Fatherly Advice- Extracted from the Proverbs of Solomon, Chapter 11:
1 A false balance is abhorrent to Yahweh, a just weight is pleasing to him.
2 Pride comes first; disgrace soon follows; with the humble is wisdom found.
3 The honest have their own honesty for guidance, the treacherous are ruined by their own perfidy.
4 In the day of retribution riches will be useless, but uprightness delivers from death.
5 The uprightness of the good makes their way straight, the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
6 Their uprightness sets the honest free, the treacherous are imprisoned by their own desires.
7 The hope of the wicked perishes with death, hope placed in riches comes to nothing.
8 The upright escapes affliction, the wicked incurs it instead.
9 Through his mouth the godless is the ruin of his neighbour, but by knowledge the upright are safeguarded.
10 When the upright prosper the city rejoices, when the wicked are ruined there is a shout of joy.
11 A city is raised on the blessing of the honest, and demolished by the mouth of the wicked.
12 Whoever looks down on a neighbour lacks good sense; the intelligent keeps a check on the tongue.
13 A tittle-tattler lets secrets out, the trustworthy keeps things hidden.
14 For want of leadership a people perishes, safety lies in many advisers.
15 Whoever goes bail for a stranger does himself harm, but one who shuns going surety is safe.
16 A gracious woman brings honour to her husband, she who has no love for justice is dishonour enthroned.
17 The generous man is his own benefactor, a cruel man injures his own flesh.
18 Disappointment crowns the labours of the wicked, whoever sows uprightness reaps a solid reward.
19 Whoever establishes uprightness is on the way to life, whoever pursues evil, on the way to death.
20 Men of depraved heart are abhorrent to Yahweh, dear to him, those whose ways are blameless.
21 Be sure of it, the wicked will not go unpunished, but the race of the upright will come to no harm.
22 A golden ring in the snout of a pig is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
23 The hope of the upright is nothing but good, the expectation of the wicked is retribution.
24 One scatters money around, yet only adds to his wealth, another is excessively mean, but only grows the poorer.
25 The soul who blesses will prosper, whoever satisfies others will also be satisfied.
26 The people's curse is on those who hoard the wheat, their blessing on the head of those who sell it.
27 Whoever strives for good obtains favour, whoever looks for evil will get an evil return.
28 Whoever trusts in riches will have a fall, the upright will flourish like the leaves.
29 Whoever misgoverns a house inherits the wind, and the fool becomes slave to the wise.
30 The fruit of the upright is a tree of life: the sage captivates souls.
31 If here on earth the upright gets due reward, how much more the wicked and the sinner!
21 April 2012
They were united, heart and soul – Extracted from the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4:32-37
The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed for his own use anything that he had, as everything they owned was held in common.
The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all given great respect.
None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any members who might be in need.
There was a Levite of Cypriot origin called Joseph whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money, and presented it to the apostles.
What the Church says?
The Church of Jesus Christ has never made it compulsory for anyone who wants to join as Church members to put everything they have to common use… Well, those who enter the religious vocations, in answer to God’s calling, do have all their possessions held in common to be shared with other religious, as they have vowed to live in poverty, chastity and obedience…
I am sure that many of us enjoy earning our own living and buying things and gifts for our love ones. The Church teaches us to share what we have with those that are in need (see the Letter of Saint James, Chapter 2:14-26 )
The willingness to share probably comes easier for one who has started as a cradle Catholic / Christian and / or has studied in a mission school; as “sharing” with others and those in need are the first lessons that we have learned since young in school and it has somehow become a second nature in many of us when we grow up.
However, we also want to give credit to most Singaporeans, whose willingness to share with those in need are famous throughout the world. Many Singaporeans do not only give, out from their excesses; but have made some small sacrifices to give, out of their basic needs. Don’t you see that many institutions provide free food to the hungry and have also delivered food to those who have mobility problem? Yet, there is no need to worry on the supply, as many who are unable to cook or do the delivery due to their busy schedules would ensure that the necessities are there for the cooking … 8-)
The high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees.
Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol.
But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’
They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach.
When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought.
But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’
When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean.
Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’
The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.
We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit
- Extracted from Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 5:27-33
When the officials had brought the apostles in to face the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded an explanation. ‘We gave you a formal warning’ he said ‘not to preach in this name, and what have you done? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and seem determined to fix the guilt of this man’s death on us.’
In reply Peter and the apostles said, ‘Obedience to God comes before obedience to men; it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree.
By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel.
We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death.
21 April 2012