READINGS for 2006-07-28

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



??I will turn their morning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them joyful after their sorrow.? ? Jeremiah 31:13

These days when I see children running everywhere, I can?t help but be amazed at how they seem to find their way back to their parents.
      I remember how, as a little girl, I would usually run or hide from my parents wherever we were. My dad, who knew where I often hid, would humor me by calling out and acting as if he didn?t see me hiding behind his big lounge chair. And I would just jump out in triumph, showing myself to them and they would play along looking relieved.
      As a teenager, I would rebel and try to run away from home. I would pack a few clothes, have lunch at a neighbor?s house and come back home before dinnertime. And again, they would feel relieved at seeing me.
      It?s the same with my relationship with God. There are moments when I would tell Him that I just want to be by myself, live my life the way I want to, and He would let me. I sometimes hide from His light and become oblivious to the fact that He sees all and knows all. He allows me to learn my life lessons, yet He has never left my side. Tes L.

God never leaves our side no matter what; for as long as we claim His presence n our lives, we will forever be under His loving and watchful eyes.

?Father, walk beside me in my journey through life. May every step I take be towards You and not away from You.?



Jeremiah 3:14-17

The true leader and pastor of the People of God will have a heart like the Lord?s ? one that is willing to give all for the sake of those whom he or she cares for. Father, thank You for the many wise leaders you have raised throughout history to lead Your people in the ways of truth and love. Raise up men and women today to continue doing this so that we might bear the Good News to all regions of the world.

14 Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am your Master; I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. 15 I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently. 16 When you multiply and become fruitful in the land, says the LORD, they will in those days no longer say, ?The ark of the covenant  of the LORD!? They will no longer think of it, or remember it, or miss it, or make another. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem the LORD?s throne; there all nations will be gathered together to honor the name of the LORD at Jerusalem, and they will walk no longer in their hardhearted wickedness.


Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13

R: The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant coasts, and say: He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock. (R) 11 The LORD shall ransom Jacob, he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror. 12 Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion, they shall come streaming to the LORD?s blessings the grain, the wine, and the oil, the sheep and the oxen. (R) 13 Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows. (R)


Matthew 13:18-23

Jesus again emphasizes the truth that it is the simple things done well that will ensure our salvation. The various soils that the seed falls upon represent to us the different ways in which we welcome the Word of God into our lives. Let us seek to be fruitful soil ? where the Word of God can flourish and grow rather than Christians who initially welcome the Word of God but do not provide conditions wherein It can grow. There are many things that hinder its  growth in our lives. Let us do our best to avoid them as often as possible.

18 ?Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. 20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 21 But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22 The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. 23 But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.?

my reflections
The true leader and pastor of the People of God will have a heart like the Lord?s heart ? one who is willing to give all for the sake of those whom he or she cares for.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





My mother was and still is an active member of an organization that promoted the growing of Australian Native Plants. As a young child I sometimes used to help her when she was potting up plants from seedlings. I learned that it was essential to the health of the plant that it be able to put down strong roots or else it would die. The flowers are usually the first things we notice and the focus of our attention; however, if the root system of a plant is not healthy, there will not be any flowers or fruit on the plant.
      There can be a similar focus in the spiritual life whereby we get so enamored by the gifts and fruits that we forget to look after the more basic spiritual needs that give rise to these gifts. The ultimate result is that the spiritual gifts and fruits of our lives slowly wither and die. Just as there is no point in planting a tree to bear fruit or plants to have flowers if we are not going to look after them properly, so too there is no point in having spiritual gifts if we are not going to feed and nourish their roots with the necessary prayer life, etc.
      We read in today?s Gospel about a number of different scenarios as regards the seed of the Gospel. I wonder which one best reflects the way that we care for this seed in our lives? I wonder if there is anything that we could be doing to nourish our faith that we do not make the necessary time to accomplish? If so, we might be like the seed that falls on the rocky ground that immediately welcomes the Gospel but due to lack of soil and the heat of the sun quickly withers and dies. What a pity this would be as our time here on earth is limited and so we will only get a finite number of opportunities to respond to the grace of God as it comes to us. A farmer will not continue to sow his seeds on unproductive ground as it is a waste of time and money both of which could be better spent concentrating on the more fertile areas of his land.
      God is not quite as utilitarian than this but there will come a point when time will run out for us. Let us pray that we all will respond with fertile soil to the seed of the Gospel before we reach that point. Fr. Steve T.

How can I make my life a more fertile ground for the sowing of the seed of faith? Are there aspects of my life I need to change to make room for this to happen?

Lord Jesus, help me to get my priorities straight so that I concentrate my efforts on the aspects of my life that will bear lasting fruit and are not just going to wither and fade away.

Blessed Alphonsa Muttathupadathu, virgin, pray for us.

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