Welcome back! Last week we read the story of Noah and the Great Flood. It is a precursor for the sacrament of Baptism. There will be several precursors for sacraments as we will see throughout this study and this series. This week, though, we are going to become introduced to a very important biblical figure named Abram. You may know him as Abraham. Next week his name will change, but this week we are going to see God call him out of the home he knows to wander and go on some adventures in faith. In today’s APPLY you will see my thoughts on holding one another accountable. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and happy reading!
Monday, January 22 Chapter 11
Tuesday, January 23 Chapter 12
Wednesday, January 24 Chapter 13
Thursday, January 25 Chapter 14
Friday, January 26 Chapter 15
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One of the things you saw in today’s video preview is that Abram lies while in the land of Egypt with his wife, Sarai. As I mentioned, humans are incapable of being alone, we are communion creatures, built to live together in community. That means we have to watch out for one anther and take care of each other. On the one hand, Sarai does the right thing in that she follows her husband’s direction. On the other hand, in her obedience to her husband, she put herself and him at risk. I will point to the fact that we don’t have the 10 Commandments yet so maybe she doesn’t know how wrong it is to lie yet. But if you are taking my Learning Through Liturgy series, you’ll know God’s laws are written on the human heart just as much, if not more, than they are written in the bible. That said, they knew what they were doing was wrong. The same way Adam should have told Eve not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, Sarai should have told Abram they shouldn’t lie.
I remember going through RCIA and we heard a video that said, it is the responsibility of the faithful to judge the actions of others. One of my fellow soon to be Catholic millennials was displeased at the idea of Catholics judging others. We had to have a conversation about the difference between judging people’s actions, and judging people’s souls.
We can’t judge the souls of others, we don’t know their heart’s the way Jesus does. We are all carrying a lot of spiritual weight and only God can fully sympathize with those struggles. But we can judge the actions of others and this is very important. First, we need it for teaching. We can’t know we are doing something wrong unless someone tells us we’re doing something wrong. I said that to a co-worker who is a fallen away Catholic. He left because he felt like we were judgmental. I tried to tell him, like a child, I need to be told when I’m doing the wrong thing so I can make an adjustment. He told me never to tell him when he’s doing something wrong because he doesn’t like it.
For those that have a desire to go to Heaven and live a life devoted to Christ, we need that accountability. Second, it reminds those of us passing the judgement on the actions, that we may need to make an adjustment in our own behaviors. I don’t know about you, but I have found that some of my least favorite qualities in others, are often qualities that I possess myself. When I see someone else doing something wrong, I point it out. And more times than I care to admit, I’m told I do the same thing. Which challenges me to grow in my virtues also. We don’t always see what’s wrong in ourselves, so we need our brothers and sisters to help us out.
This is starting to get a little long, so I’m sorry. The last point I want to make before I let you get to bible study is to always watch how you communicate things. If Sarai had said, “Abram, you fool! I’m not gonna do that, you crazy man. If they wanna kill you because I’m beautiful, then fine. God clearly doesn’t love you if he lets you die at the hand of Egyptians that wanna sleep with me!” See how terrible,judgmental, and unhelpful that is? If she had said “Honey, I respect you as head of our household but I think this would be a poor choice. I don’t think God wants us to lie. We must trust our Lord to protect us as we go through the land of Egypt, and maintain our integrity,” she would have been saying truth in kindness. Similarly, as we communicate our judgement on people’s actions (not the people themselves), we must do so with love and respect.
In case you missed last week, you can check it here.
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