READINGS for 2006-08-28

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



How terrible for you, blind guides! ? Matthew 23: 16

I always wanted to be a teacher, but my mother discouraged me because she said teachers usually got sick of tuberculosis. So, I majored in English just because I hated Math, and minored in Journalism, because, well, it?s not Math.
      A couple of weeks after graduation, I bumped into my Journalism teacher who happened to be editor of a magazine. He offered me a job as copyreader. And so I became a journalist.
      In 2004, 33 years after I got my first job, I was offered a teaching job in a college. I was told the college was looking for practicing journalists to teach Journalism so I grabbed the offer!
      In today?s Gospel, I now realize why I did not become a teacher as a fresh grad. I did not have the proper academic preparation, nor any experience. I would have been a blind guide.
      Incidentally, I was also a student rebel of sorts, and had I become a teacher right after college, I would have produced student rebels too. But see, somewhere along the way, I also experienced a spiritual renewal and so now, I am also able to guide my students on moral values.
      No longer a blind guide, I am now good and ready to be a teacher. Saintcha  

Are we blind to see the needs and realities of the society that we evolve in?

Lord, open my eyes to areas in my life that I must change or improve that I may be a better guide to people You want  me to lead to You.



2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12

Paul writes to encourage the Thessalonians to live lives of greater holiness. He affirms their constancy of faith, something that we need more of today. As we seek to grow in holiness, let us look to becoming more consistent in our faith response to God and thus lay a firm foundation upon which the Holy Spirit can build. Without constancy in our faith, the Holy Spirit will never know where to begin with us. It will be a bit like Him shooting arrows of grace at a perpetually moving target! Let us make His job a little easier by firming up in our commitment to the Gospel.

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God [our] Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We ought to thank God always for you, brothers, as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more, and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater. 4 Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure. 5 This is evidence of the just judgment of God, so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God for which you are suffering. 11 To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.


Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 4-5

R: Proclaim God?s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Sing to the LORD; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 4 For great is the LORD and highly  to be praised; awesome is he, beyond all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are things of nought, but the LORD made the heavens. (R)


Matthew 23:13-22

Hypocrisy is a terrible thing we have to deal with in one?s life. It is the death of an effective witness to the Gospel. St. Augustine, whose feats we celebrate today, was a man who reportedly once prayed for the grace of God to make him chaste. At least he was being honest. We all struggle with one sin or another. Let us be honest with God about this and so increase the chances that we will be able to overcome it with the help of His grace. If we refuse to be honest, how will God be able to help us in our fight?

13 ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. [14] 14 15 ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. 16 ?Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ?If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.? 17 Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold  sacred? 18 And you say, ?If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.? 19 You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; 21 one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; 22 one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.?

my reflections
Without constancy in our faith, the Holy Spirit will never know where to begin with us.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Today is the memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Very  few Catholics ? and even non-Catholics ? do not know him.
      St. Augustine was born in Tagaste, Africa around the year 354. In the early years of his life, he followed the example of his mother, St. Monica, but later fell into a licentious way of life. In one of his famous writings entitled Confessions he said, ?My sins increase like a rolling snowball.? With tears, his pious mother, constantly prayed for his conversion until at age 33 he was deeply moved by a sermon of St. Ambrose in Milan and was baptized. St. Augustine went to Africa and was elected bishop of Hippo. For 34 years he  guided his flock, instructing it with sermons and many writings. He was relentless in fighting the heresies of his time and defending the Faith carefully and convincingly through his writings. In  the year 430, St. Augustine passed away.
      Below is an excerpt from St. Augustine?s book Confessions. It may well be our confession too.
      ?Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!
      You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for You.
      In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which You created.
      You were with me, but I was not with You.
      Created things kept me from You;
      yet if they had not been in You they would not have been at all. You called,
      You shouted, and You broke through my deafness. You flashed, You shone,
      and You dispelled my blindness. You breathed Your fragrance on me;
      I drew in breath and now I pant for You. I have tasted You, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for Your peace.?
      If anyone thinks that it is too late for you to return to the Lord, think again. Fr. Bobby T.

For God no one is a lost cause.

"You have created us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You. Amen.?

St. Augustine of Hippo, bishop confessor, pray for us.

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