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Monthly Archives: October 2021

SALVATION BELONGS TO OUR GOD, AND TO THE LAMB

SALVATION BELONGS TO OUR GOD, AND TO THE LAMB

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of ALL SAINTS, 1 November 2021)

First Reading:  Revelation 7:2-4,9-14

Psalms: Psalm 24:1-6; Second Reading: 1John 3:1-3; Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

The Scripture Text

Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they felt on their faces before the throne and worshiped God for ever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”(Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14 RSV)

“Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10)

If we were to remember one thing about ALL SAINTS DAY, it should be this: The women and men we honor today take no credit for their triumph. They know that salvation is God’s work. They know that they are standing before the throne of God only because they trusted in and held fast to His promises and His power during times of hardship, persecution, and temptation. The mark on their foreheads is a constant testimony to Jesus, who empowered them to remain faithful.

You will not find most of these spiritual victors on any official list. This is a celebration of the countless saints in heaven whose faith and works are known only to God and perhaps a few other people. And this is this is their message to us. Their hiddenness shows that we too can be saints, if only we hold tenaciously to the truth that “salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10).

Every day, we face decisions about whom we will trust, believe in, and obey. Every day, we are called to lift our hearts to the Holy Spirit and let Him strengthen and transform us. Even when we sin, our trust in God’s mercy can enable us to repent and stand firm, confident that we remain the beloved of God. Throughout our day, we can repeat the saints’ rallying cry, “Salvation belongs to God, and to the Lamb!” and know that the outcome of the battle is first and foremost God’s business.

On this great festival day, let the saints convince each and everyone of us that holiness is not meant just for a select few. Let them show us that all things are possible with God. What happens when everyday people are faithful to their call, take God at His word, and allow Him to work through them? They join all the other saints in joyful celebration around God’s throne.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be faithful in running the race, to never turn back or grow weary. May I one day be counted among that joyful, heavenly multitude who praise and worship You forever. Amen.

Jakarta, 31 October 2021 [31st ORDINARY SUNDAY – YEAR B]

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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MARK 12:34 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 12:28-34)

Jakarta, 31 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT

(A biblical reflection on the 31st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME [Year B] – 31 October 2021)

Gospel Reading: Mark 12:28-34

First Reading: Deuteronomy 6:2-6; Psalms: Psalm 18:2-4,47,51; Second Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28

The Scripture Text

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well, asked Him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and 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.” And the scribe said to Him, “You are right, Teacher; You have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that He answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask Him any question.(Mark 12:28-34 RSV)

Jesus praised the scribe for understanding that love is God’s most important commandment. Love of God and love of neighbour – these were the great commandments, Jesus told him. And the man agreed wholeheartedly.

But it is not as easy as it sounds. Real love is a great challenge to us – modern women and men – greater than ever before. We – especially people of big cities – have too many material comforts, and that tends to make people selfish. In the old days people had to struggle hard and give up much for the basic family and community needs. Children had to work hard on farms to help keep the family alive; families had to give generously of their own time and materials to build churches and community centers. This had its drawbacks, but it was a genuine gift of self, a human response, cooperation for the common needs. And it developed a sense of responsibility.

Today we do not automatically feel this great for each other. And how many people are lonely and starved for true love! An increasing flood of false literature gives a wrong picture of what human love is. If you do not have shiny teeth and soft hair and rosebud perfume, nobody will love you. We laugh at these ridiculous TV commercials, but they seep into our thinking. They make us want to get instead of give. Love then becomes a mere surface attraction which has nothing to do with real love.

What a tragedy if a beautiful home with color TV, two fine cars and all the rest, is an unhappy home, because true love is missing. There is no real love which is not open and generous and sacrificing and well-disciplined. God is love, and only those who live in real love can live in God. True love goes out of self to others. If genuine love does not actively grow and flourish in the family, how can it go out to others? Here is the parents’ first responsibility: to teach real love to their children, by having it themselves. They must learn love in order to learn of God, for God is love.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, teach me to love because God is love, and only those who live in real love can live in God. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.HisHis

Jakarta, 30 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

 
 

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LUKE 14:11 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1,7-11)

Jakarta, 30 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 14:5-6 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 14:1-6)

Jakarta, 29 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 6:19 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 6:12-19)

Jakarta, 28 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 13:30 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 13:22-30)

Jakarta, 27 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 13:20-21 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 13:18-21)

Jakarta, 26 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2021 in PARABLES OF JESUS

 

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LUKE 13:15-17 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 13:10-17)

Jakarta, 25 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MARK 10:51-52 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 10:46-52)

Jakarta, 24 October 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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