READINGS for 2006-03-14

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but however humbles himself shall be exalted.? ? Matthew 23:12

This was not an ordinary Sunday mass at a remote Carmelite mission post in Infanta, Quezon. At 6:30 am, an ?ordinary? priest welcoming his parishioners greeted us. What moved me was the priest?s extraordinary homily. He shared he had not slept because the previous day he had come from Cotabato to celebrate mass for a childhood friend who?d died. He took a 5-hour ride from Cotabato to Davao to catch the last plane to Manila. From Manila was another 3-hour ride to Infanta. He had to do this because no one else would say Sunday mass and to him that would be ?tragic?. Then in his homily, he shared the secret for his motivation ? he treated every day as if it were his last. A year later, a prominent daily newspaper ran a story of a hero priest who died trying to save others in the infamous deluge that hit Infanta in December of 2004. He was handing safety ropes to others endangered by rushing floods when a large log hit him and killed him on the spot. Carmelite priest Fr. Chuck Colendres is a hero in our everyday midst. He did not want to be a hero. He simply wanted to exalt God by his actions. Surely, God now exalts him. Rolly E.

Do you believe in the hero that God has put within you?

Lord, give me the heart of courage to give my life for your cause.




Isaiah 1:10, 16-20

Isaiah cries out for the people to repent of their sins and then see how faithful God will be in wiping the sins away and purifying their hearts and actions. This is the constant cry of the prophets and is also at the heart of the Gospel message as well. Let us heed the call to repent with a seriousness that we have never had. Let us not only identify the sin in our lives and repent, but also strive to keep ourselves free of them. Here is the Lenten call to fasting and prayer? so that we will become holy and pure in the sight of God.

10 Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah! 16 Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; 17 learn to do good. Make justice your aim redress the wronged, hear the orphan?s plea, defend the widow. 18 Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD. Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool. 19 If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; 20 but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!


Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23

R: To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always. 9 I take from your house no bullock, no goats out of your fold. (R) 16 ?Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, 17 though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?? (R) 21 When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes. 23 He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.? (R)


Matthew 23:1-12

There is something perverse within the human person that often seeks to draw attention to one?s self no matter how that aim is achieved. This desire for attention can often result in sin ? even the desire itself can be sin let alone the means we use by which to attain it. Let us be aware of the underlying desires that often govern our actions and seek to purify them so that we can avoid the sin that they so often involve. It is a wise person who prays constantly for pure and holy motivations.

1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 saying, ?The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens [hard to carry] and lay them on people?s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. 5 All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, 7 greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ?Rabbi.? 8 As for you, do not be called ?Rabbi.? You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. 10 Do not be called ?Master?; you have but one master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.?

my reflections
It is a wise person that prays constantly for pure and holy motivations.



God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________


Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________






A person who is a great leader is never someone who draws attention to himself or herself for the sake of vanity or fame. Truly great leaders have people who gravitate to them by the sheer force of the things that they have achieved or for the power behind the values for which they stand. A truly great leader will leave behind a legacy that will outlive those who knew him or her personally.
     The saints are great leaders. Rarely have the saints commanded armies or great economic empires. They normally exercise their influence in a relatively limited portion of the world. Yet, we remember these men and women centuries after they have lived and died. It is as though their person is still with us ? and in a sense it is!
      A great leader is one who lives a moral life and has committed to a set of moral values that are universally acknowledged. The greatness behind their example and leadership is their adherence to the moral law of truth and right. This is why we remember to this day and will continue to do so until the end of time. Greatness that is built upon the values and things of the world is passing away! We remember such greatness for as long as the personal contact is there ? otherwise the person?s memory passes into oblivion and the next person who exercises such economic, political or social power captures our attention. 
     Such greatness is like a passing fad ? here in one generation and gone in the next. The greatness of the truly moral leaders of human history rests in their ability to have borne witness to a set of values that will not change and will endure forever. It is not just a matter of being able to know what we should do, but having the strength and courage to actually do it! It is this level of living witness for which we all should strive. If we desire to leave a mark on this world for good, then it is in the moral arena that we should seek to be exemplary leaders. As the lives of the saints bear witness, no one is necessarily excluded  from this possibility. Fr. Steve T.

How do I expend the majority of my energy and gifts? Am I striving for things that will not last?

Holy Spirit, help me to set my life on the right path. Help me to place my focus upon the enduring values of the Kingdom of God and not be distracted by the more immediate concerns of the world.

St. Matilda, queen, pray for us.

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