READINGS for 2006-02-04
God said, ?Ask something of me and I will give it to you.? ? 1 Kings 3:5
When I was a kid, my sister and I were very excited when Christmas season came. We would write to Santa Claus and list down all the gifts we wanted to receive on Christmas. We would place our letters under the Christmas tree hoping that Santa would come and make our wishes come true. On Christmas Eve, my parents would put us to bed early. When midnight struck, my mom would wake us up and announce that Santa Claus was there. Hurriedly, my sister and I would go down the stairs and meet Santa. Oh, how delighted we would be to see him with his bag full of presents! He would then distribute the gifts and then leave. After a while, my dad would show up. (Of course, way back then, I never saw the connection.) Then we would open our presents and be delightfully surprised that they were exactly the ones we wrote on our Christmas wish list! This scene was repeated every Christmas Eve. If a human dad can give us what we ask for, how much more can our heavenly Father give us? We need not write letters and make long lists of our wishes. Our God is just a prayer away. Even before we tell him what we need, He already knows it. And that He will give us only the best. Judith C.
Thank You Father, for giving me only the best.
1 Kings 3:4-13
Solomon?s rule will be characterized by wisdom. Unfortunately, some of the wise advice that he follows will be based on worldly analysis rather than the will of God. The political alliances that he makes tend to allow false religious practices to become a part of the life of the people as well as compromising the integrity of Israel as a nation under the hand of God. The ultimate result is a split in the kingdom that will prove disastrous for the faith of Israel.
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, because that was the most renowned high place. Upon its altar Solomon offered a thousand holocausts. 5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, ?Ask something of me and I will give it to you.? 6 Solomon answered ?You have shown great favor to your servant, my father David, because he behaved faithfully toward you, with justice and an upright heart; and you have continued this great favor toward him, even today, seating a son of his on his throne. 7 O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. 8 I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. 9 Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?? 10 The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. 11 So God said to him Because you have asked for this ? not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right ? 12 I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you. 13 In addition, I give you what you have not asked for, such riches and glory that among kings there is not your like.?
P S A L M
Psalm 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
R: Lord, teach me your statutes.
9 How shall a young man be faultless in his way? By keeping to your words. (R) 10 With all my heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commands. (R) 11 Within my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you. (R) 12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes. (R) 13 With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth. (R) 14 In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus is adamant that His disciples need to take time out and reflect upon their lives and that entire God is doing with them. As Plato once said, ?The unreflected life is not worth living.? Jesus wants them to recognize the ways that God is changing them and forming them to be the apostles they are called to be. This process is important as it boosts confidence and allows the disciples to believe in their calling in a deeper way.
30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, ?Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.? People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
God?s special verse/thought for me today ________________________
T O D A Y ? S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: _________________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Numbers 10-12
We can never overestimate how important it is for us to have times of recollection and reflection in our lives, particularly when we are considering our spiritual health. Jesus specifically invites His disciples to come aside for a while to a lonely place for this very reason. Why? If we do not stop and reflect upon our lives, then we will fail to integrate the lessons that we learn on a daily basis. Socrates tells us that an unreflected life is not worth living. I totally agree with this. Life becomes simply one more incident after another unless we take the time to stop, draw aside and ask ourselves what lessons we have recently learned should be integrated into consciousness. We may be accomplishing many things through being busy and productive, but what effect is all this busyness having upon our personal character ? the type of person we are and how we ?come across? to others?
Throughout all of the Gospels we will find moments where Jesus is alone in prayer; or he goes off to a lonely place to rest. If it is good enough for the Son of God, I think it ought to be good enough for us! This can be a difficult truth to accept in our modern world of deadlines and quotas in virtually every kind of work there is. However, somewhere along the line we should ask ourselves what is more important ? our sanity and character or the amount of production and profits we generate?
There are parables in the Gospels that remind us that it is foolish of us to gain everything that the world offers us only to lose our grip on the gift of eternal life. Ultimately it will come down to a choice that each of us has to make ? namely, what priority to give the work of the Kingdom of God over the ways and work of the kingdom of this world. The witness of Jesus? life is abundantly clear on this matter in that He clearly states, time and time again, that it is the will of His Father in heaven that is paramount in His life. There is nothing more important to Him than the work of the Kingdom of God. The same must be true for us if we are going to be faithful to the Lord?s will in our lives. Fr. Steve T.
Father, You give me so much in the way of gifts and blessings and I often seem to give You very little in return. Help me to be more generous in what to give to and how to serve the work of Your Kingdom from now on.
St. John De Britto, martyr, pray for us.
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