Daily Readings Reflection for 10/31/09

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Scripture: Lectionary # 484. Sat of 30th week. Romans 11:1-2.11-12.25-29.
Psalm 24: 12-13.14-15.17-18. Luke 14:7-11.

The Holy Scriptures are filled with hope and consolation. Paul tells us
that the “gifts of God and the call of God are irrevocable.” All of the
covenants and promises that God has made with us are faithfully kept by the
God of both testaments (the Old Testament and the New Testament). God’s
covenants are meant for our own call to be faithful to the precepts and the
love commands in the Scriptures. Paul realized that his Bible and that of
Jesus are meant in this context: that the gifts and calls of God are never
abrogated. That gives us Christians the need to reflect that
“supersessionism” is not part of the biblical message. What Paul is saying
is coming from his own appreciation and interpretation with he gives us in
Romans 9:6-13. This passage helps us to understand Romans 11:29. The
promises of God continue throughout the centuries, but they demand a deep
spiritual reflection on our part to understand them.

We Catholic Christians of a certain age did not read the Bible very well
and had some bad impressions and images of God when we referred to the
Hebrew Scriptures. Fortunately, Catholic scholars have helped to get rid
of this heretical and negative idea. It started with Marcion who wanted
to irradicate anything that was Jewish or Hebrew in the Bible. We would be
reduced to a few chapters called the Marcionite New Testament–some of Luke
and Paul. Yet, we hear many Catholics saying the God of the Old Testament
is an angray and wrathful God. We need to learn to read within the context
of the historical period in which these books were written and realize that
the God of both testaments is the same and that God is a God of love. If
we take away the Old Testament from our reading then we do not really
understand the New Testament. Almost every writer of the Bible were Jewish
and understood what Paul is saying in Romans 9-11.

Words like loving-kindness, grace, glory and the word love are present in
the Bible and the Psalms are the prayers wherein the word for love
predominates and shows us the heart of Judaism. We have to learn how to
read both with the history behind them as well as with the feeling and
ethos contained in them. Not an easy task, but it must be done with
starting with a prayer to the Holy Spirit and then pondering over,
studying, and seeing the full scope of what is written in these love letter
of God. Both the Old Testament and the New are filled with God’s love for
everyone. The deeper spiritual reflection we make in the light of our
respective faiths help us to understand some difficult passages better. We
need to be informed. We need to read more completely and avoid the
Marcionite tendency that comes from laziness and ignorance of what the
Scriptures mean for both Jew and Christian. Paul knows this and is doing
this in Romans where he is certainly conscious that both Jew and Christian
are living together as neighbors and whom both are under the scrutiny of
the Roman government. Paul’s dearest friends Aquila and Priscilla were
exiled from Rome because they were Jews. This happened in the forties of
the common era ( 44 A.D.).

Paul’s words are precious and guide us to go more deeply than what we have
heard from others who never have read the Bible with sensitivity and
reverence. The gifts of God and God’s call are forever. Jesus is sharing
his Judaism with us and deepening the interpretation by his spiritual and
prophetic proclamations, yet, he promises us that he is not changing one
iota or tittle of the Hebrew Scriptures. God is Creator, Revealer, and
Redeemer of us all through the inspiration shared by those who have written
the Scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament
not the New is the Bible of Jesus. It is his words and his interpretations
and actions that lead others to write under the Spirit to form the New
Testament.Both Testaments help us to relate in an intimate way as did Jesus
and Paul to what was written and preached. Our Psalm for this day is a
confirmation that the Lord does not abandon his people ( we all fall under
this). This verse of the Psalm is a good insight into what Paul is saying:
“For the Lord will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance;
But judgment shall again be with justice, all the upright of heart shall
follow it.” That means no one is left of the hook when it comes to
observing the commandments of both the Old and New Testament.

— Post From My iPhone

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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