Jim Kempa's ADHD Thoughts

Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?

Reflection:

Are we still children stuck in our childish ways unwilling to mature? In today’s first reading we here humanity complaining to the Lord saying that “The Lord’s way is not fair!” if a virtuous man turns to a path of evil he must die; however a wicked man who turns to virtuous things must live.  The words spoken by mankind in this passage so a lack of understanding of two critical  criteria for the Christian life: virtue and forgiveness along with a misshaped heart that is more concerned with having “fun” the world’s way vs. living a holy life for the sake of one’s relationship with the Lord. If mankind had the simple concrete desire to live according to God’s laws and virtues for their own sake then they would not have complained to the Lord that is wasn’t fair rather they would be rejoicing in the fact that the wicked turned to virtuous ways.  A similar analogy would be if the congregation of a Church rather than rejoicing at someone’s baptism shouted out a complaint stating why does that person get their sins washed clean from baptism when I’ve been a believer my entire life. I wanna go live the world’s way. This would show a disorder in the heart of the congregation that secretly was attracted to the world’s way. Therefore, let us order our lives towards virtue and by doing so our attraction to the world will vanish. May we focus our lives on the path of virtue (faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude) to grow closer to the Lord this day and always!

Reading (Ezekiel 18: 21 – 28):

Thus says the Lord GOD: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

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February 26, 2010 Posted by | Daily Reading Reflections | Leave a comment

Is Jesus a genie?

Reflection:

To the world this gospel makes Jesus appear to be some sort of genie where we make a wish or prayer and He grants our prayer. I may pray for the healing of a friend from a cancer and if that person isn’t cured within in an instance that must mean that Jesus ignored my prayer. Wrong! Today’s gospel rather is about aligning our will with His will. Jesus who’s main desire is for us to fall more deeply in love with Him will always answer our prayers.  We need to realize Jesus who knows us better than we know ourselves will answer our prayers in a way to aids us in reaching our ultimate goal of sanctification. So we must always and constantly come before Him and offering up the prayers and petitions within our hearts realizing that they will be answered according to His will. Just because my prayer for the healing of my friend did not result in a miraculous disappearance of cancer does not mean my prayer we useless. It means rather Jesus’ plan was to grant the person a miraculous amount of strength, hope, perseverance, and love to battle cancer. In the end the way the person’s faith and soul grew closer to Jesus during this immensely gut wrenching experience that lead to their ultimate passing on to eternity prepared their soul to meet Jesus. The miracle that occurred was the growth in the person’s soul into an intense love for Jesus, ultimate sanctification, and the example left for family & friends. Recall Jesus himself couldv’e removed himself from the cross and walked away unscarred but His purpose was to save us from our sins thru His death and resurrection.  In the end, Jesus knows what the best for us is and He will answer our prayers in the way that leads us to heaven with Him! Therefore, Jesus is not some genie as the world would read this passage but rather a loving Father who desires what is best for His children!

May the Lord Jesus grant Gail Carlson eternal rest with Him in heaven and may the live she lived of perseverance, faith, hope, and love be an example to us all! Jesus grant your comfort and consolation to her husband and children!

Reading (Matthew 7:  7 – 12):
Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Daily Reading Reflections | Leave a comment

Saved by repentance & faith

Reflection:

In today’s reading the Lord used Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh regarding their pending destruction. If someone came thru your city and proclaimed such a similar message I can guarantee that many or maybe even all of us would laugh him off as a crazy loony radical. However, the residents of Jonah believed in God and that was the difference maker in this situation. Their belief and ultimate trust in God allowed the residents to realize that serious and radical conversion and repentance must take place in their lives. Even the King led the residents of Nineveh in wearing sackcloth, which is an outward sign of repenting from one’s sins and asking for the Lord’s mercy rather than wrath. Therefore, during this season of Lent we need to become selfish and focus on ourselves. Yes that may seem weird. We tend to unselfishly recognize the sin in the lives of those we interact with each day and those closest to us but we need to be selfish for once and focus on the sin in our own lives. May the fasting and other things we give up for Lent not be in vain but for the purpose of asking God to grant us repentance, forgiveness, and mercy! May Jesus convict us of the sins we need to seek repentance from during this season of Lent and let us implore Him for the strength to be transformed and refined! Then our Lenten season will allow us to rise with Jesus on Easter as closer disciple of the King!

A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Reading (Jonah 3: 1 -10):

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.  Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

February 24, 2010 Posted by | Daily Reading Reflections | Leave a comment