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Thursday, October 5, 2017

“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not as eye-service (κατ᾽ὀφθαλμοδουλίαν, service just for show), as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.” (Eph 6: 5-8)

Instead of calling for the abolition of slavery, St. Paul accepts it as a given, within the social and economic structure of his time. But he does undermine it, by pointing out...

Friday, August 12, 2016

“…Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, ‘Lord, do you wash my feet?’ Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’” (Jn 13: 3-9)

It is indeed awkward, having Christ Himself, girded with a towel, kneel and wash our fe...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Let your loins be girded (dressed for action) and your lamps burning, and be like those who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.” (Lk 12: 35-37)

I have a “master” who “comes and knocks” not once, not twice, but does so continuously, throughout my life. But I am not always ready to “open to him,” because I’m asleep or not listening. On some days, I am too busy playing “master” myself, as if I owned the place.

Today let me take pause and “open to him,” in prayer and humble listening. Let me take a seat at His table, at which He is...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

 

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days…” (Lk 1: 72-75)

 

This prophecy, spoken by Zacharia after the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist, mentions us serving God “without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him.” What kind of “fear” is Zacharia talking about? The kind that is an obstacle to “holiness and righteousness before Him,” before God.

 

The non-holy and non-righteous kind of fear usually involves: 1. Fear of people and their opinions, and/or 2. Fear of economic insecurity. If I pay attention, I find that most “sins,” most misd...

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