Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scriptural Goodies

Let's take a look at our readings for today.

First, we've got Habakkuk basically trying to call God out for the fact that things are so bad in the world:

How long, O LORD? I cry for help
but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, "Violence!"
but you do not intervene.
Why do you let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.

This is very much applicable to our modern age, especially among Catholics (like myself) who spend a lot of time lamenting the state of the Church. Posts like this one spell the problem out pretty well.

God's response is what we should all remember:

Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

In other words, why are we in such a hurry? Frankly, we should be looking at this extra time God is giving us as a manifestation of His mercy. All our complaining does is prove that God is way more merciful than we are.

The second reading was from 2 Timothy and was relevant on a couple of points. From the get-go, you have this:

I remind you, to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.

All I could think of was the recent Baptist trend of self-bishopping, for lack of a better term. Paul seems pretty clear in writing to Timothy that ordination is a gift from God. It's also pretty clear that said gift isn't something you call down from heaven on yourself. You have to get it from someone who already has it. And it sure as hell isn't to help out with your "self-identification."

So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

Something tells me this doesn't come up in your average Joyce Meyer sermon. Imprisonment? Hardship? This doesn't sound like complete victory for my personal life, my finances, my profession, my dog, etc. It sounds more like the Truth, so yeah, I doubt Joyce has gotten around to this verse.

Finally, you've got Luke's Gospel:

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."

Note that the Apostles are asking Jesus to increase their faith. They don't seem to have much of an expectation of being able to pull this off on their own. That's because we only have faith because God gives it to us. It's a tragic symptom of our current ecclesial sentiment that many seem to think that they are the driving force behind their salvation. Folks don't realize that they can't even believe in God without God starting them off.

Then you have this:

"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, 'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"

This is, of course, applicable to everyone. Chris Rock has a bit in his "Bring The Pain" routine that addresses the stupidity of people desiring praise for doing basic things that everyone knows they are supposed to do (eg- taking care of one's kids). However, this really seems to strike a chord if you consider it in light of the episcopate. Reflect on those who take so many opportunities to disobey the Holy Father, reject Church teaching, commit crimes against the laity, pass the buck for said crimes, etc. When confronted with their defects, even when presented in the most charitable form possible, the reaction is one of indignation, as though God should somehow be glad that they were willing to accept consecration in the first place. And if God has a problem with how they are doing things, then He needs to get His mind right.

Just a few thoughts from the day. Feel free to add your own.

To answer the questions of those who've been asking, yes, we will be resuming regular posting now.

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