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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bible and Catechism in a year: Day 19

Genesis 27

Well, yesterday we saw Esau trade his birthright for some stew and bread.  Today we see the fulfilment of that occurrence, as Jacob, at the urging of his Mother, fools his father into giving him the blessing meant for Esau.  On the surface this seems like a terrible deception...and yet, we have to look beyond the surface of the story to get the full meaning of what we are being taught.  The Lord told Rebekah that this would happen, and so perhaps that is why her favor fell on Jacob, and why she encourages him to impersonate his brother.  It doesn't say that she ever shared what God revealed to her with Isaac.  In addition, it appears that God isn't keen on having a guy who would sell his birthright for earthly food be the man from whom his chosen nation flows.  Therein lies the lesson...we should not sell our spiritual goods for material ones (even if the stew is really good!)

Naturally, Esau is pretty upset - he's lost his birthright and his blessing, and he's literally ready to kill Isaac.  Being that Isaac isn't a fighter (he was a quiet man who dwelt in tents, after all), Isaac is told to flee to Haran by his Mother.

Apparently Esau's wives haven't gotten any better either...Rebekah complains that the Hittite women are making her "weary of [my] life." and basically tells Isaac that she doesn't want another Hittite daughter-in-law.  We'll see where that goes tomorrow.

Psalm 18:31-51

As we continue this Psalm, we get a poetic listing of the things God has done for David.  I love it when God is described as a rock or a fortress, for he is unmovable and unchanging.  I also like the theme of God's "steadfast love."  As an aside, this description of how God has prepared David makes me want to get my body into better shape for some reason...

Matthew 11:16-30

Jesus has some pretty harsh words for "this generation" and for some cities where He has done mighty works.  Certainly, if these people saw what he did with their own eyes and did not follow 

What really blows me away in this reading, though, is Jesus' description of his relationship with the Father. 

All things have been delivered to me by my father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
This is just so profound, and tells us so much about the intimate nature between Jesus and God the Father.  Certainly there is nothing strange about no one knowing the Son except the Father, for God knows each of us more intimately than we know ourselves.  But no one knowing the Father except the Son...let's face any human being without a divine nature really able to "know" the Father like that?  I don't think so.  All we can know is what God himself reveals to us in his Word.  And Jesus, the Son, is the Word!  So it makes sense that the Son (The Word) can reveal the Father to us. 

We end with an invitation by Christ to receive this revelation by taking his yoke upon ourselves and learning from Him.  It can be hard to say 'yes' to taking on any yoke...but Jesus promises us that this yoke is easy and the burden is light.  It may not seem like it looking from the outside in...but once we take it on, we find His words to be true.

Catechism 150-159

Lots of talk about faith and what it is and how we relate to it.  We humans tend to think very two dimensionally.  We can't think as God thinks...His grace is so powerful, and yet, we can resist it in our humanity.  This is how He made it.  He gives sufficient grace to all, though not in the same way to everybody. 

I love this quote from Thomas Aquinas:  "Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace." 

Faith is an act.  An action.  When we receive an invitation to a party, it doesn't mean we magically show up.  We have to decide to go (and hopefully RSVP), then prepare for it, and ultimately get ourselves there.  Same goes with this.  God invites us, and ensures we have at least the bare minimum as far as what we need to get ourselves to the party...but we have to cooperate.  Some of us he might send a chauffeured limo and make it easy...but ultimately we still have to get into the car.  Others might have to ride their bicycles on half inflated tires over dirt roads, but if they choose to do so, they are able to do it.  Again, Aquinas says "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt."  Just because the journey is hard doesn't make the destination less real.

Lastly, there is a blurb on Faith and Science.  This is particularly important in our day and age, where so many feel that these two things are competing and incompatible.  I loved science before I loved God...and science was partially responsible for my acceptance of God.  Paragraph 159 sums it up nicely.  I said it before, but it bears repeating:  Truth can not contradict truth.  We have nothing to fear from truth of any sort.

Tomorrow's readings:

Genesis 28-29
Psalm 19
Matthew 12:1-21
Catechism 160-165

God Bless and Good Night!

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