Daily Archives: June 30, 2008

Monday, 30 June – Out of the frying pan, into the Fire of God

30 June – Monday in the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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Amos 2:6-10. 13-16

The Lord says this:
For the three crimes, the four crimes, of Israel
I have made my decree and will not relent:
because they have sold the virtuous man for silver
and the poor man for a pair of sandals,
because they trample on the heads of ordinary people
and push the poor out of their path,
because father and son have both resorted to the same girl,’
profaning my holy name,
because they stretch themselves out by the side of every altar
on clothes acquired as pledges,
and drink the wine of the people they have fined
in the house of their god…

Yet it was I who overthrew the Amorites when they attacked,
men tall as cedars and strong as oaks,
I who destroyed them,
both fruit above ground
and root below.

It was I who brought you out of the land of Egypt
and for forty years led you through the wilderness
to take possession of the Amorite’s country.
See then how I am going to crush you into the ground
as the threshing-sledge crushes when clogged by straw;
flight will not save even the swift,
the strong man will find his strength useless,
the mighty man will be powerless to save himself.

The bowman will not stand his ground,
the fast runner will not escape,
the horseman will not save himself,
the bravest warriors will run away naked that day.
It is the Lord who speaks.

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Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw the great crowds all about him he gave orders to leave for the other side. One of the scribes then came up and said to him, ‘Master, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Another man, one of his disciples, said to him, ‘Sir, let me go and bury my father first.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.

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“The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

My friend has a one-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, intelligent and hyperactive.  I recently went to her house to play with her dog, and realized an aspect of dogs that I had not noticed before. It was the way he barked with authority when I picked up his toy and stared at me searchingly as I entered his house that led me to think the dog felt he had rights too.

This made me realize there are things we take for granted and call our own. Burying the dead is a strict custom in most cultures, both in the past and present, and I don’t think Jesus meant for us to take his words literally. Instead, it might be that some of our old ways, our traditions, our past habits, have become obstacles to a Christ-like life. For example, we may be so comfortable with our attendance at church that we slip into thinking God is at our command.

Jesus was actually asking his disciples this question: Am I merely one of the many things and persons that belong to you? Our Lord reminds the scribe, and us, that following God’s way may include giving up our comfort zone to the point that we feel we do not belong. When we say ‘yes’ to possible uncomfortable times for the sake of God, we have chosen to belong to love. Are we willing to break these habits or give up idols, so that we can choose to follow God wholeheartedly today?

(Today’s reflection by Melissa Chia)
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Prayer: We pray for missionaries preaching God’s word outside of their homeland, that they may receive God’s comfort even as they move out of their comfort zones. Amen.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for belonging, at all times, to the family of brothers and sisters who aspire to follow Christ.

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Upcoming readings:
01 Jul, Tue – Amos 3:1-8, Matthew 8:23-27
02 Jul, Wed – Amos 5:14-15, Matthew 8:28-34
03 Jul, Thu – Ephesians 2:19-22, John 20:24-29 – Feast of St Thomas
04 Jul, Fri – Amos 87:4-6, Matthew 9:9-13
05 Jul, Sat – Amos 9:11-15, Matthew 9:14-17
06 Jul, Sun – Zec 9:9-10, Romans 8:9. 11-13, Matthew 11:25-30 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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