READINGS for 2006-04-23

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

LOVE IS NOT A BURDEN

?For the love of God is this, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.? ? 1 John 5:3

The woman lay on the abortionist?s table and stared at the glare of the lights above her. Could she really do this?
      All around her, the nurses and doctor?s assistants were doing their duties clinically, without sparing her a glance. This was all so common to them. Surely that meant that other people had done this and had lived with their conscience.
      Of course she could do this, she told herself. It wasn?t like she didn?t already have three other children. It was just that having a fourth would be too much for her and her husband. Money was difficult to come by. So sorry, baby, but you have to go.
      Abruptly she stood up. She caught the eye of one of clinic personnel. She shook her head and walked out of the operating room.
      That day, a life was saved.
      Thirty years later, this human life was the salvation of his family. The boy who would have been murdered that day, became the provider of his family.
      This is a true story.
      One of the millions that we never hear of.
Love God. Obey His commandments.
      They are not burdensome. Rosanna M.

REFLECTION:
The stone that was rejected has become a cornerstone.

Lord may mothers learn to love their children more, especially the ones still inside their wombs.

COMPANION

1st READING

Acts 4:32-35

The witness of the life of the Early Church in the Acts of the Apostles should always be seen as a guide for us today. While it may not be practical to imitate its structure in totality, the essence of what the Church was then should be the same as what it is today. The critical aspect of Church life mentioned in the reading today is that the believers were of one heart and one mind. This does not mean that they all believed exactly the same thing in every matter at hand. However, it does indicate there was a unity of purpose and vision in their corporate lives.

32 The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. 34 There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, 35 and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.

P S A L M  

Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

R: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.

2 Let the house of Israel say, ?His mercy endures forever.? 3 Let the house of Aaron say, ?His mercy endures forever.? 4 Let those who fear the LORD say, ?His mercy endures forever.? (R) 13 I was hard pressed and was falling, but the LORD helped me. 14 My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. 15 The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. (R) 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. 24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us be   glad and rejoice in it. (R)


2nd READING  

1 John 5:1-6

When we love someone it places demands upon the way that we relate to them. This is a simple way of saying that our love is meaningless unless it is backed up by action. Let us ensure that we are willing to support our words of love with action. If we  are not willing to lay down our lives in service of others, let us not pretend that we love them but pray for the grace to take this extra step in order to make our love real.

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the father loves [also] the one begotten by him. 2 In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. 5 Who [indeed] is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth.

G O S P E L

John 20:19-31

The Octave of Easter is sometimes referred to as Divine Mercy Sunday whereby we remember that mercy is essential to our understanding of love. Jesus breathes His Holy Spirit upon the apostles and commissions them to loose the sins of the people. The tremendous Sacrament of Reconciliation has its roots in this commission of Jesus. Let us avail of the Sacrament regularly and so be drawn ever more deeply into the merciful and forgiving love of our God.

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ?Peace be with you.? 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 [Jesus]   said to them again, ?Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.? 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ?Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.? 24 Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, ?We have seen the Lord.? But he said to them, ?Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.? 26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, ?Peace be with you.? 27 Then he said to Thomas, ?Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be believing, but believe.? 28 Thomas answered and said to him, ?My Lord and my God!? 29 Jesus said to him, ?Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.? 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

my reflections
think
: Our love is meaningless unless it is backed up by action.

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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 1Chronicles 30-33

SABBATH PAUSE 

My weekly time with God

THANK YOU LIST

Things to be grateful
  for from the past week

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SPECIAL NEEDS

Things to ask God for
  in the coming week

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HIDDEN TREASURE

Most important word God
  told me this week

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SABBATH

Divine Mercy Sunday

MERCY NOT JUSTICE

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and revealed to her the infinite font of His mercy, inviting all of us to draw out, without fear, mercy from the ocean of His inexhaustible love. ?Mercy,? St. Faustina said, ?is God?s greatest attribute.?
      Which do you prefer: God?s justice or God?s mercy? What do you ask of Him: justice or mercy? If you pray for justice, then you have already been found guilty and are doomed to the punishments your sins deserve. If you beg for mercy, then you?ve also been found guilty but are undeservedly justified.
      During the reign of Alexander the Great, there was a soldier who broke the ranks in the middle of a battle and fled for his own life. Death was the punishment reserved for soldiers who escaped the battlefield. When the fleeing soldier was caught, the verdict was immediately handed down: guilty. The punishment: death by the sword. The mother of the condemned soldier went to Alexander and pleaded.
      ?Mercy on my son, Great Emperor,? the mother begged with tears.
      ?Mercy? But your son does not deserve mercy!? shouted Alexander.
      ?Yes, Great Emperor,? the mother dared to speak again, ?my son does not deserve mercy. For if he does, then it is not mercy at all.?
      Amazed at the mother?s wisdom and love, Alexander spared the soldier his head. Yes, mercy is God?s greatest attribute. But who deserves it? Not me. Do you? 
      Which do you prefer: justice or mercy? Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Do I demand justice from others but beg for mercy from God? A theologian once said, ?Mercy is justice-anticipated.?

?Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.? Amen. (From the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy)

St. Adalbert of Pargue, bishop martyr, pray for us.




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