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Religion

Daily Bible Readings And REFLECTIONS | Wednesday, 3rd June, 2020

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First Reading

2 TIMOTHY 1:1-3, 6-12
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, 2To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. 6Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 8Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God, 9who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, 10and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
Pope Francis encourages Christians to be generous witnesses

Responsorial Psalm

PSALMS 123:1-2

1To thee I lift up my eyes, O thou who art enthroned in the heavens! 2Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he have mercy upon us.

Gospel

MARK 12:18-27

18And Sad’ducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, 19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. 20There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; 21and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” 24Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, `I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”

Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?”  Mark 12:24

This Scripture comes from the passage where some Sadducees were trying to trap Jesus in His speech.  This has been a common theme in the daily readings as of late.  Jesus’ answer is one that cuts to the heart of the problem.  He does clear up their confusion, but He starts by simply laying down the clear truth that the Sadducees are misled because they do not know either the Scriptures or the power of God.  This should give us reason to pause and look at our own understanding of the Scriptures and the power of God.

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It is easy to try to figure life out on our own.  We can think and think and think and try to analyze why this happened or that.  We can try to analyze others actions or even our own.  And often times in the end, we are just as confused and “misled” as when we began.

If you find yourself in such a confusing situation about anything you are trying to understand about life, perhaps it’s good to sit and listen to those words of Jesus spoken as if they were spoken to you.

These words should not be taken as a harsh criticism or rebuke.  Rather, they should be taken as a blessed insight from Jesus to help us step back and realize that we are often misled about the things of life.  It’s very easy to let emotion and errors cloud our thinking and reasoning and lead us down the wrong path.  So what do we do?

When we find ourselves feeling “misled” or when we realize we do not really understand God or His power at work, we should stop and take a step back so that we can pray and seek what God has to say.

Interestingly, praying is not the same as thinking.  Sure, we need to use our mind to ponder the things of God, but “thinking, thinking, and more thinking” is not always the way to the correct understanding.  Thinking is not prayer.  We often do not understand that.

A regular goal we must have is to step back in humility and acknowledge to God and ourselves that we do not understand His ways and will.  We must strive to silence our active thoughts and set aside all preconceived notions of what is right and wrong.  In our humility, we need to sit and listen and wait on the Lord to take the lead.  If we can let go of our constant attempts to “figure it out” we may find that God will figure it out for us and shed the light that we need.  The Sadducees struggled with a certain pride and arrogance which clouded their thinking and led to self-righteousness.  Jesus attempts to gently but firmly redirect them to clear thinking.

Reflect, today, upon whether you are struggling in any way with misleading and confusing thoughts.  Humble yourself so that Jesus can redirect your thinking and help you to arrive at the truth.

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Lord, I do want to know the truth.  At times I can allow myself to be misled.  Help me to humble myself before You so that You can take the lead.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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