READINGS for 2006-03-15

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



And will turn over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. ?Matthew 20:19

They jeered and sneered, making the sign of the cross while laughing derisively, twirling their forefinger at the side of their head to indicate we were crazy as we wound ourselves through the cobbled streets of Jerusalem, carrying a life-size wooden cross, on our way to Calvary Hill. These same people ply their trade, pushing pictures of Jesus, rosaries, holy water, cross emblems and so many more ?Jesus? images, earning their keep from the same person that they continue to mock even to this day and age. As our group continued to sing and pray, walking slowly through the same road where Jesus had been flogged and had fallen three times, our hearts bled and tears would not stop as we imagined our Lord being laughed at, jeered and called many names. We were ordinary people, but He was the King of Kings, but He humbly accepted his fate. At the end of our procession, the enormity and significance of what we experienced struck us with so much force. Yes, these unbelievers continue to mock Christ, but we who love Him and believe in Him do too, when we continue to mock His commandments. Chelle C.

In what way are we still mocking our Savior?

Forgive me, Lord, for the ways that I spit and jeer at You with my sins. Point these out to me and show me how I  can keep myself from hurting You more.



Jeremiah 18:18-20

If we want to serve God we will have to be prepared for struggles and strife. The people plotted against Jeremiah because they reject his call for repentance and conversion and want to rid themselves of this pesky little prophet. They even tried to kill him a number of times! If this is the experience of a designated prophet of Israel, I wonder what level of suffering or trial we can expect. The closer a person gets to God, the more they seem to suffer.

18 ?Come,? they said, ?let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets. And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue; let us carefully note his every word.? 19 Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. 20 Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life? Remember that I stood before you to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them.


Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R: Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

4 [5] You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge. 5 [6] Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God. (R) 13 [14] I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side, as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life. (R) 14 [15] But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, ?You are my God.? 15 [16] In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. (R)


Matthew 20:17-28

Jesus tells some of those closest to Him that the path to greatness will involve suffering and trial. This is all that He can guarantee James and John. As the outcome of their temptations is not yet known, it is not possible to guarantee them seats at His right hand or left. These remain to be allotted according to the will of His Father and depending upon the response of individuals to the Gospel call. Let us not ?jump the gun.? Let?s focus first on our response to God rather than worrying about the finer points of our eternal reward.

17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve [disciples] aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 18 ?Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19 and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.? 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. 21 He said to her, ?What do you wish?? She answered him, ?Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.? 22 Jesus said in reply, ?You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?? They said to him, ?We can.? 23 He replied, ?My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, [this] is not mine to give but for those whom it has been prepared by my Father.? 24 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus summoned them and said, ?You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27 whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.?

my reflections
The closer a person gets to God, the more they seem to suffer.



God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________



Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________





The mother of James and John approached Jesus and requested the places of honor to His right and left for her sons when He is King. Once she listened to the answer of Jesus I am sure that she wished that she had thought a little more about the question before asking it. How many times have we done something similar, wishing that we had taken a little more time to consider what we were doing before we did it?
     It is in this context that we should regularly examine our lives and see whether or not our desires and dreams are truly holy and worthy of our Christian faith. In the midst of the busyness of our daily lives, and the various pressures under which we live, it is relatively easy for some of our desires and dreams to become a little deflected from the road toward the Kingdom of God. If we arrest such thoughts early, it will be much simpler for us to redirect them to the true and proper path. If we allow them to gather momentum, so to speak, we might find ourselves committed to courses of action that we will later regret!
     Our lives are full of choices that to a greater or lesser extent have a bearing upon the path that we walk. It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not wander away from the straight and narrow path, but keep our hearts and minds fixed on the ?main thing,? the ?one thing that matters,? eternal salvation and all that this entails. If we allow our desires and dreams to wander from this path, it will not be long before our life takes the same road! As the Scriptures remind us, ?where our treasure is, there will be our hearts as well.?
     James and John?s mother does not ask anything sinful of Jesus when she approaches Him. However, her question does indicate that her heart is not quite in the place that it should be. The places of honor at the banquet when Jesus is King should be the least of anybody?s worries. The most important thing is being invited to the banquet. I am sure that Jesus will be able to find time for all who attend! As the saying goes, ?Let us not put the cart before the horse.? Let?s attend to the first things first and the rest will follow in due course. Fr. Steve T.

At what level are the desires and dreams of my heart? Is there a good balance between those of this world and the next?

Father, it is your desire that all people be saved. It would seem then that the first desire of my heart should be for salvation. Help me to ensure that this remains the foremost focus of my life. Let me not get so caught up in the matter of the world that I lose this focus.

St. Louise De Marillac, widow, pray for us.

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