We met this past week at St. William the Abbot Church in Howell, NJ. We shared some wraps for dinner while getting to know some more new faces. We opened with prayer in the main church and then we split into three groups for Bible study.
We covered the following readings for Sunday, June 25th:
“All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.”
After reading this verse, we discussed friendship and how we decide whether or not to work toward building up a relationship with certain people. We don’t want to surround ourselves with people who are going to bring us down or lead us into temptation and the near occasion of sin, but we are still called to love them. Loving someone does not require fostering an intimate friendship; rather, we must will the best for those around us and not speak ill of them. We must be mindful of our actions when with friends, acquaintances, family members, or coworkers because it is easy to get drawn into gossip and slander.
“If by that one person’s transgressions the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many.”
This verse explains how the fall of Adam brought sin and death to all of humanity, but all of that was changed once Jesus Christ died for us, giving us grace and the chance to inherit eternal life. As Catholics, we are fortunate enough to have the sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can confess our sins and do penance, receiving grace through God’s mercy and forgiveness.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”
We need not fear anyone here on earth because although they may be able to harm us physically or emotionally, it is God who has the final judgement. Our death is not something that should be feared if we are following the Lord’s teachings to our best ability and frequenting confession. While we should not fear those around us, we must also try not to judge them. God has the final say and everything that He made is a beautiful creation. What right do we have to cast judgment upon any of His creations? We don’t want friends who are bringing us down or watching out for our flaws, we we must avoid becoming hypocrites. It is easy to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude when we see people whose lives are so engulfed in sin, but we must remember to pray for them rather than judging them. After all, we have no idea what they have experienced and if they have ever had the chance to encounter God. As Father Larry often preaches, we must act so pleasant toward people that by interacting with us, they say something like, “if Jesus is anything like you, then I’d love to meet Him.”
Our group also spoke about the devil and how real He is. He gains even more power when people deny his existence. It is not those around us, but the devil that we must fear because he can “destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Good cannot exist without evil. We must acknowledge the presence of the devil and be on guard against him. Sometimes when we begin to grow in our faith, we encounter obstacles. That is often the devil trying his best to find a way to make us give up our faith. By understanding that, we can persist in our faith journey, knowing that the devil is only interfering because he knows that what we are doing is ultimately going to benefit our soul.
Our next holy hour is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28th at 7:30pm at St. Joseph’s Church at 91 Stillhouse Road, Millstone, NJ.
Our next Bible study will be held on Thursday, July 6th at 6:30pm at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine at 61 Georgia Road in Freehold, NJ.
We hope to see you at both of those events!
By: Stephanie Queiroz