READINGS for 2006-09-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

NOTHING TO BOAST ABOUT

No one, then, should boast about what men can do. ? 1 Corinthians 3:21

I was a servant at one of our retreats when I met May. As we exchanged names and pleasantries, my mind raced for small talk. The first thing I noticed about May was her clear, modulated voice so, in an attempt to break the ice, I said, ?You have a beautiful voice, and you should probably work as a newscaster.? To this, her reply was ?I do.?
    ?Really?? I asked, already slightly embarrassed. ?On TV??
    ?Yes, every night on Channel 5.?
    All I could do was grin foolishly at my ignorance. To my credit, May didn?t actt like a TV personality. She didn?t even mention her job, and mostly stayed in the background during activities.
    I admire people like May who don?t have to broadcast their occupation, achievements or credentials when meeting new people. Personally, I don?t like asking about resumetype information unless absolutely necessary. If I can?t see beyond titles and reputations, I end up pre-judging people, lessening the chances of seeing them as brothers or sisters.
    Stripped of our worldly tags, we are made of the same stuff. And this is how our unbiased God sees all of His children: label-free. What is there to boast about? Anna dG

REFLECTION:
Listen to yourself. Do you always sound like you?re at a job interview?

Lord, save me from being too proud of my achievements.

COMPANION

1st Reading

1 Corinthians 3:18-23


Paul wants to make it absolutely clear to the Corinthian community that they have to leave behind their desire to impress one another with worldly wisdom and open themselves up to a new sort of wisdom where the basis is humility and an openness to learning the ways of God. There is no room in the Christian faith for people to take precedence over God. It does not matter how holy or competent an individual might be. He or she is never able to substitute for the wisdom of God so it is better that we place our focus on Him and leave it there regardless of the temptation we face.

18 Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written: ?He catches the wise in their own ruses,? 20 and again: ?The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.? 21 So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, 22 Paul or Apollos or Kephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, 23 and you to Christ,
and Christ to God.

P S A L M

Psalm 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R: To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.


1 The LORD?s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. 2 For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (R) 3 Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? Or who may stand in his holy place? 4 He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. (R) 5 He shall receive a   blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. 6 Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 5:1-11


I always enjoy reflecting upon the calls of the apostles, as they are so real and so simple. This is the way that I want to live my life with God! I think that it is important for us to keep our lives as simple as possible because this will help us avoid many of the pitfalls of sin that come with complicating matters with our own desires and preferences. Lord, You call us all to follow You with faith and trust. Help me keep things simple so that I will be better able to hear and respond to Your will.

1 While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. 2 He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ?Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.? 5 Simon said in reply, ?Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.? 6 When they had done this, they caught a great number  of fish and their nets were tearing. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. 8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, ?Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.? 9 For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, 10 and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, ?Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.? 11 When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

my reflections
think:
It does not matter how holy or competent an individual might be, he or she is never able to substitute for the wisdom of God.

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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 Daniel 4-6

SABBATH

THE POWER OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD

Obedience is a means by which we can manipulate God in our relationship with Him. Wrong! There is no way we can force God to do anything or control His actions. He is free from any constraint we might seek to impose upon Him. We can be sure though that He will be faithful to His promises.
    In the Gospel today, we find the disciples have just spent an unsuccessful night fishing. However, when Jesus arrives they follow His advice and cast the nets out one more time. Amazingly, they are filled to breaking point. Ah, the unpredictability of life. How many times that night had they thrown the nets out with no catch of fish. Yet, this last cast into the deep yields a harvest that threatens to sink their boats! It just goes to show that if we persevere, our fortune can change at any moment.
    I think we should also reflect upon the meaning of ?the deep.? What is Jesus referring to here? Obviously, He is literally referring to the deeper parts of the lake where the disciples are fishing. Perhaps we can also see it as a reference to the depths of the store of God?s blessings for us in the light of their bountiful catch. It is certain that we can always rely upon the store of God?s love and goodness never running out. How do we best tap into this store of grace and blessings?
     Obedience is a very undervalued commodity today. So much of the emphasis of today?s culture is upon self-reliance and self-determination to the point that obedience to a superior seems to be seen as something that is weak. Obedience gets a lot of bad press. Big mistake. Yes, any individual must be given the necessary freedom to express themselves and grow in personal responsibility and maturity but this must all be seen within the context of obedience to the will of God. Without obedience to God?s will our lives will very quickly deteriorate into something that is destructive of others and ourselves.      Obedience to God must be the over-arching framework within which we live our lives. Without this structure everything will be prone to head in the direction of disaster. When we move outside the ambit or bounds of God?s will, we move into territory that is uncharted and under the influence of sin. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Am I doing my best to live my life according to the will of God or have I chosen to go my own way?

Holy Spirit, help me to realize that true happiness and fulfillment will come only when I am living according to the will of God. Help me to see how this is the only way to ensure access to all the blessings He desires to give me in my life.

Blessed Frederic Antoine Ozanam, pray for us.



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