Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Gus talks with people who’ve endured, or are currently enduring, cancer treatment and, later, talks with listeners who’ve surpassed, or know someone who has, a critical health diagnosis through faith, hope and attitude.
Giving What is Holy to Dogs
In our first reading today we find ourselves back in the Book of Genesis, reading about Abram and Lot. For our Gospel reading, we’re back in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. What I want to reflect on today will be difficult for some to hear, and will certainly put some people off. Please be forewarned.
Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” First, we have to understand what Jesus meant in His time. Dogs and swine were derogatory epithets that the Jews used for pagans. So was Jesus here name-calling? Perhaps. He did not single out any individual, but He was speaking of people who had contempt for the Gospel, be they Jew or Gentile. This advice from Jesus should strike very close to home for us in our time.
We are called to be keepers and defenders of truth. When we begin to capitulate to the world, when we start watering down our faith, when we go along to get along, we are throwing our pearls before swine. Those who despise the gospel, those who wish to marginalize Christianity and, indeed, bring down Holy Mother Church, are alive and well. When we buy into the idea that Holy Matrimony is anything other than what God created it to be (i.e. between one man and one woman), when we stand idly by as they chip away at our religious liberty by forcing people of faith to violate their consciences , when we believe that the murder of innocent children in the womb is somehow acceptable, we are giving what is holy to dogs and throwing our pearls before swine. Rest assured that they want nothing more than to turn and tear us to pieces. This process has already started, and is proceeding rapidly, even among Christians. Read the last part of today’s Gospel reading about the broad road that leads to destruction and the narrow gate that few will find. If we continue to throw our pearls before swine and sacrifice at the altar of convenience, we will surely find that broad road. Let us get a backbone and seek out the narrow gate.
Father, forgive us for giving what is holy to dogs and throwing our pearls before swine. Give us the strength to stand up for what is holy, no matter the earthly cost. Amen.
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Monday, June 26, 2017
Unfortunately for Gus, he’s being going to a lot of funerals lately so it’s given him reason to think what he would like the liturgy to be for his, including readings and songs. He invites listeners to call in and share their funeral plans.
And, it wouldn’t be a Monday on Seize the Day without a little Tell Me Something Good.
In the first reading today we find ourselves in Genesis 12. We see the LORD telling Abram, “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” So at the tender age of 75, Abram departs. In the Gospel from Matthew 7, Jesus says, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.”
Is it just me, or does it seem that this is one of the most quoted passages in Scripture these days? In these days of moral relativism, everyone wants to do their own thing. And invariably, when they wish to do what is wrong in the sight of God, and others call them on it, the first thing we hear is “Judge not lest you be judged!” In other words no one is allowed to say that anything is wrong any more. If we stand up for traditional marriage, the lives of the unborn, defending the innocent, we are immediately labeled as judgemental bigots.
Let’s get something straight about this saying of Jesus. Jesus did not mean that we may not judge the ACTIONS of people. If taken to this illogical conclusion, why would we have laws or courts or JUDGES? We can, in fact we MUST judge the actions of people. There are rules and laws that must be followed. Paramount among these are the laws of God. Legal abortion, homosexual “marriage” and embryonic stem cell research are all things that go against the laws of God. We have a responsibility to judge these things. What we cannot do is judge the hearts of people. Only they and God know where their hearts are. Let us pray that ours are in the right place.
Father, give us a proper sense of judgment. Help us to discern right from wrong, and leave the final judgment of souls up to you. Amen.
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Have you ever felt worthless? I suspect we all struggle with those feelings from time to time. Nothing could be further from the truth. We see this in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 10.
Jesus tells the disciples how precious they are in the sight of God. Now, his “compliment” may not sound so special to our ears. He says, “You are worth more than many sparrows.” Uh, gee…thanks, Lord. Jesus’ message really is that God knows everything. He even knows every feather of every sparrow. Jesus says, “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” In essence, there is nothing that God does not know about us. A frightening thought, indeed. But there is an upside.
Despite all of our foibles and follies, God loves us. He cares about us. Not just about the big, earth-shattering events in our lives. But even the small stuff, down to the minutest detail. Jesus’ reassurance of our worth in the eyes of God reminds me of a Mastercard commercial. Five sparrows: two small coins. A nice haircut for all the counted hairs on our head: $20. You, to God: Priceless.
Father, you know that we are so small. Thank you for taking notice of us. Thank you for loving us, even through all of our weirdness. Amen.