READINGS for 2006-06-14

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.? ? Matthew 5:17

He was a priest like no other. At Gospel reading during Mass, he would have all noisy electric fans turned-off; or would stop reading when he heard toddlers cry because he wanted the Word heard. He did extraordinary things for a cause to raise the awareness of people on relevant and current issues. You would see him on TV alongside frightened and downtrodden people.
      Even those who serve at our parish where he was parish priest misunderstood him and this I thought was because they could not stand up to the firmness of his convictions. At a Christ the King procession, he wanted placards saying: No to Smoking and Vices, which the parishioners would not carry. They said he was too much of a nonconformist. But rather I saw him as a conformist. He was teaching what Jesus was teaching. People saw him as a radical because he shook people out of comfort zones. Jesus did the same to the Pharisees.
      St. Paul says not conform ourselves to the world. Conforming to the world has complicated and corrupted our lives. Be a conformist by living a simple life according to what Jesus teaches! Rolly E.

Have I become too complacent in my life that I no longer follow Jesus?

Lord Jesus, teach me your ways.



1 Kings 18:20-39

Elijah prevails in the competition with the prophets of Baal. More correctly we should say that it is the God of Elijah who prevails in the contest against the gods of the other prophets. This is a definitive victory in the mind of the author as he further relates that Elijah proceeds to kill all the prophets of Baal to get rid of their influence in the nation of Israel. Unfortunately, it was not long before new false prophets arose and won the hearts of the people over to their false gods. It is important for us to be diligent in our own lives that once we repent of our sin that we work hard not to fall back into the same sin.

20 So Ahab sent to all the Israelites and had the prophets assemble on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah appealed to all the people and said, ?How long will you straddle the issue? If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.? The people, however, did not answer him. 22 So Elijah said to the people, ?I am the only surviving prophet of the LORD, and there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. 23 Give us two young bulls. Let them choose one, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood, but start no fire. I shall prepare the other and place it on the wood, but shall start no fire. 24 You shall call on your gods, and I will call on the LORD. The God who answers with fire is God.? All the people answered, ?Agreed!? 25 Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, ?Choose one young bull and prepare it first, for there are more of you. Call upon your gods, but do not start the fire.? 26 Taking the young bull that was turned over to them, they prepared it and called on Baal from morning to noon, saying, ?Answer us, Baal!? But there was no sound, and no one answering. And they hopped around the altar they had prepared. 27 When it was noon, Elijah taunted them ?Call louder, for he is a god and may be meditating, or may have retired, or may be on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.? 28 They called out louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until blood gushed over them. 29 Noon passed and they remained in a prophetic state until the time for offering sacrifice. But there was not a sound; no one answered, and no one was listening. 30 Then Elijah said to all the people, ?Come here to me.? When they had done so, he repaired the altar of the LORD which had been destroyed. 31 He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the LORD had said, ?Your name shall be Israel.? 32 He built an altar in honor of the LORD with the stones, and made a trench around the altar large enough for two seahs of grain. 33 When he had arranged the wood, he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood. 34 ?Fill four jars with water,? he said, ?and pour it over the holocaust and over the wood.? ?Do it again,? he said, and they did it again. ?Do it a third time,? he said, and they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar, and the trench was filled with the water. 36 At the time for offering sacrifice, the prophet Elijah came forward and said, ?LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things by your command. 37 Answer me, LORD! Answer me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses.? 38 The LORD?S fire came down and consumed the holocaust, wood, stones, and dust, and it lapped up the water in the trench. 39 Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, ?The LORD is God! The LORD is God!?


Psalm 16:1-2, 4, 5 and 8, 11

R: Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

1 Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; 2 I say to the LORD, ?My Lord are you. (R) 4 They multiply their sorrows who court other gods. Blood libations to them I will not pour out, nor will I take their names upon my lips. (R) 5 O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. 8 I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) 11 You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)


Matthew 5:17-19

The commandments are still central to the life of the Christian. In no way whatsoever has Christ made them redundant! In fact, what Christ has done is to give us the power to fulfill them through the grace and gift of the Holy Spirit. As we seek to live holy lives let us build them upon the firm foundation of the commandments lived through the power and grace of the Holy Spirit rather than our own will to do good. Let us allow the love of God to transform our lives, and, at the same time, to give us the means by which to fulfill the Law.

17 ?Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.?

my reflections
: The commandments are still central to the life of the Christian.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





After celebrating the Eucharist for one of my friends who just lost her mother, I dined with them. I then discovered that although my friend and her husband are very good Catholics, a good number of their children ? products of well-known Catholic universities and colleges ? have crossed over to Christian fellowship groups. I asked what attracted them to such fellowship services, and they said, ?We find the Word alive in their worship.?
      Indeed, for a number of young people who have a lot of questions about life and its meaning, the so-called ?Bible-based? lengthy teachingcum- exhortation in fellowship groups seems very attractive. This is also because the pastors in these groups reflect on the Word of God with very practical applications: ?Steps to Happiness,? ?Christian Attitudes at Work,? etc.
      Probably, there can be no people more exacting about the Word of God in Scriptures than the Jews of Jesus? time. The Pharisees and scribes spent their lives putting ?hedges? around the do?s and don?t?s that the Law and Tradition of Moses transmitted to them. Jesus, however, underlines that the Word of God and the observance of it, is not an end in itself.
      ?Bible-based? Christians often blame Catholics for being too tied up with rites and rituals. However, ?Bible-based? Christians may begin to unconsciously hang on the written Word of Scriptures as ?relics? that they begin to absolutize!
      The Word of God is a guide ? a pedagogue. It is meant to make us receptive to the inspiration of the Spirit. It is with theSpirit that we are able to live what the Bible says in a righteousness way that is not slavish, but heartfelt. Fr. Domie G.

Make this a part of your Morning Prayer: Invoke the Spirit to be your guide and teacher in your prayers, in your livelihood, in your ministry. Ask the Spirit to always make you young, open, malleable, teachable, and enthusiastic for newness.

Holy Spirit, be my guide and teacher. Keep me young, open and malleable, enthusiastic.

St. Methodius I Patriarch of Constantinople, pray for us.

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