READINGS for 2006-11-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?But the wise shall shine brightly? ? Daniel 12:3

My husband loves stargazing.
      He knows constellations to their names, and ages. He knows stories behind them and the galaxies that contain them. There was one anniversary where we capped the night stargazing outside our bedroom. Cuddled up under the soft moonlight, we waited for and counted shooting stars, created shapes out of the brighter stars and just had great fun.
      Today, the wise are likened to stars. I remember people who have shone in my life by their wisdom, leadership and counsel. I commit to my memory people who have shown me the way, listened and cared, and led me to the right path.
      May the Lord bless our leaders, our lay preachers, priests and bishops. May they be granted more wisdom, hunger for holiness and stronger resolve to follow the Lord.
      I pray for all husbands, leaders of their families. May more men come to know the Lord, and love Him deeply. May He raise up men faithful to their callin and unwavering in their love for their family, that we as wives, may find them our forever stars, shining brightly like the splendor of the firmament.
      As for my husband, he will forever be my brightest shining star. Lallaine G.

Who are the people who have guided your walk with the Lord? Pray for them today.

Dear Jesus, Bright Morning Star, cast away all darkness in my life. Amen.



Daniel 12:1-3

It is us, as followers of Christ, who are the learned and teachers of others. The witness of our lives must be as beacons in the darkness, guiding weary travelers on their way home. This is our responsibility as people who have received the gift of salvation and who are persevering in our walk of discipleship. The way we live is an important expression of our commitment to the Gospel and to the truth of God?s promise of salvation. Let us pray that we will always be faithful in living it out to the full.

1 ?At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. 3 But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.


Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11

R: You are my inheritance, O Lord!

5 O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. 8 I set the LORD ever before me; with him at  my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; 10 because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful   one to undergo corruption. (R) 11 You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)


Hebrews 10:11-14, 18

The author of this letter to the Hebrews is clear in his understanding that the Old Testament sacrifices, while performed in good faith, have absolutely no effect in removing the sin from the lives of the people. It is only the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that can do this. Thus, it is this sacrifice that we celebrate in the Eucharist and other sacraments as being the source of our salvation. Nothing can ever substitute for it, that is, it is only through the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary that any person can be saved!

11 Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; 13 now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated. 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.


Mark 13:24-32

We must cling to the words of Jesus as they contain the truth and the directions we must follow to receive eternal life. We cannot afford to allow ourselves to become distracted in any way from the light of truth that they contain. The world will seek to seduce us with its lies and counter arguments. However, let us fix our hearts and minds upon the Word of God and see to it that the world does not gain a hold over our lives.

24 ?But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see ?the Son of Man coming in the clouds? with great power and glory, 27 and then he will send out the angels and gather [his] elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. 28 ?Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. 30 Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 ?But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.?
my reflections
: The witness of our lives must be as beacons in the darkness, guiding weary travelers on their way home.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________




My weekly time with God


Things to be grateful for from the past week





Things to ask God for in the coming week





Most important word God told me this week





St. Luke
Evangelist (first century)
  ?It seemed good to me also ? to write an orderly account for you,
  most excellent Theophilus, that you may know that truth concerning
  the things of which you have been informed.?

St. Luke was the author of one of the four Gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles. From references in the letters of St. Paul it is supposed that he was a gentile Christian who accompanied Paul on many of his journeys and who attended him faithfully during his final days of imprisonment. In his letter to the Colossians Paul refers to ?Luke, the beloved physician,? a phrase which has prompted the traditional depictions of Luke as a doctor. Support for this tradition may perhaps be found in the clinical detail with which Luke ornaments his stories of illness and healing. But as Joseph Donders has observed, ?Luke?s greater concern is with Jesus as the ?healer of a broken world.??
      Luke?s Gospel is marked by a special concern for the poor, the marginalized, women, and social outcasts. His account of the Nativity, with its stress on the faith of Mary, emphasizes the humbleness of Jesus? birth and its significance in fulfilling the hopes of the poor. He has Jesus announce his mission in the synagogue in Nazareth with the text from Isaiah, ?The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, ? to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.? In Luke?s version of the Beatitudes, Jesus proclaims, ?Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.? And it is in Luke?s Gospel that we find the parable of the rich man and the poor beggar, Lazarus, that offers such a striking image of the relation between mercy  and justice in this life and in the life to come.
      Throughout history Luke?s Gospel has held special meaning for those Christian movements inspired by the poverty of Jesus and his ministry among the poor. It is significant, however, that Luke never met Jesus. His knowledge of Jesus came only from his encounter with the Risen Lord, present in the Christian communities he described in Acts. Of all the evangelists, Luke had the most vital sense of God?s presence in ongoing history. That is why his story does not end with the resurrection of Jesus in the life of the church and in the midst of the world. That story, which is partly Luke?s legacy, continues still.




It seems so scary what Jesus tells His disciples today; it?s like a doomsday message. But really Jesus was only using a way of speaking that was commonly used by Jews and early Christians during times of oppression. It is called apocalyptic language. The main message and intention was always to give hope and encouragement to the persecuted. Apocalyptic speaks always of the destruction of the oppressors and persecutor. They should be scared. But it ensures the suffering listener that God is in charge of history and remains in control of all events in universal and individual history. God will defeat all evil! He ?is the same yesterday and today and forever? (Hebrews 13:8). Whatever our misgivings about our future might be, we must not panic. And so we are told today: Don?t give up. Go on! In spite of what you are undergoing now, remain loyal to the Lord! When things fall apart, they are replaced by better ones. After the joys and miseries of this life the Lord has promised us resurrection and eternal life. It will not be given us for free, of course. The way we master the difficulties of life now by remaining loyal we ?earn? our entrance ticket to eternal joy.
      Jesus assures us that even if the whole world one day will pass away, His words, His promises, His love will remain. Isn?t this a tremendous assurance for us who are going through difficult times? Though the world be blown into bits by terrorists, the Lord?s words cannot be destroyed.
      And there is the image of the fig tree. Different from most other trees in Palestine, the fig tree loses its leaves during winter. I had a fig tree in my convent garden in Japan. During the first winter I wanted to cut it down because it looked dead. But it turned out that, as spring approached, it was ready to burst with new life,. The same is true of the church and of us. Although we may be experiencing difficulties, problems and apparent death, deep within us is the Holy Spirit working right from the day of our baptism. He is the nucleus of new life and rebirth. No matter what happens, divine life is in us and in the church and this divine life is stronger than all deadly threats. Fr. Rudy H.

Which problems weigh me down most? Do I lack trust in the powerful presence and fatherly providence of God?

Thank you, Lord, for this message of hope and encouragement. I needed it. The situation in the world, in the country depresses me. And in my own personal life I face so many problems that I easily get discouraged. I really need Your assurance once more that You are in charge of my life. Clinging to You, Lord, no evil can touch me.

St. Gregory the Wonder-worker, confessor, father of the church, pray for us.

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