READINGS for 2006-01-27
HOLDING ON TO GOD?S WORDS
?Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remainsin you, you, too, will remain in the Son and theFather.? ? 1 John 2:24
Her name and contact number ? that?s all I had, and I was to interview her for KerygmaMagazine. I was not prepared for the lady thatI was about to meet.She was wheeled into the cozy coffee shop. Herplump physique filled the wheelchair. My mindraced through the possible reasons for her beingwheelchair-bound: Did she suffer a stroke? Didshe have some knee or leg problem?Then her story unfolded.She had cerebral palsy since birth ? butwow, what a full life she?s had! She?s married,has two kids ? and is able to do what otherpeople do, only differently. And the bigdifference is that, given her handicap, she isbeing used by God to minister to Filipinos.She is in the healing ministry ? yes, healing,when she could very well be the recipient ofGod?s healing miracle!Through the years, she has remainedfaithful in her service, fired up by her abidingfaith that what God spoke to her in thebeginning of her ministry will be fulfilled ?in the Philippines, halfway through the globefrom her home in the USA! --Tess VA
REFLECTION: Do you trust that the Lord is faithful to His words to us?
Heavenly Father, strengthen my faithin the words that You speak to me.
Sts. Basil the Great andGregory Nazianzen,bishop confessor, pray for us
1 John 2:22-28
22 Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoeverdenies the Father and the Son, this is the antiChrist. 23 No one who deniesthe Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father aswell. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what youheard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Sonand in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.26I write you these things about those who would deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing that you received from Him remains in you, so that youdo not need anyone to teach you. But His anointing teaches you abouteverything and is true and not false; just as it taught you, remain in Him.28And now, children, remain in Him, so that when He appears we may haveconfidence and not be put to shame by Him at his coming.
Psalm 98: 1,
1Sing to the LORD
a new song, for He has done wondrousdeeds; His right hand has won victory for
Him, his Holy Arm. (R)
John is a real man. He is not afraid of the truth. He does not need to overstatehis own importance. He is happy with the role that God has given him in His plan ofsalvation. Can we say the same for ourselves? It is important that we neither under-state nor overstate the truth. The truth is always going to be sufficient to bring aboutGod?s plan, as Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.(John 14:6)19And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalemsent priests and Levites [to him] to ask him, ?Who are you?? 20he admittedand did not deny it, but admitted, ?I am not the Messiah.? 21So they askedhim, ?What are you then? Are you Elijah?? And he said, ?I am not.? ?Areyou the Prophet?? He answered, ?No.? 22 So they said to him, ?Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have tosay for yourself?? 23 He said: John the Baptist?s Testimony ?I am ?the voiceof One crying out in the desert, ?Make straight the way of the Lord,?? asIsaiah the prophet said.? 24Some Pharisees were also sent. 25They askedhim, ?Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or theProphet?? 26John answered them, ?I baptize with water; but there is oneamong you whom you do not recognize, 27The One who is coming afterme, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.? 28 This happened inBethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Do I stick to the
truth? Or do I tend to overstate or understate facts?
Thank You Lord for: _____________________________________
A VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS
I like John?s self-description, ?a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare astraight path for the Lord.? It captures something of the urgency of Hismission. The desert imagery of wilderness says the world is lost, hungeringfor the truth and hungering for deliverance from the plight of their sins.Jesus will be the answer to our prayers. He alone can deliver us from thepowers of sin and set us free to live for Him rather than for any other passions or gods. John is under no illusion that he is the answer to the problemof sin. He is quite clear that another who comes after him will be Messiah.This humility of John is essential for us toimitate if we are going to be effective and last-ing ministers of the Gospel. Without humility we will draw the glory onto ourselves rather thanto God. Without humility there is a big dangerthat we will make ourselves the focus of atten-tion rather than have it rest solely upon Jesus,who alone can save! So many ministries in re-cent years have come to grief largely becausethe virtue of humility was not honored and given place in leaders? lives. Leaders, more than any-one else, must make it one of their most impor-tant duties to daily cultivate the grace of humil-ity in order not to become too content in theirown glory.St. Catherine of Siena tells us humility isthe ?glue? or ?mortar? that binds all of the othervirtues. Without humility, the life that we build for ourselves, whether inthe world or in ministry in the Kingdom of God, will be fragile and proneto collapse. If we examine the ministry of Jesus, we will see that He doesnot take credit for all that He does; rather, He ascribes the glory and powerto His Father. Even Jesus knew the dangers of arrogance and pride andsought to work against them.I think that a good measure of the humility of a leader is that he or shewill never ask anyone to do something that they are not willing to do them-selves and, once in a while at least, actually do it. It is too easy to fall intoa certain complacency of expecting others to serve you because you are theleader. This is most unhealthy and is a situation to be avoided at all costs! -- Fr.Steve T.
When I lead others,do Iseek to be the one to dothe worst jobs or do I hand them out to others? What does this say about me?
Holy Spirit,teach me until it is ingrained in my mind and heart that to be first in the Kingdom of God means to serve and not to seek to be served. I pray that You will give me the grace to seek to serve others at every opportunity.
Sts. Basil the Great andGregory Nazianzen,bishop confessor, pray for us
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