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Posts Tagged ‘faith-hope-love’


Psalm 89: A Hymn in Time of National Struggle – Part V

Saturday, January 27, 2018

John Singleton Copley: Eli and Samuel

Finding the Servant

We have taken a quick journey through the Books of Samuel to see that life in our century has much in common with life in ancient days. Some might say that as a species, we have not made much progress. Others may disagree, pointing to improved living conditions for some, though not for all. The Old Testament perspective we see in 1 and 2 Samuel gives way to the New Testament good news that God has come to live among us as a clear sign of God’s love for us. The message that Jesus brings is clear, although not always altogether comfortable. Christ calls us today to tend to those on the margins of our societies who do not benefit from the advances some of us have made, and this clearly will cause times of national struggle.

If we look at the Books of Samuel more closely, and the vivid characters who tell their stories so well, we see clear lessons for living.

How do we handle the corruption we experience? We might take a lesson from God’s message to us when we remember that the young prophet Samuel – who leads a young nation to unity – is raised by a corrupt Temple priest. If God protects and guides a faithful servant to blossom and grow in an environment that lacks authenticity, then we must trust God to protect and guide us today. (1 Samuel 3)

What do we do with our feelings of jealousy or envy?  It is possible to hear a message when we recount the story of Saul’s greed and disappointment when the women sing, Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands. If God inspires David to show courage and love to his enemies, then we must trust God to inspire us today. (1 Samuel 18-19)

Matteo Roselli: The Triumph of David

How might we step out of our comfort zone? Perhaps we learn something about the story of David showing mercy to Saul during the time when Saul persecuted David. If God provides strength and hope to a faithful servant during a time of national turmoil, then we must trust God to bring us strength and hope today. (1 Samuel 24)

How might we better understand God’s plan? We might learn a lesson when we take in the story of David among the Philistines. If we find ourselves working well with our enemies – much to our surprise – then we must trust God’s wisdom and grace more than we trust our own instincts. (1 Samuel 27)

We hear this story . . . we take it in . . . and then we reply with the psalmist and King David . . . O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love; I will proclaim your faithfulness forever.

When we compare other translations of these chapters in 1 Samuel, we open ourselves to God’s fidelity, hope, love, grace and wisdom.

We can learn more about the priest Eli who raised the prophet Samuel in the Temple when we visit: https://bible.org/seriespage/4-rise-samuel-and-fall-eli-and-sons-1-samuel-31-422

Tomorrow, more lessons from Samuel.  

 

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John 14:12-14: Seek Wholeness – The Work

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

If we cannot believe Christ’s presence in our lives today, we can at least do the works we see Jesus doing in the Gospels. Over time, we will discover that Jesus brings us hope.

I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works.

If we do not trust God with the enormous events of our lives, we can at least trust God with small actions. Over time, we will discover that God is faithful.

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing.

If we do not allow the Spirit to heal us through transformation, we can at least open ourselves to the possibility of renewal. Over time, we will discover the Spirit’s deep and abiding love for us.

You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

God says: Despite your doubts, despite your fears, despite your anxieties, you are already whole. I breathe in you. I rest in you. I work and play and pray in you. If you seek wholeness, know that you already possess it. And this possession becomes evident if you can only do the works you see Jesus doing. When you step into my Way, you discover that you are loved into a wholeness that you recognize readily. Trust me. You can count on it.

When we use the scripture link and drop-down menus to explore versions of these verses, we discover that we are already whole in our Gospel work of Christ’s Way.

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Jeremiah 39: God is my Greatness

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Seal of Gedaliah

Seal of Gedaliah

From the www.biblehub.com dictionary: “Gedaliah – (God is my greatness), son of Ahikam. Jeremiah’s protector, (Jeremiah 26:24) and grandson of Shaphan the secretary of King Josiah. After the destruction of the temple, B.C. 588, Nebuchadnezzar departed from Judea, leaving Gedaliah with a Chaldean guard, (Jeremiah 40:5) at Mizpah to govern the vinedressers and husbandmen, (Jeremiah 52:16) who were exempted from captivity. Jeremiah jointed Gedaliah; and Mizpah became the resort of Jews from various quarters. (Jeremiah 40:6,11) He was murdered by Ishmael two months after his appointment”.

In today’s Noontime reading we meet Gedaliah, a governor of Judah who tries to protect the prophet Jeremiah, later meets a violent death; yet his name reminds us that God is my greatness. Might we also say the same when we meet evil? Might we have the fidelity, hope and love to rely on God no matter our circumstances?

As we look at the world around us we may believe that our systems and structures are coming apart; and we may be tempted to seek shelter under the narrow arms of a demagogue. This would only demonstrate that we have forgotten that God is our greatness. When we observe unusual weather patterns and devastating natural events, we might think that we have driven nature beyond its own limits; and we might want to blind ourselves to the realities that confront us. This would only confirm that we have forgotten that God is our greatness. In those times when family or friends betray us – or when we find that we are the betrayers – we may believe that we are alone. This would only reject the knowledge that God is our greatness. Today we are given the opportunity to reflect on all that plagues and blesses us. And we are given the opportunity to remember that beyond any doubt, beyond any fear, beyond any anxiety we do well to remember that indeed, God is our greatness.

Today we remember as we reflect . . . we are Easter People.

 To learn more about Gedaliah, click on the image above, or visit: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tzom-gedaliah/ 

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formacion-solTuesday

January 13, 2015

Joy and Obadiah

Catastrophe

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 Obadiah describes the catastrophe that comes upon the faithful, and he also describes the restoration that the Lord has in mind for each of us.

“The twenty one verses of this book contain the shortest and sternest prophecy in the Old Testament. Nothing is known of the author, although his oracle against Edom, a long-standing enemy of Israel, indicates a date of composition sometime in the fifth century B.C. During this period the Edomites had been forced to abandon their ancient home near the Gulf of Aqaba and had settled in southern Judah, where they appear among the adversaries of the Jews returning from exile. The prophecy is a bitter cry for vengeance against Edom for its heinous crimes”. (Senior 1135)

There is no mention of joy in this brief prophecy, but among the verses focused on revenge there is the promise of restoration.  There shall be a portion saved . . .

There is no celebration in these passionate verses, but among the words describing violence there is the promise of return. The mountain shall be holy . . .

There is no rejoicing in these fervent words, but among the images there is the promise of rescue. And the kingship shall be the Lord’s . . .

Obadiah delivers harsh news and disappears. We know little of him except that he held a deep belief that God always saves the faithful prevails and that God always prevails. We might find no joy in the face of national disaster in Obadiah’s words but what we do find is a call to steadfast fidelity, zealous love and outrageous hope. And this is a call we might celebrate with great joy.

joySenior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 1135. Print.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, 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. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

 

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