READINGS for 2006-12-14

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?That all may see and know, observe and understand?.? ? Isaiah 41:20a

Let me quote an excerpt of Fr. Boyet?s letter in St. Martin News, that?s the official newsletter of Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres, a home for children in crisis: ?Home is not the physical structure where we are born into, some babies are born on pushcarts, on sidewalks and street corners. Others are born in jail; and some, fatefully end up in dumpsters. More so, you don?t necessarily need to have biological parents to mean you belong to a home. Home is where God is; where love is.?
      The Lord?s assurance of help and redemption in Isaiah is actually being fulfilled through this missionary priest whom the Lord used powerfully to build several mission centers in Bulacan and other parts of the country.
      But reading through their newsletter about the ?dream formation complex? for their needy wards I can ?see and know, observe and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this.?
      Even in just this particular project, the assurance of God?s love and help is really for real.Cristy G.

We have nothing to fear for as long as God is with us.

Thank you, Lord. You worked wonders through the poor, abandoned, and needy just as You are working wonders in my life. Amen.



Isaiah 41:13-20

God is the ultimate provider of all that is good and all that we need to live. This does not absolve us of the responsibility to be good stewards of all that He gives us. In fact stewardship will be one of the bases by which we are judged on the Last Day. it is essential that we use the gifts that God has given us well. If we waste them then we will have to give an account of this eventually. This will not be a comfortable experience; far better to avoid it by being a good steward in the first place.

13 For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; it is I who say to you, ?Fear not, I will help you.? 14 Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 I will make of you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and double-edged, to thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff. 16 When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off and the storm shall scatter them. But you shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17 The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water. 19 I will plant in the desert the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive; I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, 20 That all may see and know, observe and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.


Psalm 145:1, 9, 10-11, 12-13

R: The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.

1 I will extol you, O my God and King, and I will bless your name forever and ever. 9 The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. (R) 10 Let all your works  give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. 11 Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might. (R) 12 Let them make known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. (R)


Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus links His own ministry to that of Elijah through the ministry of John the Baptist. Roots are important for the Jewish people as it tells us something about the person. Matthew and Luke?s Gospels give genealogies of Jesus for precisely this reason. In the same way, Jesus needs to situate His ministry within a context that has meaning for those who listen to Him. It will help them understand what He is trying to teach them! This is why Tradition is so important in the Church ? it means that we can trace our heritage back to its origins in Jesus and the Early Church. Without this unbroken Tradition, we cannot be sure of the legitimacy of the claims of any preacher. Upon what is he or she basing the Gospel they are proclaiming?

11 Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. 13 All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. 15 Whoever has ears ought to hear.

my reflections
It is essential that we use the gifts that God has given us well.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Thessalonians 1-3



If the Americans have Uncle Sam, we Filipinos have Juan dela Cruz. Unfortunately, it is not Juan dela Cruz we remember today. Our Juan dela Cruz is fiction but not necessarily false because we project to him our traits, strengths and weaknesses, and aspirations as a people. However, because very often the crosses we bear as a nation prove to be real and heavy, St. John of the Cross may well be the patron saint of our Juan dela Cruz.
      St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite priest who lived in the mid 1500?s, was endowed with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross. He taught us how to carry our crosses as he went through the different stages in spiritual growth which he referred to as ?dark nights.? These were times where one was left without maps or familiar landmarks and had no choice but to allow God to take over. For him, ?dark nights? are not identical with spiritual failure. They are moments when we are changed not by our loving God but by letting ourselves be loved by God. In his words, ?The Lover transformed by the Beloved.?
      As the only Christian nation in the Far East, we are given the grace of bearing witness to Christ by the crosses we bear. Our country goes through many ?dark nights?. And the bright morning remains too far for us to get a glimpse of even today. Many raise the question as to why would God give us so many crises? political, economic and even religious ? if we are His special people in this part of the globe. While equally many are the answers proposed, the best is still the fact that God is changing us not by our loving Him but by allowing ourselves to be loved by Him.
      Of course, this should not be an alibi for us not to work hard in alleviating ourselves from the miseries we are in. But it, however, throws all our national pain into a totally new situation. It is the situation of grace.
      Our Juan dela Cruz will never be a saint even as it remains our national identity. But we can become like St. John of the Cross who said two important things that may bring some light into our dark nights: ?If you search for love and find it not, put love and you will find love? and ?At the evening of life, we shall be judged on love.?
      Love alone can make Juan?s cross Juan?s grace. Fr. Bobby T.

What do my crosses make out of me?

We accept, dear Lord, the cross of discipleship. But give us the strength and courage to carry it each day. As the only Christian nation in the Far East, may we bear witness to the blessings that come from the cross and by Your love for us make the dawning of a bright day break into the dark nights of many nations. Amen.

St. John of the Cross, confessor, pray for us.

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