DEALING WITH ERRANT LEADERS Before we seek to remove leaders, we must learn from David’s respect for the office. When a person confuses the office with the person in charge of it, he has failed in charity and credibility. We must leave justice to God who writes straight in crooked lines. We should not take things into our own hands. God knows when to remove His Anointed Ones, just as He knows when to appoint them. For bad and evil leaders, God will have them removed directly or indirectly through the people or the situation. God has His ways and we must trust Him.
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JEALOUSY IS OVERCOME BY FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE How can we overcome jealousy? Love is necessary to overcome jealousy. When we love someone more than we love ourselves, we will no longer be jealous. Love desires what is best for the beloved. True love always sets the other free, even as it seeks to protect the beloved. Finally, those who truly love will not allow jealousy to overcome them. They will seek to promote harmony and facilitate fellowship.
DEALING WITH THOSE WHO OPPOSE TRUTH AND GOODNESS The secret to persevering in doing good and winning the victory over evil is to have faith in the Lord and allow Him to work in and through us. When faced with insurmountable problems and challenges, let us exercise our faith like David, relying on the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to overcome the opposition of our enemies. Instead of reacting with fear and retaliation, let us be proactive in managing our opponents and at the same time, continue the good that we are doing.
NOT THE APPEARANCES BUT THE INTENTIONS OF THE LAWS Very often, we take the laws as they are, according to its letter, without considering the context. For Jesus, what is paramount is the original purpose and intention of the law. To insist on a literal application of the laws without taking into consideration the context would be to do injustice to the original intention of the legislator, as well as those who are subject to the laws. Should we then not be careful that we do not perpetuate those laws found in scriptures that are no longer applicable in our present context?
THE VIRTUE OF OBEDIENCE The scripture is very clear about the importance of obedience. Disobedience is an act of rebellion against authority. It is sinful because rebellion springs from pride and self-will. It is also a sin of idolatry; worshipping and thinking highly of ourselves. Whilst we must maintain the importance of rendering obedience to the Word, we must also be discerning as to what is His will and how we should apply the laws within context. In the final analysis, we must combine both principles of obedience to the laws of God with the spirit in which obedience is carried out.
USE YOUR BODY FOR THE GLORY OF GOD Doing God’s will is to offer our body as a living sacrifice to God. God gives us good health and the ability to work not simply for ourselves, our enjoyment, but so that we can give glory to Him in our service to others. Using our body for the glory of God means that we will not do anything with our body that will bring disrepute to Him. We do not want others to see and despise us for the wrong things that we do. Rather, in all that we say and do, we want to be God’s glory, praise and presence to them.
CHOOSING SPIRITUAL LEADERS How do we select our leaders? Do we qualify them purely on the strength of their abilities, or do we consider their strength of character and their hidden potentials? Above all, we should choose one who is connected with God and love God above all things, for unless a leader fears God and relies on Him, he will only seek the wisdom of the world in dealing with problems. If he does not serve God, he will not be capable of serving man, but only himself.
FAITH AND REASON Faith needs reason to substantiate beliefs so that faith, even whilst dependent on revelation and trust, can stand up to reason. Faith enables us to walk the truth, respecting the rule of reason and yet recognizing the fact of divine revelation of God’s plan in Christ. Faith is not against reason but enables reason to arrive at the fullness of truth. In this way, with faith and reason working together, God continues to rule our lives as we acclaim His sovereignty over us.
SUPERSTITION There are many Catholics who hardly pray or attend Church services regularly and least of all, live an upright life, but they would carry their rosary and wear blessed medals for divine protection. The blessed medals can only protect us provided we believe in the power of the one whom the medal represents. This presupposes that we have a living relationship with Jesus or Mary, or the saints that are represented in the medals. What the medal or scapular does for us is to help us to recall the presence of the saints so that we will not be afraid or think that we are alone in our time of difficulty. We cannot be superstitious in our relationship with God. We must not treat our prayers like magic or instruments to control God.
BEING PROACTIVE REQUIRES LISTENING Most of us are reactive in life. We are always reacting to situations. The scripture readings today challenge us to be more proactive and to be clear of our ultimate goal so that we will not be too preoccupied with fighting the small battles in life. Only those who have long term vision can choose the battles to fight. Only in attentive listening to the Lord can we come to understand what He really wants us to do. For it is when our minds are uncluttered and freed from the malaise of too much activity, sensations and drama, that we become alert to the voice of God and begin to see the truth of all that we do.