READINGS for 2006-10-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

GOD?S EMBRACE

?In Him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.? ? Ephesians 1:7

Let me share with you my favorite place on Earth.
      It comes in different shapes and sizes. It could be at a most unexpected corner. It?s not even a room, really. Sometimes it has walls. A curtain may adorn it. It has a functional, sometimes makeshift, chair, often includes a kneeler, rarely, air conditioning. I?ve seen some decorated with pictures and prayers.
      Usually it is dark. But always, it is comfortable. Welcoming, inviting.
      I love it because it is a most peaceful place where I can be myself. In it, I can bare my soul and not be judged. But instead, be forgiven. It is like a gallery, where you behold God?s big heart in its many forms?mainly, mercy, forgiveness and always, love. It is small, but what happen in it are hugely incomprehensible, unbelievable daily miracles.
      It is the setting for occurrences too deep for our minds to fathom. It is a ?box?, yet nowhere else in this universe will you feel more at home or loved, than here.
      The confessional.
      Be embraced like you?ve never been. Lallaine G.

REFLECTION:

When was the last time you?ve been to the sacrament of reconciliation?

Lord, thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for priests, instruments of your mercy. Amen.


COMPANION

1st READING

Ephesians 1:1-10


The Letter to the Ephesians seems to be a sort of amalgamation of the thoughts of Paul in many of his letters. With this in my mind, many scholars believe that it was probably written by followers of Paul, that is, coming from the Pauline school of thought. This in no way detracts from the importance of the ideas in it. It just helps us situate the letter in its proper context. The opening praise of God gathers together much of Paul?s mystical theology and challenges us to enter more deeply into the mystery of God?s interaction with humanity. Lord, help me to welcome you into every aspect of my life.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the holy ones who are [in Ephesus] faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, 4 as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love 5 he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, 6 for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. 7 In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him 10 as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

P S A L M

Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6

R: The Lord has made known his salvation.


1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has Remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R) 5 Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 11:47-54


None of us can totally absolve ourselves of any responsibility for sin and its effects upon humanity. We are all sinners and so have all contributed to the structural damage that sin does in our world. The systemic nature of some sins such as laws that allow abortion are at least partially a result of the inability of Christians to affect the legislative processes of their countries. As Christians we must look for ways to work together to ensure that the dignity of life will be protected by the law of the land and not endangered by it!

47 Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. 49 Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ?I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute? 50 in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! 52 Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.? 53 When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, 54 for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

my reflections
think:
We are all sinners and so have all contributed to the structural damage that sin does in our world.

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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 Matthew 21-22

SABBATH

GOD?S CHOICE FOR US

From today?s First Reading we read, ?God chose us in him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love.? We might ask, ?Is it really possible to be holy and without blemish? Does this mean that we human beings should live without sin?? Just like the Pharisees in today?s Gospel, our guilt ?stretches from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah? ? meaning to say, aside from our individual misdeeds, we have also somehow contributed to the overall atmosphere of sinfulness in our society.
      The point is that ? thanks be to God! ? there is something which comes first, way before the effort of living holy and blameless lives. And that is no other than the eternal choice of God for us. ?God chose us in him before the world began....?
      Such is the key to it all. In spite of our weakness and unworthiness, God still chose us for HHHis purposes. We see this of course in the saints we commemorate and honor, particularly St. Paul of the Cross today.
      Born in the year 1694 in Ovada, Italy, he is known as the founder of the Passionists.  At the age of 15, after listening to a sermon on the Passion of Jesus, he began a life of prayer and austerity. In 1720, he had a vision of the Blessed Mother, who told him to found a new congregation, whose members would mourn continually for the Passion of her Son Jesus. The first time he went to Rome to ask for the approval of his congregation, Paul was not even received inside the Vatican.
      Rejection, setbacks, even failure ? all these surely are all understandable. In fact, we will definitely still get dirty with our weaknesses and sins. But getting dirty doesn?t mean we shall have been permanently stained or blemished. Christ?s redeeming power will wash away our sins every time we go back to the arms of the One who chose us in the first place. Fr. Martin M.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
What has God chosen me to do?

May I find my true purpose in Your grand design, Lord.

St. Paul of the Cross, confessor, pray for us.




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