READINGS for 2006-12-16

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

START

Eli?jah has already come? ? Matthew 17:12

I love this story.
      The man saw five acres of beautiful, majestic daffodils, and he said, ?it looked as though someone had taken a shimmering vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes??
      The man went to the owners? house, and he read a sign, whose headline read, ?Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking.?
      The first answer was a simple one. ?50,000 bulbs,? it read.
      The second answer was, ?One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain.?
      The third answer was, ?Began in 1958.?
      Wow. It took fifty years, one little plant at a time.
      Now let?s get back to the passage above: How could John the Baptist be the great Elijah? Here?s the answer: He did Elijah?s work, one little act at a time.
      Now how do you become like Elijah? (Yes, YOU!)
      You don?t become him overnight, that?s for sure. You start now, one simple act at a time?two hands, two feet, and a very small brain. Fifty years from now, who knows? May you also cover the earth?not with a shimmering vat of gold or with majestic daffodils?but with a mighty river of love, all springing from your little heart. Bo S.

REFLECTION:
?Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but set about remedying them? every day begin the task anew.? ? St. Francis de Sales

Lord, make me an Elijah. Help me to share Your love and word today!

COMPANION

1st READING

Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8 (Or Sirach 48:1-4,9-11)


This account of Elijah?s return to the Lord gave rise to the belief that perhaps he had not died and thus would come again to prepare the way for the Messiah. Whatever credence we may give to this belief today, it was certainly a factor in the mind of the Jew at the time of Jesus. Some Jews still set a spare place at table when they celebrate the Passover in case Elijah should come to join them. We may think this is a bit silly, but the symbolism of hope and faith in actions such as this are all a part of the traditions that develop in religious practice.

1 Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. 2 Happy is the man who does this, the son of man who holds to it; who keeps the sabbath free from profanation, and his hand from any evildoing. 3 Let not the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the LORD, ?The LORD will surely exclude me from his people?; nor let the eunuch say, ?See, I am a dry tree.? 6 And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants ? all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, 7 them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. 8 Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, others will I gather to him besides those already gathered.

P S A L M

Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8 (or Psalm 80)

R: O God, let all the nations praise you!


1 [2] May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 2 [3] So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation. (R) 4 [5] May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. (R) 6 [7] The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us. 7 [8]  May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him! (R)

G O S P E L

John 5:33-36 (Or Matthew 17:9-13)


John the Baptist is sometimes thought to be Elijah returning to prepare the way for the Messiah. He certainly shares some of the same character traits with Elijah. Ultimately, it does not really matter whether he is Elijah returned or not. The important thing is that John prepares the way for Jesus. This is something that we should all be doing in terms of Jesus? Second Coming. We should be preaching the Good News to the ends of the earth, as this is one of the prerequisites to be fulfilled before Jesus will come again.

33 ?You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have testimony greater than John?s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.?

my reflections
think:
We should be preaching the Good News to the ends of the earth.

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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 2Timothy 1-4

SABBATH

THE WORLD WAITS

The Jews believe that Elijah did not die. The Old Testament Scripture says that the prophet was taken by a fiery chariot into the heavens. Elisha, his prot?g?e, witnessed this miraculous event.
      Because Elijah did not die, the Jews expect him to arrive ahead of the Messiah. But there was no literal reappearance of the Great Prophet. There was, however, his symbolic reappearance in John the Baptist. In the Gospel today, Jesus did not explicitly refer to the Baptizer as the fulfillment of the Elijah homecoming. He simply confirmed that Elijah already came but was not recognized. It was Matthew who concluded that the disciples understood that Jesus was speaking of John the Baptist.
      Before the Lord Jesus comes again at the end of the world, we believe that He is already with us. He is with us in the sacraments, in the Scriptures, and in one another, most especially the poor with whom He so intimately identifies Himself.
      Come to think of it, the Lord?s coming at the end of time is, therefore, not really an arrival. It is not as if He is not yet here. He is here! The coming of the Lord at the end of the world is an appearance of the Lord, an appearance that will be totally and undoubtedly recognizable for you and me. We will not only see Him; we shall likewise recognize Him as He is.
      But for now, do we see Him? Do we see Him in the poor and the suffering? Do we see Him in one another? Do we welcome Him in the sacraments and hear Him in the Scriptures? And do others see Him in us?
      It is useless to wait for the reappearance of Elijah. He already did, the Lord said. He was John the Baptist, the disciples believed. It is now the time to see the Lord. He is already here.
      As we end today the first part of our Advent preparation, let us remember that we shall recognize the Lord when He comes at the end of the world if and only if we see Him now. Christmas is not seeing the Lord for the first time. Christmas is making the Lord seen in us and through us always. The world today does not wait for Elijah.It waits for your love.Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
How long should I keep the world waiting for my love?

Lord Jesus Christ, You are already present in our midst. Please help us to see You. In seeing You may we recognize You. In recognizing You may we welcome You. In welcoming You may we live through You. In living through You may we love like You. Amen.

St. Adelaide, widow, pray for us.




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