READINGS for 2006-11-11

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

REWARD FOR OBEDIENCE

?If you cannot be trusted with elusive wealth, who will trust you with lasting? ? Luke 16:11

When our company was organized in 2002, one of our concerns was dealing with local government units and competitiveness. We chose to take the path led by the Spirit, which most people say is not easy. because business and religion don?t mix.
      We declared all our sales and paid our taxes, conscienciously. Everyone said we would become uncompetitive. But even as we paid our taxes, our competitiveness grew stronger. We were able to bring down tariffs (?cleanly?) to practically zero that we did not have Customs to worry about and we did not have to compete with smugglers on lower costs.
      Despite inflation, our improved efficiency brought our costs to levels of 10 years before. Because we paid the right taxes, the BIR even feted us as the best individual taxpayer in Bulacan!
      Moreover, our business outlook continued to be bullish as our competitors, saw their principal raw material prices skyrocket as oil prices increased steeply. Our next years? forecasts are all at record levels.
      We will bring our achievements to God?s altar as a sign of His promise in Psalm 18:26 that to the ?faithful, He will be faithful?. Rolly E.

REFLECTION:
Do I manage my finances conscientiously, based from truth and honesty?

Lord, thank you for the financial blessings you have bestowed for us live a full life.

COMPANION

1st READING

Philippians 4:10-19


Paul is the master of making do with whatever his situation may be. If we are going to follow the Lord, and particularly if we entrust all our needs to Him, there will be times when there does not seem to be enough to cover our expenses or provide enough food for the day. However, with God there is always a way through any given dilemma. Each of us has experienced His providence at one time or another. Let us be willing to give Him all that we have and trust that whatever our needs may be in the future, He will provide for them.

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at last you revived your concern for me. You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity. 11 Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. 12 I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. 13 I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. 14 Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. 15 You Philippians indeed know that at the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, not a single church shared with me in an account of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was at Thessalonica you sent me something for my needs, not only once but more than once. 17 It is not that I am eager for the gift; rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account. 18 I have received full payment and I abound. I am very well supplied because of what I received from you through Epaphroditus, ?a fragrant aroma,? an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

P S A L M

Psalm 112:1-2, 5-6, 8-9

R: Blessed the man who fears the Lord.


1 Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands.   2 His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall   be blessed. (R) 5 Well for the man who is gracious and lends,   who conducts his affairs with justice; 6 he shall never be moved; the just one   shall be in everlasting remembrance. (R) 8 His heart is steadfast;   he shall not fear. 9 Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure   forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 16:9-15


Any of the spiritual gifts that the Lord pours out in abundance upon His people is worth far more than any amount of money that we could imagine. Whether   or not we are good stewards of something as worthless as money will be a factor   in God?s willingness to entrust us with gifts that are without price or   measure. Do we really believe that this is true? If we do not then we should   take some time to think about how long money is going to be of any use to us   and compare it with the worth of the spiritual gifts that endure forever.

9 I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when   it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 The person who is   trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the   person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.   11 If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust   you with true wealth? 12 If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,   who will give you what is yours? 13 No servant can serve two masters. He will   either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.   You cannot serve God and mammon.? 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. 15 And he said to them, ?You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.?

my reflections
think:
With God there is always a way through any given dilemma.


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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 John 4-5

 

SABBATH

OF MONEY AND CHOICES

 If yesterday?s Gospel surprised and confused us, today?s passage shocks. Did we read correctly? ?Use money,? Jesus says,? tainted as it is, to win you friends...? Does this not contradict the next words of Jesus, ?No servant can serve two masters?You cannot serve both of God and of money??
      Money is important. How people work for money! But, when it comes to faith and religion, very few Christians are willing to devote to it the same dedication or the same effort. How sad Jesus must have been when he said, what we read yesterday: ?The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than the children of light.?
      Jesus is critical of money, not because it is an evil thing, but because it easily becomes the ultimate goal, instead of an instrument. But he is also very realistic when he suggests to make use of money. Already St. Theresa of Avila made a remark I can only paraphrase; otherwise the vulgar word would shock some readers. She said: ?Money is the excrement
of the devil, but a good fertilizer.? It all depends on our attitude towards money. Does it become the sole goal in life and so replaces God? Or do we use it for the growth of the Kingdom of God, for others who are in need? Somebody wrote, ?The rich help the poor in this world, the poor help the rich in the world to come.?
      The warning not to serve two masters may seem, at first sight, exaggerated. All of us know wealthy Christians who live a simple life and share their wealth. We can use money while serving God. But if we serve money as a god, then we become idolaters. The greed makes us more and more unscrupulous about how we get it. Greed makes us slaves and erases all that is good and holy in us. Serving God is also something that affects our whole being. It can never be a parttime job. In view of eternal life at stake, it should not be so difficult to choose the right master and make the right choices. And once we have chosen God we must be ready to acknowledge that God is the most exclusive of all masters. We belong to him totally or not at all. Fr. Rudy H.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
When do I feel the danger to serve money more than God? Am I as dedicated to the service of God as I am dedicated to worldly things?

Lord, my life is not as undivided as it should be. While I want to serve You, I am also very much attached to material things. I feel the struggle between You and money inside me. Today?s Gospel helped me to see clearer. It helped me to see the danger of serving material things instead of using them for Your Kingdom. Keep me aware of this,

St. Martin of Tours, bishop confessor, pray for us.




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