READINGS for 2006-05-11
As John?s career was coming to an end? ? Acts 13:25
There was a man who had three sons. The eldest was a handsome and intelligent boy. ?You, son, will be a doctor someday,? he proudly announced.
Lord, loving you is my main business. Let everything else fall into the shadows.
Paul always begins by going to the Jewish congregation in the city to which he has come. This makes eminent sense as they have the necessary background to understand the Gospel more easily than most. However, he often encounters hardness of heart among the Jews. They do not want to listen! How true this is today. It is often those who think they are most religious who are in the greatest need of evangelization. This can happen to us if we allow our good works and self-achieved holiness to take the fore over faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. But John left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered [into] the synagogue and took their seats. 15 After the reading of the law and the prophets, the synagogue officials sent word to them, ?My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.? 16 So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, ?Fellow Israelites and you others who are God-fearing, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. With uplifted arm he led them out of it 18 and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert. 19 When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance 20 at the end of about four hundred and fifty years. After these things he provided judges up to Samuel [the] prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king. God gave them Saul, son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 Then he removed him and raised up David as their king; of him he testified, ?I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish.? 23 From this man?s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. 24 John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; 25 and as John was completing his course, he would say, ?What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.??
P S A L M
Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27
R: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
1  The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. 2  For you have said, ?My kindness is established forever?; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. (R) 20  I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, 21  that my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong. (R) 24  My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him, and through my name shall his horn be exalted. 26  ?He shall say of me, ?You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior.??(R)
G O S P E L
The phrase ?I Am? is reminiscent of the name God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. The Jews would never pronounce it as they considered it too holy for them to speak. When Jesus uses this title, as He often does in John, He is clearly claiming divine status. Only God would dare to use that name and apply it to Himself! This self-assurance within Jesus of His divinity is characteristic of John?s Gospel in particular.
16 Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. 18 I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ?The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.? 19 From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. 20 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Job 1-5
DISCERNING THE GOD OF HISTORY
Most of us are disturbed, if not despairing, whenever we read the newspapers or watch the news on television. Not a few occasionally ask, ?What is the world coming to?? or even exclaim, ?We are all going downhill.? The reading today gives us hope. The Jews are under a great persecution and suffer one of the terrible dispersions in the history of Israel. There is no stability and everybody lives under a pseudo-peace called ?Pax Romana,? where there is no open conflict but it?s getting there. In this environment, Paul stands up to a people who were wondering, and began to speak. He didn?t so much address the spiritual repercussions of current events nor the answers the Church could give.
Examine how you react to a disturbing news commentary. Is it devoid of hope or perhaps even cynical? Ask Jesus to give you the eyes to see that he is still at work in our crazy world.
Lord Jesus, radicalize my vision. Let me see you at work in all aspects of our life and the world we live in. Put hope in my heart so that I wouldn?t miss your hand in the events of our history and convict me that although we may be living in evil times, You have already overcome. Amen.
St. Ignatius of Laconi, confessor, pray for us.
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