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JESUS TALKS ABOUT MARRIAGE

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 10:1-12 – SEVENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Friday, 25 May 2018

As Jesus continues His ministry, the subject of marriage arises. To the Jewish practice of prevalent and easy male divorce of women, Jesus refers to the Book of Genesis as evidence of God’s original intention for marriage. Man and woman are to be united in an indestructible bond of love for life.

In our century, this is an unusually difficult Gospel pronouncement. Marriage has never been easy but in a climate of socially acceptable and facile divorce, a text like this demands heroic effort. It fits especially well into the controlling theme of Marks’s Gospel: suffering as a mark of true discipleship. To make a marriage relationship work requires a great deal of effort and pain. It demands a recurrent process of reconciliation.

A vibrant and effective spiritual life is not automatic. It is the result of effort, planning and sacrifice.

Jakarta, 25 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

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1 JOHN 4:11

Jakarta, 25 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JESUS TALKS ABOUT SIN

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:41-50 – SEVENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Thursday, 24 May 2018 

Today’s Gospel reading is about a balance sheet of sorts. Jesus asks us to compare the eternal destiny we choose with the short-run comforts we experience in this life. The pursuit of pleasure, power or money at any price can destroy our capacity for love and faith. It affects the kind of people we become.

The kind of existence we will have after death is defined by our life here. If we have suffocated our hearts by greed and hate, the Lord will say to us at the final judgment, “Very well. That is what you will be forever!” We call this hell. If we have spent our lives in efforts of love and hope, the Lord will say, “That is what you shall be forever!” This we call heaven. In each case, the choice is ours to make in this life.

Material accumulation cannot satisfy the built-in desire of every human being for the goods of the Spirit: love, faith and hope.

Jakarta, 24 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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EPHESIANS 2:8

Jakarta, 24 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim 

 

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JESUS TALKS ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:38-40 – SEVENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Wednesday, 23 May 2018 

Life is wasted by nurturing old wounds. We should give them a chance to heal. The Kingdom is at our fingertips. To feed animosities is to drive the Kingdom of God further beyond our grasp. Rather than drawing tight lines between people according to income level, nationality and ideology, we should look to the larger enterprise in which we are all engaged.

Jesus tells us to unite ourselves with people of good will wherever they are. Many people who do not carry the name of Catholic or Christian have devoted their lives toward goals related to our own. We should not blind ourselves to these deeper tie that bind huge sectors of the human race.

Differences are easy to create. Hundreds of them are generated every day in schoolyards, homes and offices across the nation. It is more difficult to find the lines of unity among people.

Jakarta, 23 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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ISAIAH 48:10

Jakarta, 23 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JESUS TALKS ABOUT DISCIPLESHIP (AND CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP)

Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:30-37 – SEVENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 22 May 2018

This is Jesus’ second prediction of His coming, suffering, death and Resurrection. He continues to explain to the disciples not the specifics of the Resurrection glory but the necessity of the pain and suffering preceding it. This is the question that plagues every Christian heart and mind.  Some disciples continue to avoid the point as they argue about position and power.

Jesus places a child in their midst to insist that position and power are not guarantees of genuine discipleship. In those days, a child had few rights. Children were seen as little more than parental property. What the Lord is emphasizing is that care for the insignificant for the Gospel’s sake is the touchstone of true discipleship. It is not title but service that distinguishes the follower of Christ.

Jakarta, 22 May 2018

A Christian Pilgrim 

 

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