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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:33 am 
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363. Let’s listen with charity


When we walk, we notice that there’s always somewhere, often when we don’t expect it, a person who challenges us with a disconcerting question. Our first reaction would be to turn our defences on.

If these are people we meet again and, for the moment, we have no answer to their question, we can say, “I hear your question and will come back to you about it later.” It can take a week, a month, six months, but when we have the answer of a competent person, we can come back with an answer.

For example, someone tells us, “Why go to church?” Instead of highlighting defensive responses, let’s take time to think about it, find an answer, and then come back with the person. His question, he will have it again. The listening and the welcome that we realize is a mission. The answer we give, if it’s appropriate and can allow the person to walk, is evangelization.

May Jesus increase in us the faith to the point of becoming like trees letting themselves be rocked by the wind and let go their fruits. Let’s offer the fruits of faith at the crossroad of those who gather them.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:33 am 
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364. Encourage the effort

Paul meets us at the crossroad:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labour of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father. 1 Thessalonians, chapter 1, verses 2 to 3

There’s every reason to give thanks to God for those who persevere in the effort to walk in the faith. Then Paul reminds us to pray for one another. He sees that faith is growing. We could also say, “Our charity gives itself joy!” Even better. “The charity that we receive from God and that we share, fills us and others with joy!”

Our faith is active. This movement becomes more and more contagious. May charity unfold at the crossroad where there’s a meeting with each person, always in the joy of sharing the faith.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:12 am 
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365. It could look like this


Jesus seems to be more severe than Paul, when he speaks to some people:
“Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings.” Matthew, chapter 23, verse 13

Jesus doesn’t say, “I will make you unhappy,” but if we follow his reasoning well, it could look like this: “You will become unhappy, since you do not open your heart to the presence of God and for that reason you don’t allow others to go through the door of the Kingdom of Heaven. You don’t offer them an opening.

You do not allow them to feed themselves. They are waiting at the door and you’re not talking about Jesus, the Love of God, the importance of being united to the Trinity.”

Let’s continue to let Jesus enter our hearts so that he can touch the hearts of others. May Jesus pass totally into our lives, then into the heart of who seeks him.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:01 am 
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366. My beloved



My dear child, this is how Paul calls his disciple Timothy:
“My dear child.” 2 Timothy, chapter 1, verse 2a

Paul wishes him all the best:
“To Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Timothy, chapter 1, verse 2
Isn’t this what the Holy Spirit tells us?

In families, there are often these tender words between a parent and his child and between a child and his parents. It’s also true between friends. The words that come from the heart are a retransmission of the good received from God.

As for Timothy, after a disciple has well learned and is supported in the knowledge of the realities of heaven and lives a personal relationship with Jesus, he is sent, he becomes an evangelizer:
“Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.” Luke, chapter 10, verses 3 to 4
“Lambs among wolves” means that we mu
st be well prepared to become true missionaries. Lambs yes, but lambs that already have some experience.

Jesus does not send anybody. They are people who are already following him, studying what he teaches, people who are aware of the reality of others living in their environment. They are people who are walking the mission long enough that they develop the desire to evangelize.

May the Lord prepare us to join the people in respect and charity, outside the walls of our church and, of course, in the parish churches.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:00 am 
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367. Sheep < Jesus > wolves


Jesus said to those who want to evangelize: “Behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.”

As a first impression, it doesn’t seem very comforting. Why would Jesus send us among the wolves, like sheep who have no defences? Yet the image is very strong.

We must then discern of what sheep are unable to do. When sheep are in the pen, everything is fine, but a rancher would not send his animals among the wolves.

Jesus warns us and invites us to prudence and discernment. It’s as if he tells us to take some time, reflect, get used to observing the world we are in for to react and respond well to people who are on the same road as us.

But beyond all the precautions that we can give ourselves to properly embark on a mission, it’s vital that Jesus be first in front of us. Jesus must be the centre, the summit, and the foundation of all that we are called to do in the world.

Jesus must be in the centre, between us and the wolf. Us (sheep) < Jesus > wolf.

Jesus is our protection if we pray, if we evangelize with him, if we leave him room to touch hearts. Every mission begins with Jesus, is realized and continues with Jesus.

All that we can learn from Jesus and all the means that Jesus offers us are major for a mission worthy of a child of God, of a disciple who is like a sheep sent among today’s wolves. Let’s trust in Jesus and dare to take the path with him for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

However, if we move away from Jesus, we give a hold to the wolves of this world; drugs, divination, possessions, etc. Moreover, all that we try to regulate, to possess, to manipulate, to destroy by ourselves, are the wolves who watch for us as soon as we leave the enclosure of the one who watches over us.

And even worse, we’ll go and say that it’s Jesus’s fault that he isn’t with us. As soon as this thought arises in us, let’s take it as an important signal. It’s time to turn away from evil and come back to Jesus. Let’s get back quickly and let’s love again. May we let go of all that holds us back and all we want to do without him. Let’s let Jesus defend us. He is the only one who can protect and save us.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:04 am 
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368. Remoteness



Sometimes we move, we go elsewhere. Let’s continue to follow Jesus and feel the need to join some new people, humbly. This is an opportunity to evangelize a new territory.

Let’s be more motivated to proclaim that Jesus is Lord:
The news about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas (to go) to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Acts, chapter 11, verses 22 to 24

Jesus reminds us to attach ourselves to him:
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John, chapter 10, verse 27

Jesus’s sheep follow him. Where we have both feet, we can follow Jesus. It’s simple. The sheep who listen to Jesus’s voice becomes people who transmit their voice, so that the world may know and be guided by it. It’s the greatest of missions, to receive the voice of Jesus and to proclaim it. May we follow Jesus’s way and send faith waves out. To know the truth of Jesus and to help others discover it.

Another reason for receiving the voice of Jesus is that it transforms us from within. Jesus’s voice whom we welcome gives us peace and joy. His voice supports us in the most difficult moments of existence.

When we welcome Jesus’s voice, he unites us to him. And as Barnabas rejoiced over the members of the community, Jesus rejoices with us, since he recognizes his presence in us.

Mary is the best person who received Jesus in her, Word, flesh and royalty of Jesus. Let’s carry Jesus in us and share his joy.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 6:11 am 
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369. Let’s love the Word


If there’s a time in the history of the Church where evangelization is the most difficult and that the challenge is great, it’s when Paul and the Apostles begin to evangelize. They are determined to transmit the Good News.

In the book of Acts, they feel the joy of small daily achievements:
“The word of God continued to spread and grow.” Acts, chapter 12, verse 24
And:
“There were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers.” Acts, chapter 13, verse 1

Two important points. When the Word of God is transmitted, it fecundates the hearts and multiplies vocations and members in the Church.

Then, what is prerequisite for the Word to be shared, people need to teach it. Today, too, it’s important that people share the word and invite others to share it. The more the Word of God is known and Loved, the more it will connect from heart to heart.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:53 am 
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370. Jesus saves


Jesus tells us:
“If anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” John, chapter 12, verse 47

It may be that a person does not adhere to the Word of Jesus. This is a pity, since the Word of Jesus is Spirit and Life. Jesus makes it clear that he did not come to judge people, but to save them.

It means that each person has to decide himself to follow Jesus or not.
Jesus does not condemn, he does not judge, it’s the person who will judge of his response to God. But it’s nevertheless strange that a person, knowingly, would refuse God’s Love.

We are invited to pray for all people in the world who do not yet know the Lord.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:06 am 
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371. Over the right side


The Apostles are on a mission. They become even dizzying for Temple officials:
“They were disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” Acts, chapter 4, verse 2

The Apostles understood very well what Jesus asked of them. Go everywhere and announce the Good News.

Moreover, Temple officials did not like the healings that were happening. They feared that this Good News might be the cause of the increase in the Christian population.

They try to prevent the spread of Christians as one would try to prevent Love from reaching the heart. But it’s impossible. They question Peter and John:
“They bring them into their presence and question them, "By what power or by what name have you done this?” Acts, chapter 4, verse 7

Peter answers:
“In the name of Jesus.” Acts, chapter 4, verse 10

Once again, these questions offer enlightening answers. Jesus is dead, but he is very alive. It’s normal for him to be in the heart and in the faith of the Apostles.
The Apostles may think at this moment of this spoken Word by Jesus:
“‘Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.’ So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.” John, chapter 21, verse 6

Continuing to evangelize and heal hearts in the name of Jesus is the way to bring Christians together and increase their number.

Jesus invites us to the same mission. We are filled with the presence of God and Jesus encourages us to spread his good news.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:00 am 
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372. In the world and in the Church

We are really in two different worlds. On one hand, there’s the social world by which we share our everyday reality. And on the other side, there’s the world of faith in Jesus Christ. It shakes and adjusts everything we say and do.

We struggle to create a balance between these two worlds. But it’s necessary to adjust to what is natural to the human being and to the reality of eternal life, in the Trinity.

Isaiah sees what God does in us:
“A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you.” Isaiah, chapter 26, verse 3

Placing our life in God brings us peace in the social world and trust in God in the hearts of the faithful of the Church.

When we are in the social world and keep our heart united to God, he assures us of his peace. His peace is transmitted in the invisible. If we do not feel this peace, let’s ask ourselves if we bring God to the heart of our human relationships.

This peace will be felt more in the Church, since every person is looking for it. But it’s also possible that in the Church, people are not at peace. Fortunately, they are in the right place to acquire some more.

A person will say, “I do not go to church, because there are people there who, coming out, talk in the backs of others, against others!” Let’s think about it, it’s good that they go to Mass! Imagine if they didn’t go. Or rather, do not imagine, it might seem worse. They know they are not perfect. They can thus walk and progress gradually toward peace, thanks to the teachings they receive in Church.

Then Isaiah concludes by saying:
“Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock.” Isaiah, chapter 26, verse 4

Whether we are in the world or in Church, let’s put our trust in God that he will transform our hearts, then of people.

Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to be in all our relationships, in each of our meetings, and our city will be built on rock. Let’s ask him every day:
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Matthew, chapter 7, verse 24

Let’s build with Jesus. Let’s ask Jesus, every day, to be active in our heart, then to the hearts of those we meet.

Book: Here, where we are
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:53 am 
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373. The gospel of the Lord


Paul confirms that the gospel and salvation of Jesus Christ is unique:
“The gospel preached by me is not of human origin.” Galatians, chapter 1, verse 11

Nobody thought of such a revelation. No one has been able to imagine or invent all that is proclaimed in the Gospels. Nobody except God.

Nobody can replace Jesus. We are poor of Jesus if we don’t accept him, as he is, in our life. And we become poor in Jesus when we leave what is useless to embark with him on the great adventure of God and man.

That’s why Paul says:
“I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians, chapter 1, verse 12

Book: Caring for our poverties

Normand Thomas

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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2021 5:56 am 
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374. Reinforced concrete


Everybody’s own is to find God and to hold onto God as the most precious good. But other people escape the real mission to which they should hold on to. They will be very imaginative to get away from the mission by all sorts of means, for fear of being hurt, for fear of the unknown.

To speak negatively against others, to leave good habits, basic habits, to abandon prayer, the commitment in faith to serve others, even in what is simplest and here they are in a turning away from God. There are also those who cannot discern good deeds while asking for evidence from others.

Today, how often do we see truths being completely twisted by negligence or interest? They go so far as to treat truth as criminal. These people prefer to eliminate others from their lives as long as they are right, they get what they want and they do not lose their solid, concrete reputation. They only have barbed concrete left.

They abandon their good behaviour, stick to their wall filled of personal achievements, display their deceptive advertisements, their extinguished fame. Then, they come to believe that others are not on the right track, because they’re different. Their perfection becomes reinforced concrete.

Each person is free to do what they want with its harmful consequences or helpful realizations. Turning to evil leads to evil. And evil leads to death. Let’s lead the way back to Jesus. He’s there waiting. Love leads to Love and Life.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2021 7:00 am 
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375. Let’s find our heart


How difficult it is for us to find time to look at ourselves, to observe what needs to be improved to follow Jesus on the only necessary path, the way of our salvation, the way to eternal life.

Maybe others do not see it, but God sees everything. Even Jesus, people thought he was a liar and someone who thought he was God, because he was following the true path, and they crucified him.

Let’s return to the Rosary with all our heart, return to prayer. Let’s increase our meetings with the Lord, Mass, teachings, to all that is vital and true to guarantee us not to freeze up like ice.

Let’s not look at what others are doing or not, and if we see any flaws let’s give them back to Jesus. Let’s not make the situation worse by reacting or talking about it to others to speak ill and insult. Then let’s continue our journey in faith, with Mary, for a more beautiful, truer, more real, more just and more fraternal world. Jesus is with us.

It’s good to know when to stop and observe what our personal strengths are, to make them useful for the kingdom of God on earth. To take care of ourselves in the faith, to take care of others by the commitment of our faith, is to realize Jesus’s will.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:11 am 
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376. Let’s catch the just


The unjust ones say:
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.” Wisdom, chapter 2, verse 12

There are people who do not see how just some are. They may have difficulty discerning between good and bad and then they will have difficulty discovering the good, the real and what’s true in people.

Often they are people who are afraid of being hurt again, or they think everyone resents them. Often they are people who are proud and manage the lives of others. Basically, they don’t know how to find peace in their own hearts. They place their fears on people around them.

We are invited to be charitable and pray for them.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:39 am 
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377. The Just is repulsed


It’s a shame to be at this point to want to surprise the just, to want to test honest people. It’s known, we have some fears about new people we still don’t know.

The righteous disturb them because they do not follow the easiest way. When they walk on a path, they always invite the Presence of God with them. And when there is the Presence of God, they can feel the resistances, the significant distances of the grace of God from others.

The just will be repulsed, he will be reproached, he will be despised, trapped and accused. This is also what happens with Jesus:
“Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, ‘You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.’” John, chapter 7, verses 28 to 29

And they do not want to get their hands on Jesus, because the world would see them. They know they are wrong with their false thoughts about him. They prefer to wait until it’s dark to stop him. At night, it’s hard for people to know who they are stopping. But later, it will be easy to accuse him with unfair lies.

Everything is randomly engineered to skew about Jesus.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:16 am 
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378. Denounce evil


It would seem that the Lord is asking to denounce the faults as it is written here:
“Cry out full-throated and unsparingly, lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; Tell my people their wickedness, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah, chapter 58, verse 1

If we start doing this, we risk disappointments. This text is nearly three thousand years old.
In the generation we are in, it would be difficult to begin to shout sins out to everyone. In a group, we can still talk about sin in general, and let people self-observe.

On the other hand, it seems easy for many people to tell their sins in the media. It may be good for these people, but the publicly announced evil can become a trampoline where others will develop bad habits. For, the announcement of sins in the public square gives evil ideas to other ill-intentioned people.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
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into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 7:00 am 
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379. Why Lord?


Far from publicly denouncing personal mistakes, it would be nice to invite people to let themselves be Loved by God. Real Love is a reality rarely recognized today. The Love of God allows the person himself to discover his faults. The light illuminates the life of the person and reveals the dens of evil.

Then the people of Israel say this:
“Why do we fast, and you do not see it? afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?” Isaiah, chapter 58, verse 3

We could add: When we pray, why don’t you hear it? Because we don’t fast for God or for others, but we fast for ourselves. It’s good to fast, to pray and to do penance for us, but most of all this must lead to thinking about the world in general. If people around the world improve, we are progressing. God always hears us, but we’re not always watchful to the presence of God with us.

We have thousands of distractions that keep us away from the goal, from our relationship with God. However, everything we do to bring ourselves closer to God transforms us for the better.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
___

Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
passing through me
into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:19 am 
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380. Slaves of the Gospel



Paul is an artist of the good evolution. He gave a new meaning to the word “slave”. Let’s read:
“as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, willingly serving the Lord and not human beings.” Ephesians, chapter 6, verses 6 to 7
Instead of associating the word “slave” with forced submission, Paul introduces it to a higher level of goodness.

Jesus washed the feet of his Apostles like a slave. And Paul understood it in that sense. With all our hearts, let’s freely become servants (slaves) of our neighbour for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

Let’s work voluntarily for the sole purpose that souls turn from their ways of destruction and take the path of faith following Jesus Christ.

Let’s take the opportunity to be with the weakest of us, in all dimensions of their poverty, to practise our relationship with Jesus. Perhaps we’ll discover that we are the weakest. Let’s restore the dignity that belongs to every person.

Let’s ask God to open our hearts and to lay down his Love. Let’s become slaves of the Love of God, in the good sense of the word. Let’s be constantly generated and generous by Love.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
passing through me
into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 6:45 am 
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381. Jesus opens the book


When Jesus opens the book in the synagogue, he reads the passage that is the reality of God’s Love for all:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Luke, chapter 4, verses 18 to 19

“‘Today,’ says Jesus, ‘it is today that it is fulfilled’”. Luke, chapter 4, verse 21

Love gives freedom when our freedom is connected to God now, every morning, every day, every moment. This Word is the Love of God for all his creatures and for his creation. Let’s meditate on the graces of the Trinity that we received during our life.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

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God says : I Love you
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Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
passing through me
into others hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Normandt's Bible meditations
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:16 am 
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382. Poverty


The poor have many faces. The rich are poor of something. People who are in the middle class are poor of something. The poor also lack something.

Jesus called Matthew who did not seem poor. He joined him in front of a counter of one of the riches of the country. The fishermen, Peter and Andrew, John and James, were also rich because fishing was a necessary food for families.

What was their poverty then? At the beginning of their mission with Jesus, they all lacked a real and meaningful experience with him. Now, they live the grace of being on the road and following Jesus. Jesus chose them for the mission.
We are all poor of Jesus. We need to live a personal relationship with him.

Real poverty touches every person in their deepest being. If we don’t have Jesus, we are really poor. If we do not live on God’s Love, we are very poor.
What is true wealth? True wealth isn’t found in what we usually have. What we have isn’t all we have.

True wealth is in the heart of the human being. True wealth is when we are in communion with God and his will, who is in our life. God is in our heart. It’s what’s necessary and we already have it. The Trinity nourishes the soul.

Book: Caring for our poverties
Normand Thomas

_________________
God says : I Love you
___

Thank you Lord for Loving me
and thanks for your Love
passing through me
into others hearts.


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