READINGS for 2007-02-03

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

DOWNPOUR OF GRACE

May the God of peace? furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. ? Hebrews 13:20-21

I was being pursued by some people who wanted to do me harm. They were chasing me around a residential village and I attempted to evade them by hiding in one of the houses. But they cornered me. Trapped, I had nowhere else to go. They drenched me with gasoline and poured a trail of fuel. Then the leader of the gang lit a match and dropped it to ignite the infernno.
      As the lighted matchstick fell in slow motion, I thought, This is it. I?m dead. But the most unexpected thing happened. It began to rain! The downpour doused the fire and I was saved.
      I woke up from that vivid dream and knew it was a message from the Lord. What a dramatic illustration of grace! My fate had already been sealed but His downpour of grace quenched the fiery darts of the enemy. God will not leave us unaided. Even when troubles surround us, He will equip us with what we need so we can continue to live and grow in His love. Rissa S.

REFLECTION:
If God calls you, He?ll equip you.

Jesus, You?re always watching out for me. You even give me all that I need to live according to Your will. For this I am eternally grateful. Amen.

COMPANION

1st READING

Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21

The author of Hebrews encourages us to share our resources. It never ceases to amaze me how, out of pride and self-sufficiency, human beings can be so reluctant to embrace this call. Too often we see resources wasted in duplicating structures or materials that would be better shared. Let us seek to do what we can to set things on a better footing. Let us seek ways to share our resources and help one another when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel.

15 Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind. 17 Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you. 20 May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, 21 furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

P S A L M
 

Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; 3 he refreshes my soul. (R) He guides me in right paths for his name?s sake. 4 Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage. (R) 5 You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (R) 6 Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. (R)

G O S P E L

Mark 6:30-34

Let us pray for wise and holy shepherds in the church today. Let us pray that God will raise up men and women whose hearts are to care for the flocks entrusted to them so that the People of God will not wander aimlessly through life. We all need guidance in our spiritual journeys. Let us pray that the Church will never lack for men and women who will devote themselves to this task.
  
30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, ?Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.? People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

my reflections
think: 
Let us seek ways to share our resources and help one another when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel.

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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 Numbers 7-9

SABBATH

OBEYING OUR LEADERS

It seems that today the word ?obedience? has taken on a pejorative sort of meaning particularly when applied to adults. Why should an adult be in obedience to another adult? Surely he or she is old enough to make up their own minds concerning the issues of their lives. This very individualistic attitude seems to be a result of a gradual process in western philosophy which, has seen a dramatic shift in focus from the human community as a whole, or what we could term the common good, to the individual person over and against those around him or her. This very unhealthy step is perhaps expressed most forcefully by Sartre through one of his fictional characters St. Genet when he said ?Hell is other people.? (The Flies)
      The author of the Letter to the Hebrews exhorts us all to live in obedience to our leaders. This is not an exhortation that means the loss of our personal freedom if we understand it properly. No person can survive on his or her own; it is even questionable if it is possible to actually fully experience what it means to be a person if one is totally isolated from all other human beings. However, there is a place in all of our lives, including the faith dimension, where we need to be led along the path that will lead us to eternal life. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that this path is narrow; therefore it makes sense that we will need help to stay on it!
      Jesus specifically raised up leaders, the apostles, in order to form them to continue the work He began in proclaiming the Good News. At the very least we are all called to be absolutely obedient to God?s will; and here is the catch: this also leads to a very clear understanding that we are to be obedient to those whom He has raised up to lead us in the journey of faith. Our obedience is not merely blindly following everything that we are told to do. A good leader will place a vision before his flock and then give general guiding principles so that the goal will be achieved. We are all adults with our own minds and gifts and abilities; it is up to our leaders to draw forth the best from us all and thus maximize our potential in serving the Kingdom of God. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I live my life in obedience to God and those whom He has given authority in my life?

Lord Jesus, You were obedient to Your Father?s will. Help me to submit my life to Your will and to do this joyfully and freely.

Sts. Blase and Ansgar, bishops and martyrs, pray for us.




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