Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Matthew 4:18-22 I will make you fishers of men

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

In this passage we see the calling of Peter, James, and John. Peter, in his call story is told he will be fishers of men. He is no longer a fisherman but one who would lead men into the Kingdom of God. John and James when they are called immediately leave their boat, representing their livelihood, and their father, representing their family ties.  This story reminds us that when Christ calls us we too are called to stop everything and serve the Lord with all our hearts. In this time period, these fishermen would have been uneducated and unable to sustain themselves without their trade. Even worst, leaving their father meant that they would be alone and no longer part of the family, the basic unit of social organization. Today, we too are called to leave everything to serve Christ.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mark 13:33-37 The Kingdom of God will arrive at an unknown hour, Watch and be ready

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'"

This reading marks the beginning of the Advent Season. Here Jesus reminds us that the escaton, or the coming of the Kingdom of God, will come at an unknown hour. Like servants awaiting their master to return, we too are called to be ready for when the end times arrive. Like the servants who have done their work, we will be rewarded if we have done ours, but those servants who did not do their work while their master was away, like them, if we fail to love our neighbour and our God, we too will need to explain our lack of action. Therefore, we must be ready and watch for the coming of the Son of Man. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Matthew 25:13-30 Share your gifts with the world for they come from God

 Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"

In this parable, we are reminded that we are all given talents and gifts and that we are called by God to use these gifts to usher in the kingdom of God. Our gifts should be used for building community, serving the poor, caring for the sick, loving one another, and glorifying God. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to use our talents. What a waste, if we only focus on our selves or even worse, fail to have confidence in ourselves that we can do good. Let us make every effort to glorify God with the gifts He has bestowed on us. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Luke 27:26-37 The Eschaton Can Happen at Any Moment. Stay Awake!

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left."
They said to him in reply, "Where, Lord?"
He said to them, "Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather."

In this passage we are reminded that the Eschaton, or the coming of the Son of Man, can happen at any moment. This is why we are called to stay awake and be ready. We should not waste our lives serving our selves, working only for money, pleasure, or glory. We must focus on truly what is important, that is, serving one another and most importantly loving God.