READINGS for 2006-05-13
POWER IN JESUS? NAME
?If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.? ? John 14:14
Before my birthday, we received the news that my husband?s cousin, Angelito, had been abducted in Afghanistan. Thereafter, our focus was to inform as many relatives and friends about the situation with a request to pray.
I praise your holy name, O Jesus, for you have set me free!
The Jewish audience has rejected the Gospel message so Paul and Barnabas turn their attention to the pagans. They readily accepted the Gospel and embraced its call wholeheartedly. The Jews became jealous and began to form a group to disrupt the nascent communities that Paul and Barnabas were forming. It is a battle to proclaim the Gospel and sometimes we are not always successful as is the case here where Paul and Barnabas leave the place and head for Iconium in disgust.
44 On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. 46 Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, ?It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, ?I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.?? 48 The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, 49 and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region. 50 The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
P S A L M
Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
R: All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R)
G O S P E L
To meet Jesus is to meet the Father as He and the Father are one. Exactly what this divine communion of persons is and to know and understand how it works, we will have to wait until we join that communion definitively in the resurrection from the dead. However, we can begin to experience it in an imperfect way by uniting ourselves with the mission of Jesus in proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Through daily prayer and service of our brothers and sisters, we begin to live our final destiny of union with the Trinity.
God?s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Job 10-13
PIERCING THE DARKNESS
Antioch is a city that one day woke with Barnabas and Paul at their doorstep. They must have been a very hungry people ? hungry for spiritual things. Our reading today tell us that one early Saturday morning, they went to hear Paul speak. They heard of him the day before and perhaps his message resonated within their hearts. Paul stood up and spoke to them of his and Barnabas? commission as they read from Isaiah: ?I have made you a light to the nations so that my salvation may reach to the remotest part of the earth.? The Lord is making it clear that our following of him impacts others. A staunch atheist and great thinker, Nietzsche, said that for him to believe in Christ?s redemption, the Christians must first look redeemed. The hearts of Paul?s hearers were pierced by his message because his life authenticated his message. Paul was living a redeemed life. In the words of Philip Yancey, he was living a ?gracefilled? life. Our lives must communicate mercy and grace and love. Not prudishness. Not rigidity. Never cruelty in the name of righteousness. In that depressing classroom, that bickering office, with that harassing client or family member or friend, we are called to be a light. We are called to do the loving thing which leaves the other person feeling loved. We need to give out grace. It is hard when we are right or when we are the one wronged or the other person doesn?t want anything to do with us. But each act of grace, of mercy, of kindness pierces the darkness and paves the way for the Spirit to bring in God?s light. Our love for others can make them love God. We can only pierce the darkness with God?s grace if we live under the light ? when all areas of our life are under God?s scrutiny and correction. That means that our motto is, ?What would Jesus do, think and say?? Paul and Barnabas did not preach the Gospel. They lived it and in the midst of darkness they became light. Their light transformed lives for God. John Paul II was accurate in saying that this world doesn?t need teachers today but witnesses. Let the light of your way of life shine that the world will know and believe in the One you speak of. Bro. Noel C.
Father, pierce the darkness in my own heart. Let the light of your conviction come. What to I need to do today, Father, to be more loving, more graceful and more merciful to others? Send people across my way today that I could love and let me not reject them.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
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