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Tag Archives: JESUS CHRIST

WE NEED TO RE-LEARN CHILD-LIKE QUALITIES

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14 – NINETEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 14 August 2018

We are fortunate that the disciples asked Jesus the question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus’ answer is delightfully refreshing, so spontaneous and so revealing of His heart of love. Jesus indicates to us qualities which are endearing to Him.

He begins by telling His disciples that they must ‘change’ and become like ‘little children’. This is a call to us who may be too preoccupied with the pursuit of personal gain to alter (change) the direction of our life. We need to re-learn child-like qualities. The humility of the child enables him to be content with the simple things of life, not to complete or compare himself with others and not to take offence. The child has no malice and is open and trusting. Such should be our trust in our heavenly Father. Another characteristic is the ability to marvel and be surprised by the little wonders of life.

To Jesus, every individua is important. Jesus thinks in terms of each person. Such should be the attitude of His disciples. No one is unimportant … the child, the lonely, the helpless, the marginalized. May we learn from them even as we try to minister to them.

Let us ask Lord Jesus to create a child-like heart as well as to put a humble and trusting spirit within each and every one of us.

Jakarta, 14 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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JESUS AND THE HALF-SHEKEL TEMPLE TAX – THE BACKGROUND OF THE STORY

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:22-27 – NINETEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Monday, 13 August 2018 

We may well ask why is it that this story of the half-shekel tax (the Temple tax) was ever transmitted at all? For reasons of space the gospel writers had to select their material. Why select this story? The Gospel of Matthew was written between A.D. 80 and 90. Now just a little before that time Jews and Jewish Christians had been faced with a very real and a very disturbing problem. We saw that every male Jew over twenty had to pay the Temple tax; but the Temple was totally destroyed in A.D. 70, never to be rebuilt. After destruction of the Temple, Vespasian, the Roman emperor, enacted that the half-shekel Temple tax should now be paid to the treasury of the Temple-of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome.

Here indeed was a problem. Many of the Jews and of the Jewish Christians were violently inclined to rebel against this enactment. Any such widespread rebellion would have had disastrous consequences, for it would have been utterly crushed at once, and would have gained the Jews and the Christians the reputation of being bad and disloyal and disaffected citizens.

The story was put into the gospels to tell the Christians, especially the Jewish Christians, that, however unpleasant they might be, the duties of a citizen must be shouldered. It tells us that Christianity and good citizenship go hand in hand. The Christian who exempts himself from the duties of good citizenship is not only failing in citizenship, he is also failing in Christianity.

Source: William Barclay, THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE – The Gospel of Matthew Volume 2 – Chapters 11-23 (pages 170-171)

Jakarta, 13 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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A PRAYER ON SUNDAY MORNING

Jakarta, 12 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2018 in A TREASURY OF PRAYERS

 

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SAINT LAWRENCE, Deacon and Martyr – FEAST: 10 August

Lawrence was a deacon of the Church of Rome and died in the persecution of Valerian four days after Pope Saint Sixtus II and his four fellow deacons. He was buried on the Via Tiburtina at the Campo Verano near to where Constantine the Great built a basilica. He has been venerated throughout the Church from the fourth centtury.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You inspired Saint Lawrence with so ardent a love, that his life was renowned for the service of Your people and his death for the splendor of his martyrdom. Help us to love what he loved and to lie as he showed us. We pray this in the mst precious name of our  Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 10 August 2018

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Posted by on August 10, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE

 

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A SEED MUST DIE TO PRODUCE A NEW PLANT

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-23 – EIGHTEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Thursday, 9 August 2018 

The cross has been a stumbling block not only to Peter but to mankind in general throughout the centuries. The question is so often asked: why suffering? Why the cross? Why did Christ have to become the Man of Sorrow so that we might become the children of God?

Suffering and death remains a mystery, but we do see some light in nature. We see here that strange truth, that paradox, that death produces life. A seed must die to produce a new plant. A mother undergoes the pangs of childbirth to bring about new life. Ultimately we can’t reach eternal life without first dying to this life.

Christ’s death makes eternal life possible for us. But we must first share in His death by a dying to self. Jesus is very clear about this, “If a man wishes to come after Me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross and begin to follow in my footsteps.” No hedging here. The words are clear and emphatic. Everywhere in the Scriptures we can read that our union with Christ is conditioned by our conformity with Him in His sufferings on this earth.

The reason we suffer with Christ is that we may be glorified with Him. Without the cross there is no glory, without death, no resurrection. Without Good Friday there never would have been an Easter Sunday. So also does our Easter, our resurrection to new life, both here and hereafter, depend on how we accept our earthly Good Friday.

Jakarta, 9 August 2018

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Posted by on August 9, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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JESUS PRAISES A WOMAN’S FAITH

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 15:21-28 – EIGHTEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Canaanite [pagan] woman comes to the Lord Jesus for a healing miracle for her child. Jesus transcends the prejudices of His day and heals her child. The tiny dialogue we have can be variously interpreted because we have the words but not the music. We do not know whether the tone of His conversation is light banter, serious inquiry, rabbinic style or magisterial pronouncement.

What is clear is that Jesus and the Canaanite woman both recognized a priority to be given to the Jews in His ministry. That was an historical fact. In this tiny vignette, Jesus races past Jeremiah’s (First Reading) vision of of Jewish unity toward a reuniting of mankind, Jesus is a universal Savior.

Our differences should strengthen our unity and not generate division.

Jakarta, 8 August 2018

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Posted by on August 8, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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TOO LITTLE FAITH

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-36 – EIGHTEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water, but when the high waves came at him he got scared and began to sink. The Lord took him by the hand and saved him from drowning, but at the same time rebuked him, “How little faith you have.”

There are many lessons we can draw from this Gospel passage. After much action, a busy day, at least after a busy week, we need prayer. Our Lord did it. He went off alone to pray. On the stormy seas of life we should have faith that Christ is always near us. When the sea became stormy, here was Jesus walking on the waters. It should give us confidence, joy and peace to be aware of Christ’s nearness, His goodness, His mercy, His divine power over the storms of life.

Faith is the foundation of everything in our Christian life. If we have to ask ourselves, “why did you falter?” We know the answer is always, at least in part, “because we had too little faith.” Remember: The presence of the Lord is our constant strength.

Jakarta, 7 August  2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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