READINGS for 2006-07-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

FRESH START

"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth?? ? Matthew 11:25

I don?t always start my day right.
      Some lonely mornings, I jump out of bed, go straight to the shower, get dressed and mumble to myself how late I already am. Sometimes there?s breakfast, except its not so hearty ones?like reheated pizza or leftover dinner.
      There are worse days: those when, upon opening my eyes, the first thing that gets into my sleepy head is worry. Worries about bills, about work, about schedules, my weight, my hair, the US dollar, the PNP, terrorism, will I die a peaceful death, blah-blah-blah.
      Praise God there are a lot better mornings! Mornings when, by God?s grace, at that first instant, I am able to say my thanks. Or those wonderful mornings when I wake up in my husband?s embrace. Or when the cheery sound of birds welcome me into a new day. Even better still, is when I wake up to praise and worship songs, allowing me to praise the Lord from sleep to waking. That never fails.
      Start your day with praise.
      And see what miracles await you, served fresh, every day. Lallaine G.

REFLECTION:
How do you start your days?

From the rising of the sun to its setting, may You, O Lord be praised!

COMPANION

1st READING

Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16

The Jews saw the wrath of God towards their unfaithfulness expressed in their military defeats to pagan nations. Today, we would not understand it in stark terms. Rather we would see that it is the consequences of the peoples? sins that Israel no longer reigns supreme over that part of the world. Sin always brings tragic consequences. Though at times they may be a while in coming or  difficult to see. We can always be sure that they will come. The only way to avoid such tragedy is by remaining faithful to our commitment to God. Even then,  the sins of others can still visit tragedy upon us. This is the unjust nature of sin expressing itself in our lives.

5 Woe to Assyria! My rod in anger, my staff in wrath. 6 Against an impious nation I send him, and against a people under my wrath I order him to seize plunder, carry off loot, and tread them down like the mud of the streets. 7 But this is not what he intends, nor does he have this in mind; rather, it is in his heart to destroy, to make an end of nations not a few. 13 and the boastfulness of his haughty eyes. For he says, ?By my own power I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am shrewd. I have moved the boundaries of peoples, their treasures I have pillaged, and, like a giant, I have put down the enthroned. 14 My hand has seized like a nest the riches of nations; as one takes eggs left alone, so I took in all the earth; no one fluttered a wing, or opened a mouth, or chirped!? 15 Will the axe boast against him who hews with it? Will the saw exalt itself above him who wields it? As if a rod could sway him who lifts it, or a staff him who is not wood! 16 Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send among his fat ones leanness, and instead of his glory there will be kindling like the kindling of fire.

P S A L M

Psalm 94:5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 14-15

R: The Lord will not abandon his people.

5 Your people, O LORD, they trample down, your inheritance they afflict. 6 Widow and stranger they slay, the fatherless they murder. (R) 7 And they say, ?The LORD sees not; the God of Jacob perceives not.? 8 Understand, you senseless ones among the people; and, you fools, when will you be wise? (R) 9 Shall he who shaped the ear not hear? or he who formed the eye not see? 10 Shall he who instructs nations not chastise, he who teaches men knowledge? (R) 14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance; 15 but judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it. (R)

G O S P E L

Matthew 11:25-27

Jesus rejoices in that it is those who live simple lives who will draw the greatest benefits from the Gospel He proclaims. The Gospel comes to all people on exactly the same basis ? faith! In this way there is no one who has an advantage. It is freely given to all who choose the path of faith in their life. Is there a better sign of God?s love for all people than this? I  do not think so. If the Gospel had favored one group or another, then perhaps God could be accused of some sort of bias or favoritism. As it is, this is not the case.

25 At that time Jesus said in reply, ?I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.?

my reflections
think:
Sin always brings tragic consequences.

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God?s special verse/thought for me today________________

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T O D A Y ? S BLESSING LIST

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 19-22


SABBATH

JESUS REVEALS TO US THE FATHER
One of the great tragedies of sin is that it has caused us to be distanced from the presence of God. We now have difficulty in seeing God and recognizing His presence. If we were sinless, we would be able to see and approach God on a much easier and more relaxed basis. One of the great blessings of the Incarnation is that through the life and mission of Jesus, His passion, death and resurrection, we gain greater access to the presence of God. Jesus reveals the Father to us through the witness of His life and love.
      Jesus is able to do this because He is one with God and as He often reveals in the Scriptures, to see Him is to see the Father precisely because of this union. The other side of the revelatory coin is that Jesus, being fully human as well as fully divine, also reveals to us what it means to be human! This is one of the most common recurring themes in the writings of Pope John Paul II. He constantly calls the Church back to reflection upon the fact that Jesus Christ reveals to us what it means to be human as well as who the Father is  to us. This is important as both of these abilities are necessary if He is to be able to mediate salvation to us.
      Jesus is the sole mediator between humanity and God precisely because He is the only one who is both fully human and fully divine. No one else could possibly do what He has done. Therefore, if we are to be able to hear and know God?s will for our lives, it is only through the mediation of Christ that this is possible. Through Jesus we come to know the heart of God for His people in a new and powerful way. Through Jesus and relationship with Him we are called into a union with God that was only a dream before the Incarnation. It is now possible for us to exclaim not only that God lives among His people but also, one of us is God!
      It is this latter expression of the truth that will give rise to the reflections of the Fathers of the Church, particularly the Cappadocian Fathers, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nanzianzan and Basil, that the supreme dignity of the human person is found in their call to become like God; a reflection that is derived from the call to surrender our lives into a communion of the spirit with God. Fr. Steve T.

 

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Am I aware of the dignity that Christ has given me through the incarnation? Do I respect my life and body with this truth in mind?

Holy Spirit, help me to deepen in the knowledge of the truth that I am made in the image and likeness of God. Help me to realize the dignity this gives me and to live this truth every day of my life.

St. Frederick, bishop and martyr, pray for us.




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