Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Thursday 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday 12th Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Josemaris Escriva]
2 Kgs 24: 8-17 / Ps 79: 1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9 / Mt 7: 21-29
Reading: 2 Kgs 24: 8-17
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he succeeded his father, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. Jehoiachin treated Yahweh badly, as his father had done. At that time, the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to attack Jerusalem, surrounding the city. Nebuchadnezzar came while the city was being besieged by his men. Jehoiachin, king of Judah, surrendered together with his mother, his servants, his leaders and the palace officials. It was the eighth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar captured them and he took away the treasures of the House of Yahweh and of the king's house. He also destroyed all the objects of gold which Solomon, king of Israel, had made for the sanctuary of Yahweh. So the word Yahweh had spoken, was fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar carried off into exile all the leaders and prominent men, the blacksmiths and locksmiths, all the men of valor fit for war. A total of ten thousand were exiled to Babylon. Only the poorest sector of the population was left. Nebuchaddnezzar also carried away Jehoiachin, with his mother, his wives, the ministers of the palace, and the prominent men of the land. So all the prominent people, numbering seven thousand, the blacksmiths, numbering a thousand, and all the men fit for war were deported to Babylon by the king of Babylon. He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king of Jerusalem, in place of Jehoiachin. And he changed his name to Zedekiah.
Gospel: Mt 7:21-29
Not everyone who says to me: Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not speak in your name? Did we not cast out devils and perform many miracles in your name?" Then I will tell them openly: I have never known you; away from me, you evil people! "So, then, anyone who hears these words of mine and acts accordingly is like a wise man, who built his house on rock. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house, but it did not collapse because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not act accordingly, is like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house; it collapsed, and what a terrible fall that was!" When Jesus had finished this discourse, the crowds were struck by the way he taught, because he taught with authority unlike their teachers of the Law.
"Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only one who does the will of my father." This verse challenges our true Christianity. Most of us Catholics grew up acquiring many occult practices and traditions from our ancestors like "pamahiin" (superstitious beliefs) and consulting a "manghuhula" (fortune teller) which are sins against the first commandment. We are Christians on the outside but still practice animistic religiosity that taught us to pray out of fear and not from the heart. We are sacramentalized but not evangelized. We never had true conversion. We cannot hear the message of God because we do not learn to know and listen to His voice. Up to now, we are held captives of the deception and lies of Satan that block us from receiving the graces and blessings of God. Even attending mass on Sundays which is the highest form of prayer/worship becomes a mere obligation or an avenue to pray by asking for favors instead of repentance and thanksgiving. This kind of prayer does not translate our faith into action in doing the will of God.
According to an exorcist priest, authentic Catholic prayer and practices are rooted in humility and are always in tune to God's will in our life. Thus, it always produces virtues and deepens our love relationship with God. Real prayer helps the person grow in holiness. Some fruits of real prayer are faith, trust, zeal for holiness, dependence on God, desire to serve others, peace and simplicity. However, animistic or occult prayer produces fear, control, desire for power, ambition, pride, materialism, dominance, etc.
St. Theresa of Avila in her Book of the Mansions wrote: "What does God require of those He leads in deepening their prayer life? ...it is works, my daughters, the combination of the work and prayer of Martha and Mary, of the active and contemplative lives. This is the goal of prayer, the spread of the grace of the church."
This truth was also revealed to St. Faustina when our Lord Jesus, the Divine Mercy spoke to her about the importance of deeds of mercy. . . . . "I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this nor try to excuse yourself from it ... EVEN THE STRONGEST FAITH IS OF NO AVAIL WITHOUT WORKS."
If we want to enter the kingdom of God, we should pray with childlike faith, a faith which produces unshakeable trust and love of our Father in Heaven which make us courageous disciples always obedient to His holy will.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the wedding anniversary intentions of William & Linda Tan
... for the repose of the soul of Felisa Dy
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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