Thursday June 7, 2018

 

RIP most favored son of Germantown, IL.  Confused?  Don’t be, just know that Stan the Man has his roommate back…

Please pray for…The STL Cardinals!!  Enough said on that.

Growing up, I can tell you one of the favored lines/questions of my parents were…”How many times do you have to be told?”  Today’s readings scream that same message today.  Let’s take a minute to go through some of the “screams”…

If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

But if we deny HIM, He will deny US.  Let’s say this again, so it sinks in a little deeper – If we deny Him, He will deny us.  If we deny Him, what is it we are denying?  How about the way – our only path to God; how about the truth – only in Christ can we find salvation; how about life – life eternal where joy never ends.

Remind people of these things
and charge them before God to stop disputing about words.
This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen.
Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God,
a workman who causes no disgrace,
imparting the word of truth without deviation.

I don’t mean to be political with this comment, but it does lend to the meaning to stop disputing about words – let’s stop “defining what is is”.  Be a man (or woman) of God and speak only the truth.  Do not preach to others in a way that imparts “your” meaning of the truth but speak only in way that imparts God’s truth, God’s love and do this without deviation.  God is love and can do no wrong.  We are all made in the image and likeness of God and should work – man – to live in God’s truth.

How do I live in the Truth?  Pray for that knowledge…just as our Psalmist did.

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5AB, 8-9, 10 AND 14

R. (4) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way. 
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
The message of “How many times have you been told?”  continues with the Gospel.  You’ve also read it in this blog.  Again and again and again, Christ implores us to follow the commandments of God.  We hear again in today’s Gospel.  What does Gospel mean anyway?  Loosely translated – GOOD NEWS.  So, we hear the GOOD NEWS that the greatest of God’s commandments are…
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself

is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.  Mk 12:28-34
Jesus is one clever individual.  When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus only mentioned two. On first blush one might think there are only two commandments to follow out of the ten given to us.  Truth be told, all 10 commandments – ALL OF THEM – are given in today’s Gospel.  The first 3 commandments define how one should Love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength.  The remaining 7 commandments teach us how to love our neighbor as our self.  That response reflects the advice given in the first reading – imparting the word of truth without deviation and ties in the purpose of the prayer in our Psalm – Teach me your ways, O Lord.
So again – how many times to we have to be told – follow the commandments of God.  Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you would yourself.  Again, one little tip – memorize the 10 commandments and add them as part of your regular prayer.  When reciting the commandments, I offer this last tip…don’t pray “Thou shalt not” or “Thou shall”…that is what God would say to us.  Rather, commit to God’s commandments and pray “I will not” or “I will”.  Do we need to ask how “will” is defined?  Will is a verb; a verb requires action…
verb. [with object] 1literary, formal Intend, desire, or wish (something) to happen
One quick example:  I WILL, I DESIRE to keep holy the Sabbath.
Do something great for our Lord today – commit to His commandments.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid.
Jesus, I trust in You.

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