30 June 2012


Extracted from the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 49:


Restoration of Israel


8 This is what the Lord says:


In the time of my favor I will answer you,  and in the day of salvation I will help you;


I will keep you and will make you  to be a covenant for the people,


to restore the land  and to reassign its desolate inheritances,


9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’  and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’


They will feed beside the roads  and find pasture on every barren hill.


10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,  nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.


He who has compassion on them will guide them  and lead them beside springs of water.


11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,  and my highways will be raised up.


12 See, they will come from afar —  some from the north, some from the west,


some from the region of Aswan.”


13 Shout for joy, O heavens;  rejoice, O earth;  burst into song, O mountains!


For the Lord comforts his people  and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,  the Lord has forgotten me.”


15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast  and have no compassion on the child she has borne?


Though she may forget,  I will not forget you!


16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;  your walls are ever before me.


17 Your sons hasten back,  and those who laid you waste depart from you.


18 Lift up your eyes and look around;  all your sons gather and come to you.


As surely as I live, ” declares the Lord,  “you will wear them all as ornaments;


you will put them on, like a bride.


19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate  and your land laid waste,


now you will be too small for your people,  and those who devoured you will be far away.


20 The children born during your bereavement  will yet say in your hearing,


‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’


21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these?


I was bereaved and barren;   I was exiled and rejected.


Who brought these up?  I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?’”


22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:


“See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples;


they will bring your sons in their arms  and carry your daughters on their shoulders.


23 Kings will be your foster fathers,   and their queens your nursing mothers.


They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet.


Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. ”

Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 7:6,12-14


Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not give dogs what is holy (a); and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.


So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.


‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the gate that leads to perdition is wide, and the road spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’



Church Commentary:


(a) Consecrated meat from animals sacrificed in the temple, cf. Leviticus 22:14; Exodus 22:30. Similarly sacred teaching of great worth must not be set before those who, incapable of receiving it with profit, may even abuse it. Thus, there should be discernment and discretion in dealing with hostile outsiders or even with apostate and unrepentant Christians.


30 June 2012


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24 Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives rescued from the fierce?


25 But this is what the Lord says:


“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce;


I will contend with those who contend with you,  and your children I will save.


26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;


they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.


Then all mankind will know  that I, the Lord, am your Savior,


your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. ”