The treasures of God’s kingdom

In Gospel reading (Matthew 13:44-52), Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a buried treasure, a pearl purchased at all cost, and a net from which the bad catch of fish will be tossed away and the good catch will be valued.

In other words, our Christian lives are a huge cache of valuables. If our treasure chest has any worthless trash, the garbage needs to be tossed away to make room for more valuables. Some of our treasures have only temporary, earthly value, and ultimately they will be worthless unless they’re used for the kingdom of God.

The reading from Romans tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love God. As we purge our lives of false pearls and dead fish, we become more like our Lord. We become more useful to the kingdom of God. Even the bad things that happen to us, under the creative hand of our all-powerful, mercifully loving God, get put to good use as polishing cloths that brighten our pearls and bring out from us a better shine.Read More »

The Lord of unfair situations

The miracle in Gospel (Matthew 17:22-27) — paying taxes with the help of a fish — is an example of how Jesus likes to deal with unfair situations. Did Jesus already have money for paying the temple tax? Maybe he did — how much was in that purse that Judas carried for the group? Perhaps it held only enough to buy the apostles food for that day, but this is not the explanation that Jesus gave for the miracle.

Jesus told Simon Peter to go fetch the tax payment from a fish because he wanted to teach a lesson. He addressed the unfairness of demanding from your own people what should have been asked of others.

Have you ever been called upon to do extra work because someone else didn’t do his or her job? Perhaps you’re over-involved in ministries at church because there are not enough other volunteers. Or maybe your kid is too lazy to take out the trash and you end up doing it yourself to prevent a stinky overflow.

How many unfair, extra demands do we have to deal with? A lot, sometimes every day, right? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us to go the extra mile and do what we shouldn’t have to do. He certainly practised what he preached when he paid the temple tax. Why should God have to pay for his own worship? But he did. Why? To avoid “offending” or “disedifying” those who demanded the tax.Read More »

Who Am I? (Meditation)

Fr Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

Forgive me, if this seems too harsh, but it seems to me that much of religion has become a preoccupation with forms rather than with substance. People like Augustine of Hippo, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, and Karl Rahner tell us that the discovery of our deepest self and the discovery of God should be the same discovery. That’s why good spirituality and good psychology operate well together.

Too much of both religion and common therapy seem to be committed to making people comfortable with what many of us call our “false self.” It’s just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, which is going to sink anyway. To be rebuilt from the bottom up, you must start with the very ground of your being. The spiritual path should be about helping you learn where your true ground, your deepest truth, and your eternal life really are. Our common phrase for that is “finding your soul.”

I believe that God gives us our soul—our deepest identity, our True Self, our unique blueprint—already at our very conception. Our unique little bit of heaven is installed by the Manufacturer at its beginning! We are given a span of years to discover it, to choose it, and to live our own unique destiny to the full. The discovery of our own soul is frankly what we are here for.Read More »

Why Was Jesus Called the Son of God?

In the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth is referred to as “the Son of God.” Jesus was recognized as the Son of God in a number of ways.

God the Father recognized Jesus as the Son.

He has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, “You are my son; today I have begotten you (Acts 13:33).

The writer to the Hebrews said.

For to which of the angels did he ever say, “You are my son, today I have begotten you?” And again, “I will be a Father to him and he shall be a son to me?” (Hebrews 1:5).

Matthew wrote.

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to him! (Matthew 17:5).

The Testimony Of The Angel Gabriel; When announcing the upcoming birth of Jesus to Mary the angel Gabriel said.

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).Read More »

50 Biblical Proofs That Jesus is God

By: Dave Armstrong

Jesus is God the Son. He is the eternal, all-powerful, all-loving, self-existent Creator God.

John 1:1, 14 (RSV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . [14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

This is one of the most well-known “proof texts”. Jesus is eternal (here, “beginning” means “eternity past”). He was with God the Father, and is God the Son. To make sure that the reader has no misunderstanding, John (v. 14) reiterates that the “Word” referred to is the Son, and notes that He “became flesh” (the incarnation). Only the Son has a body. The Word = Jesus = God.

John 10:30 I and the Father are one.

Jesus’ hearers, unbelieving Jews, certainly understood His intent in saying this, because they tried to stone Him, as the next verse informs us, since they didn’t believe His claim, which, if indeed untrue, would be intolerable blasphemy. 10:33 informs us that they tried to stone Him because (in their words) “you, being a man, make yourself God.”

John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

This had to do with the famous “Doubting Thomas” incident. Thomas didn’t believe Jesus had risen, so Jesus appeared for His sake and told him to touch the wound in His side. Then Thomas believed and said this. If it were untrue, Jesus would have corrected him, but He didn’t; He commended Thomas because he “believed.”Read More »

The Unfolding Of Your Soul

God’s economics

Poverty, as exampled by many Saints, is not the only path of holiness. On the Gospel reading (Luke 16:1-13) tells us how a person can be affluent and holy at the same time — as exampled by other Saints.

If we recognize that our possessions are gifts from God that are meant to enhance his kingdom, we are holy. But if we cling to money and material wealth as if they are meant only for our own benefit, we’ve divided ourselves from God, because God’s Word emphasizes the importance of distributing to others a generous portion of everything we’ve received.

When acquiring wealth is a higher priority than distributing what we already have, God is not our master. This is true not only with material goods, but with everything else that is good, too.

We are all richly blessed one way or another: How readily to do use your riches for the benefit of others?Read More »

The Wealth of God’s Generosity

When we understand God’s generosity, we realize how wealthy we truly are. Even if we have little money in the bank, our lives are rich in God — feeling protected and cared for by God, giving us an abundance of peace that gets us through trials and battles with wisdom and endurance.

God’s generosity also leads to material goods. Every material blessing we have comes from God. He delivers it to us through the talents and skills that he has given to us. Whatever we earn through our own efforts comes originally from God’s efforts. God is the source of everything that’s good in our lives.

However, there’s always a purpose that’s bigger than us. Everything from God is meant to bless others, too. We are channels of God’s generosity.

Whatever we have that we refuse to share becomes the cause of sin. We succumb to selfishness, which is akin to greed. The problem with greed is that it hurts others by denying them what God wants to share with them.

What makes us vulnerable to this sin? Self-reliance. It comes from thinking that we can rely solely on ourselves and on our own resources instead of partnering with God in generosity. Even when we recognize that God has been generous with us, self-reliance says that we are responsible for preventing the poverty of giving it away to others.Read More »