READINGS for 2006-08-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. ? Matthew 23:27

I recently read Gallop surveys about Americans, and I feel that it is no different among Filipinos.
      Surveys say that 94% believe in God.
      60% say faith is ?very important? in daily life.
      80% identify themselves as Christian.
      46% attended church in the previous week.
      60% say faith can answer all of today?s problems.
      Astounding? Admirable?
      Not quite.
      40% of children go to bed without a father at home.
      33% of teens have been physically abused at home.
      25% say alcoholism is a problem at home.
      50% of all marriages this year will end in divorce.
      Why? Doesn?t our faith have any effect on daily life?
      Why have we become a world of hypocrites?
      Friends, these are statistics from the US, but I?m afraid Filipinos are the great imitators of everything colonial. Look around you. We?re going in the same direction. We need to wake up.
      This isn?t real faith. Benedict S.

Lord, stir in me a hunger for real faith?the faith that changes my life and my world.

What do I do now that Jesus won?t do?



2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18

Paul gives the Thessalonians a very simple rule in terms of each person needing to ?pull their own weight? n the community. There is nothing worse for the spirit of a community if some are idle and do not seem to have any intention of helping in the community projects while others are working their fingers to the bone. Laziness or sloth is one of the seven deadly sins and needs to be exorcised from our lives if we are to be faithful to the Gospel call of holiness!

6 We instruct you, brothers, in the name of [our] Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, 8 nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. 9 Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. 10 In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. 16 May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 17 This greeting is in my own hand, Paul?s. This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.


Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5

R: Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

1 Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! 2 For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. 4 Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. (R)


Matthew 23:27-32

Jesus continues to rail against the hypocrites in the religious and secular arenas of His day. I do not think that it is cynical to say that things seemed to have changed very little up until now. Hypocrisy seems to be a sin that will be always close at hand and thus we need to ensure that its tentacles do not reach out and grab us and draw us into their grasp. Let us pray for the grace to live pure and holy lives where we always practice what we preach.

 27 ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men?s bones and every kind of filth. 28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing. 29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, 30 and you say, ?If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets? blood.? 31 Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; 32 now fill up what your ancestors measured out!?

my reflections
Laziness or sloth is one of the seven deadly sins.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





We like to bless and be blest. We believe in blessings.
      Some curse and are cursed. Others seem to be curses in themselves.
      There are two types of people who seem to be curses in themselves. Both the First Reading and the Gospel today talk about them.
      In the First Reading, they are those who refuse to work. St. Paul?s dismay when he wrote, ?Those who do not work should not eat.? Laziness is a curse. Lazy people are curses to other people. Admonish them to work, give them work, teach them to work and you dispel the curse.
      In the Gospel, they are the hypocrites. Jesus shed off His meek-andmild image as He shouted, ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites!? Hypocrites are like whitewashed tombs, clean in the outside but full of dead man?s bones in the inside. Hypocrites are not only cursed; they are curses to other people, too. Unmask the hypocrite and you drive away the curse.
      No one wants to live with a lazy fellow. No one wants to be identified with hypocrisy. Everybody likes blessings instead. Let us fight our own laziness and repent from our own hypocrisy. Let us bless one another. Let us work hard. Let us be sincere always. Let us be blessings ourselves.
      The choice is always ours. If we make a wrong choice, woe are we! Fr. Bobby T.

Am I a curse or a blessing to others?

Almighty God, Source of every good gift, I do not only ask for Your blessings today. I beg that I may be Your blessing to others each day. Send me as Your answer to someone?s prayer. I choose to be grace and not only to be graced. Amen.

Sts. Felix and Adauctus, martyrs, pray for us.

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