READINGS for 2006-12-03

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

1st Sunday of Advent

 YOUNGER

?stand erect and raise your heads...? ? Luke 21:28

There was a CLSS graduate who was so hyper in the Lord that he vowed, ?Lord I want to serve you today! Show me who will I help?? He saw an old lady by the side of the street and exclaimed, ?I will help her, Lord!? He energetically walked the Lola across the street. Then the old woman beat him with her umbrella shouting, ?Diyaskeng bata ere, hindi naman ako tatawid, itinawid ako!?
      How humbling it is to realize that the spiritual zeal and romantic feelings for God fade through the years. This is very much like our excitement for Christmas, which also decreases, as we grow more ?mature?. A friend who is now a Franciscan monk told me, ?As we grow older, our hearts should get younger.? Jesus teaches us the same, ?Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy.? (Luke 21:34) Without spiritual vigilance we become drowsy in spirit, we get old. But if we are ?vigilant at all times? (v.36) in worship, in prayer, character check and daily devotions, our hearts get younger.
      This childlike excitement keeps us ready for the coming of God, this Christmas and our personal redemption. ?Stand erect and raise your heads, for your redemption is at hand.? (v.28)Obet C.
  
REFLECTION:
The Lord shall come. A baby to our manger or a thief in the night? Choose.

Lord, make my heart an ever ready crib for Your birth within me. Maranatha.

COMPANION

1st READING

Jeremiah 33:14-16


We find ourselves once again at the beginning of the Church year. We look forward to the birthday of our Savior once again and, as we do this, we are called into a deeper relationship with Him through the Word of God. Jeremiah reflects on honesty and integrity in life. Let us work on these virtues in our own lives and thus become more committed to being men and women of the truth.

14 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. 15 In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. 16 In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her ?The LORD our justice.?

P S A L M

Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

R: To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.


4 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 guide me in your  truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day.  (R) 8 Good and upright is the LORD; thus he shows sinners the way. 9 He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way. (R) 10 All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees. 14 The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him, and his covenant, for their instruction. (R)

2nd READING

1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2


Paul prays that the Thessalonians will grow in their love for all people. This is so important for us as well! Love is really the measure of the degree of our conversion. The greater our willingness and ability to love, the greater the work of conversion in hearts accomplished. None of us are perfect yet, but at least we can start moving in the right direction!

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, 13 so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. [Amen.] 4: 1 Finally, brothers, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God ? and as you are conducting yourselves ? you do so even more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

G O S P E L

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36


An over-attention to looking for signs is a possible source of distraction for us. It is much better if we just fix our eyes on the requirements of the Kingdom of God and get on with living them to the full. If the world ends tomorrow, we will be prepared if our eyes are truly fixed on Jesus. If it does not end tomorrow then we will be doing our best to prepare for the coming end -- whenever that may be -- because our eyes are already fixed on Jesus!

25 ?There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.? 34 ?Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise 35 like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. 36 Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.?

my reflections
think:
Honesty and integrity in life: let us work on these virtues in our own lives.

  
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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 1Corinthians 9-11

SABBATH PAUSE

My weekly time with God

THANK YOU LIST

Things to be grateful for from the past week

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SPECIAL NEEDS

Things to ask God for in the coming week

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HIDDEN TREASURE

Most important word God told me this week

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GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS

  St. Gertrude the Great


  Mystic (1253 - 1302)

 
?Inscribe with your precious blood, most merciful Lord, your wounds
  on my heart, that I may read in them both your sufferings and your love.?

Of the birth and background of St. Gertrude there is no record. When she was five she was given to the nuns of the monastery at Helfta in Saxony, and within the walls of that enclosure she remained for the rest of her life. This monastery was one of the great religious communities of its time, distinguished by women of great learning as well as a number of famous mystics. One of them, St. Mechthild (d. 1295), was put in charge of the girl and oversaw her education and upbringing. Their relationship remained particularly intimate. When she came of age Gertrude was professed as a nun. The religious life was all she had ever known. Nevertheless she truly owned her vocation only at the age of 25. The turning point came one evening in the form of a young man. He spoke to her and said, ?Fear not. I will save and deliver you.? The figure was bathed in a dazzling light which emanated from his five wounds. He went on to say, ?You have licked the dust with my enemies and sucked honey from their thorns. Now come back to me, and my divine delights shall be was wine to you.? For the rest of her life Gertrude enjoyed frequent mystical revelations, often couched in dialogues with Christ, her Beloved Spouse. Believing these revelations were not for her own sake alone she forced herself to record them in a book, The Herald of Divine Love, a work combining great theological sophistication with mystical ardor. Nearly all the themes of Catholic theology are treated in her book, though the principal theme is god?s love for his creatures. Gertrude had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the point where human and divine love are most intimately joined.
      Gertrude was often in poor health. Once when she was too sick to attend a sermon the Lord spoke to her: ?Would you like me to preach to you, my dearest?? When she assented, ?the Lord made her lean against his heart, with the heart of her soul close to his divine heart. When her soul had sweetly rested there awhile, she heard in the Lord?s heart two wondrous and very sweet pulsations.? He told her that the first pulse was for the salvation of sinners, the second for the salvation of the just.
      Gertrude served her community as a spiritual director and was frequently called upon to lead the community in prayer. When another of Helfta?s mystics asked the Lord what he most liked about Gertrude, he answered: ?Her freedom of heart.? She died on November 17, 1302. Her feast day is observed on November 16.  

SABBATH

WAITING IS LOVING

In life, we always wait. In life, we all wait. We wait for the wedding of a couple, the birth of a baby, the first steps of a child, the call of a loved one, the return of a traveler, the visit of a relative, the letter of a friend, the healing of a wound, the recovery of the sick, the harvest of our labors, etc. In life, we wait almost anywhere. We wait for a ride in a bus station, for a flight in an airport, for the bill in a restaurant, for exams in school, for a Mass in a church, etc.
      We also wait for almost anyone, do we not? We wait for a child, for an elderly, for a parent, for a friend, for a brother or a sister, for a V.I.P., for a professor, for a priest, etc.
Our waiting may last from a sigh to a whole day, form nine months to a decade, from a century to a millennium. But what ever it takes and no matter how long, we wait because we value what and whom we wait for. We do not wait for occasions that we consider insignificant, for matter we judge as trivial, or for people we don?t care much for.
       The Lord is coming. The Gospels are very clear on this. We love the Lord very much, do we not? His coming must be very important for us. We should wait for His coming.
       We wait for the coming of the Lord by preparing ourselves and doing everything to make us less unworthy of His return. As He comes at the end of the world, we must prepare ourselves not because we fear Him but because we love Him. The lover always rejoices at the return of the beloved. Our love for the Lord keeps us awake as He may come at the hour we least expect. Our love for the Lord will give us the confidence to stand erect before Him when He comes. For as St. John of the Cross tells us, ?At the evening of life, we shall be judged on love.? Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
If I were to be judged on love, will I be counted among the blessed at the Lord?s return?

Help us, Lord, to wait for You by loving like You. May You find us awake and busy serving You in our brothers and sisters. At the evening of life, O Lord, when we have done all we could to please you and yet our sins overwhelm us, love us more and judge us not. Amen.

St. Francis Xavier, confessor, pray for us.




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