READINGS for 2006-05-26

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?You feel sorrowful now, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice. And no one will take your joy from you.? ? John 16:22

Fr. Nil Guillamete tells this wonderful story about this beautiful branch that enjoyed life on the tree.
      One day a man passed by and admired its beauty. The next day, he cut it down and began its horrific transformation. First, the man stripped the leaves attached to the branch. This caused slight pains to the branch. Then, he gutted out the core, which really hurt. And while the branch was quivering in pain, the man placed it in a dark dry place.
      It stayed there for days, getting more and more despondent. Finally, the man released it from the dark place and the branch rejoiced. Only to be wounded once more, holes were made which once again caused pain. And then the man took a special cloth and rubbed the branch all over. He rubbed on and on, harder and harder, it felt like its skin was peeling off.
      Then he stopped, looked the branch over. The man beamed with pride and brought the branch to his lips. The branch thought he would kiss it but the man did more than that. He blew on the branch and the branch trembled and music flowed forth from its core.
      The man had transformed the branch into a beautiful flute, capable of so much more than it could, hanging on the tree. Tisha L.

Do we allow the Lord to fashion us to be capable of so much more?

Lord, fashion me in a way that you will be glorified.



Acts 18:9-18

Paul?s missionary journeys were not just short forays out into the pagan heartland of the Roman Empire. Here we are told that he stayed in Corinth for 18 months. I suppose that this makes a lot of sense when we remember that Paul set up Christian communities in many of the places that he visited and preached. This would undoubtedly have taken a lot of time and effort on his part.

9 One night in a vision the Lord said to Paul, ?Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.? 11 He settled there for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them. 12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal, 13 saying, ?This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.? 14 When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, ?If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews; 15 but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.? 16 And he drove them away from the tribunal. 17 They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. But none of this was of concern to Gallio. 18 Paul remained for quite some time, and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut because he had taken a vow.


Psalm 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R: God is King of all the earth.

1 [2] All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, 2 [3] for the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth. (R) 3 [4] He brings peoples under us; nations under our feet. 4 [5] He chooses for us our inheritance, the glory of Jacob, whom he loves. (R) 5 [6] God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. 6 [7] Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise. (R)


John 16:20-23

Often there is a path or time of suffering before entering into a profound joy just like the pains of a woman giving birth to her child. The joy of a newly born child far outweighs the pain experienced in giving birth. Let us pray for the cholars of the Church as they battle in their minds to better and fuller understanding of the mysteries of God. It may not be a physical pain they endure, but anyone who has undergone intensive study courses, knows the mental anguish of coming to grips with the process of learning.

 20 ?Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. 21 When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23 On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he  will give you.?

my reflections
The joy of a newly born child far outweighs the pain experienced in giving birth.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Frank Perretti?s novels that deal with intercession and spiritual warfare had raised people?s consciousness of the reality of forces that work against the establishment of Christ?s reign ? both human and demonic. But a few might have missed his underlying theme: the reality of Body of Christ. There was this scene in his novel Piercing the Darkness where the man of God was being attacked from all fronts and the angelic hosts couldn?t do much because they were waiting for intercessors. One of the angels said that there?s no one concerned, no one praying. The head of the angelic hosts remarked, ?They might be sleeping but there?s always a Remnant!? In biblical language, the Remnant were those who remained in Jerusalem after the sieges and exiles. The Remnant were the ones who remained faithful to Yahweh. In the light of the Incarnation, the term refers to all the baptized. In our reading today, the Lord encouraged Paul not to be afraid because He is with Paul. Furthermore, He assured Paul that there would be no one who would harm him because there were many in the city who were God?s people. There?s always a Remnant! God calls us today not just to be individuals who happen to worship the same Lord. That?s why we have something in common, like going to Sunday Eucharist or to a community prayer meeting, but the relationships is just accidental. No, the Lord?s assurance to Paul implies a character of those who are members of his Church, his Body. They have a relationship, not just with God, but also with each other. They don?t just go to the church building, smile at each other and then off they go their own ways. No, they are involved with each other?s life. This is the challenge for us today and for our Church communities. We need to be in relationship with each other. Another implication of being part of God?s
  people is that you care for each other practically when you are in the office, in the mall ? anywhere. Fellowship doesn?t end in church potlucks but extends to every area of one?s life. There?s always a Remnant. Let?s find each other once more. Bro. Noel C.

Over the coming days, start saying ?hello? and inviting people from church over for lunch, dinner or coffee. Start friendships and start with people at church that you don?t know or are not so acquainted with.

Father, I am part of your community of believers. Give me the grace to  reach out in friendship and establish relationships with others in my church. Bless me as I reach out and invite others to be truly in communion with my life. Amen.

St. Philip Neri, confessor, pray for us.

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