Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Pure unspoilt religion is this…”

We find ourselves once more in the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees showed their faithfulness to God by keeping to the Law of Moses as perfectly as they could. The problem that Jesus points out is how much of Mosaic law is about becoming a nation and less about doing what God wants. If the two become confused, then we can end up doing things, thinking it is God’s will rather than actually just because that is an agreed custom.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

Moses said to the people: ‘Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you. (Deuteronomy 4:1)

  • How do you feel about rules and regulations, laws and customs?
  • What laws do you feel are easy to observe and which are difficult?
  • Moses gives both laws and customs, what is the difference between the two?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his desire for you to have life.

 

Monday.

When they come to know all of these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation. And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him. (Deuteronomy 4:6-7)

  • Are you wise and prudent?
  • When have you known the nearness of the Lord?
  • Call on the Lord now.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his nearness to you.

 

Tuesday.

Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain? One who walks without fault; one who acts with justice and speaks the truth from the heart. One who does no wrong to their brother/sister, who casts no slur on their neighbour. (Psalm 14:1-3)

  • Read the five attributes that enable one to dwell on God’s holy mountain.
  • Reflect on each one as an examination of conscience.
  • Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for any failures.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about dwelling with him.

 

Wednesday.

Accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. But you must do what the word tells you, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. (James 1:21-22)

  • How would you summarise the word which is planted in you?
  • Reflect on times when you have deceived yourself.
  • Reflect on times when you have done what the word told you.
  • Let the Lord speak his word to your heart.

 

Thursday.

Pure unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world. (James 1:27)

  • What would you say pure unspoilt religion is?
  • How much of your life is spent coming to the help of others?
  • What contaminates your relationship with God?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his hope in you.

 

Friday

It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture: ‘This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations’. You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions. (Mark 7:6-8)

  • What is hypocrisy and how guilty of it are you?
  • How much of what you do as a Christian is only human regulations?
  • Have you ever put aside the commandment of God?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his goodness to you.

 

Saturday

For it is from within, from people’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and made a person unclean. (John 6:67-68)

  • Read the twelve examples the Lord gives as an examination of your own life.
  • Which of these are cause you the most problems?
  • Which of these cause the most problems in our society?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his strength in you.
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