Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scripture On Sundays - A Father's Love

Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day.  It was St. Patrick who used the 3 leaf clover to explain the  mind boggling concept of the Trinity to the Irish.  We mere humans, try to understand and comprehend with our human brains, the essence of the divine, which is 3 persons (if you will) in 1 God.  That is, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus explains to His disciples that He will be leaving, but tries to comfort them that He will always be with them in "Spirit" and has a place prepared for them in heaven.  The best explanation of the Trinity, I believe is what Jesus tells them in this passage from John....  

1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.
2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.
4 You know the way to the place where I am going."

Jesus the Way to the Father

5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him."
8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work.
11 Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14 You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 "If you love Me, you will obey what I command.
16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—
17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19 Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.
20 On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.
21 Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him."
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show Yourself to us and not to the world?"
23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
24 He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.
25 "All this I have spoken while still with you.
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 "You heard Me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on Me,
31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me.
John 14:1-30

Whenever you are in need of anything, it's always good to know that you can turn to God and ask for whatever you need in prayer.  Most of the time, we have to be realistic though.  We're not always going to get everything we pray for.  There's also the saying "Jesus helps those who help themselves."  In other words, we can't just sit around doing nothing, while waiting for our prayers to be answered.  We have to be proactive too.

The first two readings for Sunday, March 14th were Joshua 5:9a, 10-12, and 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.  In Joshua we heard about how the Lord had given the Iraelites manna in the desert to sustain them.  But once they arrived in the land of Canaan, no longer was the manna there and they were able to eat the yield (harvest) of their own crops.

In 2 Corninthians, Paul joyously speaks of a God who "has reconciled us to Himself: and made all things new!"  Paul is happy that "the old things have passed away".  God is constantly remaking us, reversing our distortions, forgiving us, and restoring us.  Paul tells the Corinthians (and all of us) of God's refusal to count our transgressions against us.  He has given us "a way out", if you will.  Paul plays the part of God's ambassador, imploring that we not miss the opportunity to become the "righteous of God".  Christ, the sinless One, became human and took on our sins for us; that is, accepted the condition of alienation from God (our sin) which is common to us humans, in order to make this reconciliation with God possible for all of us.

I did not print out these two above mentioned readings, but you have the chapter and verses if you want to read the actual text.  I'm doing this so this is not so long.  We did have two options for the gospel.  Both have a similar message, which Jesus gave

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

1 Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear Him.
2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:1-7

The Parable of the Lost (Prodigal) Son

11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there he squandered his wealth in wild living.
14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31 " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
Luke 15:11-32

No comments: