29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 21, 2018

29B18. Isiah 53:10-11. Suffering for the sins of others because God wishes it of him, God’s servant will be rewarded abundantly.

Mark 10:35-45. The brothers, James and John, ask of Jesus that, when he comes into glory and power, they want to be closest to the center of power which would mean that the other ten would be in lower and lesser positions than they. Of course, the other ten became indignant on hearing the boldness of their request. Jesus denied their request saying that that was not his to give. However, much more important to Jesus was that seeking power over others was not his goal but rather serving others. “Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to first among you will be the slave of all.” God is love and he is the model of what we should be. Though all-powerful he did not impose himself on us because he wished us to be loving as he is loving. He created us with free will so that we could make the choice on our own be loving or to reject love. To be loving means that we must be lowly when to be lowly is what love requires as when Jesus chose to be a helpless infant; to suffer as when he suffered for us; to die as when he died for us. He made God’s almighty divine power subject to his desire to be loving rather than overwhelming us with might. For God love lords it over power and might, making power and might the servant of love. “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Paul writes in Philippians 2: 5-8: “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, ‘Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found to be human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross’”

Hebrews 4:14-16. Jesus, always remaining God, nonetheless became human so to become the great high priest who offered up himself on the cross to redeem us from our sins. In his humanness Jesus came to “sympathize with our weaknesses,” being “tested in every way yet without sin.” As the song says, “We have a friend in Jesus.” We can live with confidence and without fear knowing that his infinite love for us drew him from the heavens so to be close to our side by embracing humanity into his very being. His humanity and his human life on this earth assures us that he can sympathize with us so to help us when we need it and be merciful to us.

Psalm 33. The last verses of this Sunday’s psalm say: “Our soul waits for the Lord who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you.”

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 14, 2018

28B18. Wisdom 7:7-11. “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her.” As I see it, the wisdom that is sought is to see things as God sees them to the degree that we as finite beings are capable of grasping a part of the whole of things. This world seems to be willing to have an almost infinite number of its visions of what it wishes to call the truth: whatever one feels to be true whenever one wishes to feel a particular way. Truth is not a personal choice or selection process. There is only one truth or reality and only God is capable of seeing the whole of it. However, God can, according to his will, give to whomever He wishes the wisdom to understand or grasp whatever that person needs to know for his salvation. Without wisdom we will waste away our lives without achieving anything that has true lasting value.

Mark 10:17-30. A man asks Jesus, “’Good teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” To ask this question he must have felt that he was not getting the job done by just being a faithful Jew. Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.’” Interestingly Jesus does answer him solely out of his humanness perhaps because that was all that the man could see in front of him, Jesus in his humanity; secondly, because he had not come to the point of recognizing Jesus’ divinity. Jesus is saying that God is the root or radical source of all that is truly good. For anyone else to have any goodness, they must draw it from God. “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.’ At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” Jesus was calling on this man to let go of his earthly possessions so that, in turn, he would be free to take ahold of spiritual ones but he had not come to the point of having the wisdom to see the timeless value of the heavenly treasure and the passing value of the earthly ones. Following Jesus daily we have, even here on earth, the greatest treasure that exists. When Jesus looked at him with love, Jesus had given himself to him. Not having the wisdom to recognize what he had been given, the gift that was Jesus himself, he rejected the greatest of all gifts. The Holy Spirit works with everyone daily to mature gradually, growing more and more in the Lord so that our eyes of our hearts see more clearly and we are no longer blind fools. “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” To give up everything does not necessarily mean that we must dispossess ourselves of our material things, because, while still living in a material world, we need material things. Rather we do need to develop spiritually so that, at the very root of our being because we live so deeply in Christ, we recognize that we belong to Christ, our very self and all that we own, even our bodies. We have no need to have anything because we have the one and only thing that is necessary, Christ. Jesus himself belongs to us because he has given himself to us and daily we grow in accepting that gift. That is the true wisdom that lives in the one and only truth, Jesus who said ‘I am the truth’.

Hebrews 4:12-13. “The word God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.” The word of God is the expression of God that comes from his heart of love for us to bring us to be love as he is love. God’s inner self does not want us to be just dreamy, affectionate, comfortable and lost in a painless world. The word of God also wants us to bleed because pain and suffering should never stop us from loving as he loved, no matter the cost. The divine love we are called to pierces through all obstacles. His love cost him dearly to leave heaven and live as a helpless baby, cost him effable pain in his humiliating treatment, physical violence and excruciating death on the cross. We read in 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” The word of God, his wisdom given to us, does not allow us to live in the illusion that we have done enough to be heaven-bound, but pierces through our desire to feel comfortable by walling out the challenges of divine love. Yet the word of God allows us also to feel confident in God’s hands because nothing is impossible for God.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 7, 2018

27B18. Genesis 2:18-24. The Lord said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” God created various animals and birds; “but none proved to be suitable partner for the man.” Casting “a deep sleep on the man,” “God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: ‘This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’” “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.”

Mark 10:2-16. When questioned by Jesus, the Pharisees “replied, ‘Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss’” his wife. However, Jesus recalls the divine authority who established the original inviolability of marriage in the Old Testament so to assert that marriage was never meant to be broken apart. He says: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Jesus proclaims that, if husband or wife divorce and remarry, the second marriage becomes an act of adultery against the first spouse. On his way to creating a New Covenant, Jesus gradually does away with the old Mosaic Law bit by bit. In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Though Jesus reminds every one of the making of woman from man’s rib, he is fundamentally asserting the inviolable sacredness of marriage comes from the love that he has given us which is the measure of the love we must have for one another. In 1 Corinthians 7:1-40, Paul gives a practical discourse on marriage & virginity in which he makes it clear that, if we choose to daily live by our faith in Christ, i.e., to truly belong to Christ, then we must live in love as Christ is love and not only not break our bonds of marriage but to daily live our marriage in Christ’s love. For this natural world having sex is for the continuation of the species in the here and now. For the natural world the concept of eternal love is non-existent because there is no eternity. Nature just wants to keep things going as long as they can be kept going naturally for just as long as that works.

Hebrews 2:9-11. “He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin.” He makes us who are of the flesh of this earth a holy people whom he can call his brothers and sisters. In 1 Corinthians 15:44, Paul makes it clear that by our union with Jesus that what “is sown a natural body,” “is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.” Living just naturally is to be just another animal of this earth; living spiritually is to activate our God-given potential to be children of Almighty Loving Father.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 30, 2018

26B18. Numbers 11:25-29. “Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, the Lord bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied,” i.e., speaking in enraptured enthusiasm, but not foretelling the future. When others who had not gone out to the special gathering were given the gift of prophesy, Joshua objected. Moses responded, “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!” Moses rejoices in the generosity of the Lord.

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48. That same generosity is given to someone who drives out demons in Jesus’ name but is not in the group that follows Jesus. Jesus does not want anyone to prevent him, responding, “For whoever is not against us is for us.” Jesus feels that anyone who does good in his name and out of belief in him will be rewarded as will any of his followers. Then Jesus goes on to say that if anything precious to you or a part of you, such as a hand, foot or eye, causes you to sin, i.e. causes you to do evil, cut it out of your life because it will lead to your eternal destruction. As human beings we receive the capacity to do many things with the free will in how to use those God-given abilities. Choose to do all in Jesus as the root of all we do. That will always lead us to do what is truly good.

James 5:1-6. James makes it clear that it is worthless to treasure earthly things that will rot and corrode as will our very flesh someday but fail to do good for the needy that the Lord will remember forever. Choose to value what will serve us eternally.

Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14. The last verses say, “Cleanse me from my unknown faults! From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant: let it not rule over me. Then shall I be blameless and innocent of serious sin.” As humans being it is easy for us to deceive ourselves, to not see ourselves as we truly are in the eyes of God. True humility requires that we leave lots of room in our lives for God to lead us. The childlike attitude of last Sunday’s Gospel demands that we always have an attitude that is willing to learn.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 23, 2018

25B18. Wisdom 2:12, 17-20. “With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test.” “Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” This was written a hundred years before Christ by a Jew who remained loyal to Judaism in spite of being persecuted by Jews who were won over by the Hellenistic (Greek) pagan ways of those who ruled at that time. His circumstances prepare us for the situation that Jesus was to find himself in much later.

Mark 9:30-37. Once again Jesus asserts that he will be killed and three days after he will rise. “But the disciples did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.” In last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus had said, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Emotionally and intellectually they were locked into the human way of thinking. From what I can see, it was only by the grace of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that they were enabled to break free from their humanness and pass over to comprehend things as God does. Jesus could not but notice that, on the way to Capernaum, they had been arguing among themselves. After Jesus questioned them as what they were arguing about, interestingly enough the Gospel says that “they remained silent,” but does not say that anyone told Jesus that they had been discussing “who was the greatest.” Once again Jesus recognizes that they were thinking as human beings do and not as God does. So “he said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.’” Human thinking is to take advantage of any situation for one’s own personal gain. God’s thinking is to bring everyone to love as God loves; not to take from everyone so that you yourself have more but to work to the advantage of everyone to have the most for eternity. Placing a child in their midst with his arms around it, Jesus says, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” We are to love everyone, no matter that they have little importance in the eyes of this world but simply to love them as God loves them.

James 3:16-4:3. “Beloved: Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.” When we hand ourselves over to what is not of God, we are on the road to the destruction of ourselves and perhaps of some others around us. What is of God is good through and through; what is not of God will eventually rear its evil head. God is love that gives life; all else leads to annihilation. In John 6:53, “Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” Then in John 6:57, Jesus said, “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” Only the God who first created life can continue to be the source of life for us because life can only come from love, i. e., from God, the only source of true love. Everything that is not from Jesus is a source of death and destruction. Those are our passions. They are not true love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul writes: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it does not seek its own interest, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 16, 2018

24B18. Isaiah 35:4-7a. “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.” This is one of the Servant Songs or Servant-of-the-Lord oracles where the prophet proclaims to the sinful people what the Lord wants them to hear no matter how shamefully he, the prophet, is treated, trusting that the Lord will save him by proving him right. As the New Testament people we see these verses as written also to refer to Jesus when he came 500 years after they were written.

Mark 8:27-35. Jesus “asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’” Continuing, “He asked them, ‘but who do you say that I am?’ Peter said to him in reply, ‘You are the Christ,’” which means the Messiah or Savior. He told them he would be rejected by the Jewish religious establishment, be killed but rise after three days. Peter, having in mind the publicly accepted notion that the Messiah would be a victorious king who would drive the Romans out, rebuked Jesus for thinking that those kinds of things would happen to him. Jesus, turning the tables, rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” God’s plan was not to get things done through muscle and sword but with love and sacrifice. God’s ways are not our ways. Following Jesus example, God’s way is accepting the cross that God gives us. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” It is quite natural to try to live our lives independently. To try to save our life on our own without the Savior will always be disastrous because only God has the resources to gain salvation. Giving our lives over to God, always living dependent on Jesus and obedient to his will, will give us the salvation we can never get on our own.

James 2:14-18. In many places in Paul’s epistles, he says it is not by works that we are saved but by faith. Paul tried to convert the Jews in the diaspora in the Greek speaking world but found them quite resistant to his efforts. In effect they were saying to him that the Hebrew Torah or Law found in the Pentateuch or first five books of the Old Testament was their Messiah, not Jesus. Paul retorted that, not by fulfilling the works required by the Law, but by putting our faith in Jesus, our Messiah and Savior, could we gain salvation because only God can give salvation, not our works without God. Apparently James was writing against a misinterpretation of Paul that all one had to do was to believe in Jesus and then do nothing. Paul himself never failed by the works of his ministry to bring the faith to others. Also in 1 Corinthians 16:1 -4, Paul calls upon the faithful to contribute to the needy in Jerusalem. Genuine faith produces loving actions for the benefit of others. “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Remember from Matthew 25:42-46 when Jesus in his parable said: “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Out of his great love for us, Jesus put his love for us into action. He offered himself for us on the cross. There is no real faith where there is no life of loving. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul wrote: “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 9, 2018

23B18. Isaiah 35:4-7a. A foreign army had come to conquer Jerusalem, but God stands with his people to give them courage and strength. “Here is your God.” “He comes to save you.” The saving action of God that is in the Gospel reading is predicted when Isaiah writes, “The ears of the deaf (will) be cleared:” “then the tongue of the mute will sing.”

Mark 7:31-37. The people see the power of God made manifest when Jesus cures the deaf man and enables him to speak clearly. The People proclaim the magnificence of the work of Jesus, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Jesus, though he appears to be only human, through his miracles manifests his divinity. The God, who in the Old Testament was present at a distance, in the New Testament times, is walking among his people showing his care for them by his powerful works.

James 2:1-5. People are more naturally attracted to the haves’ rather than to the have nots’. I guess because we would rather be one those who have nice things than to be one of those who do not have nice things. In Mark 10:23b, Jesus said, “How hard it is those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” In the mentality of this world we can easily think that once we have nice earthly things we have all we need. The nice things of this world are worthless when we die. James rhetorically states, “Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” Sometimes the poor, who are not so disturbed by their relative lack of the nice things of this world, can put their trust more in the things that that only God can offer. They are not so preoccupied by the wealth they already have so that they trust in the God who in Himself is the treasure this world can never offer.

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 2, 2018

22B18. Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8. Knowing that he will die before God’s People enter the Promised Land, Moses gives them the Lord’s Law that will enable them to be a people who will always benefit by being loyal and obedient to the God who is so generous to His People.

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Jesus’ followers often were common ordinary folks who did not follow some of the traditions of the Jewish leaders, such as washing their hands before meals. The Pharisees criticized them. Jesus’ response, in turn, was to criticize the Pharisees for making so much of what was human tradition yet not observe God’s Law itself, such as the requirement to honor one’s parents (Mark 7:10-13). While the Law did not speak of washing one’s hand, it did declare some foods to be unclean. Jesus, using his divine authority, did declare that there is no food that makes one unclean but rather that the evil within a person that is an expression of one’s inner self that makes him unclean. The commentary written in the text of Mark 7:19c declares: “Thus he declared all foods clean.” What defiles a person is not the product of which food one eats but rather of the evil one has given himself over to. Jesus is accusing the Pharisees of making much of appearances and little or nothing of what is in one’s heart.

James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27. All goodness that is true goodness has at its roots in God as the giver. Jesus said in Matthew 9:17: “There is only One who is good.” God is good down to his very essence and nothing can cause him to be anything but good. Often God makes us agents of goodness so that we can pass on his goodness to others. “He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” God gave us birth into the new life of Christianity “by the word of truth” i.e. the gospel message of his salvation for us. “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” James is calling upon us who are being loved by Jesus to bring that love to others through our attitude and actions. John says in 1 John 3:18, “Children, let us love not in word or in speech but in deed and truth.” James writes in James 2:17: “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

James wrote in James 1:27c: “Keep oneself unstained by the world.” Remember in the Gospel that Jesus said, “The things that come out from within are what defile.” The evil ways of this world enter our hearts ungoverned by the God who is goodness. The actions that come from a heart that belongs to God are only goodness. Let us always remember that God is the only true source of genuine goodness.

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 26, 2018

21B18. Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b. “Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, addressing them, “If it does not please you to serve the Lord decide today whom you will serve.” “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Now that the Lord had delivered the Israelites from slavery and settled them down in the Promised Land, it was time for them to decide whom they would serve. Here they clearly decide to submit themselves to the Lord as their master.

John 6:60-69. In demanding of his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood, without at this point telling them that this is to be done under the appearances of bread and wine, Jesus is commanding them to put their blind trust in him that all would go well. However many refused, saying among themselves, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” “As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” Up to this point they had put their faith in Jesus because they saw the miracles he had performed. Now however, he wanted them to put their faith in him without seeing outward visible signs but simply believing in him personally. It was to be no longer the miracles that commanded their belief but the person, Jesus. Jesus says, “It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.” He is saying in his own way to believe in him because he God made man in their midst. Peter, apart from those who refuse to submit themselves to the authority of Jesus, says to Jesus, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Ephesians 5:21-32. Much of the Scriptures reflect the ancient hierarchical culture in which they were written. In this Sunday’s epistle Paul, in telling wives to be subordinate to their husbands, reflects the thinking of the culture of his times. In that same spirit of the times, Paul writes in Ephesians 6:5a, “Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling.” Also Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:5, “But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.” In inspiring the Scriptures, what the Holy Spirit is calling upon us to do is not to replicate the culture of those times but to follow what will lead us to the holiness that God the Father has called us to as his sons and daughters. I believe that the Spirit is calling upon us to be subordinate to God. In our egalitarian society we share with one another the gifts that God has endowed us with and the talents that we have been able to cultivate so to make the family, the community or the Church whole and complete to accomplish its purposes in this world. In 1 Corinthians 12:7 Paul wrote, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” What Paul wrote in regard to spiritual gifts is true on all levels of life. We all have been given something by God to make the world he has created a better place for all and give glory to God. In Matthew 25:40 the king, representing God sitting judgment, says, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” In this Sunday’s epistle Paul writes, “For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. When the body and blood of Christ nourishes us, his own body, the Church becomes holy, giving glory to our God who cherishes us his body with Christ as our head. In receiving the Eucharist, we call upon God to be the source of our daily life so that we may become the saints he has called us to be.

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 19, 2018

20B18.   Proverbs 9:1-6.  Wisdom “has dressed her meat, mixed her wine, yes, she has spread her table.” Wisdom says, “Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.”  The virtue or way of wisdom is presented as a matron who offers the food that is truth to the human mind so that the human person may direct oneself into proper courses of action and not be lost in worldly folly.

John 6:51-58.   The first sentence here repeats the last sentence from last Sunday’s Gospel.  Then the Jews question, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  They take him literally because, as yet, he has said nothing of his flesh coming under the appearances of bread.  “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.”  “Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

The custom of participating in the eating of what has been sacrificed to the Lord in the temple is documented in the first seven chapters of Leviticus.  At times the sacrifices are animals; at other times, baked or deep-fried cereal offerings.  Usually the participants are Hebrew priests but with one type of offering Leviticus 7:19c reads, “All who are clean may partake of this flesh.”  What Jesus intents to do is to offer himself on the cross as a once and forever sacrifice, replacing the repetitious offerings of the Old Testament.  When he says,  “Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19c), Jesus calls upon our priests to re-present or present over and over again the once-and-for-all sacrifice of his crucifixion on Calvary.  Jesus dies only once but that one sacrifice is offered up over and over again as he commanded us to do.

To eat his flesh and drink his blood means not only to receive Holy Communion but even more to have Jesus as the source of the life that is spiritual and eternal.  Of course we already have natural life as do all animals of the earth but the life Jesus gives us in his flesh and blood is infinitely beyond the natural.  Jesus comes to us under the appearances of ordinary earthly food to remain in us and we in him so to be our ongoing source of God’s life, his personal presence in us and we in him.  In John 14:23, Jesus said, “Whoever loves me will keep my word (do my will), and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”  The divine presence gives us a share in his divine life.  Recall what Jesus said in John 6:27a: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”  Jesus is calling upon us to reorient our lives around and not around ourselves or the things of this world.

Ephesians 5:15-20.  “Brothers and sisters: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise,” trying “to understand what is the will of the Lord.” To have God as truly our God means that we must daily submitting ourselves to the One who loves infinitely, who knows all beyond all measure, whose will is based on a foundation that is divinely perfect in every way.  If we do not live in submission then we are saying that we do not accept him as God, just as Lucifer did.  Truly having God as our God means not only to accept the eternal truth in our intellects but even more importantly to rejoice in our hearts, “giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father” who cares for us as his beloved children.