READINGS for 2006-10-15

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



How hard it is to for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! ? Mark 10:23

Candy has a printing business that started small, grew big, fell on hard times, and is now struggling hard to survive. Through all this, Candy has remained faithful to God, and like a second skin, has made a promise never to refuse to give the clothes off her back when somebody comes with a sob story. Her eyes are ever in tears during days when she has only rice and a small fish for dinner, to be divided among the three of them in the family. But with these tears, she only has words of thanks to God for her meal, thinking of families more miserable than hers, who have to skip meals because there is none.
      A month ago, she received five kilos of rice. Immediately, she began to give a kilo to a neighbor whose husband died and had left the wife with four small children to feed. Another kilo she gave to her brother who had no job and had two kids.
      When I reminded her that she is not assured of having much everytime, her only answer was, ? The Lord never abandons me, and they need to eat too?. She also says that many big companies have folded up, but her printing business is still there, And that, she says is proof that God loves her.
      Candy is richer than many of the most successful businesmen than I know. Chelle C.

Do you count yourself as rich? If you are able to give of yourself, then you are.

Lord, as I trust in You to provide for me, make me generous to those who may need more than I do.



Wisdom 7:7-11

Especially when it comes to pastoral care, wisdom is of prime importance. All the gifts and powers in the world cannot substitute for the wisdom of God in helping us to understand how to care for a person in trouble. Solomon prays for wisdom and receives much else as well. Where is our focus in life? Are we seeking to understand the Scriptures better so as to grow in holiness or is our focus upon improving our standing in the world? The latter will pass away very soon, but the former will last forever. Now you tell me, which is more important? I think I will seek to grow in wisdom today!

7 Therefore I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. 8 I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, 9 nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. 10 Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. 11 Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.


Psalm 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R: Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

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. 15 Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us, for the years when we saw evil. (R) 16 Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children; 17 and may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands!


Hebrews 4:12-13

The Word of God is one of the most important sources of wisdom concerning the life of faith. The Scriptures contain all of the truths necessary for our salvation. We would be very foolish if we did not read from them often! We live in a world where moral relativism holds sway in many peoples? lives. This means that people are largely left on their own to tell right from wrong. The Scriptures and the Church teachings following from them tell us that this is wrong and that there are moral norms that provide an absolute guide for our choices. Let us seek out the wisdom of God that is available to us in the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church.

12 Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. 13 No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.


Mark 10:17-30

It is not enough just to avoid doing evil in our lives. The rich young man of today?s reading has done this and Jesus then invites him to take the next step -- to detach himself from the things of this world and become His disciple. This call to discipleship is critical if we are going to do the Father?s will for us. Jesus calls us all into a deep relationship with Him where our hope and trust is totally placed in His hands. This is what it means to abandon ourselves to the love of God and to trust that He will provide for us and lead us on the path to eternal life.

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, ?Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?? 18 Jesus answered him, ?Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ?You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.?? 20 He replied and said to him, ?Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.? 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ?You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.? 22 At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ?How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!? 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, ?Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.? 26 They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, ?Then who can be saved?? 27 Jesus looked at them and said, ?For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.? 28 Peter began to say to him, ?We have given up everything and followed you.? 29 Jesus said, ?Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30 who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.

my reflections
The Word of God is one of the most important sources of wisdom.



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The first part of our Gospel reading today recounts the sad episode of an eager young man who encountered Jesus, blowing however his chance to be his disciple. Somehow our reaction is, ?Sayang....? (?What a pity.?)
      But even then, perhaps it?s all okay on the part of Jesus himself. Anyway he never forces anyone. He calls and invites, and he simply waits for our response. For this he will never take advantage of our free will and dignity. He?ll tell us the requirements in following him, and never will he dilute these just to accommodate our tastes. And he won?t mind those of us like the rich young man who?d rather back out. He?s not after numbers.
      Certainly it?s not Jesus? loss. The rich young man ends up as the poor guy. Maybe he thought that keeping the Ten Commandments was already enough. Maybe he thought that just as long as you never killed anyone, you never cheated on your spouse, you never robbed a bank ? then you?re okay. Just like that ? mere avoidance of evil deeds.
      But as we all know very well, following Christ isn?t just based on that. There is also the active, positive side, that of doing something good as well. This, precisely, is what our Lord Jesus was insisting on the rich young man as His challenge to him.
      If ever we identify at times with the rich young man ? eager yet undecided, full of grand intentions yet cowardly, reducing our faith to a minimum, and falling short of good deeds ? let us not be discouraged. God knows and understands our struggles and weaknesses. Nevertheless let?s have recourse to Him in sincere prayer. As our First Reading today states,  ?I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.?
      It is in genuine and authentic prayer that we get to listen to and familiarize ourselves with the Lord?s voice, so that we in turn might reply to Him. Yes, to follow our Lord Jesus Christ is no walk in the park (nobody said it was easy, anyway). But it is not impossible. In fact, as Jesus Himself declared in the Gospel, ?With God all things are possible.? Fr. Martin M.

How genuine would God consider my prayers?

Teach me to make every action in my life a prayer to You, Lord.

St. Teresa of Avila, virgin, doctor of the church, pray for us.

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