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September 22nd, 2011

Peter’s Declaration About Jesus

Peters Declaration About Jesus

Peter’s Declaration About Jesus (Matthew 16:13-23)

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Reflection:-

Jesus proclaims Peter very fortunate for his rightful faith declaration: Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God’. Jesus replied ‘It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven’ (Mt 16:16-17).

By this congratulation Jesus promises Peter the primacy of his Church; but, shortly after, He scolds Peter for having a very human and wrong idea of what the Messiah would do: Then Peter took him aside and began to reproach him, ‘Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to you’. But Jesus turned to him and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mt 16:22-23).

We have to be grateful to the evangelists for presenting us the first disciples of Jesus as they actually were: no idealized characters, but people of flesh and blood as ourselves, with their defects and virtues; which gets them closer to us and helps us to see that perfecting ourselves in Christian life is a certain path we all have to follow, for nobody is born knowing all the answers.

As we already know how history goes, let us accept Jesus Christ was the suffering Messiah prophet Isaiah announced who offered his life in the Cross. What is more difficult to accept is that we must keep on presenting his work by following the same path of surrendering, renunciation and sacrifice.

Imbued, as we appear to be, with a society that encourages quick success, learning without any effort and in a funny way, and achieving the maximum profit with the least possible strain, it should not surprise us we end up by seeing things more as people do than as God does. Once he received the Holy Spirit, Peter learned where the path he had to follow went through and he lived by this expectation.

“World tribulations are full of sadness and empty of any prizes; but those we suffer for God are softened by the hope of an eternal prize” – St. Ephraem.

– – – written by Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García (Barcelona, Spain)

September 10th, 2011

Jesus And The Canaanite Woman

Jesus and The Canaanite Woman

Jesus And The Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28)

Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Now a Canaanite woman came from those borders and began to cry out, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is tormented by a demon”. But Jesus did not answer her, not even a word. So his disciples approached him and said, “Send her away: see how she is shouting after us”. Then Jesus said to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel”.

But the woman was already kneeling before Jesus and said, “Sir, help me!”. Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs”. The woman replied, “It is true, sir, but even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table”. Then Jesus said, “Woman, how great is your faith! Let it be as you wish”. And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Reflection:-

Today, we often hear the expression “faith has been lost”, and the same people who ask our communities the baptism of their children or the catechesis for their infants or the sacrament of marriage, say it. These words depict the world in a negative way while trying to convince us bygone times were better and that we are now at the end of a stage where there is nothing left for us to say or to do.

Evidently, these are basically young people who, in its majority, watch rather sadly how the world has changed from their parents’ times, who used to live perhaps a more popular faith, which they have not known how to adapt to. This experience leaves them unsatisfied and without any capacity of reaction when, in fact, they might find themselves at the gates of a new stage they could very well take advantage of.

This passage of the Gospel draws the attention to that Canaanite mother that demands grace for her daughter by recognizing in Jesus the Son of David: “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is tormented by a demon” (Mt 15:22). The Master is surprised: “Woman, how great is your faith!” and He can do nothing but to act in favour of those persons: “Let it be as you wish” (Mt 15:28), although this does not seem to fall within his schedule. However, God’s grace is manifested in human realities.

Faith is not a privilege of a few, nor is it the property of those who think they are so good or of those who have ever been good, and have this social or ecclesial label. God’s action precedes any Church’s action and the Holy Spirit is already acting upon persons we would have never suspected could bring us a message from God, a request in favour of the needy.

St. Leo says: “My beloved, the virtue and wisdom of Christian faith are our love of God and of our neighbour: it does not miss any obligation to any pious works procuring to render God worship due to him and to help our brethren”.

– – – written by Fr. Jordi CASTELLET i Sala (Barcelona, Spain)

September 9th, 2011

Bible Software In Modern Life

Bible Software In Modern Life

Perhaps one of the simplest ways in which to commune with God is through study of the Bible. Bible study provides every one of us the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with God by better understanding His word. God has provided His children with the answers they need; they just need to look for them. That is what Bible Study is about.

As with any relationship-strengthening tool, Bible study takes commitment. Making time to read the Bible daily, to absorb its lessons and to better comprehend the expectations of God for each of us can be difficult. Bible software can help by combining the word of God with modern technology. Even if there are TV programs that are dedicated in spreading the words of God but Bible software is more manageable.

Bible software is available for PC and Mac as well as iPad, iPhone and soon, Android-powered devices. There are so many bible software packages that you can find and purchase. There are packages that are sold under a user license. This lets you load the software on multiple computers instead of having to buy a separate package for every device. Because you don’t have to have separate licenses for your devices, you can sync them all, which allows you to leave off on one and pick up on another. Some even have a mobile web version that lets you access much of your library even if none of your devices are available.

Bible software is more than just Biblical text; it is a digital library. In addition to several translations of the Bible – and the original texts – users have access to hundreds of scholarly texts. These additional resources can help students, pastors, and scholars by putting resources at their fingertips with a single software package. You can start with a basic package and then add to it if and when you see the need.

Because this is a digital library, storage is not an issue. Users have access to between 30 and 1700 books, depending on the package, without needing a single inch of shelf-space. Access to such a library has not been available before on such a large-scale. Many works were previously only available to scholars who were able to travel to the location of the text. Now, anyone can deepen their understanding of the Bible with these works, and they can take them anywhere.

Developing and deepening one’s personal relationship with God can be as simple as studying the Bible. The simple act of reading the verses and reflecting on their meaning can have a profound effect on those who believe. Whether you are merely looking to read multiple versions of the Bible, have access to the Bible in different languages, or are ready to delve into scholarly discussions and interpretations of the Bible, Bible software can help you on your journey.

iPhone Bible App : Good News Bible

New International Version NIV Bible PDF

Author: Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at led tv

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