Sunday, 25 September 2016

Lazarus, the Rich Man, and the Sin of Pride

As we hear the various parables from the Gospel of Luke it is good to keep two things in mind. First, the context of these teachings, which were given by Jesus as he made his way up to Jerusalem to “be delivered into the hands of men” (Lk. 9:44) and enter into his Passion. That journey was not just a physical journey, but also a sign of obedience to the will of the Father, a concrete expression of perfect humility and self-gift.

Secondly, his parables and discourses given during the journey were not haphazard or random in nature, but form a cohesive and focused whole. They are like different paths leading to the same place and shedding light on the same event: Jesus’ death on the Cross for the salvation of mankind. Some of them were meant specifically for the disciples; others for the crowds following Jesus; still others for the Pharisees and other religious leaders.

Between last week’s reading of the parable of the dishonest steward (Lk. 16:1-15) and today’s parable is a little bridge of five verses (16:14-18). That passage states that the Pharisees—“who were lovers of money”—had heard Jesus say, “You cannot serve God and mammon”, and had sneered at him. Jesus then said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

This sets up the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, a story sometimes interpreted solely as a renunciation of greed and a call to treat the poor with justice. That interpretation is, of course, both correct and important. Today’s reading from the prophet Amos takes up the same issue, directing a curse toward the complacent wealthy who stuff themselves with rich meat while starving themselves spiritually. And the first half of the parable (vs. 19-26) is directed toward the same sort of opulent self-indulgence and gluttonous revelry.

5 Realisations you should Have before you Get Married

Just last week, news broke out about the split of one of the most famous couples today. Of course, I'm talking about Brad and Angelina. This has led people to wonder whether marriage can really turn out for the best - I mean here are two obviously successful and well-off people. So if these two good-looking, rich and famous people can't stay together forever then who can?

Five Dead As Police Search for Motive In Washington

Authorities on Sunday were still working to determine what prompted a 20-year-old man to open fire in a Washington state mall, killing five people.

Police arrested the suspected gunman, Arcan Cetin of Oak Harbor, Washington, on Saturday. Police said he was taken into custody without incident in Oak Harbor, some 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Burlington where the shooting occurred on Friday night.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

ESV Bible Translation Revisions 'Potentially Dangerous,' Biblical Scholar Warns

A debate is stirring over revisions made to the final translation of the English Standard Version Bible regarding gender, with one biblical scholar saying the changes are "potentially dangerous."

The Crossway Board of Directors and the ESV Translation Oversight Committee said in a statement that the 52 words revised in 29 verses were "the culmination of more than 17 years of comprehensive work by the committee, as authorized and initiated by the Crossway Board in 1998."

Crossway added that the 2016 edition is a "Permanent text of the ESV Bible [and will remain] unchanged throughout the life of the copyright."

One of the controversial changes can be found in Genesis 3:16.

Bishops: Don't let the media guide Catholics on divorce

Divorced Catholics who have remarried civilly are welcome to seek reconciliation with the Church, but they need to be sure they're following the right path, some Catholic bishops of Canada have said in new guidelines.

“It may happen that, through media, friends, or family, couples have been led to understand that there has been a change in practice by the Church, such that now the reception of Holy Communion at Mass by persons who are divorced and civilly remarried is possible if they simply have a conversation with a priest,” said guidelines from the Catholic bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“This view is erroneous,” they said.

Couples who express this view “should be welcomed to meet with a priest so that they hear proposed anew 'God's plan (pertaining to marriage) in all its grandeur' and thus be helped to understand the correct path to follow toward full reconciliation with the Church,” the bishops said.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Secret to End Your Frustration and Disappointment With People

Maybe you've said it before—I know that I have: "I'm frustrated ... I'm disappointed ... I'm upset ... because he/she/they aren't meeting my needs."

This complaint often stems from the idea that we were each born with certain requirements that must be met in order to feel fulfilled or even loved. These include desires like affirming words, security, attention or even gifts.

The Source of Needs

To be sure, God did create us with needs. The most obvious are food, water and shelter. Others are emotional such as acceptance, love and value. It's certainly understandable that if you don't experience these needs that you might feel unfulfilled.

The Pleasure in Disguise

Most of us are in terms with who we actually are--our capabilities and natural endowments. Thereafter, we are grateful for them, or jettison them and lose our original selves in a bid to elevate our status, or evolve into a better people.

We do this by discarding our culture, identity and ideology; and disguise ourselves as we would like to be seen and considered--rather than our real selves. This makes us imbibe, fantasise, and idolise whatever or whoever has the tendency of putting us in the desired light, irrespective of the cost or consequences.
That is why some people are obsessed with different kinds of things, activities, places, ways of life, and fantasies such that they begin to lose touch with reality.