Friday, September 09, 2005
SATURDAY 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
SEPTEMBER 10, 2005
SATURDAY 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME - YEAR I
1 TIMOTHY 1:15-17
Beloved: This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the
foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me,
as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an
example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting
life. To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus said to his disciples: "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its
own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they
gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness
in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil
produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.
"Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command? I will
show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and
acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply
and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst
against that house but could not shake it because it had been well
built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who
built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst
against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed."
Is salvation by faith or by works? Some say "by faith" while others may
say "by faith and good works". Is there a conflict? Today's gospel may
provide an answer.
Paul says, "Salvation is yours through faith. This is not your own
doing. It is God's gift. Neither is it a reward for anything you have
accomplished." Yet James also says, "Be assured then, that faith
without works is as dead as a body without breath." Who is right, Paul
or James? Are they in conflict or in harmony?
It is not a matter of comparing Paul to James. It is a matter of
comparing them both to the words of Jesus. Jesus is the corner stone of
our faith. The body of Christ is one. Paul and James are united in
Christ. Faith and works, likewise, become one in Christ. If there is
one, so must there be the other. Faith without works is dead, but works
without faith accomplish nothing.
Jesus says in today's gospel that a true desire for him will bring
forth the fruit of faith in good works. If we really desire Christ, we
will seek to follow him. If we do not follow what he asks of us, we
should probably discern if we really want to follow him. Works become
a candid and stark measure of our desire and our faith.
This desire, then, is itself, a work of God's grace. It cannot be
earned, but we must respond by acting on this desire. God holds out the
gift of salvation to us, and he implants within us the desire for that
gift. If the desire is real in us, we will reach out through our
actions to receive this gift of God.
Do we act on the words of Jesus? Do we really desire to follow Jesus,
or do we hide behind a myriad of words and rationalizations rather than
actively following Jesus? James says, "Do you believe that God is one?
You are quite right. Even the demons believe and shudder." It is not
enough just to talk; we need to compliment this with actions.
"Lord, you are the sure foundation and source of life and strength for
us. Give me wisdom and strength to live according to your truth and to
reject every false way. May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- birthday thanksgiving: Maria Emelinda E. Mariano
- birthday thanksgiving: Aaron Alfonso
- for the special intentions of George & Carolina Wee & Family.
- for the speedy recovery of Aida and Phet, and Tony to get a stable
- for the personal intention of Mr. & Mrs. Terence Dunleavy.
- for the special intentions of Miko Peña.
- for the enlightenment of Patrick Batallones.
- Birthday: Marlon V. Llamas
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Andoy Sim
- Birthday: Wallace Chamsay
- 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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