READINGS for 2006-11-12

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

THROUGH THE DROUGHT

?The bowl will not run out of flour nor will the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the Lord, send rain.? ? 1 Kings 17:10-16

When the Lord asked me to shift to a less hectic job, I said yes in a heartbeat. Why not? The Lord abundantly blesses those who religiously follow Him.
      After a month... two months... three months... four... Nothing.
      I was stuck in the life-draining, stress-breeding, hectic job that I was supposed to move out. I was growing impatient and confused. Waiting on the Lord became a slow and painful journey in a dry land. I almost gave up on hoping in His promise, the Lord provided me little encouragements that helped me move on.
      On the fifth month ? I was assigned a major project that gave a me sufficient experience I wouldn?t get otherwise.
      On the sixth month ? I had free time to focus on the final details of my wedding and finally got married!
      On the seventh month ? I was pregnant.
      On the eight and ninth month ?Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage. But I had breathing space to rest & recover.
      The tenth month came. I finally had a new job.
      The Lord wanted me to experience drought. So that when the rain come, I would  enjoy it. Jopay A.

REFLECTION:
With the Lord, the journey is as important as the destination. He provides food for the journey and a feast for the destination.

Lord, I thank you for always giving me reasons to take step after step every time I wait on you.

COMPANION

1st READING

1 Kings 17:10-16


It is interesting to note that obedience to God?s prophet when he speaks in the name of God is the same thing as obedience to God. Thus, when the widow obeys Elijah?s request, she finds that she is rewarded with a perpetual food source for herself and her son! Likewise we can expect that God will care for us when we are being obedient to His word. God will never be outdone in generosity. This is a blessing to us who are always in need of help from Him of one sort or another. Let us pray that we will be known for our generosity both to God and to others.

10 He left and went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, ?Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.? 11 She left to get it, and he called out after her, ?Please bring along a bit of bread.? 12 ?As the LORD, your God, lives,? she answered, ?I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.? 13 ?Do not be afraid,? Elijah said to her. ?Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. 14 For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ?The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.?? 15 She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; 16 The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

P S A L M

Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10

R: Praise the Lord, my soul!


7 The Lord keeps faith for ever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives good to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. (R) 8 The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who were bowed down; the LORD loves the just. 9 The LORD protects strangers. (R) The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. 10 The LORD shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia. (R)

2nd READING

Hebrews 9:24-28


The repeated sacrifices in the temple are now no longer necessary as the death of Christ has done away with them. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist we are left with a memorial sacrifice ? a remembering and making present of the oncefor- all sacrifice of the cross. We do not sacrifice Jesus again but we do recall to mind the meaning of His sacrifice on the cross and pray that it will be made more and more effective in our lives. Let us pray that we will have the grace to live in the victory of His cross and resurrection.

24 For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. 25 Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; 26 if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. 27 Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, 28 so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly  await him.

G O S P E L

Mark 12:38-44


Generosity is a thing of the heart. It has nothing to do with the absolute amounts that a person may or may not give. God sees the state of our hearts when we give and so He knows the motivation behind our act. Let us pray that we will always be motivated by gratitude for all that has been given to us to the point that we are willing to share what we have for the sake of our witness to the Gospel of love.

38 In the course of his teaching he said, ?Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, 39 seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.? 41 He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, ?Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. 44 For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.?

my reflections
think:
Let us pray that we will be known for our generosity, both to God and to others.


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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 6-7

SABBATH

A SNAPSHOT TAKEN BY JESUS

How observant Jesus was! He saw a Pharisee and a widow and painted a caricature by putting opposites together: the well-respected, learned Pharisees and the poor widow, a nobody in her society. And we are tempted again to condemn the Pharisees and identify ourselves with the poor widow whom Jesus praises. After all, we always want to be on the side of those who are raised!
      What does Jesus criticize in the Pharisee? His hypocrisy. But are we not all, in one way or the other, guilty of hypocrisy? Quite repulsive is when a person wears a holy and pious mask to cover ambition or vices in life. Are we free from this temptation?
      There is another kind of hypocrisy. Many who are kind and polite when with people but reserve one?s worst manner for home??a saint abroad, and a devil at home? (John Bunyan). This kind of double life is quite frequent. And then there comes the double standard: I apply a different standard to others than to myself. Or I criticize in others that of which I am first to be guilty. Or I preach one thing to others but do another thing myself.
      There are other more harmless forms of hypocrisy. We may laugh about them but many try to conceal their age by dyeing their hair or spending money for facelifts. Others want to be more beautiful and use all kinds of cosmetics. Again others try to look wealthier than they are, or more intelligent or successful than they really are. These are mild forms of hypocrisy.
      I think Jesus caught each one of us in his trap. Good. Because now we see ourselves as we really are and have two choices: continue to pretend or humbly ask the Lord to change our hypocritical hearts. St. Mark made a copy of this snapshot that we may put it in our wallets, a constant reminder of what Jesus expects from us. Fr. Rudy H.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Which kind of hypocrisy do I discover in myself? Do I have the trust of the widow in God?s loving Providence and care?

Oh, Lord, what have You done? Once more You exposed my inmost secrets, my hypocrisy. How often do I pretend to be what I am actually not! How I lack the simplicity and trust of the widow! How anxious am I when I think of the future, lacking the confidence of a child who knows that the father will provide! Thank You for this eyeopener.

St. Josaphat Kunsevich, bishop martyr, pray for us.




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