READINGS for 2006-05-30
MORE TO LIFE
I consider life of no importance? ? Acts 20:24
When I saw Connie, a close friend of mine, dying before my very eyes, my life changed. On the way to the hospital my wife and I were arguing and fighting about things that seemed so big. But as we opened the door to Connie?s room and saw her gasping for every breath and Titus, her husband, could do nothing but hold her hand and kiss her forehead, all the ?big things? became so petty. She clung to him like nothing else mattered.
Teach me to set my sights beyond what is trivial. Teach me to wisely discern exactly what is trivial in Your eyes.
Paul does not seem to be too concerned about a future in prison awaiting him. He profoundly trusts that the Spirit has everything under control and is willing to wait and see what happens. But he does not give up proclaiming the Gospel. As we will see he continues to entertain visitors while under house arrest and never ceases to take up the opportunity to preach to the guards as well! Let us pray that we will be as innovative as Paul when it comes to our turn to share the Gospel with others.
17 From Miletus he had the presbyters of the church at Ephesus summoned. 18 When they came to him, he addressed them, ?You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, 20 and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. 21 I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, 23 except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. 24 Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God?s grace. 25 ?But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. 26 And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, 27 for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.?
P S A L M
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
R: Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth.
9  A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance; you restored the land when it languished; 10  your flock settled in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy. (R) 19  Blessed day by day be the Lord, who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation. 20  God is a saving God for us; the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death. (R)
G O S P E L
?The Hour? is an important concept in John?s Gospel. It is Jesus? designation that He uses to refer to His Passion, a time critical to His mission. ?The Hour? refers to that critical moment where our salvation is wrought when Jesus dies on the cross. It is indeed, a critical hour in human history as from that time on the world is never the same ? salvation for all people, indeed all creation has become a concrete possibility.
1 When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said, ?Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, 2 just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him. 3 Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. 4 I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. 6 ?I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, 8 because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, 10 and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.?
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Psalm 59-67
We admire people who are convinced they ?have a calling? and follow through with it. We might admire them from a distance but we could always feel uneasy at their presence. Imagine watching TV with Mother Teresa. We admire them not because of what they proclaim but of what they lived. They didn?t just tell the world that they have a mission but they followed through and lived dangerous lives. We also admire them because we have in our simple hearts that seed of calling. We once dared to imagine how to live dangerously ? giving our all for a singular cause. But most of us have trodden the ordinary and crushed our desires to live out extraordinarily. We delegated holiness and heroism to the saints and we forfeited the opportunities to be radical in living the Gospel.
Father, free me from mediocrity. Let me follow through until the end. Awaken in me that desire for greatness ? the desire to be radical in my loving. Amen.
St. Joan of Arc, virgin and martyr, pray for us.
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