READINGS for 2006-05-31

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Blessed are you who believed?? ? Luke 1:45

It was the night before payday. My friend Anna had only twenty pesos in her wallet? good enough for her fare back home and a simple dinner of instant  noodles and bread. She couldn?t even have a snack.
      When she left the office around early evening, she felt very hungry. ?I hope somebody feeds me,? she told her officemate.
      While they were walking to the bus stop, a lady approached them and invited them to a nearby building for a short seminar. Normally, Anna wouldn?t entertain such invitations but this time she said yes.
      When they got there, they watched a video presentation of a popularm brand of shampoo. After the presentation, they were asked to comment on the product, and then came the best part of all: dinner was served! And they were given a token of gratitude of P100 for their time.
      Anna got what she wished for and even more. She never thought that God would be concerned with trivial matters. But God  knows our needs. Do you believe? Judith C.

Do we trust our Father to consider and give us our true needs?

Lord, grant us not what we want, but what we need.



Zephaniah 3:14-18 or Romans 12:9-16

There are many reasons that we should look to Mary as an example of Christian living and not the least of them is her willingness to serve others. She is  pregnant herself when she goes to aid her elderly cousin in her pregnancy. This action of Mary teaches us the spirit of true service lies in our willingness  to forget our own needs for the time being and focus on the greater needs of others. Let us pray for the grace to do this.

14 Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. 16 On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! 17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, 18 as one sings at festivals. I will remove disaster from among you, so that none may recount your disgrace.


Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

R: Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

2 God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. 3 With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation. (R) 4 Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. (R) 5 Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. 6 Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel! (R)


Luke 1:39-56

Mary?s song of praise that she shares with Elizabeth is used every evening in the Prayer of the Church. It is a reminder to us of all that the Lord has done in our lives and thus our need to give praise and thanks to God for His goodness to us. Let us heed this call on a daily basis and thus never forget His blessings. Presumption is a terrible thing especially when it causes us to forget such a great gift as that of our salvation.

39 During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary?s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 cried out in a loud voice and said, ?Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.? 46 And Mary said: ?My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior. 48 For he has looked upon his handmaid?s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. 49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. 51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. 52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. 53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, 55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.? 56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

my reflections
The spirit of true service lies in our willingness to forget our own needs for the time being and focus on the greater needs of others.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





?He has remembered his loving kindness towards Israel his servant.? Mary echoes the fulfillment of what generations and generations of Jews before her had hoped for. They awaited the loving remembrance of the Lord. They believed that this remembrance of the Lord consist of mercy for the humble and oppressed and the sending of a savior.
      The word ?remember? in Koine Greek is very interesting. It connotes not just a recalling or a memory but a ?making present? of what is being remembered through that act of remembering. Lost already? It simply means that the moment one ?remembers,? one is transported to that event or thing or person remembered. This is how we understand the Eucharist ? a making present of the Cross in our midst. When Mary spoke of the remembrance of God, she was proclaiming that the mercy of God was in their midst through the Incarnation of Jesus.
      Jesus? presence in humanity through the Incarnation wasn?t just God?s initiative. Mary, on our behalf, summoned that presence through her yes. The Early Church Fathers would say that before Jesus was conceived in Mary?s womb, he was first conceived in Mary?s heart. Mary had seen the embodiment of God?s mercy in her own womb, because she made him present there through her life and her heart.
      Her care for Elizabeth, her act of mercy, shows that the mercy that God promised to Israel had already taken lodging in Mary?s person. We are called to ?remember? God?s mercy in places where His mercy is forgotten or even impossible to be made present.
      Like Mary, we must bring the Mercy of God ? Jesus ? through others. But we can?t summon Him unless he has first taken residence in our own lives. Bro. Noel C.

What is the place of your life where you need to ?remember,? that is, make present God?s mercy?

Come, Lord Jesus, come. Make present your mercy in my life as I reach out to others.

Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Elizabeth, pray for us.

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