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Browsing Reflections Archive

August 23, 2022

Daily Reflection for Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17
Responsorial: Psalm 96:10-13
Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26

Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught…      2 Thessalonians 2:15

In today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, the early Christians are being warned not to believe what amounts to “fake news.”  There was no internet or fax machines or e-mail, so it would have been possible for someone to show up in a city in another region or country and claim be one of the Apostles or even Paul himself and proclaim whatever he wanted to say.  There was no easy way to verify identity back then.  No internet, fax machines or ways to take or send pictures, only word of mouth from reliable witnesses.  Paul is saying to believe and accept only that which was passed on by oral tradition or a letter from a known, reliable source and tradition.  To sum up, beware of false prophets.

One would think that with all the modern electronic ways of exchanging information it would be easy to certify the identity of someone and validate their message. But this is not always true.  In the recent past, look at the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh, or the People’s Temple led by Jim Jones, or Heaven’s Gate led by Marshall Applewhite.  All claimed to have special knowledge of God’s will. All led and convinced their followers to mass suicides. Did their followers follow traditions or the gospels or just the words from the leaders?  Remember, Jesus did not send His followers with bands and trumpets to proclaim His message.  He sent them out to be humble and to preach to those who would listen.

The Catholic church is blessed in so many ways.  We have a rich and documentable tradition of following the many witnesses to Jesus plus Jesus’ own actions and words.  And we have the incredible history and tradition of following only the words known to be sent to us by God.  There have been relatively few schisms in the Catholic Church while other denominations keep dividing and subdividing.   When I consider this, I rejoice.

Al Ammons
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.


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