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Friday, February 19, 2021

Fr Ebido: How not to seek God's blessing in vain - ITREALMS

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Friday after Ash Wednesday (February 19/2021) 

Your Daily BlessingMay God’s graciousness abide with you today and every day. Amen

Read Isaiah 58:1-9A; Matt 9:14-15; and pray Psalm 51

Narration: In recent times I have gone to the extent of stopping some people from sending me all those glowing prayers that showers you with all manners of blessings and miraculous breakthroughs. 


You might wonder why? The reason is simple: they are essentially superfluous and the nearest one can get to spiritual ‘flattery and seduction’. This is more so when those who send them or say “Amen” to them have no intention of doing what pleases God. It mimics the praise singing of jesters and comedians that mocks any one that takes their words seriously. We are beginning to make a mockery of God’s blessings, and it is offensive to discerning minds. It should offend our sense of piety and spiritual decorum.
 
The first reading from Isaiah is precisely addressing this problem of expecting God’s blessings and favors while living a life of pure wickedness or at best devoid of respect for justice or God’s law. Someone went to the village and after settling some elders ‘grown old in evil,’ he laid claim to his brother’s land. When he returned, he went to do offering at the Church with a fat ram! Do you need to ask me if God accepted such thanksgivings? He says through Prophet Isaiah for those who ask, [why do] “we fast and you do not notice? We make sacrifices and you do not regard it?” And he answers (my adaptation), “because you pretend you want to please ME, but in actual fact, your hearts are far from righteousness. Your body language (your actions) says it all! 

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What is the value of fasting if your heart is filled with murderous anger against your own kin? When you live by your own rules instead of my commandments? Why seek my blessings in endless vigils, with dry fasting while oppressing your brother or someone who needs your help!?” This is a mockery of God. And Gal 6:7 warns us, “Be not deceived, God cannot be mocked!” Tomorrow I will point out the type of fasting God loves.
 
PRAYER: Father, I have often expected a superabundance of your blessings with no regard to living a life of righteousness. This amounts to wanting to ‘steal’ your benefits. Create in me a brand new heart and spirit willing to do your will. Amen
 
ACTIVE LOVE: Go for confession if you think you need one; reach out to someone in need.

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