Sunday, July 17, 2005



JULY 18, 2005

EXODUS 14:5-18
When it was reported to the king of Egypt that the people had fled,
Pharaoh and his servants changed their minds about them. They
exclaimed, "What have we done! Why, we have released Israel from our
service!" So Pharaoh made his chariots ready and mustered his
soldiers- six hundred first-class chariots and all the other chariots
of Egypt, with warriors on them all. So obstinate had the LORD made
Pharaoh that he pursued the children of Israel even while they were
marching away in triumph. The Egyptians, then, pursued them; Pharaoh's
whole army, his horses, chariots and charioteers, caught up with them
as they lay encamped by the sea, at Pi-hahiroth, in front of
Baal-zephon. Pharaoh was already near when the children
of Israel looked up and saw that the Egyptians were on the march in
pursuit of them. In great fright they cried out to the LORD. And they
complained to Moses, "Were there no burial places in Egypt that you had
to bring us out here to die in the desert? Why did you do this to us?
Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this in Egypt,
when we said, `Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians'? Far better
for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians than to die in the desert."
But Moses answered the people, "Fear not! Stand your ground, and you
will see the victory the LORD will win for you today. These Egyptians
whom you see today you will never see
again. The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep
still." Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the children of Israel to go forward. And you, lift up your staff
and, with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two, that
the children of Israel may pass through it on dry land. But I will make
the Egyptians so obstinate that they will go in after them. Then I will
receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and
charioteers. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I
receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers."

MATTHEW 12:38-42
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "Teacher, we wish to
see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful
generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign
of Jonah the prophet. .Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale
three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of
the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of
Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they
repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than
Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this
generation and condemn it,
because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of
Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here."

Jesus says to the Pharisees: the people of Nineva heard God in
Jonah's preaching and repented. The Queen of Sheba saw God's wisdom in
Solomon and traveled all the way to Jerusalem to do him homage. The
Pharisees saw the wonder of Jesus' miracles and heard the wisdom of his
teaching, and yet failed to recognize God speaking in him.

It's strange, because the Pharisees were intelligent men, learned in
the scriptures, religious professionals eagerly awaiting the coming of
the Messiah. How was it they misunderstood what God was writing in
clear, bold lines, in Jesus?

The Pharisees wanted the Messiah, but the Messiah they wanted was not
the type of Messiah Jesus intended to be. They heard Jesus talking
about the primacy of service to others, about suffering and turning the
other cheek; and they heard him criticizing their approach to religion.
This was not the kind of messiah they wanted. So they blinded
themselves to what God was writing in clear bold lines in Jesus.

Self-imposed blindness is a very common spiritual affliction. For
instance, do we see the sufferings imposed on half of the people in the
world? If we don't, then perhaps we are blinding ourselves to reality,
not just the material reality in front of us, but also the spiritual
reality of God suffering in the poor. Let us not become like the three
little monkeys who cover their eyes, cover their ears and seal their

Jesus said that on the Day of Judgment the people of Nineva and the
Queen of Sheba will rise up and condemn his generation. When the
people of Nineva and the Queen of Sheba rise up on the last day, will
they condemn our generation as well?

"Lord, give me your wisdom and increase my love for your ways. Help me
to resist temptation and all willfulness that I may wholly desire to do
what is pleasing to you."

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the special intentions of Cha.
- for the speedy recovery of Nikki L. Pasague.
- for the special intentions of Evangelyn.
- for the health of Tita Chan.
- for the guidance and prayer intentions of John Chan.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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