READINGS for 2007-01-31

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Endure your trials as ?discipline?; God treats you as sons. For what ?son? is there whom his father does not discipline? ? Hebrews 12:7

?Boy, are you hard headed,? says my Tatay in exasperation while hitting my behind with a pillow. Upon impact, it bursts! And as the cotton filler starts making the room snow-filled, it?s my mother?s turn to start complaining, worried that she?d get an asthma attack.
      I remember clearly that whenever I broke one of Tatay?s ?rules,? this same scenario would take place. No, I would never get hit by a belt or by anything as hard as wood. It was always a pillow that Tatay used... so the punishment would not really be a punishment but more of a reminder that wrongdoing will not go unanswered. The softness of the instrument didn?t keep me from wailing, of course, but I think my father suffered more from my mom?s nagging about how quickly we ran out of pillows!
      God Our Father uses pillows to call our attention, too. He stays His hand from punishing us with force. Instead He uses gentle reminders to call us back to Himself.
      I was once imprisoned at the Correctional Institution for Women. But I didn?t consider this a harsh punishment in the long run. Because that was where I found my way back to Him! Beth C.

God says, ?Child, do you get hurt when I spank you? It is only because I love you and don?t want you to stray too far  from me.?

Jesus, My Savior, make straight what I have made crooked and allow me not to sin again.



Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

What an indictment the first line of today?s reading is if it is true in the sense that we give up too easily in our fight against sin. Here is a true test of the depth of our commitment in the fight against sin. How easily do we give up when temptation comes? How willing are we to truly humble ourselves in the fight against sin and draw on the help of others to overcome particular sins with which we struggle? We will all be faced with situations in our lives that are beyond our own immediate power and require divine assistance. How quickly will we call upon it or will we be stubborn and hardheaded and try to last it out on our own?

4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. 5 You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: ?My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; 6 for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.? 7 Endure your trials as ?discipline?; God treats you as sons. For what ?son? is there whom his father does not discipline. 11 At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. 12 So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. 13 Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many  may become defiled.


Psalm 103: 1-2, 13-14, 17-18

R: The Lord?s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him, 14 for he knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust. (R) 17 But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him, and his justice toward children?s children 18 among those who keep his covenant. (R)


Mark 6:1-6

Faith is the catalyst through which the power of God is exercised in our lives. This means that we have to first admit that we are powerless to overcome sin on our own and entrust ourselves to God. This means that we have to be humble enough to admit our powerlessness in this regard. Then and only then can the power of God work consistently within our lives. Discipleship of Jesus is the process of learning to trust that God will bring about His promises in our lives if we are willing to surrender all to Him.

1 He departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, ?Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! 3 Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?? And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, ?A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.? 5 So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. He went around to the villages in the vicinity teaching.

my reflections
How easily do we give up when temptation comes?



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





St. Paul is called ?The Apostle to the Gentiles?. St. Faustina Kowalska is the ?Apostle of the Divine Mercy?. St. John Bosco, whose blessed memory we celebrate today is known as ?The Apostle to the Youth?.
      Born in 1815, John Bosco devoted his life in ministering to the young people of his time, most especially the delinquents. He believed that delinquents should not be punished but reformed by giving them a good Catholic education. He sought to teach them a trade so that they could become productive and responsible members of society. This he did as he appealed to self-respect which every human being values. He had no formal system of education but centered on persuasion, genuine religiosity, and love for young people. Eventually, he gathered men who shared his vision and founded a religious order called the ?Salesians of Don Bosco?. Later on, he co-founded with St. Mary Mazzarello a religious order for women, the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians. Having led a holy life spent in the service of the Church, John Bosco passed away in 1888 at Turin, Italy.
      Sometimes we easily dismiss people with the words, ?Oh, I know him!? This was exactly what ran through the minds of Jesus? townmates in the Gospel today. Jesus seemed to be too ordinary and familiar for them. Too bad, they were actually missing what they thought they already knew about Jesus.
      Jesus was not a delinquent, but if John Bosco happened to be one of the Jews in the Gospel today, John would surely not have had that thought nor said those words about Jesus. John saw beyond what the eye can see. He saw a precious child of God in the person of the delinquent. He will surely not miss seeing the Beloved of God in the person of Jesus.
      May we see Jesus in the ordinary and familiar. But may we see Him even more in the delinquents. Then we are indeed apostles of the Lord. Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: What kind of an apostle of the Lord am I?

Make me see people, O Lord, as You see them, love them as You love them, and serve them as You serve them. Make me an apostle of Your love. Amen.

St. Bobinus, pray for us.

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