READINGS for 2006-09-09

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



And he said to them, ?The Son of man is lord of the sabbath.? ? Luke 6:5

One day, I taught husbands and wives to have weekly dialogues. Weeks later, one wife told me her husband followed my advice and now have ?weekly dialogues? together?but she hates it and wants it to stop. I found her request absurd.
      But later, I found out why: Her husband, on the agreed day, would bring her out for dinner?but then he?d start giving his homily! Scolding her and complaining about life. And the worst part? The following week, her husband would brag to the prayer group that he?s following my teaching on having weekly dates.
      The man was fulfilling a checklist of duties. But he wasn?t fulfilling his wife. So I told him that the purpose of the weekly dialogue is to give his wife joy, refresh her, affirm her, establish her worth, and bond with her.
      I compare him to a religious person who focuses on rules but not on love. We can focus on a list of duties and not giving God joy and bonding with Him. In the end, love is still the most important rule. Bo S.

Do your rules make you a more loving person? Or do they just make you rigid, uptight, and selfrighteous?

Lord, I commit myself to the most important rule. To love You, to love others, and to love myself.


1st Reading

1 Corinthians 4:6-15

Paul must have been an extraordinary man to know. His transformation from zealous Pharisee to Christian zealot would have been amazing to experience. In this, many of his views and beliefs must have been turned upside down in no uncertain terms. We read today that he recommends returning a blessing when cursed by our enemies. This is a long way from the Jewish ?eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth? mentality that he had as a Pharisee. It indicates the radical nature of the Christian Gospel. Let us pray for the grace to be faithful to it in all that we think, say and do.

6 Learn from myself and Apollos not to go beyond what is written, so that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over against another. 7 Who confers distinction upon you? What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it? 8 You are already satisfied; you have already grown rich; you have become kings without us! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we also might become kings with you. 9 For as I see it, God has exhibited us apostles as the last of all, like people sentenced to death, since we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and human beings alike. 10 We are fools on Christ?s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless 12 and we toil, working with our own hands. When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we espond gently. We have become like the world?s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment. 14 I am writing you this not to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.


Psalm 145:17-18, 19-20, 21

R: The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

17 The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. 18 The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. (R)  19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him, he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The LORD keeps all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (R) 21 May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD, and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever. (R)


Luke 6:1-5

Sometimes our sole goal seems to be to pick a fight with another person. Is this because we are jealous of them or what? The Pharisees are constantly seeking to undermine the ministry of Jesus for one reason or another. They would have been far better served if they had spent their energies doing what they should have been doing rather than chasing Jesus around the place to pick a fight with Him. Let us resolve to be focused upon what God wants us to do with our lives rather than constantly looking at the lives of others and worrying about them. Our own lives have enough problems to keep us busy. Why would we want to get involved in still more problems when they have little or nothing to do with us?

1 While he was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. 2 Some Pharisees said, ?Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?? 3 Jesus said to them in reply, ?Have you not read what David did when he and those [who were] with him were hungry? 4 [How] he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions.? 5 Then he said to them, ?The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.?

my reflections

Return a blessing when cursed by your enemies.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________







How well do I handle the contradictions and trials of living a life for the Gospel? Do I cheerfully embrace persecution when it comes or do I run and hide from it?

Holy Spirit, strengthen me to be a better witness to the Gospel so that I will give a more powerful witness to the truth and transforming power that it can have in a person?s life.

St. Peter Claver, confessor, pray for us.

Sometimes the most notable facts concerning a life of discipleship are the many contradictions that seem to be present. Paul starts to list some of them in today?s First Reading. I like to concentrate upon the reality that it is in our weaknesses that the strength of God is most apparent. It is this that gives me the greatest hope concerning my own inability to be faithful even in the smallest aspects of the Christian life! If God is most powerful in my weakness then I want to grow in weakness so that He will be proportionately a stronger influence in my life.
      In no way do I mean to advocate a sort of bahala na (I will leave it all up to God) sort of attitude. This would be both sinful and entering into the heresy of quietism. We ought to use all of the gifts and strengths that God has given us to serve Him in His Kingdom. However, at the same time, we need to realize that the source of our strengths is His gifting and he will make up anything we honestly lack. The truth of the matter is that all that we have is God?s gift to us, except our sin.
      What Paul wants the Corinthians to realize is that they must humble themselves before the Living God in order to be true servants of the Gospel. Humility is the key as it will open up to us the fullness of God?s graces and enable us to partake of these gifts in such a way that the glory will remain with God with us being the mere instruments or channels of His grace to others.
      Paul sees it as important that the heralds of the Gospel are not seen to be working out of their own strength and abilities only. It should be always evident that there is something of God?s hand in all that they do. A bit of persecution and hardship is good for an apostle or disciple of Jesus because if it is endured in a good spirit, it becomes an extremely powerful testimony to the truth of the Gospel! Why? Simply because no one in their right mind chooses the path of persecution and suffering without a very good reason indeed! If it is evident that the Gospel is the reason for this choice in our lives then people will be forced to admit that there must be something to the truth of the Gospel if it causes people to make such responses. Fr. Steve T.

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