Inspirational Snippet: When we're truly trying to love everyone equally, our open attitude will attract many to us. They will see an example of what God's love is really like.
Inspirational Snippet: Jesus is tilting his head close to yours and assuring you that you are a beautiful person underneath the ugliness of sin
Inspirational Snippet: As long as we choose to believe in God and act upon his wisdom, rather than react to the troublemakers, we'll enjoy a steady faith that calms the waters even while the storms continue to rage
Inspirational Snippet: When people sin against us, they don't understand that they're closing their hearts to God and his love. But if we give them love, we give them God through a back door
James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations.
Consider yourselves fortunate, my brothers and sisters, when you meet with every kind of trial, for you know, that the testing of your faith makes you steadfast. Let your steadfastness become perfect, with deeds, that you, yourselves, may be perfect and blameless, without any defect.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all easily and unconditionally. But ask with faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave driven and tossed on the sea by the wind. Such a person should not expect anything from the Lord, since the doubter has two minds and his conduct will always be insecure.
Let the believer who is poor, boast, in being uplifted, and let the rich one boast, in being humbled, because he will pass away like the ﬂower of the ﬁeld. The sun rises and its heat dries the grass; the ﬂower withers and its beauty vanishes. So, too, will the rich person fade away, even in the midst of his pursuits.
The Pharisees came and started to argue with Jesus. Hoping to embarrass him, they asked for some heavenly sign. Then his spirit was moved. He gave a deep sigh and said, “Why do the people of this present time ask for a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this people.” Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side of the lake.
Signs are comforting. They assure us that we are on the right track or not and therefore we can easily adjust and reorient ourselves. Signs help us see well especially if we are in an unfamiliar and out-of-the-way place. But people who have trod familiar roads do not need signs anymore. They know the terrain as intimately as the palm of their hand. Their own experience is a better guide. Because of this the Pharisees who traversed the byways and hi-ways of holiness and faithfulness to God should have known better when Jesus came. They should have known that Jesus came from above. Yet they were obstinate and hard-headed. This exasperates the Lord. They do not need signs. What they need is a change of heart.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You once said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven, and their angels always see the face of My Father!" Look now with fatherly eyes on the innocence of children and their parents' devotion, and bless them this day. Amen.
If you wish, you can keep the commandments and it is in your power to remain faithful.
He has set ﬁre and water before you; you stretch out your hand to whichever you prefer.
Life and death are set before man: which ever a man prefers will be given him.
How magniﬁcent is the wisdom of the Lord! He is powerful and all-seeing.
His eyes are on those who fear him. He knows all the works of man. He has commanded no one to be godless and has given no one permission to sin.
1 Cor 2:6–10
In fact, we do speak of wisdom to the mature in faith, although it is not a wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who are doomed to perish. We teach the mystery, and secret plan, of divine wisdom, which God destined from the beginning, to bring us to glory.
No ruler of this world ever knew this; otherwise, they would not have cruciﬁed the Lord of glory. But as Scripture says: Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it dawned on the mind, what God has prepared for those who love him. God has revealed it to us, through his Spirit, because the Spirit probes everything, even the depth of God.
Mt 5:17–37 (or Mt 5:20–22a, 27–28, 33–34a, 37)
Do not think that I have come to annul the law and the prophets. I have not come to annul them, but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the law will change, until all is fulfilled.
So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, if your sense of right and wrong is not keener than that of the Lawyers and the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard, that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder; anyone who murders will have to face trial. But now, I tell you: whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial. Whoever insults a brother or sister is liable, to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or sister “Fool!” is liable, of being thrown into the ﬁre of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there, in front of the altar; go at once, and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
Don’t forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There, you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.
You have heard that it was said: Do not commit adultery. But I tell you this: anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body, than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to lose a part of your body, than to have your whole body thrown into hell.
It was also said: Anyone who divorces his wife, must give her a written notice of divorce. But what I tell you is this: if a man divorces his wife, except in the case of unlawful union, he causes her to commit adultery.
You have also heard that people were told in the past: Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept. But I tell you this: do not take oaths. Do not swear by the heavens, for they are God’s throne; nor by the earth, because it is his foot stool; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great king. Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything else you say comes from the evil one.
Jesus reminded His disciples that He did not come to annul the Law and the Prophets but to fulfil them to the fullest through a proper and sound appreciation of their precepts. It is an evaluation that is both a source of freedom and joy if practiced in one’s daily life. He cited some of these precepts and how they are to be interpreted so as to give flesh and bone to His teaching.
Jesus may look very unconventional, unlike the teachers of that time. But looks are deceiving for He does not come to bring a new teaching and do away with the old. He came to fulfill them to the fullest. Thus he reminded His hearers that the Laws and the Prophets ought to be followed. The moral and ethical life must have a basis. It is not dependent on what feels good lest we fall into thinking that we are the measure of what is good and true and beautiful. It is always good to have a common reference point to evaluate our actions. Jesus is not someone who detests the old ways. He only presents them in a new way that makes them always relevant: the archaic that never goes out of style.
Stop and ponder the “laws” for good living that we intentionally break because we think they are too insignificant to be bothered with: the white lies we make, the promises we do not keep and the countless other little law-breaking things we make. Today is a good day to make a resolution to be faithful in anything no matter how small and insignificant this may be.
Inspirational Snippet: If you let Jesus take the little that you have and bless it and use it, you will discover that God is still very good at multiplying.
Snippet: Our top priority must be our relationship with God; it's from this that we receive everything else we need.
Inspirational Snippet: The kingdom of heaven is not a "future" we hope to attain. If we accept the fact that Jesus died to heal us from our separation from God, then we live in his kingdom now
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