READINGS for 2006-06-02

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will put a belt around you and lead you where you do not wish to go.? ? John 21:18

In my work, it is inevitable that I encounter not-so-good behavior and attitude among my co-workers. Human resource development, being one of my areas of responsibility,  became a big challenge to me because systems improvement is also my  responsibility.
      It came to a point where I became frustrated because no matter how good the system I developed, its implementation would bog down because of the people factor. Not only that, there were days when the office became like a war-zone where people kept on blaming one another for mistakes.
      Where do I figure in, in such instances? Sometimes, to be honest, I get carried away by the rising temperature in the office. But at most, I am able to step back and see the whole picture and ask myself why I am there.
      In the depth of my heart, I know God put me there for a purpose. And so I stay and try to become God?s leaven in the marketplace that?s our Company. TessVA

You are where you are for a purpose. Can you see it?

Lord, help me to fulfill Your purpose in leading me to this place and time in my life history.



Acts 25:13-21

Paul, being a citizen of Rome has the right to appeal to a higher court and he uses it. I doubt that Paul thought he was going to get a better result there but at least it would give him further opportunity to preach the Gospel to some more people! I think, that by this time in his life, Paul had pretty much a one-track mind. He was going to preach the Gospel come what may and whatever the cost! Let us pray for this sort of zeal in our own lives.

13 When a few days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. 14 Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul?s case to the king, saying, ?There is a man here left in custody by Felix. 15 When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. 16 I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. 17 So when [they] came together here, I made no delay; the next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. 19 Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. 20 Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. 21 And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor?s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.?


Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20

R: The Lord has established his throne in heaven.

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. (R) 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, all you his angels, you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.(R)


John 21:15-19

Peter is asked three times to affirm his allegiance to Jesus. Perhaps this is reminiscent of his threefold denial of Jesus at the time of His crucifixion ? perhaps it is a premonition of the difficulties that Peter will face as the leader of the Church. I am sure that there were many times that Peter would have felt like giving up and going back to the life of a simple fisherman. However, history tells us that he persevered to the end, which for him was being crucified upside down. Christ could not ask any more from his chief shepherd here on earth.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ?Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?? He said to him, ?Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.? He said to him, ?Feed my lambs.? 16 He then said to him a second time, ?Simon, son of John, do you love me?? He said to him, ?Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.? He said to him, ?Tend my sheep.? 17 He said to him the third time, ?Simon, son of John, do you love me?? Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, ?Do you love me?? and he said to him, ?Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.? [Jesus] said to him, ?Feed my sheep. 18 Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.? 19 He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, ?Follow me.?

my reflections
Paul was going to preach the Gospel come what may and whatever the cost! Let us pray for this kind of zeal in our own lives



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





My experiences of accompanying various renewal communities in their spiritual walk make me realize this: many community members, sooner or later, find their community leaders a stumbling block to their prayer life, and the discouragement of their commitment to ministry. These brothers and sisters basically express the same thing. They allege that the community leaders fail to ?walk their talk? and therefore they give poor witnessing of Christian values in their thoughts, words and actions.
      Our Gospel today is a revelation. Peter, the first one to be given the charge of the community of disciples, was himself a weakling. He denied Jesus three times. Yet, Jesus also reiterated to him three times: ?Feed my lamb,? ?Tend my sheep,? ?Feed my sheep.?
      For sure, Peter had some good qualities that Jesus appreciated. He was courageous;
  he had a good sense of initiative; he was transparent in expressing his thoughts and sentiments. Peter was also not perfect, and ? I believe ? Jesus did not expect him to be truly blameless in all his ways. For Jesus, however, someone had to lead the company of disciples after he was gone ? and that was Peter.
      The lessons are then very clear:
      1) Christian leadership is not a matter of personal perfection and trustworthiness. It is a matter of God?s grace and God?s election.
      2) Imperfections in a Christian leader can positively lead the person to a disposition of humility before God.
      3) When open to divine gifting, the imperfect Christian leader ? like Peter ? acts more on the basis on love and compassion, rather than intelligence and logic.
      4) The Christian leader, in all his personal struggles and imperfections, is accountable to God. The task of the flock is not to criticize and put down the leader, but to implore God?s grace for such a person who has been given as a gift to the community. Fr. Domie G.

Take the time to intercede for all the Christian leaders you know.

Lord, bless our leaders. In their imperfection, love them back to Your true ways. And grant me the grace to love them in spite of their faults.

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs, pray for us.

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