READINGS for 2006-02-15
Be doers of the word? ? James 1:22
As finance officer of a manufacturing company, my friend Becky was a model employee. Because she liked what she was doing, she really worked hard and gave her best. The owners of the company noticed her efficiency and dedication that they trusted her and compensated her well too. After a year with the company, things began to be difficult when it was time to make her finance report to the BIR. Her boss wanted her to prepare two kinds of reports ? one for internal use, and the second one, the one that would be submitted, should only declare so much income, so as to avoid paying the right tax to the government. Becky spent many sleepless nights, and sought advice from friends and family. Some friends told her to do what her boss wants since he was the boss. But her mind and her heart were saying otherwise. In the end, Becky opted to resign from her position and leave the company. She knew that she needed to be true to her self, and to be pure before her God. Not long after, she found another job where she had better pay and better benefits. Most importantly, she had peace. Chelle C.
May I be true to my commitment to Your Word.
The great Greek philosopher Socrates would echo James? words regarding being quick to listen and thus, reflect upon our lives rather than rush in with the answer straight away. Socrates, the great Athenian statesman wrote, ?It is the greatest good for an individual to discuss virtue everyday? for the unexamined life is not worth living? (The Apology). If we want to be in control of our lives, reflection and prayer will have to have a permanent place at the head of our list of priorities.
19 Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, 20 for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. 22 Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. 24 He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
P S A L M
Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
R: Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart 3 and slanders not with his tongue. (R) Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; 4 by whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD. (R) 5 who lends not his money at usury and accepts no bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be disturbed. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus does not want to draw attention to Himself. This is why He tells the healed man not to go back into the village. He wants to have time to get out of the region before too many come flocking to Him looking for signs and wonders. Signs and wonders may be spectacular and attractive but they cannot change our lives. Only the Gospel of salvation can do this. Therefore, we should not seek signs and wonders but the Gospel. It is the Word of God and the truth that it conveys that can make us a new creation in Christ.
22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, ?Do you see anything?? 24 Looking up he replied, ?I see people looking like trees and walking.? 25 Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. 26 Then he sent him home and said, ?Do not even go into the village.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________
thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Deuteronomy 7-9
TOUCHED BY THE LORD
Touch is one of the powerful senses we have. Through it we can feel the presence of people and things around us and also make ourselves felt by others. By touch we can give comfort... or inflict pain. We build by touching. We destroy by touching.
Jesus touches the blind man from Bethsaida not only once but twice! Touch is used to make whole again, to give light and, in doing so, to give life. Jesus is the light of the world (John 9:5). This claim He made before curing another blind man, this time in the Gospel of John, whom He instructed to wash in the pool of Siloam. Anyone He touches is touched by the light. Anyone He touches cannot but see.
The first time Jesus touches the blind man the latter is healed but sees people like walking trees. Only after the second touch does he see clearly. His experience may be likened to the experience of a man who has been locked up inside a dark room for a very long time and is introduced to the light; the process must be gradual lest the brightness blind him even more.
In our spiritual blindness we too sometimes need to be introduced to the light of Christ gradually. We are brought to the light of His truth step by step. We need to be patient as we struggle our way to the light just as Christ is ever patient as He finds His way into our hearts.
When the touch of Jesus finally restores our sight, the light that makes us see is Jesus Himself! Thus, it is a new light in our life. It is not merely a light. It is a totally new light. It enables us to view the world in the eyes of Jesus. It makes us see people as Jesus sees them. It does not only refresh our life, but changes our lifestyle as we relate with people and the world as a whole. It transforms us radically.
Every day, Jesus touches us with His healing hands. He touches us more than twice the number of times He touches the blind man in the Gospel today. And He touches us not only in the eyes but in the heart as well?where He loves to dwell.Fr. Bobby T.
Help me to see, Lord.
Sts. Faustinus and Jovita, martyrs, pray for us.
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