READINGS for 2006-12-29

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

NO MATTER HOW DIRTY

?and he is the expiation for our sins. ? 1 John 2:2

God has a unique way of changing one?s life.
       It all started when I met this girl two years ago. I courted her right away even if she had a boyfriend. After a week of being together, we went ?all the way?. Two weeks later, she told me that her period was late. ?Ang bilis no?? she said, blackmailing me. At that time, I decided to learn to love her. Out of desperation, we thought of having an abortion. But that never happened. Weeks later, we decided to tell the truth to our parents.
        My father took me away for a week, to give myself time to think. And feeling all alone, for the first time ever, I cried out to God. Later, my mother received a text message from the girl saying she had had herself checked. She was five months pregnant.
        We had been together for only three months. The baby wasn?t mine. When I realized I no longer had to go with this girl, I was relieved. I wasn?t ready to have a family. God brought me to my senses. I knew my life had to change.
        Today, I?m serving God through Christ?s Youth in Action. My whole life has changed. No matter how dirty I got, God cleansed me. Alvin A.

REFLECTION:
Do you really believe that God has taken your sins away?

Lord, thank You for taking my sins away. Thank You that I have a future following You.

COMPANION

1st READING

1 John 2:3-11

John returns to the imagery of light and darkness in trying to describe what it means to follow Jesus. If we live in the light of the truth of the commandments that have been given to us, we will be able to avoid the darkness of sin. It is as simple as that. This is what we need to do, not on our own strength but under the grace of God given to us through the Sacraments. God has not abandoned us to our own devices, but He continues to walk with us ? to lead and guide us in His path of truth and holiness.

3 The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. 4 Whoever  says, ?I know him,? but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: 6 whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived. 7 Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. 11 Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

P S A L M

Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 5-6

R: Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!


1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Sing to the LORD; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 5 The LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty go before him; praise and grandeur are in his sanctuary. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 2:22-35


Jesus? parents were observant Jews and so they take Him to Jerusalem to observe the various rites for first-born males. The prophecy of Simeon must have given Jesus? parents something to think about due to its rather cryptic nature. As we look back on it, it is obvious to us what Simeon means. However, at the time I am sure those who heard it would have been left wondering what he meant. The favor given to Simeon to lay his eyes on Jesus indicates to me that a man who had won such a gift from the Lord must have been quite holy. Let us strive for the same level of holiness or greater in order to see and receive the many favors that God has in store for those who love and serve Him.

22 When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, ?Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,? 24 and to offer the sacrifice of ?a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,? in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. 27 He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 29 ?Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.? 33 The child?s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ?Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted 35 (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that 
the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.?

my reflections
think:
If we live in the light of the truth of the commandments that have been given to us, we will be able to avoid the darkness of sin.

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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 Revelation 10-14

SABBATH

  HE SAW THEREFORE HE WENT

Sometimes we hear someone say, ?It is enough for me to have seen you. I can go now.? Simeon can be that someone today. God promised him that he would not die without seeing Christ. Now that he sees the Lord, he may see death. It is enough for Simeon to see Jesus; he is now ready to go.
      If I were Simeon, I confess that I might ask God more. After seeing the baby Jesus, I might request God to make me see the toddler Jesus, the adolescent Jesus and the adult Jesus before I die. How about you?
      But how come Simeon now also tells Mary what her Child will be? How come he can warn Mary about the sword that will pierce her own soul?
      Simeon sees more than the present. He sees the future even in the present. He sees more than the baby Jesus. He sees the Christ Jesus. He sees with the eyes of faith.
      No wonder, Simeon is able to wait for so long a time to see the fulfillment of God?s promise to him. He has faith in God. He believes that God keeps His word and so he sees the Word of God Incarnate.
      While we may say that Simeon has a great deal of patience in waiting, it is more than patience that made him live up to this day when he sees he whom he waits for. He believes and so he lives. He has faith and so he sees.
      After he saw the baby Jesus, blessed His parents and confided with Mary, there is nothing more heard about Simeon in the Gospels. You know why? Because seeing the Lord was enough for him. And so he went. Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
What will be enough for me to believe that God keeps His promises?

Father, You fulfill Your promises. You always keep Your word even as You gave us Your Word. Help us to believe in Your faithfulness always. And teach us how to give our brothers and sisters more reason to believe in Your fidelity by being faithful to our own promises always. Amen.

St. Thomas Becket, bishop martyr, pray for us.




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