READINGS for 2007-04-22

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

TILL OUR END

“And we are witnesses of these things...” – Acts 5:32

Remember The Matrix? That scene when after knowing the truth that their world was fake (they were all living in a computer simulation program)? Neo (Keanu Reeves) was back in the Matrix in a car and he’s looking out the window – at people walking around.
      I wonder what he thought about, knowing that everybody was really in a vat of goo, with wires connecting them to the computers that ruled the world. He knew that whatever the computer said, he would not obey. His was a higher call.
      We know that Neo will not even live to see the “end” he had in mind – which was the freedom of all humans. Yet he persisted – through three movies!
      Oops. I think it’s safe to tell you the ending even if you didn’t watch it. Why? Because it’s the same as our ending. Most of us will probably not live to see the “end” – when Jesus comes down and wraps up the world’s plot-holes. It doesn’t matter if we don’t see the climactic battle, though. For us to make a blockbuster hit of our lives, we just have to behave like Neo and the apostles in Acts 5. Persistent, consistent to the end and faithful. Jomar H.

REFLECTION:
Are you the (faithful) one?

Give me strength to persevere to my end, Lord.

COMPANION

1st READING

Acts 5:27-32, 40-42

Tolerance of the opinions of others should never require us to remain silent about our own beliefs. Perhaps it might be said that we have an even greater responsibility to express our own beliefs when there are contrary ones under public discussion. At the very least we must be willing to defend the core beliefs of our faith and moral code from error. Many Christians have been persecuted and have given their lives in line with this duty. These martyrs for the faith stand as examples for us today, encouraging us to live and defend the beliefs of the Catholic faith, particularly in the areas of both public and private morality.
  
27 When they had brought the apostles in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, the high priest questioned them, 28 “We gave you strict orders did we not, to stop teaching in that name? Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” 40 The Sanhedrin ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. 41 So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42 And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah, Jesus.

P S A L M 

Psalm 30: 2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R: I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.


1 [2] I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me. 3 [4] O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld; you preserved me from among those going down into the pit. (R) 4 [5] Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his Holy Name. 5 [6] For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will. At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing. (R) 10 [11] “Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me; O LORD, be my helper.” 11 [12] You changed my mourning into dancing; 12 [13] O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks. (R)

2nd READING

Revelation 5:11-14

The Scriptures tell us that all creation is designed to give glory to God. What about your life? Is it giving Glory to God in all that you say and do? Perhaps there is a particular aspect or aspects of your life where this is not the case. If so, then this is something that I am sure that the Holy Spirit desires to work upon to bring greater conversion to your life. This is not just for our own sake, but also for the sake of the witness to the Gospel that you are giving in all that you say and do. I am sure that we all want to be the best witness possible to the transforming power of the love of God at work in our lives.
  
11 I looked again and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, 12 and they cried out in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.” 14 The four living creatures answered, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped.

G O S P E L

John 21:1-19

Sometimes we think that we sense Jesus or the Holy Spirit to tell us to act in a particular way. If this is the case, my tendency is to act rather than not do anything. I would rather make a mistake in my spiritual life trying/intending to follow God’s will than have to explain why I did not act when I sensed some sort of direction. I know that I am far more likely to be compassionate when dealing with someone in the former rather than the latter situation. The old saying, ‘God helps those who help themselves,’ would seem to me to support this course of action as we could easily interpret the saying as an encouragement to act because we can know that God will be working within us to bring about His perfect Will for our lives.

1 After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. 2 Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” 6 So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. 7 So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. 9 When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the LORD. 13 Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, LORD, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”19 He said this signifying by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

my reflections
think:
I would rather make a mistake in my spiritual life trying/intending to follow God’s will than have to explain why I did not act when I sensed some sort of direction.

  
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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 Chronicles 26-29

SABBATH PAUSE

My weekly time with God

THANK YOU LIST

Things to be grateful for from the past week

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SPECIAL NEEDS

Things to ask God for in the coming week

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HIDDEN TREASURE

Most important word God told me this week

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SABBATH

GROWING IN HUMILITY

Sometimes the only way to grow in humility is to be humiliated. There is nothing like a little humiliation to humble us in an uncertain manner. This, however, is not the only way to grow in humility. There is a far gentler one – by way of choice. This may be the case but it seems that the path is not as well followed as it could or should be. More often than not, there seems to be a power at work in the human heart that resists the free choice of a humble life and seeks the path of exaltation instead.
      It is interesting to note that the saints did not seek to exalt themselves over and above others. If anything they tended to put themselves down and see the worst in themselves and the best in others. This is not an easy path to walk and we have to be careful that we do not fall into a sort of false humility whereby we may look humble from the outside but it is all for show and we are really seeking to draw attention to ourselves with what is a false ‘show’ of humility.
      The apostles rejoiced at the honor of the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the Sanhedrin. Why? I think because they realized they were on the right track and had proved to themselves that they were willing to undertake the mission of preaching the Gospel even if it meant hardship and suffering. This is an important step forward for the early Church as it now moves into an era that will last nearly 300 years of off and on persecution and hardship. In retrospect I suppose this should have been expected when we consider the life and ministry of Jesus and what that involved. If Jesus had to suffer, there is little hope that we will not have to suffer something in order to be faithful to the Gospel’s call in our lives. As we seek to be faithful preachers of the Gospel 2000 years later, let us seek to move ahead humbly and in the spirit of those who have preceded us, willing to suffer in our obedience to ensure that all men and women hear the Good News of their salvation. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How can I grow in humility? Am I willing to suffer for the
sake of being obedient to God’s will?

Holy Spirit, open my heart to a better understanding of God’s call for
me and grant me the humility to respond in complete obedience to every aspect
of it.


St. Arwald, martyr, pray for us.




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