercing light of God’s love.

Fire of courage sweeps through dry tinder of exile.

Flames of resolution rise up to greet the call.

Anger, revenge, corruption . . . disappearing in the conflagration of God’s indwelling.

Hope, fidelity, love . . . living in a manner worthy of God’s eternal call. 

St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians – and he reminds us – that despite trials and suffering, God’s word is at work in us. This word will not be extinguished. This words breaks forth in the darkest of times. This word is the unceasing presence of God’s fervent call. Let us live in thanksgiving of this worthy indwelling.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you . . .


Image from: http://antiochcofc.org/#/worthy-of-gods-call/4556896195

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Jeremiah fire_bonesJeremiah 11

Of No Avail

What right has my beloved in my house, while she prepares her plots? A spreading olive tree, goodly to behold, the Lord has named you; now he sets fire to it, its branches burn.

Over the next few weeks we will explore the prophecy of Jeremiah, one in which we find “hopes and visions, doubts and hesitations, anger and resentment, arguments and pleading, persecution and rejection, perseverance and bonding”. (Senior 305) Today we look at the simple plea which each of us has uttered in our lives: Why do our sacrifices seem to be of no avail?

God says: I know that you are sometimes discouraged when you “do everything correctly” and still you feel unrewarded. You see many prosper who do not praise me and who, indeed, never even think of me. I see how this causes you pain. I also see that betrayal weighs so heavily on you that there are days when you cannot shift its heaviness. I understand that all of this may bring you sorrow but be patient with me. All is well even though you cannot see that it is. Bring your plaints to me and I will give you rest. Listen to my prophet Jeremiah and hear how he rails against me, and yet I love him still. As I also love you. I see the many sacrifices that you make for me and I assure you that although you believe them to be of no avail, each salvific action you make is in reality a precious moment to me. Your sacrifice is seen, heard, well-noted . . . and serves a greater purpose than you can imagine.

Enter the word sacrifice into the blog search bar and consider who, and how, and what, and why we sacrifice . . . and what we expect form God in return.


For more on this prophet and his prophecy, go to the Jeremiah – Person and Message page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/the-old-testament/the-prophets/jeremiah-person-and-message/

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 304-305. Print.

Image from: http://iamthewordthecomforter.blogspot.com/2010/02/jeremiah-prophet-of-bible-warning-of.html

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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

god heals2 Chronicles 11

A Prayer for Returning Home – A Reprise

This week we have looked closely at the process and power in asking for and giving forgiveness, in seeking and receiving healing, in pursuing and relying on God. We cry out against injustice and ask God’s intervention. We lament terror, horror, falsehood and betrayal; and we ask God to bring goodness out of all harm. Today we consider the power of returning home. And so we consider how we might move from loss to gain, from hate to love, from death to life.

The Healing

Anger, betrayal, loss death.

Silence, stillness, a numbing, penetrating chill.

Eyes slowly opening to see old light in a new way. The ringing din eases into two harmonious tones. We are not alone.

Joy, celebration, gift, life.


Image from: http://girlsofgodsheart.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-god-who-heals.html

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Monday, July 5, 2021

John 13:20-21

intimacy with God

Intimacy

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me”. When Jesus had said this, he became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray me”.

God says: Betrayal does not lurk within the bounds of intimacy with me as it too often does in human relationships. Intimacy with me is constant, honest, predictable, and safe. It is a refuge from the duplicity too frequently found in the world. Betrayal cuts deepest when it comes from those we love best. Of this I am well aware, and so this is why I tell you that my love for you is far greater than any pain the world brings you. My love for you is greater than any hate, betrayal, loss or death. My love for you knows no bounds, and when you are one in me you too, are boundless.

Enter the word intimacy into the blog search bar and consider the role it plays in our lives.


Image from: http://www.bennyhinn.org/intimacy-with-god/

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Friday, July 2, 2021

Jeremiah 20:10

Pierre Antoine de Machy: Place de la Révolution Exécution Capitale

Pierre Antoine de Machy: Place de la Révolution Exécution Capitale

Terror

I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce her!” All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. “Perhaps she will be trapped, then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on her”.

So much that we do – or fail to do – stems from fear. Fear that we will err, that we will be left alone, that we will be too foolish, too prickly, too slow, too something, too anything or too nothing.

God says: You do not need to afflict yourself with these terrors. Does not my prophet also say to you, “But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame’ to lasting, unforgettable confusion.” This utter and endless confusion comes upon your enemies through the very plots they lay out to entrap you. Always remember that you are not alone. Always remember that you are always guided and protected. Always remember that you are well loved. In that way, these terrors that grip you will fall away. These terrors that your enemies plot against you will vanish into nothing-ness.

Jesus tells us endlessly: Do not be afraid. Let us consider how fear operates in our lives and let us determine to remind one another that when we live in and through, and with God, there is nothing and no one we need fear.

Enter the word fear or terror into the blog search bar and reflect on who or what motivates us.


Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pierre-Antoine_Demachy_Une_ex%C3%A9cution_capitale,_place_de_R%C3%A9volution_ca_1793.jpg

To read more on how the Committee of Public Safety brought about a Reign of Terror in France, click on the image above or go to: http://sheg.stanford.edu/reign-of-terror

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Guercino: The Woman Taken in Adultery

Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri ): The Woman Taken in Adultery

2 Samuel 11 and 12 and Psalm 51

Sin and Parable – Part III

You do not delight in sacrifice or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

The damage that happens when lust takes someone over is uncountable. So many people suffer. There are more than just we two . . . just we three . . . just we four, five, six . . . Yet so many people today laugh this kind of betrayal away.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

The anger that is manifested by all parties in an adulterous relationship is often ignored. Society tends to sympathize with the “loyal” spouse left at home when the “wayward” spouse beds another. Yet psychologists tell us that both parties are culpable, that an intimate relationship outside of marriage is a statement about that marriage. There is no truth there.  There is no honesty there. There is no one there.

Enter the word adultery into the blog search bar and explore the effects this level of betrayal have on our body, mind and soul.


Image from: https://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/explore-the-collection/251-300/the-woman-taken-in-adultery/

Adapted from a reflection written on February 13, 2008.

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