READINGS for 2006-09-28

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Our eyes can never see enough to be satisfied; our ears can never hear enough.? ? Ecclesiastes 1: 8

Life in the renewal is not as easy as it seems. I can see two worlds contradicting each other and I am caught in the middle. During prayer meetings, I would feel high in praising God and accepting my nothingness before Him. But when I am outside our community, I don?t seem to mind exchanging unchristian-like jokes, gossiping or simply just being foolish. I also struggle between allowing the Lord to use me as a good witness vs. being selfrighteous in front of others. I surrender my total self to God in prayer, but as soon as I?m done praying, I immediately switch to the I?m-in-control-of-my-life mode.
      I thought joining a community would give me a stress-free life. But, guess again, I still experience difficulties every day. I can still find my self hiding away from God each time I commit sin. And yet, whenever these things wear me out and cause great pain in my heart, God is there. He embraces me with open arms. Just when I think I?ve learned everything, God breaks me and opens my eyes to new things. Marvin A.

Look at your life in a different view. Maybe God is telling something more.

Thank you Lord for being my patient Mentor. Teaching me even when I am full of myself.



Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

One thing I will never understand is why sometimes people get so dressed up and use so much makeup that it is actually difficult to recognize them beneath it all! It makes me wonder whether they really like themselves or not. Perhaps it is partially a result of the image of the perfect person that the advertising gurus present us with in this day and age. If this is the case then it is a time for Christians to stand up and say, ?Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!? God has created us unique and different. Let us not detract from our unique beauty by giving in to some sort of false image of the ?perfectly beautiful person.?

2 Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! 3 What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? 4 One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. 5 The sun rises and the sun goes down. Then it presses on to the place where it rises. 6 Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. 7 All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going. 8 All speech is labored; there is nothing man can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing. 9 What has been, that will be. What has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. 10 Even the thing of which we say, ?See, this is new!? has already existed in the ages that preceded us. 11 There is no remembrance of  the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.


Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17

R: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

3 You turn man back to dust, saying, ?Return, O children of men.? 4 For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) 5 You make an end of them in their sleep. The next morning they are like the changing grass, 6 which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. (R) 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. 13 Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! (R) 14 Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. 17 Prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! (R)


Luke 9:7-9

Perhaps Herod senses that there is something special about Jesus. Perhaps he is just plain curious! We will probably never know. However we do know that Jesus is not John the Baptist or Elijah raised from the dead! We know that He is the Messiah, something that Herod never came to understand even though he gets to meet him during His Passion. Let us pray that we never suffer from the blindness and lack of comprehension of Herod. Let us live in the knowledge of the truth and bear witness to who Jesus is as the Son of God, the Messiah and Savior of all mankind.

7 Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, ?John has been raised from the dead.? 8 Others were saying, ?Elijah has appeared.? Still others, ?One of the ancient prophets has arisen.? 9 But Herod said, ?John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?? And he kept trying to see him.

my reflections
: Do you like yourself?



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Herod is not a man that I find attractive. He is weak and beholden to the thoughts of others. In many ways, he is the epitome of the worldly man ? someone who is totally caught up in the cares and the worries of the world. I hope and pray that this is not the case with you!
      Today we hear about Herod wondering what all of these reports about Jesus and His ministry are all about. At the bottom of it all must have been the worry as to whether or not his immediate power base was going to be threatened by Jesus. If we notice ourselves having the same sort of worry when someone new appears on the scene among our friends or business partners then it is time to ask ourselves why.
      There are many things in life that we cannot change. There are others that we can but should not change and yet again there are things we can and should change. It is only those things that we have power over that are worth worrying about. Even then, why worry at all ? just get on with the business of changing them!
      Herod and Pilate had the power to ensure that Jesus was not crucified yet they failed to exercise their power. I do not know how they are going to explain that to the Father on Judgment Day! What I do know is that I do not want to find myself in a position similar to them. If there are aspects of my life that need to be changed (this usually means areas of sin) and I refuse to do it, how will I explain that to the Lord when I stand before Him face to face? It is a little like trying to hold a red-hot piece of metal in my hands and put up with the burns because I want to heat my hands.
      We usually sin in order to avoid pain or suffering or to increase our pleasure. The thing we have to learn is that we do not need to sin in order to have legitimate pleasure in life. And, if we assess the pleasure that we get from sin, it is usually short-lived! It is not worth the eternal consequences to seek such its rewards. Let us keep our lives in the proper perspective ? that of having to give an account of it to the Lord on the day we die. Fr. Steve T.

What things do I need to change in my life in order to grow in holiness? Let us pray that we will have the wisdom to know what to change in our lives for the better.

Lord, help me to grow in holiness today.

St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs, pray for us.

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