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June 28, 2018

St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

Mt 7:21-29

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’

Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The temptation to build on sand

Build on rock or build on sand. I get it. There’s a choice we must make, whether to follow the Lord’s way, or the worldly way of sin, greed, self-absorption, and all those other little demons that entice me. But here’s the problem, Jesus. Of course I want to build on rock, and in many ways I do just that. But your imagery makes it sound deceptively simple, as if we will only have to make that sand or rock choice once in a lifetime, and then never have to worry about it again. But I feel like I must make that choice a lot. Almost every day I feel the subtle tug to build (or at least vacation for a while) on the sands of greed, self-absorption, meanness or dozens more demons.

Do you have your own characteristic, ongoing moments of temptation to build on sand?

—Chris Lowney is author of various books. His most recent is Make Today Matter: 10 Habits for a Better Life (and World) published by Loyola Press.

Prayer

Lord, help me to be a wiser builder, every day of my life. When I’m tempted to build something on the sands of temptation, remind me that I want to dwell on the solid rock that is following you.

—Chris Lowney

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

June 27, 2018

Mt 7:15-20

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Called to bear good fruit

The lemons from my tree this year were dinky and dry—nothing like last year’s juicy bumper crop. Perhaps the curled leaves signaled the need for more water? Jesus says twice, “You will know them by their fruits.” Clearly, I won’t be known as a Master Gardener.

However, my lemon tree did shelter a nest that grew baby birds. You never know how God, our Master Gardener, will grow our unique gifts into good fruit that feeds others.

Jesus also warns that you can’t gather figs from thistles—or from lemon trees for that matter. The kind of fruit I bear depends on the person God has uniquely called me to be. And notice that Jesus doesn’t say that good trees produce perfect fruit.

What kind of good fruit is God calling you to produce from your unique tree? Can you be patient with God’s slow work within you?

—Diane Amento Owens is a spiritual director who encourages her directees to see the world through the lens of Ignatian spirituality.

Prayer

Lord, you are my Master Gardener.
Water my being with your love and your grace
And cultivate patience within me when I expect rapid growth.
Send me rays of Son-light so that I may flourish
And produce much good fruit.
Prune away my desire for perfection
And shape me into the kind of good tree you want me to be.
May I be grateful for the unique gifts you have given me
and share them with those I meet today.

—Diane Amento Owens

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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June 28, 2018

St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

Mt 7:21-29

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’

Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

The temptation to build on sand

Build on rock or build on sand. I get it. There’s a choice we must make, whether to follow the Lord’s way, or the worldly way of sin, greed, self-absorption, and all those other little demons that entice me. But here’s the problem, Jesus. Of course I want to build on rock, and in many ways I do just that. But your imagery makes it sound deceptively simple, as if we will only have to make that sand or rock choice once in a lifetime, and then never have to worry about it again. But I feel like I must make that choice a lot. Almost every day I feel the subtle tug to build (or at least vacation for a while) on the sands of greed, self-absorption, meanness or dozens more demons.

Do you have your own characteristic, ongoing moments of temptation to build on sand?

—Chris Lowney is author of various books. His most recent is Make Today Matter: 10 Habits for a Better Life (and World) published by Loyola Press.

Prayer

Lord, help me to be a wiser builder, every day of my life. When I’m tempted to build something on the sands of temptation, remind me that I want to dwell on the solid rock that is following you.

—Chris Lowney

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

June 27, 2018

Mt 7:15-20

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Called to bear good fruit

The lemons from my tree this year were dinky and dry—nothing like last year’s juicy bumper crop. Perhaps the curled leaves signaled the need for more water? Jesus says twice, “You will know them by their fruits.” Clearly, I won’t be known as a Master Gardener.

However, my lemon tree did shelter a nest that grew baby birds. You never know how God, our Master Gardener, will grow our unique gifts into good fruit that feeds others.

Jesus also warns that you can’t gather figs from thistles—or from lemon trees for that matter. The kind of fruit I bear depends on the person God has uniquely called me to be. And notice that Jesus doesn’t say that good trees produce perfect fruit.

What kind of good fruit is God calling you to produce from your unique tree? Can you be patient with God’s slow work within you?

—Diane Amento Owens is a spiritual director who encourages her directees to see the world through the lens of Ignatian spirituality.

Prayer

Lord, you are my Master Gardener.
Water my being with your love and your grace
And cultivate patience within me when I expect rapid growth.
Send me rays of Son-light so that I may flourish
And produce much good fruit.
Prune away my desire for perfection
And shape me into the kind of good tree you want me to be.
May I be grateful for the unique gifts you have given me
and share them with those I meet today.

—Diane Amento Owens

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!