Monday, November 22, 2010

Heaven On Matthew

Heaven on Matthew

The parables of the Gospels in the Bible show what could be heaven in store for God’s people.  It is true that the earth is a gift to human beings, yet humans have to know that something more beyond life is stored for those who obey God as a Father, and seek Him in eternity.

Check these:

1.  Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20)

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who goes out early in the morning to hire laborers to work in his vineyard.”

On the eleventh hour, all the workers were paid.  But some complained because some have worked only for a single hour, and the master put the others on a level with those who have borne the burden of a day’s heat.

Answering to them, he said “My friends, I have done you no injustice. Did you not agree with me to pay you a “denarius” for the day’s work?”  Take what is yours and leave; I choose to give to this last amount as I have given you.  Or are you envious because I am generous?  Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.”

2.Mustard Seed  (Matthew 13)
Another parable he set before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grin of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field.  It appears as the smallest of all seeds one can find on earth; but when it grows up it is larger than any herb for it grows to become a tree. Once a tree, the birds of the air come and dwell in its branches.”

3.Net  (Matthew 13)

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a net which the fishermen cast into the sea to gather fish of every kind.  When it was filled, the net is hauled out of the sea water into the boat and then brought to shore.  He sorts the fish – the good kind to be brought to the market, and the bad ones are thrown away.   

The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the just, and will cast them down a furnace of fire where there will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

God’s kingdom is fair.  It is open to everyone.  So even if pagans, who came late knowing Jesus Christ are taken.

Also, like seeds each one grows and begins to improve everyday.  Light and faith of everyone are stronger with Jesus.  Those who believe in God will live with Him - in his house and kingdom forever.

Rose flores martinez

Luke On Poor Guests

Luke On Poor Guests

“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,” so the Bible says. 

Others would say, “In reality, each has to scratch each other’s back.  Go with the rich, to get something.”

Most of us give and remember those who can reward/pay back.  During occasions, we even reserve the best gifts for rich relatives or friends.  The poor ones get the cheaper stuff.  They are given the last seats and the leftovers.

Let us learn from these parables:

  1. Fig Tree (Luke 21)

And he spoke to them a parable.  “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees around you.  When you now put forth their buds, everyone knows that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things coming to pass, let it be as a sign that the kingdom of God is near.  Amen I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all things have been accomplished.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

  1. Good Shepherd  (John 10)

“Amen, amen, I say to you he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.”

“I am the Good Shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.”

  1. Poor Guests (Luke)

But Jesus also said to the host who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not invite you friends, or your brethren or your relatives, or your rich neighbors that perhaps also recompense you.  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; you shall be blessed because they have nothing to repay you with; but though you not aware, you shall be repaid at the time of the resurrection of the just.”

It is true that the poor cannot please and give back material things because they lack a lot in this life.  But then, if we can have something to share (even little) will find us joy. If we can give half the bread we’re eating to the least, we’re doing big acts of love.

Who are your guests this Christmas season?  What are your gifts to your friends, family, co-workers?   Are the foods you are serving your rich friends different from the foods for your poor friends?  Check your answers.

Rose flores martinez

The Last Seat, The Back Pew

The Last Seat, The Back Pew

Those who get to take the best seats in any celebration or gathering are the popular and wealthy people.  Sometimes, we think that we deserve the first seats and the front seats.  Perhaps, we take the best parts of the fish and meat, too.  Or from a basket of fruits, we grab to take the juiciest of all, forgetting that something must be shared. 

Last Seat (Luke 14)

When you are invited to a wedding feast, do not recline in the first seats, otherwise when perhaps one more distinguished have been invited by the host, and the host who invited you and him come and say to you,  “Make room for this man!” you should find yourself in a most embarrassing situation to take the last seat.  Thus when you are invited, go and recline in the last seat so that when the host who invited you comes, and he says to you, “Friend, come join me in the reserved seats!”  Then will you be honored in the presence of all who are at the table with you.  For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.

Pharisee and Tax Collector (Luke 18)

Two men went up the temple to pray, one was a Pharisee and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and began to pray to himself, saying’ “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men who are robbers, dishonest, adulterers, or even like the publican.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I possess.”  But the publican, standing far off , felt so ashamed of himself he could hardly lift up his eyes to heaven , but kept striking his breast, saying, “O God have mercy on me the sinner!”

“I tell you the publican went back home justified rather than the other for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles shall be exalted.”

One of the hardest lessons in life is humility.  Everyone is all too proud to boast of his accomplishments or status.  With this, the self always desires for recognition and gain. The Pharisees who deem themselves so righteous are like the believers who condemn people.  They think of others as unworthy and undeserving.  They forget that God made all to be His children.

The parables show that God favors the humble tax collector admitting his sinfulness and trying to amend his life.  Do you remember when Jesus said in another story, “Those without sin cast the first stone?”

May God give us the virtue of humility.

Rose Flores Martinez

Hansel and Gretel9