READINGS for 2007-04-01

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

PALM SUNDAY 

USE THE TABLE!

He sat at table... – Luke 22:14

I believe the dining table to be a sacred place.
      For example, I bring my wife out on a romantic date at least once a week. (Cheap restaurants will do! On tight days, even a garage is okay.)
      I cannot tell you the miracles, the healing, the signs and wonders that have happened because of the dining table.
      Around food, my wife and I share our deepest feelings. Before each other, we disrobe ourselves psychologically—exposing our worries, our hopes, our fears, our desires. (The problem for many husbands and wives is that they still regularly get physically naked to each other, but psychologically, they’re wrapped up like Egyptian mummies with layers upon layers of masks.)
      I’ve also deepened my relationship with my son around this fascinating table.
      I bring him out also on one-on-one dates — and we eat his favorite food. We talk. We swap stories. We laugh. We go home happy. Around this sacred place is where friendships are forged, marriages are built, and parent-child relationships are enriched. (Note: Even our Catholic faith meets around the table of bread and wine, body and blood.) Do you use this table? Not its physical properties. But do you use the power of this table to bless your life?
      Start now. Bo S.

REFLECTION:
Get your calendar. Start plotting oneon- one dates with your spouse, with each child, with your parents. Use the table!

Lord, I want strong relationships. Bless them, Lord. I will work hard to make them the best in the world!

COMPANION

PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
The ultimate purpose of my life

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GOALS FOR THE QUARTER
Priority areas God wants me to work on

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PRAYER SHEET FOR MY LIFE      
Things I will pray for regularly          

DATE            PERSONAL NEED             DATE            GOD'S ANSWERS
When I    "Until now, you have not       When the         "Ask and you shall
started         asked for anything              answer           receive, that your joy 
praying             in My Name."                  came                   may be full."
                       - John 16: 24a                                             - John 16: 24b     
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PRAYER SHEET  FOR MY LIFE    
Things I will pray for regularly          
 
DATE           PERSONAL NEED             DATE             GOD'S ANSWERS
When I    "Until now, you have not       When the         "Ask and you shall
started         asked for anything              answer           receive, that your joy 
praying             in My Name."                  came                   may be full."
                       - John 16: 24a                                             - John 16: 24b     

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PRAYER SHEET  FOR MY LIFE      
Things I will pray for regularly           


           EVANGELISM LIST                                       CARING LIST
          People God wants me to                             People God wants me to
              bring closer to Him                            pray for and show more love to

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1st READING

Isaiah 50:4-7

Sometimes when we make a decision we know that it is not going to be accepted by those around us. At these times we have to be ready to accept the consequences of our decision. There is no point complaining about it as we have chosen that particular decision in the first place. Isaiah speaks of a righteous man who refuses to fight back against the ridicule and persecution of people around him. Let us pray for the grace that we will be strong enough to stand for Christ no matter what others might think about us or do to us.
  
4 The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; 5 and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. 6 I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. 7 The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

P S A L M

Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

R: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?


7 [8] All who see me scoff at me; they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads. 8 [9] “He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, if he loves him.” (R) 16 [17] Indeed, many dogs surround me, a pack of evildoers closes in upon me; they have pierced my hands and my feet; 17 [18] I can count all my bones. (R) 18 [19] They divide my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots. 19 [20] But you, O LORD, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me. (R) 22 [23] I will proclaim your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise you. 23 [24] “You who fear the LORD, praise him; all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him; revere him, all you descendants of Israel!” (R)

2nd READING

Philippians 2:6-11

This hymn teaches us many things about humility. I especially like the first line where it tells us that Jesus does not cling to His Divinity, that is, He chooses to identify himself with us rather than stand apart from us. I think that one of, if not the greatest, compliment that we can give another person is to join them in their life — their circumstances –– without ‘looking down’ on them. This ‘being with’ a person is the greatest form of acceptance that we can minister.
  
6 Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

G O S P E L

Luke 22:14—23:56

The Passion narratives are some of the most moving pieces of literature of all time. As the death of Jesus is related to us in words and the images they give life to, it is important for us to ‘enter into’ the text and allow ourselves to be caught up in the drama of salvation as it unfolds. Let us pray for the grace to walk with Jesus and be with Him in his Passion. Let us pray that we will be able to experience something of what He experienced as He brought salvation to all men and women.

14 When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. 15 He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 16 for, I tell you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you [that] from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. 21 And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; 22 for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.” 23 And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed. 24 Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest. 25 He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’; 26 but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. 27 For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves. 28 It is you who have stood by me in my trials; 29 and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” 33 He said to him, “LORD, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you.” 34 But he replied, “I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me.” 35 He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No, nothing,” they replied. 36 He said to them, “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, ‘He was counted among the wicked’; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.” 38 Then they said, “Lord, look, there are two swords here.” But he replied, “It is enough!” 39 Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.” 41 After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” 43 [And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. 44 He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.] 45 When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.” 47 While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. 48 Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, “LORD, shall we strike with a sword?” 50 And one of them struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him. 52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.” 54 After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance. 55 They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them. 56 When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, “This man too was with him.” 57 But he denied it saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 A short while later someone else saw him and said, “You too are one of them”; but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.” 59 About an hour later, still another insisted, “Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.” Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, 61 and the LORD turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the LORD, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 He went out and began to weep bitterly. 63 The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they reviled him in saying many other things against him. 66 When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. 67 They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I question, you will not respond. 69 But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.” 23: 1 Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2 They brought charges against him, saying, “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a King.” 3 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” 4 Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, “I find this man not guilty.” 5 But they were adamant and said, “He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began, even to here.” 6 On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; 7 and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time. 8 Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign. 9 He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. 11 [Even] Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly. 13 Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, 15 nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. 16 Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” 17 18 But all together they shouted out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.” 19 (Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.) 20 Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus, 21 but they continued their shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22 Pilate addressed them a third time, “What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” 23 With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed. 24 The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. 25 So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished. 26 As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. 28 Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, 29 for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31 for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. 34 [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”] They divided his garments by casting lots. 35 The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.” 36 Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine 37 they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” 40 The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? 41 And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our  crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 44 It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon 45 because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. 46 Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “FATHER, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. 47 The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” 48 When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; 49 but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events. 50 Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council, 51 had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the Kingdom of God. 52 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. 54 It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, 56 they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.

my reflections
think:
The best compliment that we can give another person is to join them in their life — their circumstances –– without ‘looking down’ on them.

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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 2 Kings 1-3


GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS

 Saint Macarius the Wonder Worker

Saint Macarius was baptized Christopher in Constantinople during the ninth century. He became a monk at Pelekete and adopted the name Macarius. He was elected abbot and became known for the miracles he performed.

Through Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople, Macarius was ordained. But because of his opposition to the iconoclasm proclaimed by Emperor Leo the Armenian, he was imprisoned and tortured. When Michael the Stammerer succeeded the empire, the new emperor ordered the release of the priest.

But when the latter refused to submit to his demands of supporting the iconoclastic heresy, Macarius was exiled to the island of Aphusia where he died on August 18, 830.

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0401.htm

Saint Hugh of Grenoble

Born in 1052 in France, Saint Hugh grew up to be a fine, young man. He wanted to serve as a monk but instead was ordained a priest then a bishop. As a bishop, he devised ways to correct the sinful customs of his people. He sought God's mercy for them by fervently praying and doing hard penance. With God s grace, the people became virtuous and pious. Only a few remained in opposition to the Church.

The bishop's dream of becoming a monk never left him. He surrendered his bishopric and entered the monastery. However, it was not the Lord's will that he become a monk. The pope ordered him to return to Grenoble; thus, he obeyed. For forty years, Bishop Hugh constantly experienced severe headaches and stomach problems. He encountered trials and temptations too. The Bishop however remained strong in his faith. He served the people of his diocese for fifty-two years before he died on April 1, 1132.

http://www.daughtersofstpaul.com/saintday/m4.html

SABBATH

PALM SUNDAY

Fiestas are always a great celebration here in the Philippines. It is good to spend time celebrating the great events of our liturgical year, but let us not forget to take the lessons we learn from them back into our daily Christian lives. On Palm Sunday the people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus into their city with great joy and much pomp and ceremony. They recognized in Jesus something much greater than themselves and they had high expectations of what He could do for them. The Jewish expectations for the Messiah were somewhat aligned with the great Kingdom of David 1000 years before. However, this was not to be, at least not according to their exact expectations and specifications.
      How quickly the mood of the people will change when they realize that Jesus is not the Messiah in the mold they expected – a mood change that will lead to His ultimate rejection by the people and subsequent death on a cross.
      This can lead to tragic results as it did in the case of Jesus. However, God has His hand in the whole affair. There are continual twists in the plot to the point that we confront a resurrected Jesus proclaiming a new way of life for all who will believe in Him.
      We should all walk with Jesus in His Passion this week, seeking to identify with and understand all that He went through for our sake. The difficulty of this task is lessened because we already know the outcome – victory over sin and death through the resurrection of Jesus! Let us never be afraid to confront the darkness in our lives because we know that Jesus has given us the victory.
      This is an incredible grace and gift for which we should be eternally grateful. Yes, it is right to celebrate today and celebrate BIG! Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: What are the demons and darkness in my life that I need to confront and overcome with the grace of Jesus?

Holy Spirit, purify my life and cleanse my heart so that I will be truly able to celebrate the gift of salvation Christ offers to me.

St. Macarius the Wonder Worker, abbot, pray for us.




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