Bible Readings – The Father, Son and Holy Spirit; God our Source, Jesus the Way, Holy Spirit that unites us – We each must chose!

Dear Lord God, the first word that Jesus taught us to pray as He spoke them in Aramaic in the Lord’s Prayer, is “Abwoon”; this the word that He chose in this situation to address You as our Divine Source.  The word Abwoon points to many levels and possibilities of meaning; One who Gives Birth to All, Divine Parent, our Father-Mother of the Cosmos, Radiance who Shines through All that Is. For some such words would be better translations of His words than what we traditionally learn as “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”. There are even more possibilities; Shimmering Sound whose vibration moves through our hearts and through all existence, Radiance and Light who shines within and without and through all who even in darkness shines.
                           As I study new ideas and interpretations about You and look into the secrets of the Trinity I cannot help but go back and forth between what I believe based upon what I have been taught and exposed to, a kind of spiritual benchmarking between faith, hope and love. Like I did, so many of us make excuses and or blame others, the Church and Religion for not taking the time to open the door to their hearts and seek to know You more. I am so blessed that Your love for me penetrated through the layers of bad habits, excuses, laziness, hurt, anger and fear that surrounds us under the sun. For now don’t just believe, I know You are with me always; You are part of me and I part of You. While I will continue to seek understanding, I also seek to find contentment in not knowing, but trusting You.
                          O Lord why You have blessed a sinner like me, I do not know, but for all Your blessings I am grateful, but most of all I am thankful that I now come to You each day in this time to give You thanks, praise and worship. To open myself help to a conscious molding at Your hands, knowing that if I keep my eyes on You, I will see through Your eyes and You grace, mercy and blessings will be all the more. Thank You for allowing this change in me in time for those I love and have loved and worried, prayed and cried for me to see Your work in me. Thank You! Thank You for Abuelita, for Mom and Titi, for my Sisters and Cousin, for my lovely Wife, Daughter and Granddaughter; these women of faith, and for opening my heart to the Blessed Holy Mother Mary.
                          O Lord continue Your work in me, help to see more through Your eyes and to walk in Your light always seeking Your image, will and purpose. I Yeshua’s Holy Name I pray, Amen. 

I entreat you, keep Sundays holy. Working on Sunday will not make you rich; on the contrary, you will bring down misfortunes on yourselves and your children.

— St. Bernadette Soubirous

2 Corinthians 12:1-10
I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows —
and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.
And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Bible Study: [1-4] In the body or out of the body: he seemed no longer confined to bodily conditions, but he does not claim to understand the mechanics of the experience. Caught up: i.e., in ecstasy. The third heaven . . . Paradise: ancient cosmologies depicted a multitiered universe. Jewish intertestamental literature contains much speculation about the number of heavens. Seven is the number usually mentioned, but the Testament of Levi (2:7-10; 3:1-4) speaks of three; God himself dwelt in the third of these. Without giving us any clear picture of the cosmos, Paul indicates a mental journey to a nonearthly space, set apart by God, in which secrets were revealed to him. Ineffable things: i.e., privileged knowledge, which it was not possible or permitted to divulge. [5-7] This person: the indirect way of referring to himself has the effect of emphasizing the distance between that experience and his everyday life, just as the indirect someone in Christ (2 Cor 12:2) and all the passive verbs emphasize his passivity and receptivity in the experience. The revelations were not a personal achievement, nor were they meant to draw attention to any quality of his own. [7] That I might not become too elated: God assures that there is a negative component to his experience, so that he cannot lose proper perspective; cf 2 Cor 1:9; 4:7-11. A thorn in the flesh: variously interpreted as a sickness or physical disability, a temptation, or a handicap connected with his apostolic activity. But since Hebrew “thorn in the flesh,” like English “thorn in my side,” refers to persons (cf Numbers 33:55; Ezekiel 28:24), Paul may be referring to some especially persistent and obnoxious opponent. The language of 2 Cor 12:7-8 permits this interpretation. If this is correct, the frequent appearance of singular pronouns in depicting the opposition may not be merely a stylistic variation; the singular may be provoked and accompanied by the image of one individual in whom criticism of Paul’s preaching, way of life, and apostolic consciousness is concentrated, and who embodies all the qualities Paul attributes to the group. An angel of Satan: a personal messenger from Satan; cf the satanic language already applied to the opponents in 2 Cor 11:3, 13-15, 20. [8] Three times: his prayer was insistent, like that of Jesus in Gethsemane, a sign of how intolerable he felt the thorn to be. [9b-10a] Paul draws the conclusion from the autobiographical anecdote and integrates it into the subject of this part of the boast. Weaknesses: the apostolic hardships he must endure, including active personal hostility, as specified in a final catalogue (2 Cor 12:10a). That the power of Christ may dwell with me: Paul pinpoints the ground for the paradoxical strategy he has adopted in his self-defense. [9] But he said to me: Paul’s petition is denied; release and healing are withheld for a higher purpose. The Greek perfect tense indicates that Jesus’ earlier response still holds at the time of writing. My grace is sufficient for you: this is not a statement about the sufficiency of grace in general. Jesus speaks directly to Paul’s situation. Is made perfect: i.e., is given most fully and manifests itself fully. [10] When I am weak, then I am strong: Paul recognizes a twofold pattern in the resolution of the weakness-power (and death-life) dialectic, each of which looks to Jesus as the model and is experienced in him. The first is personal, involving a reversal in oneself (Jesus, 2 Cor 13:4a; Paul, 2 Cor 1:9-10; 4:10-11; 6:9). The second is apostolic, involving an effect on others (Jesus, 2 Cor 5:14-15; Paul, 2 Cor 1:6; 4:12; 13:9). The specific kind of “effectiveness in ministry” that Paul promises to demonstrate on his arrival (2 Cor 13:4b; cf 2 Cor 10:1-11) involves elements of both; this, too, will be modeled on Jesus’ experience and a participation in that experience (2 Cor 9; 13:3b).

Psalm 34:8-13

O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!
O fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want!
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
What man is there who desires life, and covets many days, that he may enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
Bible Study: [Psalm 34] A thanksgiving in acrostic form, each line beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In this psalm one letter is missing and two are in reverse order. The psalmist, fresh from the experience of being rescued (Psalm 34:5, 7), can teach the “poor,” those who are defenseless, to trust in God alone (Psalm 34:4, 12). God will make them powerful (Psalm 34:5-11) and give them protection (Psalm 34:12-22). [1] Abimelech: a scribal error for Achish. In 1 Sam 21:13-16, David feigned madness before Achish, not Abimelech. [11] The powerful: literally, “lions.” Fierce animals were sometimes metaphors for influential people. [12] Children: the customary term for students in Wisdom literature.
Matthew 6:24-34
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’
For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
Bible Study: [25-34] Jesus does not deny the reality of human needs (Matthew 6:32), but forbids making them the object of anxious care and, in effect, becoming their slave. [27] Life-span: the Greek word can also mean “stature.” If it is taken in that sense, the word here translated moment (literally, “cubit”) must be translated literally as a unit not of time but of spatial measure. The cubit is about eighteen inches. [30] Of little faith: except for the parallel in Luke 12:28, the word translated of little faith is found in the New Testament only in Matthew. It is used by him of those who are disciples of Jesus but whose faith in him is not as deep as it should be (see Matthew 8:26; 14:31; 16:8 and the cognate noun in Matthew 17:20). [33] Righteousness: see the note on Matthew 3:14-15.
Your brother in Christ Jesus, Richard  
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