Looking for a good read? My wife is always imploring me to read books that she has read and found both inspirational and challenging. She just finished Immortal Combat by Fr. Dwight Longenecker and I’ve started reading it now too. The Gospels these past few days and continuing into next week have been what I would call a good read, Matthew’s 5th Chapter of his Gospel. I am posting it here in this hyperlink for you to have quick access to…just take a quick look at the topics discussed in this Chapter.
The Sermon on the Mount. The Similes of Salt and Light. Teaching About the Law. Teaching About Anger. Teaching About Adultery. Teaching About Divorce. Teaching About Oaths. Teaching About Retaliation. Love of Enemies.
Sermons? Teaching? Sounds like exciting stuff, eh? Actually, with everything going on in our world, I believe it just doesn’t happen to be chance that these readings are showing up daily for us to contemplate. God has a plan and talks to us daily, we just need to recognize that message. Go back to the 1st reading from yesterday…
Reading 1 1 KGS 19:9A, 11-16
At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.
But the word of the LORD came to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”
He replied, “I have been most zealous for the LORD,
the God of hosts.
But the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant,
torn down your altars,
and put your prophets to the sword.
I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.”
The LORD said to him,
“Go, take the road back to the desert near Damascus.
When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king of Aram.
Then you shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel,
and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. God didn’t come to Elijah through a strong and heavy wind or a booming earthquake or the heat of a fire, but in tiny whisper. How many times do we look for God in the earthquake or the fire but miss His message because it came to us in a whisper. Our Gospels this week are that tiny whisper in which He is speaking to us, teaching us.
Monday: When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them…
Tuesday: Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
Wednesday: Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Thursday: Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…
Friday: Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Saturday: Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all…
Next Monday: Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek…
Next Tuesday: Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…
Next Wednesday: Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
Next Thursday: Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray:
‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Whisper a prayer in the morning,
Whisper a prayer at noon;
Whisper a prayer in the ev’ning,
To keep your heart in tune.
God answers prayer in the morning,
God answers prayer at noon;
God answers prayer in the ev’ning,
To keep your heart in tune.
Jesus may come in the morning,
Jesus may come at noon;
Jesus may come in the ev’ning,
So keep your heart in tune.
Do something great for our Lord today – find Him in the whispers of your life. Follow the lessons He reveals and teaches us in the Gospels. They are the true Word, they are the Truth.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.
Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.