READINGS for 2007-02-16

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.? ? Mark 9:1

My dad had intestinal cancer and we spent weeks in the hospital trying to compensate for the damages that the disease was wrecking on his body. But still, one night, he was bleeding profusely and nothing seemed to be helping. I finally made the decision to stop all medications and transfusions, and simply let nature take its own course.
      What was so striking was that he was not only alive the next day, but was alert and even ready to eat! It?s as if surrendering to the cancer was more liberating than trying to battle it.
      It makes me think of the way we almost always make it a battle of wills before we surrender ourselves to God. We think we know what?s best for us, or maybe we think that His will is too hard or even impossible to accept, but if we surrender then we discover that what God has intended is best for us after all.
      Now don?t get me wrong. I?m not endorsing you to give up the fight against your illness. Surrendering to cancer led to the inevitable conclusion ? death. But surrendering to God has its own conclusion ? eternal life. Isn?t that worth fighting for? Cecille L.

Are you still resisting His will? Give yourself up to Him! You won?t be sorry.

Lord, be it done unto me according to Your word.



Genesis 11:1-9

Why do the people of the world speak so many different languages? I do not think that it is a punishment from God as the result of a particular sin. However, it can be seen as a result of sin from another point of view. Our inability to communicate freely at all times is quite probably tied up with sin. If there were no sin there would still be total harmony among men and women. The other answer to the situation is simply that different languages developed in isolation from one another. However it happened, the reality is that today we have to work hard to understand one another both because of language barriers and other reasons as well.

1 The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words. 2 While men were migrating in the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to one another, ?Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.? They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, ?Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.? 5 The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men had built. 6 Then the LORD said: ?If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do. 7 Let us then go down and there confuse their language, so that one will not understand what another says.? 8 Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world. It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

P S A L M 

Psalm 33:10-11, 12-13, 14-15

R: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

10 The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. 11 But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. (R) Who do you say that Jesus is? Does your life reflect this in the way you live and the priority you give to spiritual things? 12 Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind. (R) 14 From his fixed throne he beholds all who dwell on the earth, 15 he who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works. (R)


Mark 8:34-9:1

The call to ?take up our cross and follow Jesus? is one of the classic images of discipleship. It captures a number of truths about discipleship including the one that it is not easy to follow Jesus. There will always be an element of suffering in discipleship. This is obvious if we consider that Jesus himself suffered for our salvation and that if we are going to imitate His life, then we must expect a certain element of suffering to be a part of our lives as well. At the very least we will be called to suffer in our desire that all men and women be saved.

34 He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, ?Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. 36 What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 What could one give in exchange for his life? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father?s glory with the holy angels.? 9: 1 He also said to them, ?Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power.?

my reflections
There will always be an element of suffering in discipleship.



 God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Deuteronomy 10-12




Have you ever stopped to reflect upon the nature of language, how different many of the languages are from one another, yet they each serve the same purpose ? namely to help us communicate with one another? This is the object of today?s first reading and it is an appropriate reflection to bring to conclusion the proto-history of the Book of Genesis.
      The people of three or four thousand years ago asked themselves why there are so many different languages. They then wrote today?s text, either based on an older legend or maybe they created it themselves, in order to explain how such an unfortunate state of affairs came to be. It is this process of reflection that has addressed a number of similar and profound realities in the experience of the peoples millennia ago. We have followed their reflections upon creation and sin; the experience of toil in work and pain in childbirth; we have looked at the question, albeit very briefly, of fratricidal thoughts and actions as well as the general sinfulness of humanity and so on.
      What do we learn from these 11 chapters? I hope we have been able to understand that such questions and many others have no simple or glib answers but ought to draw us into a deep and lasting dialogue with one another and God. It is only in this forum that we will begin to be able to address the issues that we can. Hopefully we will also begin to grow in our wonder and awe at all that God has given to us and done for us and thus enter more deeply into relationship with Him. Maybe our reflections will give rise to more questions! This will be good so long as we are willing to continue to search for understanding. Understanding and not so much answers are what we are looking for as the questions we are asking do not necessarily give way to simple answers such as 1+1=2. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Am I willing to invest my time and resources in reflecting upon some of the more profound questions of human existence? I hope so!

Holy Spirit, I need your inspiration and help my mind, heart and soul delve into the questions of life. Help me to walk this path with respect and a desire for truth and understanding.

St. Juliana, virgin and martyr, pray for us.

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