READINGS for 2006-03-18

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

CHRISTIAN DUTY

?Shepherd your people with your staff.? ? Micah 7:14

I manage a group of marketing personnel for a reputable real estate company. My main duties are to train, mentor, caddy, and monitor and manage their marketing activities. In my work, these two verses are my guide. ?In everything you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31) and ?? in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:17)?.
     One day, my Account Manager, obviously bothered, told me that her client was to postpone a real estate purchase because her client had to use the deposit money for a medical operation to correct a physical ailment. I called her client directly. After knowing her ailment, I offered to pray over her on the phone and told her to believe that Jesus Christ will heal and deliver her from her physical oppression; she agreed! A week later, she asked my Account Manager to pick up the check for her reservation deposit because the doctor told her that she need not undergo the operation. The Lord had healed her!  In John 21, Jesus said to Peter, feed my lambs, tend and feed my sheep and Peter replied ?Yes, Lord you know that I love you.? These then are my principal duties; and my personnel and clientele the Lord?s sheep for me to shepherd. Donna E.

REFLECTION:
Do you make sure you make the Lord?s business your business?

May the work of my hand glorify You, Lord.


 


COMPANION

1st READING

Micah 7:14-15,18-20

The desire of God is that we always pasture on spiritual food that will be beneficial to our growth in holiness. Yet, there are times when we refuse to follow Him and feast on things that leads us to sin. This is a tragedy for us and as source of frustration and sorrow to God. It helps no one at all! Let us seek to lessen our own and others? suffering by being more attentive to the ways in which God leads us.

14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, that dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old; 15 as in the days when you came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs. 18 Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, 19 and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins; 20 you will show faithfulness to Jacob, and grace to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.

P S A L M

Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

R: The Lord is kind and merciful.

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 3 He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. 4 He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. (R) 9 He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever. 10 Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. (R) 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward  those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 15:1-3,11-32

As we reflect upon the parable of the Prodigal Son let us pray for the grace to hear what God wants to say to us through the story. There are many messages here and it is important that we give the Lord the opportunity to address each of us individually. For this reason it is good to keep an open mind about what God might say to us. Is He calling us to repentance, or mercy, or greater love, or something else?

1 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, 2 but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, ?This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.? 3 So to them he addressed this parable. 11 Then he said, ?A man had two sons, 12 and the younger son said to his father, ?Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.? So the father divided the property between them. 13 After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. 14 When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. 15 So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. 16 And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. 17 Coming to his senses he thought, ?How many of my father?s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. 18 I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, ?Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.? 20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ?Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.? 22 But his father ordered his servants, ?Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.? Then the celebration began.25 Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. 27 The servant said to him, ?Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.? 28 He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 He said to his father in reply, ?Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. 30 But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.? 31 He said to him, ?My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. 32 But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and  has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.??

my reflections
think:
Is He calling us to repentance, or mercy, or greater love, or something else?

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God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________

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T O D A Y ? S BLESSING LIST

Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2Samuel 4-8

SABBATH

LOVING THE UNLOVABLE

Have you ever been confronted with a situation where you are pretty sure that the right thing to do is to reach out to a particular person and care for him but you were hesitant to do so because there was something unattractive about him? I am sure you have!
     Today?s parable can be interpreted along the above lines and even to the extent that we should not just take the easy path in life. In fact, the greater and higher call often involves embracing a challenge. To paraphrase a famous poet, ?Two paths diverged in the woods and I took the path less traveled and am the better for it.? Herein lies the crux of the matter ? very few good things in life are obtained cheaply, whether by monetary means or otherwise. There is usually a cost involved when pursuing a good or a dream. Think of the millions of men and women who have laid down their lives fighting wars for the causes of freedom and justice. Think of the martyrs for the Christian faith. These people have paid the highest price possible, and I hope we realize the debt that we owe them and their heritage.
     Jesus confronts the attitude that says holy and good people should not mix with the outcasts and sinners. If that is the case, then how on earth are they going to be challenged with the fact that there is another way to live their lives other than in the darkness of sin? If the father of the prodigal son did not welcome him home, what is the son going to do with his life? This is not an issue that we can ignore, or if we do, we do so at our own peril as I am sure that we will have to face some very difficult questions on Judgment Day. The good shepherd seeks out the lost sheep as he knows that its life is in mortal danger. In the same way, we should be seeking out those who are lost in their sin and inviting them back into communion with society and the Body of Christ. There is safety in numbers and so the shepherd will leave the 99 and go in search of the lost sheep. Let us not fall into complacency and sin by being indifferent to the welfare of those struggling around us. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
What am I doing in order to reach out to my brothers and sisters who have lost their way and are caught up in sin? Am I doing enough in this regard?

Lord Jesus, You came to seek and save the lost. You always reached out to those marginalized and rejected by society as they were in the greatest need. Lord, help me to overcome the desire to remain comfortable and secure in my way of life and learn how to reach out to those most in need.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop confessor, pray for us.




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