READINGS for 2007-03-28

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

BIG MISTAKE

“So if the Son makes you free, you will really be free.” – John 8:36

A friend of mine — let’s call her Natasha — shared a secret with me. She made me promise not to tell anyone because she wasn’t ready to share yet. I gave her my promise, and I did keep her secret. For a while, that is. Because when a mutual friend of ours asked me about it, I automatically told him the truth because I assumed Natasha had told him too.
      Big mistake.
      At first I pretended that it didn’t happen. They were friends anyway, so I figured Natasha wouldn’t mind.
      Another big mistake.
      After a while, Natasha forgave me, but I was having a hard time believing that she had.
      I always have the same reaction whenever I sin. I know all about the consequences of sin and yes, also forgiveness. However, when I sin, I feel only either apathy or guilt — two emotions I don’t like. And when time comes that I ask forgiveness from God, I still can’t shake the feeling of guilt or lose the echoes of “you should have known better” in my  mind. I feel like God keeps a record of my sins up there and when I die, it would all be dished out on me.
      That’s my biggest mistake. Tina M.

REFLECTION:
Do you know that the Son has set you free?

Help me learn to forgive myself more easily, because I know that You have forgiven me and set me free.

COMPANION

1st READING

Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95

The three faithful men are not about to throw away their principles for the sake of their lives. This is an extremely honorable position to take as death by fire cannot be a very comfortable way to die! However, God decides to stand beside the three in the midst of the fire and they are protected, leading to a semi-conversion of Nebuchadnezzar. It is in the fires of testing that our faith is purified; it is in the same place that our witness to God is the strongest!

14 King Nebuchadnezzar said: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? 15 Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! 18 But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up.” 19 Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual 20 and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the whitehot furnace. 24 [91] King Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Assuredly, O king,” they answered. 25 [92] “But”, he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like an angel.” 28 [95] Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

P S A L M 

Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R: Glory and praise for ever!


29 [Dan 3:52] “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; and blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.” (R) 30 [Dan 3:53] “Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.” (R) 31 [Dan 3:54] “Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (R) 32 [Dan 3:55] “Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (R) 33 [Dan 3:56] “Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.” (R)

G O S P E L

John 8:31-42

The Word of God is the true home of a disciple of Jesus. The first place that we will look for answers to the questions of life should be the Word of God. The first place we turn for consolation should be the same. It is in the Word of God that all that is necessary for the sake of our salvation is revealed to us. Let us not ignore such a wonderful source of grace for our salvation.
  
31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. 36 So if a Son frees you, then you will truly be free. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. 38 I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.” 39 They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. 40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. 41 You are doing the works of your father!” [So] they said to him, “We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

my reflections
think:
It is in the fires of testing that our faith is purified.

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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 1 Kings 12-13

GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS

Saint Heribert of Cologne

Saint Heribert of Cologne was the son of Duke Hugo of Worms. He was born in Worms, Germany in 970. The young Heribert was educated in the monastery at Gorze in Lorraine. On his return home, he was given a canonry then was ordained priest. Heribert was active in both secular and church affairs, such that in 994, he became chancellor to King Otto III and in 998, archbishop of Cologne.

As imperial chancellor, he accompanied Otto III to Italy. He was with the king until his death at Paterno. Saint Heribert was not in good conditions with the successor of the throne, King Henry II. But in the end, the new king learned to acknowledge the saint s wisdom and uprightness that he too appointed him his chancellor.

As archbishop and pastor of his flock, Saint Heribert divided his income between the church and the poor, keeping only what was enough to provide for his own needs. The archbishop, even during his lifetime, was already looked upon as a saint. He was an active peacemaker and was known to have performed miracles.

It was reported that during a severe drought, the bishop invoked rain. This caused a heavy rainfall to end the drought. The archbishop also built the Benedictine monastery at Deutz and was reputed for maintaining a strict clerical discipline.

Saint Heribert died on March 16, 1021 in Cologne, Germany and was canonized in 1075 by Pope Gregory VII.

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0316.htm
http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/sainth16.htm

Saint Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy Israelite owner of tin mines during the first century. He was a disciple of Jesus but remained undeclared because of his fear of the Jews.

After the Lord s crucifixion, Joseph requested from Pontius Pilate that he get the Body of Jesus. With the help of Nicodemus, he wrapped His Body in fine linen and grave bands and laid it in his tomb.

The feast of Saint Joseph of Arimathea is celebrated by the Greek Church on July 31 and by the Roman Church on March 17.

http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintj36.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08520a.htm


SABBATH

TRUTH VS. LIE

Watch practically all of the TV commercials today and you’ll see just about every lie that the world dictates we should accept as truth. One commercial promotes a shampoo that would help one have shiny hair to look good. Another, a lotion for white flawless skin, again, to look good. And another one, a certain drink to have a lean body, then again, to look good. So how do those commercials make you feel as you look at yourself? They make you feel bad for they are actually telling you that unless you are not what the world wants you to look you are ugly. Now tell me if that is not a lie.
      Jesus in today’s Gospel makes a connection between truth and freedom. He says that unless we know the truth we will not experience freedom. But what is the truth? Truth according to Jesus is abiding in God’s word. And we know that God’s word helps us see through the deceptions of the world. The world says that life is short so we need to enjoy it in any way we can, so we go partying and consuming our own lives with ephemeral things. But Jesus says life is indeed short but there is a life that awaits us in the next that is eternal so we need to make use of this life to attain that everlasting life. The world dictates that the only ones blessed are the beautiful. So we give in to all forms of vanity and pamper ourselves with all sorts of products to make ourselves look better. But God says everyone has an imprint of His image in him and as such all are beautiful in his eyes. The world says blessed are the rich, so we do just about anything, even step on other people along the way, to reach the top of the financial ladder. But God says that it would be easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The world dictates that the world is ruled over by the learned so we enrich ourselves with all the knowledge that this world can provide even if it means selling ourselves out. But Jesus says He is thankful to the Father that God’s wisdom has been revealed by Him to the dumb instead of the learned.
      The world can provide illusions. Unfortunately some of us have been held captive in such illusory world. But Jesus offers us a way out of it. He gives us His word, and His words are truth. And indeed, only such truth shall set us free. Fr. Sandy V. E.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you beautiful?

I am beautiful, I am loved, I am forgiven by the mercy of God. – St. Catherine.

St. Conon, abbot pray for us.




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