READINGS for 2006-05-20
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them? ? Acts 16:7
A few years ago, I was looking for a place to rent for a restaurant that we were going to put up. I finally found one that was just the right size although a little steep for our budget.
Lead me, Lord, in the big and small decisions I have to make in my life every day.
Paul is not above an expedient action or two if it is going to assist him in the proclamation of the Gospel. He has Timothy circumcised even though he is adamant that it is not necessary for salvation! Paul must have had plans for Timothy to be working among Jewish Christians and thus, circumcision, while not absolutely necessary, would certainly be an expedient choice.
1 He reached [also] Derbe and Lystra where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, 3 and Paul wanted him to come along with him. On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem. 5 Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number. 6 They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, 8 so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas. 9 During [the] night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words, ?Come over to Macedonia and help us.? 10 When he had seen the vision, we sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
P S A L M
Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; 2 serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 5 The LORD is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)
G O S P E L
There will be times that we experience suffering, sometimes originating in ourselves, sometimes in others and sometimes as a result of natural events. While never good in itself, suffering can be turned to good when approached from a Christian perspective. When we unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ and when we endure them with faith and hope in the Lord, they become, with Jesus? passion and death on the cross, redemptive. In fact, it is such redemptive suffering that most fully becomes a sacrament, a making present, of Christ?s sufferings in our world today.
18 ?If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you, ?No slave is greater than his master.? If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Job 40-42
GOD IS NOT SAFE BUT HE IS GOOD
The word ?disciple? literally means follower. In those days the master would walk and the disciple would trace his footsteps. Jesus? disciples knew this and knew the weight of the words when Jesus said: ?If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.? Jesus was being realistic. He knew that the life he offers them is more akin to a wild adventure than a stroll in the park. He?s not giving them false hopes but telling them, ?Look, this is going to be a bumpy ride, but if you would hang on until the end, you would get to the destination safely and even enjoy the scenery as we go along.? Jesus knew that after He had spoken those words, it would only be hours before He was led to the Cross and His disciples roamed around frightened like hunted men. He knew that it is costly to be a disciple and he wanted his followers to count the cost. C.S. Lewis wrote beautifully in the Chronicles of Narnia about Aslan, the King. When the children learned that Aslan was a lion and not a man, one of them quipped: ?But is he safe?? The answer was, ?No. Aslan is not safe but he is good.? C. S. Lewis had this amazing insight about the God we follow. We don?t follow a safe God because the God we follow would require us to make tough decisions for and against things that are convenient. We would be labeled narrowminded, stubborn, naive, self-righteous, cruel and even evil because we dare not trade the Christian way for a lesser one, for a compromised one. This is the ideal that we ought to follow. There is no room for compromise even in the name of goodness. We are called to compassion and to love those who persecute us but we are never called to be condescending or comfortable by giving in and easing the pressures of Christian life. We need to remind our selves that God is not safe but He is good. He doesn?t send us alone just like a good master. He paves the way for us and all we have to do is follow His footsteps. It would still be a bumpy ride but he goes before us. Jesus? words in the Gospel today must waken our hearts from complacency and cause us to renew our commitment to follow him unswervingly. The way of the Master is the only way for the disciple. Bro. Noel C.
Lord, I know that the way of the Master is the only way for the disciple. I choose that path that you placed for me and I commit my self to following you in face of difficulties and trials. I know it?s going to be a bumpy ride at times but let me know to trust You. Let me know deep within that though You are not safe, You are good. Amen.
St. Bernardine of Siena, confessor, pray for us.
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