READINGS for 2006-02-21
?God has something better to give.? ? James 4:6
Easter Sunday, 1999, 12:00 am. We were lined up at the US Embassy. It was going to be a free honeymoon trip to New York from my parents-in-law. After waiting for 16 hours, we were interviewed at 4:00 pm. To our utter disappointment, we were denied. Thankfully, my wife?s entire family was given ten-year multiple visas. But that couldn?t keep us from being depressed. We thought, ?All that time and effort for nothing.? Yet, we knew God had something better. While my in-laws went on that trip, we were here trying to look for that ?something better? from God. True enough, we found it. Lallaine, my wife, was a newly graduated orthodontist at that time and we chanced upon this perfect place to open her dental office. That was the better gift. It did not stop there however. Having all the papers needed to qualify (being self-employed with a business), she returned and reapplied a year later, and was given a ten-year multiple visa. A few months later, I was granted my own multiple entry visa, via drop box application, without interview. When you lose something, believe that the Lord has something better to offer. Always remember: You are much more important than what you lose or ask for. Arun G.
Lord, may I not forget that you want the best of the best for me!
Here is a critical text in regards interceding for things in our lives. We have to ensure that what we are asking God to give us is not indulging our own desires! What are we seeking to get out of our request? Is it truly in accord with the manifest will of God or are we merely giving in to the worldly desires of our hearts? It is easy to fool ourselves that what we are asking for is God?s will. This is why it can be helpful to seek help in discerning God?s will in this regard.
1 Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? 2 You covet but donot possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. 3 You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, ?The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy?? 6 But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: ?God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.? 7 So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. 9 Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
P S A L M
Psalm 55:7-8, 9-10, 10-11, 23
R: Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
6  and I say, ?Had I but wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest. 7  Far away I would flee; I would lodge in the wilderness. (R) 8  I would wait for him who saves me from the violent storm and the tempest.? 9  Engulf them, O Lord; divide their counsels. (R) In the city I see violence and strife; 10  day and night they prowl about upon its walls. (R) 22  Cast your care upon the LORD, and he will support you; never will he permit the just man to be disturbed. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus foretells His Passion and death. I like to believe that Jesus had a growing consciousness of where His ministry was leading Him. That is, He became more and more aware that His Father?s will involve suffering, death and then vindication in the form of the resurrection. This would not have been easy to accept from His human point of view as we learn by His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet, Jesus moves forward inexorably to this date with destiny!
30 They left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 31 He was teaching his disciples and telling them, ?The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.? 32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. 33 They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, ?What were you arguing about on the way?? 34 But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. 35 Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, ?If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.? 36 Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, 37 ?Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives Me; and whoever receives me, receives not Me but the One who sent Me.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________
thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Deuteronomy 25-27
When I was a little boy and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up, my quick answer was, ?I want to be an astronaut.? Literally, I had a high ambition, so high that it would require a journey light years away! I dreamt of riding a spaceship and conquering some distant planet.
The Lord had a greater dream for me. He wanted me to conquer not only some unknown planet but as many souls as possible for His kingdom. He called me and chose me to be His priest, His servant, His persona-in-mundi, ?another Him?, an alter Christus.
I had to learn dreaming God?s dream for myself. And I continue learning as I aspire to greatness.
It is not bad to dream big. It is not a sin to aspire for greatness. What is bad is when our heads grow bigger because of our ambition. What is immoral is when great aspirations make us lord it over those whom the world considers less.
Dream for God and you will dream with Him. Then you will be great indeed. Work for God and you will serve others with Him. Then you will be happy.
Our happiness lies not in being greater than the other man. Peace comes from being in harmony with God?s will in our life. Why be great in the judgment of the world when we know that the world is imperfect and its judgment fallible? Aspire to be great in the eyes of the Lord and the Lord will lift you high. St. James, in the First Reading today, reminds us that the Lord exalts the humble. Jesus, in the Gospel today, teaches us what humility is all about.
Jesus? idea of greatness is a total reversal of the world?s definition of the same. While the world considers great those that are served ? and the more servants you have, the greater you are ? Jesus measures greatness by service to the least, the last and the lost. Because in His kingdom the last is actually the first, the more lowly the kind of service that a person renders others the more highly that person is in the Lord?s infallible estimation.
The Lord wants us to be great. Let us be great then! The Lord determines greatness by service. Let us serve then! The Lord looks for humility in the service we do. Let us be humble then! Can the Lord?s dream for us be greater and better that our dreams for our selves? Fr. Bobby T.
Invade my dreams, O Lord. Conquer my ambitions and lift me high by Your ways. And when my dreams do not include You, wake me up from my nightmare. When my ambitions are shallow and worldly, teach me to bend as low as I should so that I may dig deep and build my life high in humble service. Amen.
St. Peter Damian, bishop confessor, pray for us.
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