Daily Archives: September 17, 2006

Monday, Sep 18 – The Gift Of Faith

18 Sep

The ones whom you should try to get even with are the ones who have helped you.
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1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Brothers, when I came to you, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the Crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great “fear and trembling” and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.
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Ps 118:97-102

Lord how I love your law!

Lord how I love your law!
It is ever in my mind.
Your command makes me wiser than my foes;
for it is mine for ever.

I have more insight than all who teach me
for I ponder your will.
I have more understanding than the old
for I keep your precepts.

I turn my feet from evil paths
to obey your word.
I have not turned away from your decrees;
you yourself have taught me.

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“The only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the Crucified Christ.”

Our faith is not the clever invention of theologians, but is a gift from our Lord. God came to this earth in the person of his son who was crucified for our sins. In the person of Jesus Christ, we have the fullness of revelation. St. Paul spoke to the Corinthians not as a clever theologian trying to make the faith palatable for people of his time, but he spoke the truth about what has been revealed to him.

Arguments may clear away doubts but only God’s grace can transform hearts. And God’s grace is poured out into the hearts of unbelievers when we speak the truth and not twist it with our ideologies, and self-serving justifications.

I am always saddened when I hear fellow Catholics, even some whom you would least expect to hear from, declaring that the teachings of the Church are in need of reform and radical change and that the Church, through her teachings, has filled people will guilt and despair.

The psalmist today does not think that God’s law is an oppressive feature. Far from it. He considers knowledge of God’s law as the sure norm of human flourishing and he is filled with gratitude. Teachers of the faith today would do well to present the ancient faith in new and refreshing ways so that the people of today would experience the liberation that comes when we know the law of God.

“O beauty ever ancient ever new! Late have I loved thee, Late have I loved thee.”

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nick Chui)
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Prayer:
Dear Father, we pray today for all teachers of the Catholic faith, that they would be faithful to the teachings of our Lord and his Church. We ask you, Jesus, to send your Holy Spirit to them, especially when they prepare their lessons, that they may not only teach about the Crucified Christ, but give their students an opportunity to encounter him through his Church, rather than relying on manmade philosophies.

We give thanks to the Lord for: All who love the law of the Lord.

Upcoming Readings:
Tue, 19 Sep – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31a; Luke 7:11-17; Memorial for St. Januarius, bishop, martyr
Wed, 20 Sep – 1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13; Luke 7:31-35; Memorial for Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon & comapnions, Paul Chong Hasang, martyrs
Thu, 21 Sep – Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13; Matthew 9:9-13; Feast of St. Matthew, apostle, evangelist
Fri, 22 Sep – 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Luke 8:1-3
Sat, 23 Sep – 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49; Luke 8:4-15; Memorial for St. Pio of Pietrelcina, priest
Sun, 24 Sep – Wisdom 2:12, 17-20; James 3:16 – 4:3; Mark 9:30-37; Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.