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Monday, February 10, 2020

     “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock,...

Sunday, February 9, 2020

     “He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with/by himself (πρὸς ἑαυτὸν), ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.’” (Lk 18: 9-14)

     The...

Friday, February 7, 2020

     “The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women (τὰς τοιαύτας). What do you say about her?’ This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus look...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

     “And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.’ And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.’ And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.’ And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

     “And behold, one came up to him, saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.’ He said to him, ‘Which?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these I have observed; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said...

Friday, August 25, 2017

For godly sorrow (ἡ κατὰ θεὸν λύπη) produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly sorrow produces death. For see what earnestness/zeal (σπουδήν) this godly sorrow has produced in you…” (2 Cor 7: 10-11a)

Whatever “sorrow” I may have today, for example, because of some loss, rejection, or disappointment (either with myself or others), it can bring me growth, or death. It is a sort of “crisis” (from the Greek “κρίσις,” meaning “decision, judgment, choice”), which stops me in my tracks or at least slows me down, demanding some kind of resolution or relief. Now, I can choose to make my sorrow “godly,” by re-focusing on God (“changing my mind” or my focus in “metanoia,” repentance), letting Him into the picture and picking up the healing instruments of my faith,...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (Jn 16: 20-22)

A life in Christ, a cross-carrying life, involves “sorrow”; the kind of sorrow a woman experiences when giving birth. “Because her hour has come.” Thus it happens with us, whenever our “hour” comes and we go through some kind of crisis: In faith, we emerge from it with new wisdom, new life, and “joy.” Not of the fleeting kind, wit...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

“…In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow (ἀπὸ τῆς λύπης), and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into temptation.’” (Lk 22: 44-46)

Things were about to change, as our Lord repeatedly warned His disciples in those final days leading up to His arrest and crucifixion. And at this point, in Gethsemane, their reaction is… to fall asleep. They sleep “from” or because of, sorrow. Can I relate to this kind of reaction to “sorrow”? Of course I can. At difficult times I’ve spent too many hours in bed, not wanting to deal with change and the responsibilities it entails. But that kind of sleep nev...

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