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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

Humility

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Today's Gospel reading: Matthew 20:17-28

" . . . the Son of Man to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

The Lord uses this instance of naked ambition to teach true greatness: humility.

But what is humility?  We can be tempted to think that humility is about low self-esteem or running ourselves down, but humility has more to do with having a sense of God's greatness and of our fallenness – not in a way that crushes but in a way that puts the focus on God.

What truly keeps us humble is the gift of self-knowledge: an awareness of our faults, sins and weaknesses.  Padre Pio said, "Humility and purity are the wings which carry us to God and make us almost divine.  Remember that a bad man who is ashamed of the wrong things he is doing is nearer to God than the good man who blushes at the good that he is doing."

Chris

(from Bible Alive)
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Jesus and Anger

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Righteous anger is rare; it was the anger that Jesus displayed when he drove the market traders out of the temple (John 2:13ff) but perhaps he is the only human being who has expressed sinless anger.

During Lent we can examine our hearts and confess our sins, and it is an ideal opportunity to look at the causes of our anger.  The way to overcome anger is to repent.  We come before the Lord and confess our anger, then turn away from it.  As we do so, the Holy Spirit gives us the grace to face the fear that can fuel anger.

"Know this my beloved brethren.  Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work for the righteousness of God."  (Jas. 1:19-20).

Chris

From Bible Alive
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Sin and Repentance

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Today's Gospel reading: Luke 11:29-32

The crowds got even bigger and Jesus addressed them.  ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign.  The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.  For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.  On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.  On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’



Lent is a time to be healed, restored and lifted up. Repentance was for the people of Nineveh the gateway to life, and so it is for us. We follow One who is greater than Jonah and Solomon: we follow the Christ, the Son of the Living God. 

The Holy Spirit leads us to salvation along the well-worn path of repentance, sorrow and penance. The Queen of Sheba was moved by the teaching of Solomon. The Ninevites were compelled to repent by the teaching of the reluctant evangelist Jonah. 

How much more, then, should we be moved and compelled to repent by the teaching of the One who is greater than Jonah, Moses and all the prophets – Jesus Christ, our Saviour?

Chris

From the
Bible Alive today.
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Lent

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Lent is also a time for us to discover anew and afresh the Gospel, the "Good News", which Jesus began to proclaim immediately after his time of testing. What is the Good News? The Good News is a message of two parts. The first part is to repent and the second to believe in the Gospel. We walk together on this road marked out for us by the Church and take up our call to resist the devil, knowing that he will flee, and to embrace freely and with love the Gospel, which is Christ with us and in us – the hope of salvation.

Chris
(from today's Bible Alive)
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Childlike Faith

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Mark 10:13-16

Jesus wants each of us to possess a childlike faith – a pure , unassuming faith. This straightforward type of faith allows us to receive God's gift of salvation without pretention or hyporcrisy. It allows us to believe unswervingly that God is who that he says he is. Like children who rely on their parents' provision for their daily needs, we should humbly depend on our heavenly Father for provision in both the spiritual and the physical realm. A childlike faith isn't an immature faith but the very opposite. We mature in faith as we learn to trust the Lord our God with all hour heart, mind and strength. To mature in faith is a paradox: the more we grow, the more our childlike trust in God deepens and the more secure we feel in the sure knowledge of God's love.

"So often people say that we should look to the elderly, learn from their wisdom, their many years. I disagree, I say we should look to the young: untarnished, without stereotypes implanted in their minds, no poison, no hatred in their hearts. When we learn to see life through the eyes of a child, that is when we become truly wise." St Therese of Calcutta.

Chris
– from today's Bible Alive
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