13:8 Blessed are the peacemakers.
13:15-16 Everything the light touches will be yours. Abraham, the father of all nations
Abram was so selfless and kind. Having Lot choose first and suggesting they part was a great way to solve the problem.
Lord, help me to be a peacemaker and a problem solver. Amen.
This Gospel reading is about the Jews asking Jesus if it was necessary to pay taxes. They were saying this to catch him saying something that they could arrest him for or something that would make the people stop following him. Christ’s response to their trick is to say, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and repay to God what belongs to God. “ This amazes them and they are just as confused about how to arrest them as they were before.
Before they insulted him with such a hypothetical question, they buttered him up saying how truthful he was and how bold he was. Jesus is the truth, so of course he’s truthful, and he is God so of course he’s bold. But our Lord calls us to model after him. The only way to speak truth is to know truth. How do we come to know truth? Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. Follow after Christ, learn all you can about him, spend time in Scripture, spend time in prayer, go to Mass more often, go to Confession more often. The only way to know the Lord is to encounter him, in his word and in his sacraments. If we wish to speak truth, we must first spend time studying truth.
The second thing Jesus models for us is boldness. We see the Jews saying, “you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.” Do you share God’s love boldly as he did? I know I don’t. We live in a world concerned about niceness and tolerance. I have certainly fallen into that habit. When someone has said something contrary to scripture, I hold my tongue because I don’t want to rock the boat. Jesus says to speak up when this happens. Be bold! Be more concerned about how he sees the situation and less concerned about challenging someone. He stood up for us so we need to stand up for him.
Our Lord knows that the path to heaven is narrow because he paved it that way. He wants it to be narrow so we follow behind him and walk in his every footstep. My prayer today is that we will live boldly for the Lord and seek to know him better so that we may proclaim the truth.
This Gospel reading is the Parable of the Tenants. Jesus tells the scribes and pharisees a story about a farmer who builds a farm up and plants the vineyard then rents it out. At harvest time he sends a servant to collect what belongs to him at the end of season. The tenants aren’t too happy so they beat the servant and send him back to the land owner. Then, the land owner sends more servants but all of them are beaten or killed. Finally he sends his son, hoping the tenants will respect him. They don’t and they kill him too, thinking they will receive the inheritance. Jesus is speaking about himself in this parable.
After spending some time contemplating this, the Lord shared with me that I am the cornerstone the builders rejected. I spent time living for the world; not in it, but for it. I sought love and peace from a world that only had hate and unrest to share. After 20 years I opened my heart to Christ and I have found the love and peace I was seeking. When I found it, the world rejected me. No one wants to hear that there is an all powerful God that wants to help. We are all too proud to accept his grace and mercy. But through this rejection by friends that wanted to stay in the world, I have become the cornerstone.
The Lord wishes to use each of us to grow his kingdom. The great commission was for each of us, granted it is lived out in different ways. Jesus wants all of us to go out and proclaim the Good News to everyone. We all have made mistakes and we have all been rejected by the people we love because we wanted to live a life that pleased God not the world. Christ wants us to become that cornerstone by accepting that rejection and using it to evangelize. He has placed on my heart a desire to share my struggles with young women, to encourage them not to make the same mistakes I have.
Each of us has a story to tell that will encourage someone else to live a life for Christ. Jesus wants us to be rejected by the world because that rejection is necessary for us to share his mercy with others. I’d like to encourage you today to take your past mistakes and share how the Lord’s grace has pulled you out, tell people what it means to be a beloved child of the Most High. Please don’t ever let worldly rejection discourage you. Always remember that they hate us because they first hated him. But we are built for a love that is found only through him. Cling to that love and find the courage to share your heart.
12:1 When God calls we must obey and allow him to reveal his plan and trust Him.
12:2-3 God loves Abram
12:4 Abram obeyed
12:7 God promises great things for his family.
12:12-13 Abram is being selfish and forcing his wife to lie.
12:17 Our sins cause others to sin and God allows them to hurt because of our transgressions.
Abram just picked up everything and left without question. I pray that if you call me to do something like that, that I obey you. Obedience is an important virtue that I need to work on. Also, please don’t push Dad for my sins. I see that our sins, if left untreated, can harm those around us.
Lord, please help me to be more obedient and honest. I wish to have better character to help grow your Kingdom. Amen
11:3-4 They were prideful. So God had to humble them.
11:7 God is humbling them and this is why things got lost in translation.
Language is very important and I understand why you confused us. I hope to unconfused some languages to help me to share you better with others.
Thank you for explaining why there are so many languages. Amen.
I know that knowing who gave birth to who is important, but it’s also confusing.
Please give me the strength to get through these Hebrew names. Amen.
9:2-3 We can eat meat now.
9:4 Nothing alive and nothing with blood.
9:6 We are made in His image so He will always love us.
9:7 Care for God’s creation.
9:11, 13-15 God is remembering all animals. God loves all creatures not just us.
9:22-23 Ham gossiped. Shem and Japheth did not want to shame their father, instead honor him.
I can eat meat as long as it doesn’t still have blood. I must respect all God’s creatures. I shouldn’t gossip. I should honor my parents.
Lord, I pray you make me more of a Shem than a Ham and that I love all of your creatures as you do and obey your eating laws. Amen.