READINGS for 2006-03-16

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



It fears not the heat when it comes. ? Jeremiah 17:8

My credit card bill was due soon. Some quarterly payments fell due and some unexpected expenses also came in so the amount charged to my card was more than my usual. Looking at the total amount due, I knew I didn?t have enough cash to cover the bill. And because I always fully pay my credit card every month, I began to worry. The last time this happened, I asked my sister if she could lend me some money. That way, I could pay my card fully without incurring any charges. But even before I could get the money I borrowed, cash came in from an unforeseen stream of income. I felt the Lord gently reminding me, ?You?re so quick to run to your sister for help instead of running to Me.? I thanked the Lord and kept the lesson in mind. So the next time it happened and worry began to set, I remembered to pray. Days passed. I went on an out-of-town trip to give several talks and forgot all about my problem. At the end of my trip, I unexpectedly received an envelope with cash. It was the amount of money I had prayed for! Rissa S.

When troubles come, who do you run to?

Lord, You are my shield. You protect me from harm and trouble. You provide for my every need. Teach me to trust in You more.



Jeremiah 17:5-10

Jeremiah outlines the choice that Israel faces ? to place their trust in the wisdom of men or put themselves in the hands of God. It is the same choice that we face many times each day. Ultimately this is a life or death choice as only the latter path leads to eternal life. The former choice may seem to work for a while but it will eventually lead to a dead end from which the only escape will be repentance for our folly of trusting in ourselves.

5 Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream. It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. 9 More torturous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? 10 I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds.


Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6

R: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

1 Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, 2 but delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. (R) 3 He is like a tree planted near running water,  that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. [Whatever he does, prospers.] (R) 4 Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. (R)


Luke 16:19-31

This parable of Jesus ought to give rise to a great urgency within our lives concerning how we treat those less fortunate than ourselves. We should always remember that we are the beneficiaries of the mercy of God in a way that we can never repay Him fully. It is this that gives rise to the moral imperative that we should seek to do all that we can to help others and alleviate their suffering. Let us do this particularly when it is within our power to do so, and even more so when the cost to us, materially or whatever, is negligible.

19 ?There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. 20 And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man?s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. 22 When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he cried out, ?Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.? 25 Abraham replied, ?My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. 26 Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.? 27 He said, ?Then I beg you, father, send him to my father?s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.? 29 But Abraham replied, ?They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.? 30 He said, ?Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.? 31 Then Abraham said, ?If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.??

my reflections
How do I treat those who are less fortunate than I?



God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________


Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________





A life without responsibility is impossible if we want to be welcomed into the Kingdom of God. There are many bases of responsibility such as the gifts and talents that God has given us. If I am a gifted singer, which I am not, I should use that gift for the glory of God as well as my own enjoyment and welfare. Today, Jesus focuses on the responsibility of wealth.
     If a person is wealthy, and particularly if he or she has been born into wealth, there is an inherent responsibility that demands that he or she uses that wealth wisely. One of the great temptations of wealth is that a person begins to think that he or she deserves to be wealthy, that it is his or her right to be rich. This is a terribly dangerous place to find one?s self. It is simply a lie. Even if a person has earned his or her place among the wealthy by starting from the bottom and working up, such wealth is still a gift from God and not  to be used solely for one?s own self.
     The rich man in today?s Gospel learns this lesson too late to change his own destiny. Let us pray that none of us falls into the same trap! It is important that we regularly take a look at our lifestyles and make a judgment as to whether or not they are socially responsible. It can be argued that it is not morally responsible to live a very affluent life if the majority of society is unable to live the same way. Our immediate concern has to be with those who are closest to us, both by blood and in the physical locality. We can then begin to compare our lives with that of the rest of our country and then the world.
     This is not meant to be a condemnation of the rich or their lifestyle. Rather, it is a challenge to us all to put a bit of perspective upon the way that we live in order to ensure that we are doing all that we can to promote a more equitable distribution of the world?s goods. It is also not enough for us to point to the wealthy nations and say that I will make a response once they have done something about the injustices of wealth in the world. The only way that the world is going to change in this regard will be through the example of individuals who make a choice to live a moral life over and above the choices of those around them. Fr. Steve T.

What can I do, with the little or great wealth that I have, to promote a more just and equitable society?

Lord Jesus, You lived as a poor person in this world. You did not have a job as such but relied upon the generosity of others to care for you during your years of ministry. Help me, I pray, to learn to live with a greater trust in your providence than in the wealth of this world.

St. Heribert, bishop of cologne, pray for us.

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