READINGS for 2006-04-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



 ??praise the Lord, for He has rescued the Life of the poor?. ? Jeremiah 20:13b

Everybody wanted to give their own version of the State of the Nation Address. Many were angrily crying out that their agenda for reform would bring about the needed changes to save our nation and its people. Everybody claimed that their path was the right road to take. It polarized and confused the citizenry on which path to take. The wedge of rift was so deep; and yet the objectives were similar ? to save the poor. But the magnitude of polarization had paralyzed the economy, making the poor much poorer.
      In the car, I listened to the driver talking about his share of the difficult plight of their own poverty. His family of four living in a five square meter room and he had to do multiple jobs ? a janitor during the day, a tricycle driver in the evening and a car driver on week ends. Yet despite his conditions, he was thankful to the Lord for their daily threemeal provisions and for giving him children who excelled in school. He was not angry at his situation because the Lord showed him the path.
     If we take the path that Jesus wants us to take, there will be no polarization. With Jesus uniting us, we can battle poverty. Rolly E.

Are you part of the solution or the problem?

Grant us wisdom, Lord, to know which can be a solution to the problem of poverty.



Jeremiah 20:10-13

This is the classic Jeremiah text. He complains about all of his suffering at the hands of the people and then he virtually demands to be vindicated by God taking revenge for him. Maybe this is a little harsh on Jeremiah but the text certainly lends itself to this interpretation. I like to see it this way as it makes for a more human sort of a prophet. It assures me that Jeremiah is rooted in his humanity and thus I can relate to him all the more easily. Let us pray that we will be able to persevere through all the many situations that we encounter in life.

10 Yes, I hear the whisperings of many, ?Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him!? All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. ?Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.? 11 But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. 12 O LORD of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause. 13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!


Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7

R: In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

1 [2] I love you, O LORD, my strength, 2 [3] O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. (R) My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold! 3 [4] Praised be the LORD, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies. (R) 4 [5] The breakers of death surged round about me, the destroying floods overwhelmed me; 5 [6] the cords of the nether world enmeshed me, the snares of death overtook me. (R) 6 [7]  In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried out to my God; from his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. (R)


John 10:31-42

Sometimes obedience to God and the His command to love can bring us into conflict with the laws of the land. When this happens we need to be ready to stand firmly behind our Christian convictions even if it means that we may suffer for them. The nature of the Gospel is such that this is necessary if we are not going to compromise our witness to our faith in God. We should obviously pray that we will not have to face such a situation but we will certainly meet a similar challenge often in terms of having to stand up for our convictions in the face of the opposition of those around us. Let us pray for the grace to stand firm in the truth.

31 The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. 32 Jesus answeredthem, ?I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?? 33 The Jews answered him, ?We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.? 34 Jesus answered them, ?Is it not written in your law, ?I said, ?You are gods?? 35 If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside, 36 can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ?I am the Son of God?? 37 If I do not perform my Father?s works, do not believe me; 38 but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.? 39 [Then] they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. 40 He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. 41 Many came to him and said, ?John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.?  42 And many there began to believe in him.

my reflections
Are you able to be fully human before God as Jeremiah was?



God?s special verse/thought for me today______________________



Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________





Blasphemy is any sacrilegious act done against God. Taking the name of God in vain is blasphemy. Attempting to make God an accomplice to do evil is blasphemy. Using the things of God for evil ends is blasphemy.
      But is not taking up rocks to stone someone to death a blasphemy, too? It is God who gives life to everyone and He alone, therefore, has the right to take it back. Is not persecuting someone under the guise of religious fervor blasphemy, too? Religion falls under the category of ?things? of God. Is not manipulating God to preserve the status quo blasphemous, too? God should never be manipulated and exploited for whatever purpose.
     When we are concerned about the sanctity of God but are neglectful of the sanctity of human life, we blaspheme. When we are on fire for God but are cold-hearted toward those who do not share our faith, we blaspheme. When we are preoccupied with our causes ? no matter how praiseworthy they are ? but are manipulative and exploitative of God, we are blasphemous.
     Blasphemy should include all sacrilegious acts done against God towards man. When we love God but hate one another, we are guilty of blasphemy because God dwells in each of us. When we persecute and kill in the name of religion, we are very guilty of blasphemy because godly causes have nothing to do with oppression and murder. When we manipulate and exploit God for anything thing, we are guilty of blasphemy because in doing so we are playing gods.
     Because He claimed to be the Son of God, Jesus was crucified. While sedition was the crime that His enemies accused Him of before the Roman Procurator, their primary allegation against Jesus was blasphemy. But His enemies were just as guilty of blasphemy as Jesus was, for in their heart of hearts they all long to be a child of God and even called their nation, Israel, God?s first-born. Look who?s talking! They must have a wrong understanding of blasphemy, if not totally twisted by them to suit their own agenda?blasphemous! Fr. Bobby T.

Blasphemy is not only about the wrong we do against God; it is also about the evil we commit against man who was created in the image and likeness of God.

Forgive me, Lord; I blasphemed. Amen.

St. John Baptist De La Salle, confessor, pray for us.

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