Posts Tagged ‘Luke 12:48’

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Chaff flying in the wind . . .

Chaff flying in the wind . . .

Chaff in the Wind

Psalm 1:3-4

The faithful one is like a tree planted near streams of water, which bears fruit in its season, and whose leaves never wither.  In the same way, everything the faithful one does will prosper.  This is not true of the wicked, for they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 

We have been counseled to remain apart from those who delight in evil; we have been urged to maintain a close relationship with God.  Jesus, the Word Among Us, reminds us that we must do more than love those who love us; we must pray for those who wish us harm.

God says: I know that evil frightens you and this is as it should be.  But will you do more than avoid evil for me?  Will you pray for those planted in dry places?  Will you intercede for those who wither and die?  Will you think of them and pray for them as they fly like chaff in the wind?  Will you call them back to me?

Jesus tells us that much is expected of those who have been given much.  (Luke 12:48)  He says the same to us.  Jesus asks the man he cured of demons to return home and tell how much God has done for him.  (Luke 8:39He asks the same of us.  The resurrected Christ reminds Peter to feed the flock.  (John 21:15-25He also reminds us.

Type the word chaff in the blog search bar and examine how we might be chaff that flies before the wind or the word of God with Christ. 

Image from: http://www.new-ag.info/en/focus/focusItem.php?a=293 

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Deuteronomy 7: Blessings of Obedience

Count_blessings6[1]This is one of those portions of the Old Testament that we humans can distort to fit our own agenda; we might take it to mean that God shows partiality, or that some of us are somehow above others of us.  I do not believe this to be so, and careful reading of good commentary tells us otherwise.   The message we might better take away from today’s Noontime is this: Israel has a special function to serve in God’s plan – that of bringing other nations out of the darkness of pagan worship and into the light of mercy, justice and hope which the Living God brings to all.  From the HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY (Mays 198-199): “God has chosen Israel, not because of any special worthiness on its part, but out of God’s personal attachment based on divine love and the promises made to the ancestors (vv. 7-8).  The Exodus experience reveals that God’s essential character promises covenant loyalty over uncountable generations (vv. 8-9).  However, the integrity of God’s character also threatens individual retribution for those who are apostate (v. 10).  A further motive for wiping out Canaanite religion is offered by the promise of fertility for family, field, and flock (vv. 13-14), an especially appropriate counter to Baal’s claims to bestow fertility.  Obedience also leads to good health.  The plagues of the Exodus tradition will be reserved for enemies (v. 15)”.

When we consider this, we understand that rather than giving his chosen people an exemption from acting in God’s name, God is expecting his faithful to behave as he himself does: with justice and compassion, bringing hope, and acting in love.  This is the thinking we hear from Jesus in Luke 12:48: From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. 

Like Israel, the faithful are in a special covenant relationship with God.

Like Israel, the faithful are called to act in obedience to God’s call.

Like Israel, the faithful are graced with God’s countless blessing.

Like Israel, the faithful have not earned a “special worthiness” . . . yet are loved deeply and dearly by the Living God.

Image from: http://somewhereincraftland.blogspot.com/2011/01/count-your-blessing-subway-art.html

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 198-199. Print.

Written on October 31, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite. 

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Matthew 21:18-22: Withering the Fig Treea-fig

Friday August 12, 2016

This week we have looked at the many ways in which  Jesus wants to heal us. We have seen him give sight to those who are blind, hearing to those who are deaf, and movement to those who are paralyzed. All he asks in return is that we use the gifts he freely gives us to bear fruit for the kingdom. Today we look at a Favorite adapted from a reflection written on October 26, 2009.

In today’s reading we come across a story that is troubling for some: the sudden way in which Jesus withers a fig tree that has not produced fruit. Here Jesus has just entered Jerusalem and has cleansed the temple of the money changers. In the next portion of this story we will see Jesus’ authority questioned and we will sit at the Master’s feet to listen to a series of parables. Footnotes tell us that we might see Jesus’ actions here as ill-tempered and arbitrary, but it is really a prophetic act portending the judgment that is to come upon Israel “that with all its apparent piety lacks the fruit of good deeds and will soon bear the punishment of its fruitlessness”.  (Senior 45) Here too, besides this obvious portending of the future, Jesus affirms the amazing power of faith – that if we believe we too might cause trees to wither and mountains to be lifted up.  What we read is a strange dichotomy that causes us to think . . . a tool which any good teacher will use: The placement of a puzzle before students so that they might be called to think outside of the normal typical story.  What is Jesus doing when he withers the tree?

We might pose the theory that Jesus would win more converts if he had caused the tree to flourish; but then we miss the importance of our own free will. We, like the fig tree, have been planted in our particular place. We, like the fig tree, may have to exert ourselves to bear fruit. We, like the fig tree, will be held to an accounting of our stewardship of the gifts we have been given.

figIn one of our favorite stories, Queen Esther shrinks from the work she sees lying before her because she fears the loss of her own life and the lives of her fellow Jewish exiles. When she balks, her uncle Mordecai reminds her: Even if you now remain silent, relief and deliverance will some to the Jews from another source; but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows but it was for a time like this you obtained the royal dignity? (Esther 4:14) Who knows for which moment in time our gifts are meant? Who are we to parcel them out in a miserly fashion or to decide to keep these gifts safely tucked away for ourselves?

In Luke 12:48 at the close of the parable about the watchful servant, we hear Jesus remind us that much will be demanded of those who have been given much. We might think of this today as we move through our many small and big chores. What is it we have been given that we are asked to share? What can we do to be certain to produce fruit with the gifts we are given? And do we ourselves have the faith to wither trees and move mountains?

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.45. Print.  

For other views on this reading, click on the images above or visit: https://rgospel.com/2010/02/28/jesus-and-the-fig-tree/ and http://www.christianity.com/blogs/dr-ray-pritchard/how-did-the-fig-tree-wither-so-quickly.html 

Tomorrow, a gentle mastery.

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