IL GIUDIZIO DI DIO

Il giudizio di Dio.

Quando calerà il sipario sulla scena della tua vita e la rappresentazione sarà terminata, deporrai i vestiti della parte che avrai sostenuto per essere giudicato secondo verità.

Se avrai disprezzato quaggiù i beni celesti e non avrai agito con rettitudine, la tua coscienza testimonierà contro di te, né potrai sottrarti tacendo o ingannare negando.

Allora desidererai avere quei beni che hai disprezzato, ma non ti sarà possibile ottenere ciò che desideri.

Sii vigilante per non lasciar passare invano l’ora della grazia.

Ricordati che l’indulgente misericordia di Dio si muterà un giorno in giudizio irrevocabile.

Se ora simuli di essere quello che non sei, quando verrà il giudizio divino si vedrà quello che sei.

Esamina ora la tua coscienza; giudica il tuo operato; detesta le tue colpe; riprendi te stesso ogni giorno per essere irreprensibile davanti al giudice divino; fai ora penitenza perché tu non sia condannato in quel giorno tremendo.

Comportati in ogni tempo come se dovessi tra poco presentarti davanti al tribunale di Dio.

Ricordati che non c’è peccato che commette l’uomo che tu non possa commettere.

Non aver altro desiderio se non quello di possedere Dio, né altro timore se non quello di perderlo.

IL PENSIERO DELLA MORTE E I SUOI INSEGNAMENTI

Il pensiero della morte e i suoi insegnamenti.

Esercitati ogni giorno a morire, alimentando in te una sincera disponibilità alla morte.

Cammina nella carità e nella santità per essere preparato al regno di Dio ogni momento.

Opera il bene finché hai tempo, poiché non sai quando calerà la notte sulla giornata della tua vita. Tienti sempre pronto per il giorno della chiamata.

Scegli ora ciò che vorresti aver scelto in punto di morte e fai ogni cosa come se fosse l’ultima della tua vita.

Se avrai creduto in Dio e lo avrai servito, la tua morte non sarà un salto nel nulla, ma nelle braccia di Dio; sarà l’incontro personale con lui per vivere presso di lui nell’amore (Sap 3, 9) e nella gioia della sua amicizia.

Daily Light on the Daily Path

July 4

Morning

Leaning on Jesus’ bosom. John 13:23

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you. Isa. 66:13

They brought young children to him, that he should touch them. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10:1316

Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and I will not send them away fasting, test they faint in the way. Matt. 15:32

A high Priest … touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Heb. 4:15

In his love and in his pity he redeemed them. Isa. 63:9

I will not leave you comfortless (marg. orphans): I will come to you. John 14:18

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Isa. 49:15

The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. 7:17

Evening

Jesus Christ the righteous: the propitiation for our sins. I John 2:12

Toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat. Exo. 5:20-22

Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psa. 85:910

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. Psa. 130:478

All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins. Rom. 3:23-25

Fasting and Freedom

July 4, 2020
Saturday of the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time
Readings for Today

Independence Day – USA Optional Memorial

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”  Matthew 9:14-15

Do you want to be free?  Do you want to discover true liberty in your life?  Most certainly you do.  But what does that mean?  And how do you obtain it?

Liberty is what we are made for.  We are made to be free to live life to the fullest and to experience the unfathomable joys and blessings God desires to bestow upon us.  But all too often we have a misconception of what true freedom is all about.  Freedom, more than anything else, is an experience of the joy of having the Bridegroom with us.  It’s the joy of the wedding feast of the Lord.  We were made to celebrate our unity with Him for eternity.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly states that the wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them.  However, “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

It is helpful to look at the relationship between fasting and freedom.  At first this may seem like a strange combination.  But if fasting is properly understood, it will be seen as a pathway toward the glorious gift of true freedom.  

There are times in our lives when “the Bridegroom is taken away.”  This can refer to many things.  One thing it particularly refers to are the times when we experience a sense of the loss of Christ in our lives.  This can certainly come as a result of our own sin, but it can also come as a result of us growing closer to Christ.  In the first case, fasting can help free us from the many sinful attachments we have in life.  Fasting has the potential to strengthen our will and purify our desires.  In the second case, there are times when we are growing very close to Christ and, as a result, He hides His presence from our lives.  This may seem strange at first but it is done so that we will seek Him all the more.  In this case, also, fasting can become a means of deepening our faith and commitment to Him.

Fasting can take on many forms, but, at the heart, it is simply an act of self-denial and self-sacrifice for God.  It helps us overcome earthly and fleshly desires so that our spirits can more fully desire Christ.

Reflect, today, on how deeply you desire Christ in your life.  If you see that there are other competing desires that tend to drown out Christ, consider offering acts of fasting and other forms of self-denial.  Make them small sacrifices for God and you will see the good fruit they produce.

Lord, I desire You in my life above all things.  Help me to see the things that compete for Your love and to offer sacrifice so that my soul can be purified and live in the freedom You desire for me.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Independence Day – USA

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
(Always transferred to July 5 in the USA, however, it is not celebrated this year since July 5 is a Sunday.)

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The day will come when they will fast

Daily Reading & Meditation

 Saturday (July 4):  The day will come when they will fast
Scripture:  Matthew 9:14-17

14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Meditation: Which comes first, fasting or feasting? The disciples of John the Baptist were upset with Jesus’ disciples because they did not fast. Fasting was one of the three most important religious duties, along with prayer and almsgiving. Jesus gave a simple explanation. There’s a time for fasting and a time for feasting (or celebrating). To walk as a disciple with Jesus is to experience a whole new joy of relationship akin to the joy of the wedding party in celebrating with the groom and bride their wedding bliss.

A time to rejoice and a time to mourn
But there also comes a time when the Lord’s disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification. For the disciple there is both a time for rejoicing in the Lord’s presence and celebrating his goodness and a time for seeking the Lord with humility and fasting and for mourning over sin. Do you take joy in the Lord’s presence with you and do you express sorrow and contrition for your sins?

The closed mind that refuses to learn
Jesus goes on to warn his disciples about the problem of the “closed mind” that refuses to learn new things. Jesus used an image familiar to his audience – new and old wineskins. In Jesus’ times, wine was stored in wineskins, not bottles. New wine poured into skins was still fermenting. The gases exerted gave pressure. New wine skins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wine skins easily burst because they had become hard and had lost their ability to expand and stretch. What did Jesus mean by this comparison? Are we to reject the old in place of the new?

Treasuring the old and new wine of the Holy Spirit
Just as there is a right place and a right time for fasting and for feasting, so there is a right place for the old as well as the new. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old (Matthew 13:52). How impoverished we would be if we only had the Old Testament or the New Testament books of the Bible, rather than both. The Lord gives us wisdom so we can make the best use of both the old and the new. He doesn’t want us to hold rigidly to the past and to be resistant to the new work of his Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants our minds and hearts to be like new wine skins – open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit. Are you eager to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s word and plan for your life?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth. Help me to seek you earnestly in prayer and fasting that I may turn away from sin and willfulness and conform my life more fully to your will. May I always find joy in knowing, loving, and serving you.”

Psalm 85:9,11-13

9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: No need to fast in the presence of the Bridegroom, by Hilary of Poitiers (315-367 AD)

“The Pharisees and John’s disciples were fasting, and the apostles were not. But Jesus answered them in a spiritual way and indicated to John’s disciples that he was a bridegroom. John taught that all hope in life lay in Christ. While he was still preaching, however, his disciples could not be received by the Lord. Up until the time of John, the law and the prophets prevailed, and unless the law came to an end, none of them would subscribe to faith in the gospel. The fact that he said there was no need for his disciples to fast as long as the bridegroom is with them illustrates the joy of his presence and the sacrament of the holy food, which no one need be without while he is present, that is, bearing Christ in the light of the mind. But once he is gone, Jesus says that they will fast, for all those who do not believe that Christ has risen will not have the food of life. By faith in the resurrection, the sacrament of the heavenly bread is received. Whoever is without Christ will be forsaken, fasting from the food of life.” (excerpt from the commentary ON MATTHEW 9.3)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite:  copyright (c) 2020 Servants of the Word, source:  dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org, author Don Schwager