READINGS for 2006-09-11

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



"But they became enraged and discussed what they might do to Jesus.? ? Luke 6:11

Was it over 3000 people who died in New York at the hands of organized terrorism? Images of the Twin Towers being hit by two separate hijacked jets are still vivid in my memory. Stories of people dying senselessly. A robbery suspect who killed a policeman was felled and bloodied but was not being rushed to a hospital because it was just ?minor injury?. There is so much inhumanity that human life has seemed to have less value.
    To God every life is valuable. As the Good Shepherd, he takes care of each sheep.
    My cousin, Angelito Nayan, is one such sheep. He was abducted by Afghans late in 2004. Throughout his 26 days of captivity, prayers poured out. He held onto God?s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that He had ?plans full of hope?.
    People tried to take credit for his release. The newspapers insinuated that it was ransom money that paved the way. Only a meager handful said that it was answered prayer.
    This is precisely why God?s value for life and love for his flock is clouded. We do not attribute mighty deeds as the works of His hands. He will move heaven and earth to look for the single sheep that is lost because he values his flock. Rolly E.

Do I value my life the way God values all his creation?

Father, help me to trust you even in my darkest hours.



1 Corinthians 5:1-8

Sexual immorality was rife in the city of Corinth. It was a sea port with many different nationalities and religions all mixed together and virtually anything one could imagine was probably a fact in that place! Paul will not stand for any sexual immorality in the Christian community. This has to be left behind when faith is taken up as a way of life. He lays down the law very clearly, here and elsewhere, as to begin to compromise on sexual morality is to open the door to all sorts of sins that are very destructive of human relationships. Let us be equally as committed as Paul is to growing in and maintaining sexual purity in all that we do.

1 It is widely reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of one kind not found even among pagans ? a man living with his father?s wife. 2 And you are inflated with pride. Should you not rather have been sorrowful? The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst. 3 I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed. 4 In the name of [our] Lord Jesus when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit with the power of the Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. 6 Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? 7 Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Psalm 5:5-6, 7, 12

R: Lead me in your justice, Lord.

4 [5] For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you;  5 [6] the arrogant may not stand in your sight. You hate all evildoers. (R) 6 [7] You destroy all who speak falsehood; the bloodthirsty and the deceitful   the LORD abhors. (R) 11 [12] But let all who take refuge in you be glad and exult forever. Protect them, that you may be the joy of those who love your name. (R)


Luke 6:6-11

Jesus has no time for the idea that to perform an act of love and service such as healing the sick, was to break the Sabbath commandment of no work. This is a ridiculous suggestion in Jesus? mind and so He heals the man in front of all the people. What can we learn from this? I think we need to realize that Jesus wants us to put people before the law. This is not to say that the law is worthless. It is to challenge us to understand how loving our neighbor is more important than its mere letter. Let us pray for the wisdom to be able to discern how to keep the laws of God and the land in the service of people and not the other way around.

6 On another sabbath he went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7 The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. 8 But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, ?Come up and stand before us.? And he rose and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, ?I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?? 10 Looking around at them all, he then said to him, ?Stretch out your hand.? He did so and his hand was restored. 11 But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

my reflections

Jesus wants us to put people before the law.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





I live in a brotherhood house, a community of men belonging to the same congregation as myself. Over the last 20 or so years, I?ve learned a lot about human nature by living in such close quarters. What amazes me the most is that the smallest and most insignificant things can end up being the sources of greatest tension and disagreement. For example, how easy it is to get annoyed by someone who does not put the lid back on jars or the toothpaste after using them. This seems such an unimportant thing that there is no point in getting worried about it, right? Well, you might be surprised! I have listened to and participated in many a long battle about such things.
      We see a similar sort of dynamic at work in today?s Gospel. The Pharisees are worried that Jesus is breaking the Sabbath laws when he heals a man. Can such thought be considered anything but completely petty? This would seem to be the case to me. The great pity is that such a petty argument helped give rise to the resentment of leaders for Jesus. This consequently played a significant part in the arrest and killing of Jesus. Surely people have better things to do with their  time than to argue about such irrelevancies!
      It can be a useful thing for us if we occasionally take a look at the things in our lives that are taking up the greatest amount of our time. Sometimes these things may not be worth the effort that we are putting into them. We only have limited time and opportunity in this life to live the life that God calls us. We will find ourselves falling short of the goal unless we can focus on the needs that have the highest priority and leave aside all that does not really matter in the broader scheme of our lives. Yes, if you have a problem with the way a person does or does not do something, then address the problem with humility and gentleness; work it out and then get on with the more important business at hand. Do not get bogged down in issues that are not going to progress the work of the Kingdom of God. It is an incredible waste of time and energy. Fr. Steve T.

Do I tend to get obsessive about details that, in the end, are not very important? Can I better focus the use of my time, energy and talents?

Holy Spirit, you have gifted me in many wonderful ways. Help me to use the gifts that I have been given to the full and thus advance the work of the Kingdom of God. Help me to remain focused upon the things that matter and not the peripheral  issues that are merely distractions.

St. Paphnutius. the Great, bishop, confessor, pray for us.

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