26 May 2012
Saint Paul’s fatherly advice to all the Priests of God
– Extracted from Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 20:28-38
Paul addressed these words to the elders of the church of Ephesus:
‘Be on your guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you the overseers, to feed the Church of God which he bought with his own blood. I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. So be on your guard, remembering how night and day for three years I never failed to keep you right, shedding tears over each one of you. And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified.
‘I have never asked anyone for money or clothes; you know for yourselves that the work I did earned enough to meet my needs and those of my companions. I did this to show you that this is how we must exert ourselves to support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, who himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”’
When he had finished speaking he knelt down with them all and prayed. By now they were all in tears; they put their arms round Paul’s neck and kissed him; what saddened them most was his saying they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.
2 June 2012
Those who will be redeemed on Zion are those who turn from their faults
-Extracted from the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 59:
1 No, the arm of Yahweh is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear,
2 but your guilty deeds have made a gulf between you and your God. Your sins have made him hide his face from you so as not to hear you,
3 since your hands are stained with blood and your fingers with guilt; your lips utter lies, your tongues murmur wickedness.
4 No one makes upright accusations or pleads sincerely. All rely on empty words, utter falsehood, conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 They are hatching adders' eggs and weaving a spider's web; eat one of their eggs and you die, crush one and a viper emerges.
6 Their webs are useless for clothing, their plots are useless for wearing; their plans are sinful plots, violence fills their hands.
7 Their feet run to do evil; they are quick to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are thoughts of guilt, wherever they go there is havoc and ruin.
8 They do not know the way of peace, there is no fair judgement in their course, they have made their own crooked paths, and no one treading them knows any peace.
9 Thus fair judgement is remote from us nor can uprightness overtake us. We looked for light and all is darkness, for brightness and we walk in gloom.
10 Like the blind we feel our way along walls, we grope our way like people without eyes. We stumble as though noon were twilight, among the robust we are like the dead.
11 We growl, all of us, like bears, like doves we make no sound but moaning, waiting for the fair judgement that never comes, for salvation, but that is far away.
12 How often we have rebelled against you and our sins bear witness against us. Our rebellious acts are indeed with us, we are well aware of our guilt:
13 rebellion and denial of Yahweh, turning our back on our God, talking violence and revolt, murmuring lies in our heart.
14 Fair judgement is driven away and saving justice stands aloof, for good faith has stumbled in the street and sincerity cannot enter.
15 Good faith has vanished; anyone abstaining from evil is victimized. Yahweh saw this and was displeased that there was no fair judgement.
16 He saw there was no one and wondered there was no one to intervene. So he made his own arm his mainstay, his own saving justice his support.
17 He put on saving justice like a breastplate, on his head the helmet of salvation. He put on the clothes of vengeance like a tunic and wrapped himself in jealousy like a cloak.
18 To each he repays his due, retribution to his enemies, reprisals on his foes, to the coasts and islands he will repay their due.
19 From the west, Yahweh's name will be feared, and from the east, his glory, for he will come like a pent-up stream impelled by the breath of Yahweh.
20 But for Zion will come a redeemer (referred to “Jesus Christ” who was to come, as this passage was written around 742 B.C.), for those of Jacob who turn from their faults. It is Yahweh who speaks.
21 'For my part, this is my covenant with them, says Yahweh. My spirit with which I endowed you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, will not leave your mouth, or the mouths of your children, or the mouths of your children's children, says Yahweh, henceforth and for ever.'
2 June 2012
Jesus prayed for all Christians today
- Extracted from the holy Gospel according to John, Chapter 17:20-26
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One,
the world has not known you, but I have known you,
and these have known that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known,
so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.’
26 May 2012