READINGS for 2006-06-26

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?They went after worthless idols and they themselves became worthless?.? ? 2 Kings 17:15

Eskimos have an ingenious method they use for hunting wolves.
      They bury a spear in the ground and snow with a blood-soaked tip sticking out. The wolves are attracted to the blood and eventually one comes along to check it out. It starts licking the razor sharp double-edged tip and fresh blood flows. It continues licking and lapping up the blood, never realizing it was drinking its own blood. It finally dies, a victim of its own greed (and blood loss).
      Doesn?t it sound a lot like sin?
      When we get our first taste, it tastes good but we don?t feel the double edge blade that comes with it and cuts away at our soul. At a certain point, we feed it with ourselves, indulging until we find ourselves dead, spiritually if not physically.
      That?s why we need God to help us fight these sinful tendencies, giving us the ability to walk away. By His Grace alone will we remain free. Tisha L.

Do we ask God to help us fight our sinful tendencies?

Father, give us the courage and will to fight for what is good for us.



2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15, 18

Sin has consequences, just like any other action. The Jewish mindset was such that they often saw their suffering as punishment from God because of their sin. We would now see it as the consequence of choosing not to follow the will of God ? not directly willed by God as such but a consequence of our own choices. Thus, my moral suffering, and in so far as immorality can be the cause of physical suffering, is directly connected to my sin or another person?s! If we want to lessen the suffering in our lives then one of the best places to start is getting rid of the sin in your life.

5 For this, the king of Assyria arrested and imprisoned Hoshea; he then occupied the whole land and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and deported the Israelites to Assyria, settling them in Halah, at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 7 This came about because the Israelites sinned against the LORD, their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the domination of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and because they venerated other gods. 8 They followed the rites of the nations whom the LORD had cleared out of the way of the Israelites [and the kings of Israel whom they set up]. 13 And though the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer, ?Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your fathers and which I sent you by my servants the prophets,? 14 they did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who had not believed in the LORD, their God. 15 They rejected his statutes, the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them. The vanity they pursued, they themselves became they followed the surrounding nations whom the LORD had commanded them not to imitate. 18 till, in his great anger against Israel, the LORD put them away out of his sight. Only the tribe of Judah was left.


Psalm 60:3, 4-5, 12-13

R: Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us. 1 [3] O God, you have rejected us and broken our defenses; you have been angry; rally us! (R) 2 [4] You have rocked the country and split   it open; repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering. 3 [5] You have made your people feel hardships; you have given us stupefying wine. (R) 10 [12] Have not you, O God, rejected us, so that you go not forth, O God, with our armies? 11 [13] Give us aid against the foe, for worthless is the help of men. (R)

Matthew 7:1-5

We should first ensure our own innocence before we start making accusations of others. However, because each of us is a sinner, it is best to try and avoid all judgment as it may come back upon us in an unexpected way. That is, we should  seek to ensure that our own lives are kept free of sin before we start seeking to point out the sin in other peoples? lives. There are few less palatable sorts of people than out and out hypocrites. None of us enjoys the company of a hypocrite!

1 ?Stop judging, that you may not be judged. 2 For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. 3 Why do you notice the splinter in your brother?s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ?Let me remove that splinter from your eye,? while the wooden beam is in your eye? 5 You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother?s eye.?

my reflections
: Suffering is the consequence of choosing not to follow the will of God ? not directly willed by God as such, but a consequence of our own choices.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________




We thrive in a world where all that matters must be graded, rated, ?seeded.? Grades and rates, in turn, are achieved by comparative studies and surveys.Performances are measured by pitting one over another. Hence, we grow with the consciousness that we are competitors ? rivals for power, influence and recognition. To borrow the words of a philosopher: we are wolves to one another!
      Media ceases to be a mere technique. It has become the matrix of our culture. It influences the way we think, talk, reason, dress up. On the whole, it has also served to deepen our ways of rivalry, competition, criticism and fault-finding. In fact, the most popular talk shows are those that sow intrigues and gossips against others. We seem to rejoice over the physical and moral mistakes that our fellow human beings commit.
      Jesus? words awaken us to see that our Christian faith rallies us to the opposite side of the pendulum. Rather than be critiques and judges, we have to be ?Barnabas? to each other. In the Acts of the Apostles it was Barnabas ? whose name means ?Son of encouragement? ? who brought out the missionary spirit in Paul. He it was who introduced the converted Paul to the apostles.
      When we reflect on our own experiences, we realize that those who helped us grow were those who supported and understood us in whatever situation we found ourselves in. No matter how righteous and well-intentioned, those who judged and condemned us only served to dampen our spirits.
      Of course, we cannot be morally indifferent. We must know how to distinguish between good and evil, between right or wrong. We must have the courage to tell others when they are wrong. But we must never condemn. ?To judge? ? in the expression of the Gospel reading ? means to condemn. Not even Jesus condemns anyone. Fr. Domie G.


Do I grade others?

Sing to the Lord this prayer ? ?Make me a servant, humble and meek. Lord, let me lift up those who are weak. And may the prayer of my heart always be: Make me a servant, make me a servant today.?

St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, priest, pray for us.


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