READINGS for 2006-06-17

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no.? ? Matthew 5:37

When trying to build BEC?s (basic ecclesial communities) in our parish, one of the most common crosses I come face to face with are those times when people will assure me they?ll be attending our ?bukluran? (that?s a small bible sharing group) and yet they would not come.
      Even if a ?no? is a rejection, at least it would spare me the agony of waiting for nothing. ?Maybe?s won?t work? in God?s business. There?s no room for lukewarm ness, halfheartedness, doubts and needing to be sure.
      I bet Jesus and His apostles experienced so many rejections. And so with His many disciples from the early Christians down to the present century! And they endured because their YES was solid.
     Those who said ?yes? to join our BEC?s and were faithful meet regularly now in small communities in our parish and they are enjoying the fruits of community life. They have learned much. They have grown much. They?re on the way towards being true disciples. Cristy G

Do we stand firm in our commitment to the Lord?

Lord, let my lips declare only what is true and make my heart always true to You. Amen.



1 Kings 19:19-21

Most, if not all, leaders serve a term of apprenticeship before taking up their roles. This is a wise thing to do as it can help train them in the virtues of good leadership. This is true only if those training them are good leaders themselves. Thus it is easy to see how, when leadership is bad, this becomes a perpetual problem until there is some sort of revolution. Let us pray that the leaders who affect our lives will be holy and righteous men and women who fulfill their duty with diligence and generosity.

19 Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. 20 Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, ?Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.? ?Go back!? Elijah answered. ?Have I done anything to you?? 21 Elisha left him and, taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then he left and followed Elijah as his attendant.


Psalm 16:1-2 and 5, 7-8, 9-10

R: You are my inheritance. O Lord.

1 Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; 2 I say to the LORD, ?My Lord are you. 5 O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. (R) 7 I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. 8 I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; 10 because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. (R)


Matthew 5:33-37

It is wise to heed the wisdom of the ages that encourages us to avoid the extremes in life when it comes to choosing our life directions. Jesus is focusing here on our speech but the same applies to most, if not all, areas of our lives. Let us submit ourselves to the wisdom of the Scriptures and be vigilant with our speech. Let us seek to say what we mean, nothing more and nothing less. Let us also seek to moderate our commitments lest we make promises that we cannot fulfill.

33 ?Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ?Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.? 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God?s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 Let your ?Yes? mean ?Yes,? and your ?No? mean ?No.? Anything more is from the evil one.?

my reflections
Let us seek to say what we mean, nothing more and nothing less. Let us also seek to moderate our commitments lest we make promises that we cannot fulfill.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





I had my first close encounter with Pope John Paul the Great during the Xth World Youth Day in Manila. It was, for me, memorable and unexpected. I did not have the required security pass to come close to the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta during the afternoon vigil; I had a pass for the concluding Mass which was scheduled for the next day. So, I was not giving myself any hope to see the Holy Father at close range. Nevertheless, I went to Luneta that afternoon because I simply wanted to have a feel of the crowd. The experience was indeed beyond words. Then, I received a text message from my friend, the daughter of ex-Tourism Minister Jose Aspiras. Their family checked in at the Manila Hotel and they were able to get a nice room with a view of the Grandstand. So, I joined them up there for some refreshments. After sometime, Minister Aspiras with his driver-bodyguard decided to go down the hotel to explore some possibilities of getting near the Grandstand. He invited me to walk with him. None of us had any security pass, yet I was surprised that the police and army men in charge of cordoning off the back of the grandstand allowed us to get through. They recognized the face of Minister Aspiras. His ?face value? was enough to let the guards make us pass. Not long after we were inside the police precinct at the back of the Grandstand, the Popemobile arrived. I could not believe my luck. I was about two meters away as the Pope alighted from the vehicle.
      Pass is good; but ?face value? is better. In his words, Jesus stresses a parallel point. The true Christian needs no oath or sworn statement to convince others that he or she is trustworthy. His or her words should be enough ? ?yes? means ?yes,? and ?no? means ?no.? Integrity must be a cornerstone of his or her values. Fr. Domie G.

We live in a world of words ? spoken words, written words, electronic words. We are flooded with words ? words that inform, words that comment, words meant to inspire, words meant to persuade. We, ourselves, have succumbed to this culture of words. Easily we speak, write and share our words ? words of praise, words of criticism, words of promise. Many a times, we just flow with this culture of words ? unmindful of the consequences of our words.

Help us to be true to our words: that we really say what we mean, and that we really mean what we say. Then, we need not put more words upon our words. Amen.

St. Gregory Barbarigo, bishop confessor, pray for us.

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