Imagine what it would be like to make a balloon look blown up by stretching it from its outer surface. You would have to glue lots and lots of strings all over the outside of the balloon, then pull on all these strings to stretch it. It just wouldn’t work, would it? The only way that a balloon can expand is if there is air pumping into the inside.
As silly as is this attempt to stretch a balloon from without rather than from within, it’s just this kind of thing that Jesus says is the difference between what makes for real devotion to God and what makes for phony talk. Some persons put on a show to tell people that they love God by pretending to love God; really, they are only interesting in impressing others about how good they are. This is like the balloon that tries to grow big by being stretched from the outside, because there is no inside air—no Holy Spirit. Real love for God is the kind that fills us with joy and peace that makes our hearts like a balloon bursting with love. What kind of a heart do you want to have?
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Thinking and speaking goodness vv.14-15
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.
This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Fridays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
We read the Gospel of Mark in Year B.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. More information…