Jesus taught me how not to deny my beliefs to please others. He turned their hurtful words into a blessing. God used them to get me closer to Him. So my point is, offer your pain to God and He will give you rest.
"Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord." (1 Corr 1:31)
How would you react if you see something that is wrong and immoral? Would you retaliated, and attempt to fix? Or would you disregard it for the fear of the consequences if you speak against it?
"Jesus said to his disciples:
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." (mt 24:42-44)
“Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways...The Lord bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.” (Psalm 128:1, 5)
Today's 1st reading is warning us not to be "shaken out of our minds suddenly."
Brothers and sisters, stand firm! Be at peace! I stand here today with Paul and his letter to the Thessalonians written about 1900 years ago, to offer Jesus and his everlasting encouragement.
We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, as is fitting because your faith flourishes ever greater and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater. Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith …We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you , and you in him…
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (mt 16:16)
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt 23:12)
"A scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
You know that feeling of excitement and obligation you when you receive an invite in the mail? There is that feeling of preparation and planning. The same is true of the person sending the invitation.
Ray was tired. In his 39 years of being a priest, he felt that he had done a pretty good job. He had lived up to the dream of being a priest that it started way back in grade school. He knew the joys and even exultation that came from ministering at the altar and being a source of peace and bless to the people he had served in the seven parishes to which he had been assigned. But now he was tired.
“Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first!” (Mt19: 30)
“The young man said to him, ‘All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him,
‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” (Mt 19:20 – 22)
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour. (mt 15:21-28)
“For the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mt 19:15)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”….
"What if the offender is a six-time repeater?" asks Peter. You can almost hear the anger in Christ's voice as he exaggerates his reply, "I say to you, not seven times but SEVENTY-seven times!" (Matthew 18:22)
"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I
am in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)
There’s a story from Philip Gill of a father and son who were driving through town together when they came upon a traffic jam. Up ahead they could see that a large semi trailer with a high load had become wedged under a bridge. The father experienced only the frustration of being held up in traffic but his son however experienced a world of unbelievable wonder.
Today’s gospel reading from Matthew is about the Temple tax. You know the one. The tax collectors ask Peter If Jesus pays the tax. Peter says yes, then runs to Jesus to tell him.
“Who has known the mind of God?” (Romans 11:35)
“...if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain more from here to there and it will move”. (mt 17:20)
“For whoever wishes to save life will lose it, but whoever loses life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
“Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13)