READINGS for 2006-06-07
THE REJOICE ATTITUDE
Not according to our works but his grace and design... ? 2 Timothy 1:9
I had just finished meeting with a management steering committee overseeing my operations. The committee had wanted to limit my selling activities so that our plant capacity would be preserved for their company, which had the leasehold rights to the equipment in my operations. I had a heavy heart accepting that decision. It would have taken away my cherished business dreams and accomplishments. It was very difficult for me to accept, so much so that I had difficulty catching sleep.
Help me see that in every action, Lord, You are there to keep me joyful.
2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
Each of us has the responsibility to ensure that we continue to grow in the life of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Church leaders, the bishops and priests have a particular responsibility to provide teaching and formation, but the individual must ensure that they partake of what is offered. If nothing is offered, then the laity ought to demand that the Church provides it with formation. Without formation, our minds and ultimately our lives will waste away to uselessness. They are like muscles that fall into atrophy if they are not used on a regular basis.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2 to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. 6 For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. 8 So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. 9 He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed preacher and apostle and teacher.12 On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
P S A L M
Psalm 123:1-2, 2
R: To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes.
1 To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven. 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters. (R) As the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the LORD, our God, till he have pity on us. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus had every right to be totally frustrated with the hardheadedness of such a challenge. However, He calmly refutes the question with a very logical counterpunch. We can learn a lot from the attitude of Jesus here. Those of us who struggle with a quick temper would do well to meditate upon the level-headedness of Jesus and seek to grow in this grace in our lives.
18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and put this question to him, 19 saying, ?Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ?If someone?s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.? 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants. 21 So the second married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise. 22 And the seventh left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died. 23 At the resurrection [when they arise] whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.? 24 Jesus said to them, ?Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God? 25 When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. 26 As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ?I am the God of Abraham, [the] God of Isaac, and [the] God of Jacob?? 27 He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.?
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