This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
No one can serve two masters. ”I wanna say that anything is possible if you set your mind to it… All the blessings I have come to me from God… You gotta keep God first and always remember to keep family first.”
These words were spoken by someone very, very, VERY famous. They were spoken back in 2011. Do you know who? Keep guessing…
Ready? They were spoken by…(the answer is at the bottom of my meditation.)
I just came back from our 8th grade Confirmation retreat. I had a great time with the kids. Lots of laughing, smiling, praying and tears. I know the kids had a great time too. They came back beaming. I could see the love of God in their eyes.
However, I was a bit surprised at all of the Bieber bashing that went on during the retreat. I guess Bieber and his Beliebers are going down that all-too-familiar route of “entertainment divorce.” I was surprised by it all.
Bieber has made some mistakes in his life. That’s for sure. But we should not harsh on him. We should take note of him. Justin Bieber remains an incredibly talented young man who grew up in humble surroundings and rose to stardom in a Hollywood instant. He truly had the best intentions when he began his climb to the top, but something happened along the way: he forgot about God. Fame and money can do this to us. They can play tricks on us: make us feel like we are invincible, indestructible, incomparable.
Instead of people making fun of Bieber, we should be warned by him. What happened to him could easily happen to any of us. For goodness sake, the kid was only sixteen or seventeen when he became a multi-millionaire! Talk about being under a lot of pressure.
No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
We all live life in a very imbalanced way. It’s true. But that’s not the problem. The problem is what we tend to imbalance our lives with. So what is it that you seek? “O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”
The first commandment is a very imbalanced commandment: Love God above all things. This is not a problem. It is a challenge.
Put God first in your life. Put him above others and, most importantly, put him above yourself.
Putting God first in our life is key to living a very balanced life; that is, a holy life.
Forgetting God. Growing up, I had a lot of friends who were not very spiritual. The problem wasn’t that they hated God; they just didn’t think about Him. They thought (and some of them still do) about other things, like fast cars, fast women, fast money. They never had time for God and so they quickly forget about Him.
We forget. The Lord never forgets. But just like the sun, we are often reminded of God’s warmth, strength and beauty when the skies above us are overcast and gloomy. It is often under these conditions that we turn our attention back to Him, and wait for His powerful rays to shed some desperately needed warmth and light upon us.
How does God reveal His warmth and light on you? For me, it comes in the form of footnotes. As footnotes appear and function in novels, articles or essays is similar to how God reveal Himself and His Will in my “life story” and “short essays” – after it is said and done. That’s why my meditations are full of stories, they are God’s footnotes.
Do you skip footnotes? Do you skip your daily meditation and reflection?
We forget. The Lord never forgets. The prophet Isaiah fell to his knees and said to the Lord, “You have forgotten me. You have abandoned me. My people hate me. They despise every word that comes forth from me. Why have you abandoned me, Lord. Why have you forsaken me?” What comes next are some of the most tender and words in an Old Testament full of fury and fire: “My son, Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget (that is, even if the impossible were to happen), I will never forget you” (Is. 49:14-15).
“Rest in God alone, my soul” (Ps 62:6a). Do not forget Him. (134)
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- Catholic reflection Mt 6:24-34