Lenten Reflection Day 32: John 7:46

Listen to the audio version here: https://anchor.fm/simplediakonia/episodes/Lenten-Reflection-Day-32-John-746-et39fj

“Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” (John 7:46)


Lent is the season of hope. When someone touches our hearts as never before, we see in them hope. Unfortunately, at times, we misplace our hope.

The chief priests and the Pharisees placed their hope in the laws, but Jesus in his Father. Their expectations produced different results. Hope in the rules harvested fear, betrayal, and death. Hope in the Father conceived faithfulness, forgiveness, and salvation. In who we place our hope determinates our fate.

Today’s Intention:

Lord, your triumphant 40-day journey in the desert gives us hope. Please continue to walk with us so that we, too, can complete our Lenten journey with the same determination.

Peace and Goodness

Turned to God from Idols

“You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9)

In today’s scriptures, Paul congratulates the Thessalonians for abandoning their many idols and placing their faith in God. By contrast, in Matthew 23:13-22, Christ chastises the Pharisees for making false oaths, idolizing gold and gifts.

These scriptures point out the ease with which we Christians can deceive ourselves in our adoration of God and idols. Today, we will experience God’s blessings. We need to be watchful not to fall in love with them without being thankful and in love with God for realizing his majesty in our lives. He is the one we must worship and adore, not his blessings.  Otherwise, we may turn God’s blessings into idols, thus behaving like the Pharisees Christ chastises in today’s scripture.

As we experience God’s blessings, let us ask ourselves: Am I receiving them like Thessalonians or Pharisees?

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

The Question about Man’s Resurrection

“At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.”

In yesterday’s Gospel (Mark 12:13-17) the Pharisees tried to entrap Jesus by asking him his opinion about paying taxes. In today’s Gospel (Mark 12:18-27), the Sadducees try their luck by coming to Jesus to disprove the resurrection. Again, Jesus proves to be wiser than his enemies by saying,”For when they rise from dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” Life as we know it will be no more; thus our humanity will be transformed in divine terms.

Jesus goes on to correct the statement “the dead being raised” by explaining that his Father “is not God of the dead, but of the living”. As children of God, we are always alive; we are the light of the world.

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is his gift to humanity so we can become like angels after we expire; to leave our humanity behind and become ever living children of God.  It is God’s mercy toward us. Let’s rejoice.

“No follower of mine wanders in the dark; he shall have the light of life” ~ (John 8:12)

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

The Question about Paying Taxes

“And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians to entrap him in his talk.” Mark 12:13

In today’s Gospel reading, the Pharisees try a new tactic to entrap Jesus; this time is about paying taxes. Jesus knowing their hearts, however, outsmarts them by simply saying, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” That was the end of the conversation.

Today, let’s us be aware of the Pharisees in our lives who are trying to entrap us in their devious ways. Let’s pray to be blessed with the wisdom to silent them and the courage to forgive them.

“May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place our hope in you.” Palm 33:22

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.