READINGS for 2006-05-08
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, saying, ?You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.? ? Acts 11:2-3
My friend was sitting at a pew waiting for Mass to begin. Just as the Eucharistic celebration started, another friend slipped into the same pew. Friend A was sure that Friend B had seen her. So when the latter didn?t even say hi, resentment began to build up in Friend A. ?Look at this girl! She didn?t even bother to say hi,? she thought to herself.
Dear Lord, remind me that the measure with which I measure others, will be measured out to me.
Peter affirms that the Gospel is to go to the Gentiles! That is, the salvation won for us by Jesus is the same for all men and women of all time. This may be obvious to us who can look back on 2000 years of history to this effect. However, it would have been an extremely radical change for anyone of Jewish heritage used to the idea that they, the Jews alone, were God?s Chosen People. Let us pray for the grace that we will live up to the broader understanding of this title.
1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, 3 saying, ?You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.? 4 Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying, 5 ?I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when in a trance I had a vision, something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. 6 Looking intently into it, I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. 7 I also heard a voice say to me, ?Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.? 8 But I said, ?Certainly not, sir, because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.? 9 But a second time a voice from heaven answered, ?What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.? 10 This happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into the sky. 11 Just then three men appeared at the house where we were, who had been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man?s house. 13 He related to us how he had seen [the] angel standing in his house, saying, ?Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 14 who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.? 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, 16 and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ?John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.? 17 If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?? 18 When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, ?God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.?
P S A L M
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3, 4
R: A thirst is my soul for the living God.
1  As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2  Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? 43: 3 Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. 4 Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! (R)
G O S P E L
The dynamics of a flock of sheep on the move is quite interesting. Once one sheep has crossed a bridge, the flock will invariably follow without much trouble. Once the path has been blazed, the rest of the flock willingly follows the example of the leader. This is how it should be with Jesus and us. He is the Good Shepherd who leads His sheep by example. Let us pray for the grace to be willing followers that cause as little trouble to the shepherd as possible.
1 ?Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. 5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.? 6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 7 So Jesus said again, ?Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came [before me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Esther 4-5
THE STRANGER?S VOICE
The greatest distance is the distance between the heart and the mind. There are truths in our heads that we believe in and adhere to but there?s the poverty of our hearts: we haven?t experienced in the guts what we believe in our heads.
Let me hear Your voice, loving Shepherd. Draw me to your heart so I could feel your heartbeat. Do not let the enemy steal from me what I receive from You. I trust in You alone. Your goodness restores my soul.
St. Magdalene of Canossa, virgin, pray for us.
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