READINGS for 2006-11-18

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

Dedication of the Churches of Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles

REST

??will he find faith on earth?? ? Luke 18:8

Faith is not just given to us by God so he would be able to test us. I believe that faith is given for us that we may rest in God.
      When we ride a bus, do we usually know the driver personally enough to trust him? Not in a million rides. But why do we still ride his vehicle? We trust he will bring us to where we need. That is faith, not reason.
      When we visit a restaurant and before we order, do we ask the attendant, ?Who is your cook? Where did he train? Does he clean his hands?? No. But we eat the food laid before us.
      Now, this moment, while reading this, where are you? In a building? Do you know who built that structure? Are you assured it will not collaps? No? But why are you contented reading, and so relaxed? Because faith is not reason. The Lord moves by faith, and not so much by reason.
      If you cannot explain what is happening in your life right now, trust the God who knows you personally. Trust God who drives your life, who prepares your meals and builds your future. Have faith in the one who constantly has His eyes set on you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
      Rest in Him. Arun G.

REFLECTION:
How can I concretely grow in faith today?

Teach me to rest in Your will dear Lord. Amen

COMPANION

1st READING

3 John 5-8

John is appreciative of the help that Gaius has given some acquaintances of his. His charity bears witness to the level of conversion of his heart to the Gospel. We should all try to be as hospitable to strangers, particularly those with legitimate needs, as this is truly a sign of Christian charity and love. We never know when we migh?t be in need of such charity and hospitality ourselves. There can be no better preparation for such times than ensuring that we behave in a like manner to those who come to us for help. Love will always beget love. This is the type of world in which I want to live.

5 Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers, especially for strangers; 6 they have testified to your love before the church. Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey. 7 For they have set out for the sake of the Name and are accepting nothing from the pagans. 8 Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

P S A L M

Psalm 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

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) 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house; his generosity shall endure forever. 4 Light shines through the darkness for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just. (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 man shall be in everlasting remembrance. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 18:1-8


People can be motivated by the wrong reasons to do the right thing. Is there any goodness in such an act? Yes, but it is a limited sort of goodness and it has little if any positive effect upon the character of the person in question. This is why Jesus cries out at the end of the story, ?Will the Son of Man find any faith on the earth?? Jesus is lamenting the fact that there seems to be a lack of faith and a lack of good will between people. Yes, there are some things that seem to be done right, but often they are done for the wrong reasons. Let us pray for insight to recognize and then act according to the demands of our faith and to do so with love and trust in the Lord.

1 Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without  becoming weary. He said, 2 ?There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. 3 And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ?Render a just decision for me against my adversary.? 4 For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ?While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, 5 because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.?? 6 The Lord said, ?Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. 7 Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? 8 I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth??

my reflections
think:
Love will always beget love.

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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 Acts 1-3

SABBATH

BE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

I am glad that I am not a judge. I would not enjoy reading today?s parable about the unjust judge. In case a judge reads this reflection, please, don?t get angry with Jesus. Listening to Jesus? parables, we all get a slap in the face once in a while. Like when I read the parable of the Good Samaritan where a hated Gentile is portrayed as better than the priest.
      Jesus exhorts all of us today ?to pray at all times without losing heart.? We know well how difficult it is to persevere in prayer. This can have several reasons. We might be very busy and think that we ?waste? too much precious time when we pray. Or we have experienced that God did not answer our prayer. Or our prayer has lost spontaneity. Maybe our prayer is too often just a repetition of formulas and not a real encounter with God.
     Look at the widow. Her prayer was insistent, almost violent. Did you ever become  violent before God? This parable could help us to free ourselves from a wrong notion about prayer. Prayer is not always peaceful and calm. The psalms in the Bible provide many examples of tortured prayers. Some of the psalms accuse God of not listening, of being far away, of not caring. There are psalms which are outbursts of people nearly breaking down in despair, demanding that God punish their enemy. These are real prayers, and I am glad that they are in the Bible. Before God we are not supposed to make nice speeches, to cover up our inner emotions, to use sweet words we actually don?t mean. Prayer must not always be lofty. The widow had a problem and she submitted it to the only one who could solve it, the judge. And when she addressed him, she did not beat around the bush. So, tell God what you feel, tell him when you are angry with him, tell him about what your enemy has done to you. You know, God is a great shock absorber! He knows us because he has made us. And he understands. It is always better to tell all this to God than tell it to someone else. If we let the steam out in the presence of God, he can and will give inner peace. All the angry psalms in the Bible end with a feeling of inner peace and new hope. And then we can pray nice words which come from the heart. Fr. Rudy H.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Do I easily give up when my prayers are not immediately answered? Do I lack trust in God?

Lord, here I am praying now and wondering whether it is a real prayer. My prayer is often so superficial. I don?t mean what I say. I recite formulas from prayer books, and forget that I am supposed to be in a conversation with you. Send the Holy Spirit to teach me how to pray and never give up.

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, virgin, pray for us.




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