READINGS for 2007-03-15

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



I told them to live the way I had commanded them... – Jeremiah 7:23

As someone who has visited the US only in the summer, I was excited to learn that this time, I was going in autumn.
      Relatives and friends from the East Coast sent me a hundred messages about how I should bring thick clothes. They gave me lecture upon lecture about the importance of layering clothes to survive. They promised to lend me the right coats and jackets when I got there. I received endless warnings on how I would be facing the coldest cold of my life. So I packed with all their tidbits of wisdom in my head and thankfully, the cold weather did not kill me. I listened; I survived. I had my fair share of freezing, but still I survived thanks to good advice.
      Many times, the Lord gives me specific directions when I am in a dilemma. I can almost hear Him tell me what to do step by step. However, His directions are not always as easy as putting on a thicker coat, so I oftentimes refuse to obey. It’s extremely easy to turn a deaf ear when the consequences of my decisions don’t seem as harsh as frostbite. But ignoring God is like choosing not to survive. Why should I wait until I find myself in the darkest, coldest pit before I listen? Anna dG.

Are you ignoring the voice of God?

Lord, teach me how to pay attention to You.



Jeremiah 7:23-28

When we refuse to listen to the voice of God in prayer, we cannot claim that we have not heard Him tell us that we are not walking along the right path. What I mean by this is that if we stop praying, how are we going to be sure that we are living according to His will? This is the situation I often confront in a counseling situation – people tolerating sin in their lives because they are not hearing God telling them otherwise. However, they are not praying and listening to God’s word either so how could they hear Him speak to them anyway?

23 This rather is what I commanded them: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. 24 But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me. 25 From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day, I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets. 26 Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers. 27 When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.


Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

1 Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us greet him with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalm to him. (R) 6 Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. 7 For he is our God, and  we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. (R) Oh, that today you would hear his voice: 8 “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, 9 where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works.” (R)


Luke 11:14-23

Jesus exercises extraordinary power in His ministry because He knows that all He does is according to the will of God. We can exercise the same or similar power, (this is Jesus’ promise to us) if we also act according to the will of God for our lives. There have been numerous examples among the saints where they have worked many more miracles than Jesus ever did during His ministry. The power is available to us. Let us pray for the grace of holiness in order to be able to exercise it well!
14 He was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute person spoke and the crowds were amazed. 15 Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” 16 Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. 17 But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. 18 And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. 19 If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom  do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. 22 But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

my reflections
When we refuse to listen to the voice of God in prayer, we cannot claim that we have not heard Him tell us that we are not walking along the right path.



God’s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





I was being prepared for my pastoral exposure in 1994. My Rector and I had designed a pastoral program for me for the next four months. Seeing my strong inclination to missionary work, he wanted me to join a group of missionaries in Mindanao in the midst of a predominantly Muslim populace. My Rector said that it would simply be an apostolate of presence, meaning I would just live with the missionaries. There would be no Masses open for the public, no baptism, no catechetical instructions. We would just be. We would simply live there as Christians.
      My Rector cautioned me not to engage in any active work of proselytizing as it would possibly spur some violent resistance from the natives. Unfortunately, just when everything was already set for my trip to my first missionary journey, one of the priests in that place where I was to be assigned was kidnapped by Muslim bandits. My mission was called off.
      I was sent to another mission area instead—among the lumads of Bukidnon. I did not have the chance to work with the missionaries among our Moslem brothers but it surely enkindled something in me, to another form of missionary work that I can still do—living out my faith by not doing but simply being, or what we call as apostolate of presence.
      Indeed this seemingly simple method of witnessing to the faith can prove to be very effective in bringing people to a life of holiness. Just live out your faith with all fidelity and sincerity and that will somehow bring others to a different kind of appreciation not just of your faith but of your very person.
      Those missionaries that I did not get know but whose greatness I have heard from others have been regarded in those parts with high esteem. The beauty of their faith has shone forth not in words but in their witnessing and continues to gather God’s scattered sheep to form one flock. Fr. Sandy V. E.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you sincere in your faith? May my presence cause others to love You.

St. Louise De Marillac, pray for us.

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