Always Be Honest Proverbs 12:22
Count Your Blessing Psalms 34:1-3
Keep Your Promises Romans 4:21
Comfort One Another 1 Thessalonians 4:18
and above all...Love One Another 1 Peter 1:22
Be Supportive of one Another Acts 20:35
Be Kind and Tenderhearted Ephesians 4:32
5 Cardinal Rules for Life
1.) Make peace with your past....so it won’t disturb your present.
2.) What other people think of you...is none of your business.
3.) Time heals almost everything....give it time.
4.) No one is in charge of your happiness....except you.
5.) Don’t compare your life to others.....and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
We are not debtors to the flesh.
Whether it’s a mortgage, a loan from a family member, credit cards, or something else, most of us have some experience of being debtors. We feel the burden of knowing our creditors have some degree of power of us. At times it can feel like having a heavy yoke tied to our shoulders. We also know how freeing it is to be released from a debt. Making that final payment feels so good that we just want to celebrate!
In today’s second reading, St. Paul uses this image of indebtedness to encourage us: “We are not debtors to the flesh” (Romans 8:12). The flesh—that part of you that is attracted to sin—has no more power over you. Because you have been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have died and risen with him. You have died to sin and no longer owe it any allegiance. Raised up with Christ, you now have a way out when temptation arises.
Think how wonderful it feels to walk through a temptation and come out on the other side unharmed. Or think about how comforting it is to know that you don’t have to be bound by guilt or destined to repeat your past sins.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We know how strong our fallen desires can be, especially when it comes to habitual sins that have woven their way into our lives. But Paul is announcing a truth that can sustain us if we should fall into sin, just as it can inspire us in the midst of temptation.
So if you lose a battle here or there, you can pray, “Lord, you know how weak I am, but I believe that this sin does not define me. Thank you, Jesus, for abolishing my debt to the flesh!”
Jesus has broken the yoke of sin. So take up his yoke—the yoke of faith and trust—and let him give you rest (Matthew 11:29). Let his good news wash over you today: you are not bound to sin. You don’t owe it anything!
"All praise to you, Jesus, for setting me free from the flesh!”
(June Edition/The Word Among Us))
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Meditation - July 5, 2020
We are all familiar with the refrain, “You have put on Christ. In him you have been baptized. Alleluia, alleluia!” In Baptism, we “put on” Christ. In putting on Christ, we put on all that Christ is and represents: hope, faith, and love. We are no longer bound to the sins and failures of the flesh, that part of us that resists God and relies exclusively on human means. It also means that we are not in debt to our past, complete with its sins, failures, regrets, fears, and unfulfilled dreams. There is always hope. In putting on Christ, we put on God’s vision for the world, for all of His children and for us. We have been given a road map to guide our paths and a blueprint to follow for our life’s journey.
There is no need for regret, and we are not tethered to our past. Is there anything in your past that you regret? Any decision or memory that continues to haunt you? We have all made mistakes, and we have this uncanny ability to continue beating ourselves up over things we can no longer do anything about, except learn from them. To put on Christ means that I can now bring God’s unconditional love to my hurtful memories and sinful choices. With each new moment and every new choice, I can start clean and live in freedom.
Imagine adults when the disciples were preaching and baptizing. They came to baptism not really knowing who they were, with pasts that were broken, seeking to live the joy of the Gospel they heard spoken to them and wanting the love they saw witnessed in the lives of those who believed. What tremendous celebrations their baptisms must have been! They could now have the support of a community, full participation in the sacraments of the church, focus for their disordered lives, consolation, healing, and an under-standing of what life is really all about.
Our lives are meant to be celebrations of the Spirit we have received in Baptism. How does that joy get expressed in and through you? When we truly understand that we have put on Christ, our burdens can become much lighter. It is odd that so many Christians look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those weights could be lifted and joy experienced!