24 September 2011
The upright will be credited with his uprightness- Extracted from Ezekiel, Chapter 18:
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me (hereinafter referred to Ezekiel) as follows,
2 'Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: The parents have eaten unripe grapes; and the children's teeth are set on edge?
3 'As I live - declares the Lord Yahweh - you will have no further cause to repeat this proverb in Israel.
4 Look, all life belongs to me; the father's life and the son's life, both alike belong to me. The one who has sinned is the one to die.
5 'But if a man is upright, his actions law-abiding and upright,
6 and he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the foul idols of the House of Israel, does not defile his neighbour's wife or touch a woman during her periods,
7 oppresses no one, returns the pledge on a debt, does not rob, gives his own food to the hungry, his clothes to those who lack clothing,
8 does not lend for profit, does not charge interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between one person and another,
9 keeps my laws and sincerely respects my judgements - someone like this is truly upright and will live - declares the Lord Yahweh.
10 'But if he has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, who commits one of these misdeeds-
11 even though the father never has - a son who dares to eat on the mountains, who defiles his neighbour's wife,
12 who oppresses the poor and needy, robs, fails to return pledges, raises his eyes to foul idols, engages in loathsome practices,
13 lends for profit, or charges interest, such a person will by no means live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will die, and his blood be on his own head.
14 'But if he in turn has a son who, in spite of seeing all the sins that his father has committed, does not imitate him,
15 does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the foul idols of the House of Israel, does not defile his neighbour's wife,
16 oppresses no one, takes no pledges, does not rob, gives his own food to the hungry, his clothes to those who lack clothing,
17 abstains from evil, does not lend for profit or charge interest, respects my judgements and keeps my laws, he will not die for his father's sins: he will most certainly live.
18 But his father, because he was violent, robbed others and never did good among his people, will most certainly die in his guilt.
19 'Now, you say, "Why doesn't the son bear his father's guilt?" If the son has been law-abiding and upright, has kept all my laws and followed them, most certainly he will live.
20 The one who has sinned is the one who must die; a son is not to bear his father's guilt, nor a father his son's guilt. The upright will be credited with his uprightness, and the wicked with his wickedness.
21 'If the wicked, however, renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and upright, he will most certainly live; he will not die.
22 None of the crimes he committed will be remembered against him from then on; he will most certainly live because of his upright actions.
23 Would I take pleasure in the death of the wicked - declares the Lord Yahweh - and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
24 'But if the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong by copying all the loathsome practices of the wicked, is he to live? All his upright actions will be forgotten from then on; for the infidelity of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, he will most certainly die.
25 'Now, you say, "What the Lord does is unjust." Now listen, House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust?
26 When the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong and dies, he dies because of the wrong which he himself has done.
27 Similarly, when the wicked abandons wickedness to become law-abiding and upright, he saves his own life.
28 Having chosen to renounce all his previous crimes, he will most certainly live: he will not die.
29 And yet the House of Israel says, "What the Lord does is unjust." Is what I do unjust, House of Israel? Is it not what you do that is unjust?
30 So in future, House of Israel, I shall judge each of you by what that person does - declares the Lord Yahweh. Repent, renounce all your crimes, avoid all occasions for guilt.
31 Shake off all the crimes you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why die, House of Israel?
32 I take no pleasure in the death of anyone - declares the Lord Yahweh - so repent and live!'
The mother and brothers of Christ - Extracted from Luke 8: 19-21
The mother and brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd.
He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’
But he said in answer ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’
24 September 2011
1 October 2011
Extracted from Philippians, Chapter 2:
Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus
1 So if in Christ there is anything that will move you, any incentive in love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any warmth or sympathy - I (hereinafter referred to “Paul”) appeal to you,
2 make my joy complete by being of a single mind, one in love, one in heart and one in mind.
3 Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others,
4 everyone pursuing not selfish interests but those of others.
5 Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped.
7 But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being,
8 he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.
9 And for this God raised him high, and gave him the name which is above all other names;
10 so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
11 and that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Work out your salvation in fear and trembling– this is St. Paul’s fatherly appeal to us, who loves us and had toiled & worked hard to preach the gospel to us, so let’s make him proud. 8-)
12 So, my dear friends, you have always been obedient; your obedience must not be limited to times when I am present. Now that I am absent it must be more in evidence, so work out your salvation in fear and trembling.
13 It is God who, for his own generous purpose, gives you the intention and the powers to act.
14 Let your behaviour be free of murmuring and complaining
15 so that you remain faultless and pure, unspoilt children of God surrounded by a deceitful and underhand brood, shining out among them like bright stars in the world,
16 proffering to it the Word of life. Then I shall have reason to be proud on the Day of Christ, for it will not be for nothing that I have run the race and toiled so hard.
17 Indeed, even if my blood has to be poured as a libation over your sacrifice and the offering of your faith, then I shall be glad and join in your rejoicing-
18 and in the same way, you must be glad and join in my rejoicing.
Extracted from Matthew, Chapter 21:
The expulsion of the dealers from the Temple- My House will be called a house of prayer
12 Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.
13 He said to them, 'According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits' den.'
14 There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them.
15 At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, 'Hosanna to the son of David' in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him,
16 'Do you hear what they are saying?' Jesus answered, 'Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?'
17 With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
The barren fig tree withers. Faith and prayer – And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer you will receive.
18 As he was returning to the city in the early morning, he felt hungry.
19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it and found nothing on it but leaves. And he said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again,' and instantly the fig tree withered.
20 The disciples were amazed when they saw it and said, 'How is it that the fig tree withered instantly?'
21 Jesus answered, 'In truth I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt at all, not only will you do what I have done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, "Be pulled up and thrown into the sea," it will be done.
22 And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer, you will receive.'
The authority of Jesus is questioned
23 He had gone into the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and said, 'What authority have you for acting like this? And who gave you this authority?'
24 In reply Jesus said to them, 'And I will ask you a question, just one; if you tell me the answer to it, then I will tell you my authority for acting like this.
25 John's baptism: what was its origin, heavenly or human?' And they argued this way among themselves, 'If we say heavenly, he will retort to us, "Then why did you refuse to believe him?";
26 but if we say human, we have the people to fear, for they all hold that John was a prophet.'
27 So their reply to Jesus was, 'We do not know.' And he retorted to them, 'Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.'
Parable of the 2 sons
28 'What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, "My boy, go and work in the vineyard today."
29 He answered, "I will not go," but afterwards thought better of it and went.
30 The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, "Certainly, sir," but did not go.
31 Which of the two did the father's will?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.
32 For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.
1 October 2011