This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week In Ordinary Time
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Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.
The Lord never traveled far. He didn’t have to. Everything He needed to know, everything He needed to experience, and everything He needed was near to Him.
During Christ’s time on earth, there were holy and unholy people; powerful and powerless people; arrogant and humble folks surrounding Him. There was poverty and disease all around Him. There were believers and non-believers in His midst.
He didn’t need to go to the Philippines to do missionary work. He didn’t need to collect pennies in Galilee to fight corruption in East Africa. He didn’t need to watch the horrors of life on TV. He saw all these things on a daily basis. He saw all these things around town.
Teenagers often think that once they get out of school - leave their little “bubble” – they will be accepted and loved for being who they are. They’re wrong. There will still be plenty of people that will hate them, ridicule them, embarrass them, gossip about them and hold a grudge against them. A change in schools does not necessarily translate into a change in how people see things and them.
St. Paul reminds his brethren: “You, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness…you are children of the light and children of the day” (1Thess. 5:9-11).
Are you holding a grudge against someone? Is this grudge filling your life with dark thoughts, dark dreams and dark actions?
Have you come to destroy us? A man with an unclean spirit approached Jesus and cried out: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
Disturbed people tend to say disturbing things.
The atheist and well-educated Richard Dawkins tends to say very disturbing things. Disturbing, because education is suppose to solve the problem of intolerance. Recently, I found a t-shirt sold by an atheist organization that was very disturbing to me. It read: “Religion. Together we can find the cure.” This is very disturbing; as disturbing as Hitler’s final solution (or cure) to a problem that never really existed but was created by the mind of a very disturbed man.
The thoughts of Jesus are not disturbing. They are liberating. They are not of destroying. They are of saving; of a million ways to love someone.
Destroy you? I did not come to destroy you. I came to save you. I love you!
Unfortunately, every time we sin we undergo a profound change in our body, mind, soul and heart. Sin affects the way we see people and things. Everything gets distorted. We become restless. We become bored. We get negative in just about everything, sarcastic in just about everyone, and hostile towards anything that is good, right and holy. We begin to take people and things for granted and see life as a tremendous burden rather than a tremendous blessing.
I came to save you. I love you. As a child of the light, I know what faith in Christ has done for me. It has taken the burden off of me. I no longer believe in violence to end conflicts. I know longer believe in surgical strikes to find peace and justice. Faith in God has encouraged me and challenged me to work harder in forgiving – and not retaliating - against my enemies. With His Commandments, He has tied my hands, and I have let my hands be tied.
As a child of the light, I know I can rely on faith and forgiveness to heal old wounds; hope and time to be understood; love and sacrifice to make my heart more like His.
“For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through Jesus Christ, who died for us…So encourage one another and build one another up” (1Thess. 5:10-11).
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