READINGS for 2006-06-25

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?? ? Mark 4: 40

There is a tumult in my brain. A monster in my thoughts. A driving hectoring pain.
      Have you ever encountered so many problems it feels like there?s a huge storm inyour head and you?re lost at sea with no help in sight? Each problem needs careful consideration and what seems to be a solution creates even more problems. Pretty soon you?re losing sleep and you end up not doing anything at all because you feel so helpless before all the monumental tasks facing you.
      It is times like these that I want to check into a mental institution just to escape. Or maybe go on vacation and not tell anyone about it. Or maybe I?ll develop some horrendous disease that people will feel sorry for me and stop giving me problems. But of course, none of these things happen.
      Instead I enter a chapel, kneel before the altar, and cast my cares unto Him. Because I know, even if it may seem He?s insensitive to my woes, there is no one else who can help me deal with my cross. And because I lean on Him, because I trust Him to deliver me from harm, the storm that rages inside quietly dies down. He gives me calmness, strength and comfort. He is my Savior in more ways than one. Cez L.

Do your problems seem insurmountable?

Cast your cares upon Him. Go on, He?s just waiting. Be still, and know that I am God.



Job 38:1,8-11

Even though Job refuses to curse God, he is not beyond putting a few difficult questions to Him. Now God gives Job the answer to his questions. God is the ultimate master of everything. He has even defeated the powers of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Whether we or Job like it we are subject to Him. If we are smart we will learn to work with His will and not against it. In all of this it is important to remember that just because evil happens to us does not mean we deserve it as such. Sin is unjust and thus the effects of sin often reach beyond the perpetrator to the innocent.

1 Then the LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said: 8 And who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; 9 when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? 10 When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, 11 and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!


Psalm 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31

R: Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.

23 They who sailed the sea in ships, trading on the deep waters, 24 these saw the works of the LORD and his wonders in the abyss. (R) 25 His command raised up a storm wind which tossed its waves on high. 26 They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths; their hearts melted away in their plight. (R) 28 They cried to the LORD in their distress; from their straits he rescued them. 29 He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, and the billows of the sea were stilled. (R) 30 They rejoiced that they were calmed, and he brought them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his kindness and his wondrous deeds to the children of men. (R)


2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Paul affirms that we must live as new creations in Christ. There is no longer any excuse to live subject to the powers of sin and death as Jesus has conquered these for us. As believers in Christ we are called to live under the new reign of His Spirit as redeemed sons and daughters of God. Let us pray for the grace to open our hearts to the fruits of the Gospel and to live and bear them in our lives.

14 For the love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. 15 He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. 17 So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Mark 4:35-41

Jesus does not demonstrate His power of the natural elements in order to show off! He does do in order to convince His disciples of His divinity and authority. If He is going to win them to His side to be His disciples, then He is going to have to convince them that to lay down their lives for Him and the Kingdom of God will be worth the cost of their lives! The call for the first disciples is the same call that Christ makes to us ? namely to follow Him on the path of eternal life and to encourage others to do the same.

35 On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, ?Let us cross to the other side.? 36 Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. 38 Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, ?Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?? 39 He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ?Quiet! Be still!? The wind ceased and there was great calm. 40 Then he asked them, ?Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?? 41 They were filled with great awe and said to one another, ?Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey??

my reflections
The effects of sin often reach beyond the perpetrator to the innocent.



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Things to ask God for in the coming week





Most important word God told me this week





St. Barnabas
 Apostle (first century)

We are also men, of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.?

St. Barnabas, one of the earliest missionaries in the church, played a vital role in spreading and translating the gospel to a gentile audience. His story appears in the Acts of the Apostles. There he is originally introduced as a Cypriot Jew named Joseph, whom the apostles renamed Barnabas (?Son of encouragement?) after he sold his property and donated the proceeds to the church.
      Though Barnabas was not one of the original Twelve, St. Luke terms him an apostle on account of his having received a special commission from the Holy Spirit. One of his first and most fruitful contributions was to vouch for St. Paul, the recent convert, who was still feared by the other apostles for his previous persecution of the church. Later Barnabas was sent on a preaching mission to Antioch. As his labors there bore fruit he sent for Paul to join him; together they implanted a thriving church. According to Acts, it was in Antioch that ?the disciples were for the first time called Christians.?
      It was to this worshiping community that ?the Holy Spirit said, ?Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.? Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.? So Barnabas and Paul set off on the first formal overseas missionary journey, first to Cyprus (where they converted a Roman pro-consul) and then to the mainland of Asia Minor. They first preached to the Jews, but where they were rebuffed they began reaching out successfully to gentile audiences. In one town their Greek audience was so impressed with the missionaries that they worshipped Barnabas and Paul as the gods Zeus and Hermes. Only with difficulty did the two apostles prevent the crowd from offering them sacrifices.
      The successful mission to the gentiles raised the question of whether these new converts must first be circumcised according to the Jewish law. Paul and Barnabas opposed this practice and their argument carried the day at the Council of Jerusalem.
      Barnabas and Paul planned to continue their mission, but on the eve of their departure a disagreement arose over whether to include another disciple, John Mark, in their party. Over this the two apostles parted. Paul, accompanied by Silas, went on to dominate the narrative of Acts, while Barnabas slipped off the pages of history.
      Though positive knowledge is lacking, it seems that Barnabas, accompanied by John Mark, returned to Cyprus. There according to legend, he was martyred in the year 61.



Every time we come to Sunday Mass, in whatever liturgical season we are in, we renew our faith as we pray the Apostles? Creed: ?I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?? Our brothers and sisters in other countries use the more extensive formula of the Nicene Creed, and they profess: ?We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen?? I just wonder how many of us really have our hearts and our minds set on the words that we have memorized and now recite!
      Today?s lessons from the Scriptures focus for us one thing that our Creed proclaims: God is Lord of nature, not just of the spirit world. In the First Reading (Job 38), the Lord God addressed Job ?out of the storm.? In the Gospel, Jesus demonstrated to the disciples who were then weak of faith, how he could quiet down the wind and the sea.
      It is a pity that many times, we treat the events of nature as subjects proper for biology, botany, zoology, geography, geology, meteorology? and such other physical and natural sciences. Our advance in faith should also teach us that nature, since it is God?s, can also be used by God to reach out to us. The 1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church, in fact, teaches: ?We believe that God created the world according to His wisdom. It is not the product of any necessity whatever, not of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God?s free will; he wanted to make His creatures share in His being, wisdom and goodness.?
      Through nature and creation, God manifests and communicates to us:      

  • His power and majesty       
  • The inherent value of life? any life      
  • Beauty and harmony      
  • Goodness

       Fr. Domie G.

Read and reflect over the testimony of the Jewish mother with seven sons: 2 Maccabees 7:22-23.

May I always recognize You in the different ways You manifest Yourself

St. William of Monte Vergine, abbot confessor, pray for us.

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