Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for April, 2015

A Scripture Reflection…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on April 26, 2015

A time of Reflection...

A time of Reflection…

Since we’re in the middle of the 33 Days cycle that will conclude on Wed, May 13th, Our Lady of Fatima; I thought it would be nice to break up the posts a little with a reflection on the scripture passage of 1Peter 2:21-24.

Scripture Passage in full:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but He trusted to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.

Now, I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’ve seen some pretty dumb actions committed by Christians against their fellow Christians that really only serve one person – the Enemy! So how do we combat this?  How do we encourage our fellow Christians to stop “drinking the kool-aid” and begin to live as Christians – that is as followers of Christ are COMMANDED to live.

Yes! COMMANDED to live.  Jesus did not make the Christian lifestyle full of options for those who came after Him, saying, “You can pick and choose of this list what you’ll follow and how you’ll live…” Absolutely NOT! 

In fact He said,

“…he who does not take [up] his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me…I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be [either] justified, [or] by your words you will be condemned.  Mt 10:38, 12:36-37

No mincing of words there! This is very strong language. Which is why we now return to the above passage to see HOW we are expected to fulfill the living out of a FAITHFUL Christian Life:

40 Days in the Desert

40 Days in the Desert

  • Christ provides for us an example, “…because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” So what is this example? Seven things make up this example – the complete number in biblical terms (See the Coming Soon Study for better understanding of this, chapter 9, The New Creation.)

1. He committed no sin” : Jesus did no wrong. He was falsely accused. Really, what did He do?  Held the religious leaders of His day accountable for their shenanigans (see Mt 6:1-18; 12; 15:1-20; 16:1-12; 21:12-27, 33-46…etc)

*How many times are good servants of God – bishops, priests, religious and laity – who are upholding the faith “raked over the coals” by those who claim to be “faithful catholics” but are really like those religious leaders of Jesus’ day?

* When we participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we pray in the Act of Contrition: “to sin no more and avoid the near occasion of sin” Are these just words? Certainly not. We need to follow the example of Christ!

2. “…no guile was found on His lips.” Guile = deceit: Scripture talks about those who say one thing and mean another. Whose mouths defile the soul and what that means:

“…what comes our of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery [well worth the full read], fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.”

3. “When He was reviled, He did not revile in return;” If you “revile” someone, you hate them, slander their good name, and pretty much seek to destroy that person – gosh does that sound familiar?

So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let Him go on thus, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’

“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” ~Jn 11:47-50 (prophesying that Jesus would indeed die for the Jewish Nation – God’s own chosen people)

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine...

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine…

*So how did Jesus respond?  Even at His trial He gave no answer to the false accusations made against Him (see Mt 26:59-63a). As the Son of God, Jesus could easily have called down fire and brimstone or even pointed at His accusers and say, “Dust!”, and they would return to dust, but He didn’t. His mercy and compassion for His accusers remained intact, EVEN when they crucified Him:

“Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do!” ~Lk 23:34

*So, too, must we do for those who revile us for our faith. We must forgive, we must have mercy and compassion, and we must PRAY for them (cf Mt 5:43-46). For if we foolish humans knew what we are doing to our immortal souls when we murder, slander, and commit iniquity against our fellow men we would not do such foolish things.

4. “…when He suffered, He did not threaten; Jesus had every right to fight back, to speak words of condemnation upon His persecutors, but He did not. Why do I make this bold claim? Because of what the Apostle Paul teaches us:

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

*But what a minute! Jesus is God (Jn1:1), is He not? So doesn’t this apply to Him?  It does, but remember, Jesus is setting US an example to follow. So He has quite literally:

Emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

*Death has NO HOLD on God, NEVER did, but death had a hold on US! God placed Himself in our place to take the death we deserved by our very sinful and disobedient nature (Gen 3:6-8, 19c). 

5. “…but He trusted to Him who judges justly.”

*When we are wronged and treated badly – especially for our Faith in Christ Jesus – it will be God who avenges our treatment and even our death. Forgive those who have wronged you, embrace the One who gives you life, TRUST in the Father Who loves His children very much! (Easier said than done, I know, but not impossible! See Lk 1:37; Mt19:26)

How will God deal with our sins?

How will God deal with our sins?

 6. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

*By Christ’s death AND resurrection, we now have the ability to live as Christ lived – faithful and obedient to the Will of the Father by embracing His commandments.

*As St. Paul taught in his letter to the Galatians: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH in the SON OF GOD, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

*Again, how is this possible?  Because the Word of God made flesh – Jesus – bore all of our sins in His Body and DIED for our sins – remember, death only had a hold on US. He took our punishment upon Himself. Why then, for the love of all that is holy, do we crucify Our Risen Lord and pierce His Most Sacred Heart over and over again with our foolish actions?!  We need to…

7. “…die to sin and live to righteousness. [because] By His wounds you have been healed.”

*We need to start living for the Glory of God, embracing His call to us to be holy as He is holy, which will only happen when we make the choice to follow Him without reservations, without compromise, and most certainly without excuses!  For the prophet reminds us with BOLDNESS:

“For YOU are My servant, I have CHOSEN YOU and not cast you off; FEAR NOT, for I AM with you, be not dismayed, for I AM your God; I will strengthen YOU, I will help YOU. I will uphold YOU with MY VICTORIOUS right hand.”

"Resist the devil... solid in your faith..."

“Resist the devil… solid in your faith…”

Thus concludes the Seven Fold example how to live a FAITHFUL Christian Life. We must:

  1. Commit no sin – and acknowledge it when we do – Confession!
  2. Do not lie  or bear false witness (that’s the 8th commandment… See also CCC§2464)
  3. Do not return insult for insult, but love your enemies and pray for them
  4. Vengeance belongs to God, leave it to Him, FORGIVE!
  5. TRUST in God with your whole heart (Love God with all your heart, all your strength …Mt 22:37)
  6. NO EXCUSES! Because of Christ’s death and resurrection we are set FREE from sin, we need to EMBRACE that FREEDOM!
  7. We NEED to live for God’s Glory, and do everything for our Creator because He has chosen us and LOVED us from the start (cf. 1Jn4:10; Jn 15:9-10)

GOT IT?… GOOD… NOW LIVE IT! 🙂

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