READINGS for 2006-02-13

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

A WOMAN?S TEST OF FAITH

?Testing of your faith produces perseverance.? ?James 1:3

This couple was excited at the first praying meeting, but later missed the assembly. I found out about their financial problem. She wanted to borrow money from me; but instead I shared the blessings in claiming the promise in Matthew 6:33. She was disappointed, because she did not believe the blessings would come if she put God first. Although the husband continued to attend, the wife did not. I interceded and when I visited her again, I found out that the wife was into occultism. Together with the husband and their daughter, I was led by the Spirit to pray over her and cast out the evil spirits that I had sensed were overcoming her. She was in some state of shock after the pray-over, when she realized her situation. She was able to attend the prayer meeting with a different countenance and a different level of faith. The joy now written on her face reflected her readiness to believe the word of God. After two weeks, God opened the door of heaven. The wife was able to pay all their debts when the husband ?miraculously? received his retirement pay, months ahead of its scheduled release. God is true to his promise in His Word as we persevere to grow in faith. Donna E.

REFLECTION:
Do we hold on to God?s promises during times of waiting and discernment?

Lord Jesus, help me surmount the challenges I face in my life. Amen.

COMPANION

1st READING

James 1:1-11

A true disciple will not waver in the wind. When the world tries to seduce him or her with its false ideas and half-truths, he or she will stand firm in the truth and not be of two minds. This is done by the grace of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy  Spirit that puts the steel into our souls such that we are not swayed by public opinion but are committed to the truth no matter what the consequences of such a stance may be!

1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings. 2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. 6 But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways. 9 The brother in lowly circumstances should take pride in his high standing, 10 and the rich one in his lowliness, for he will pass away ?like the flower of the field.? 11 For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

P S A L M

Psalm 119:67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 76

R: Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I hold to your promise. (R) 68 You are good and bountiful; teach me your statutes. (R) 71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.  (R) 72 The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. (R) 75 I know, O LORD, that your   ordinances are just, and in your faithfulness you have afflicted me. (R) 76 Let your kindness comfort me according to your promise to your servants. (R)

G O S P E L

Mark 8:11-13

One of the commonest ways of looking for a sign is called Bible cutting. While this may be a fairly common practice and also one that some of the saints used once or twice, it is not one that I recommend as it is too easily abused. There is also the problem that one?s Bible will often fall open at the most used sections and thus the result will not truly be random? or ?Spirit-guided.?A far better way of discerning God?s will is by using your God-given intelligence. That is why God gave it to you and it is this that sets us apart from the rest of creation.

11 The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, ?Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.? 13 Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

my reflections
think:
A far better way of discerning God?s will is by using your God-given intelligence. That is why God gave it to you and it is this that sets us apart from the rest of creation.

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God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________

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T O D A Y ? S BLESSING LIST

thank You Lord for: ______________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Deuteronomy 1-3 

SABBATH

THIS PASSING WORLD

We should never forget that the glories of this passing world are exactly doing that ? passing away. They do not and will not last forever. It is a foolish person who spends all of their time focused upon gaining earthly wisdom and riches and who fails to take into account that eternity, all which is after this mortal life, has a totally different focus. It is very easy to allow ourselves to be distracted by all sorts of attractive offers from the world, therefore it is important that we take care that the decisions we make in life satisfactorily take into account our goal of eternal life.

One way that might help us maintain the right focus is to remember that eternal life begins now. All that we do and say has a bearing upon our relationship with God and it is this relationship that will be all-important in determining the nature of eternal life for us. James reminds us that just as a flower quickly comes out and then withers and fades, so does our earthly journey in comparison with eternal life. True wisdom will always keep us aware of the shortness of our days here on earth and challenge us to keep a true perspective on the spiritual aspect of our lives.

James also tells us that our faith in God should be something that is firm and secure, not being blown about by all the various circumstances in our daily lives. Faith ought to enable us to lay a sure and firm foundation to our lives so that we know who we are and how we should live each day. Faith in God enables us to know that we are loved and worthwhile. It gives us the basis upon which to build not only our relationship with God, but also our whole direction in life. Let us take this opportunity to reflect upon the priorities of our life  so as to ensure that we have them right and have not allowed the attractions of this world to deflect us from our ultimate goal, eternal life. Fr. Steve T.
 
REFLECTION QUESTION:

Do I have a good balance among the priorities of my life as regards the earthly and spiritual aspects of my life?

Father, You sent your Son Jesus to redeem humanity and give us a role model to follow. Grant me Your will and love more and more each day.

St. Catherine dei Ricci, virgin, pray for us.




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