October 27, 2016 – Thursday in the 30th Week of the Church Year

 

Saint for the day: Fruentius (early 300’s – death: 380)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Ephesians 6:10-20    –    Psalm 144    –    Luke 13:31-35

“Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

In Luke’s Gospel we continue to hear about Jesus’ confrontations with the Pharisees. These guys were zealot-like and followed after Jesus – but always with a not-so-hidden agenda. They obviously saw something attractive in Jesus but were overwhelmed with adherence to the perfect observance of Jewish Law.

They had failed to accept the full armor of Xt that Paul states in the passage from Ephesians. If we look at the order in which Paul says we should arm ourselves we can gain some insight about how we are to protect ourselves from the evil one.

First: our loins are girt with truth; righteousness is our breastplate (protecting the heart); shoes for the spreading of the Gospel of Peace; then “faith” as a shield and salvation as a helmet (protecting our mind and our thoughts) and only lastly, the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

Yet, we, lake Pharisees, often get the order of things wrong and first pick up the “word of God” to use as a sword to pierce our supposed enemies and wonder why we fail since we have not put on the rest of the “armor of God” that Paul lists. Truth is first. Quoting the word of God – without all the rest of the “armor” will always fail. That’s why the Pharisees were always challenged by Jesus because they only quoted scriptures – the law – but did nothing to promote peace or to help people in need.


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