Saturday, September 24, 2016

Keeps Faith Forever

By Philip Russell

"But you, man (woman, child) of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called." (Timothy 6:11)

"JESUS said, "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus." (Luke 16:19-31)

"Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry." Psalm 146:7 

For STUDY, go back and read the beginning of Saint Paul words from Verse 1-10 of the sixth chapter, see how this set up the exhortation to Timothy.  

Amos, in the first reading, anticipates the destruction of the temple in 721 B.C. and sees it as a result of the nation's indifference to the needy.  Now when Jesus arrives on the scene, he is still trying to prod the people, with yet another parable. If it is true that Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever, then here He is speaking to us today, still trying to get us to change our ways!

In both the first reading and the Gospel, neither is easy nor welcome.  We're told it is possible to run out of time.

In C.S. Lewis's Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters, the protagonist Screwtape, a demon, tells his story in the form of a series of letters to his nephew Wormwood, a junior tempter. Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy ("Lowerarchy") of Hell. As Screwtape mentors his inexperienced and incompetent junior, he advises his younger protégé that the best way to deceive humans is to persuade them that there is always plenty of time. 

Isn't that what we all want to believe, too?

So, here we are in these last few weeks of this Jubilee Year of MERCY.  It's not too late. Lazarus is right outside our door.   Before it's too late, come to JESUS for the grace of His MERCY and take ACTION for Christ's sake!

"THE LORD sets captives free.  THE LORD gives sight to the blind:
THE LORD raises up those who are bowed down. 
THE LORD loves the just; THE LORD protects strangers.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. THE LORD shall reign forever; your GOD, O Zion, through all generations."  Psalm 146:9-10

In this Jubilee Year of MERCY, right through this Election Season, LORD HAVE MERCY.  CHRIST HAVE MERCY.

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