READINGS for 2007-04-25

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist

  GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

“The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ (Jesus) will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.” – 1 Peter 5:10

I had always wanted to go back to school to take up graduate studies. It was one of those things that was always in my heart, but I kept coming up with excuses not to do so. I worried about the timing, not having enough finances, not being able to balance work and school and many others. Finally, after five years of working (and after the Lord told me I had run out of excuses), I enrolled in my first semester as a graduate student. Within my first two weeks in the MA program, I was exhausted, sleepless and shuttling from my office to the campus in a zombie-like trance. “What have I done?! What was I thinking? Can I really do this?” Thoughts of quitting the program entered my mind. I felt the Lord speak, “Trust me. I brought you here. I will sustain you. I will give you all that you need to  see this through.”
      From that point on, I decided to surrender my struggles to the Lord. It has been a most fruitful and enriching experience. What’s more, I passed my first semester with flying colors, and am now in my second term in the MA program! Cotics C.

REFLECTION
Tired? Draw comfort and strength from God’s grace.

Lord, I lay all my struggles and difficulties at Your feet. Teach me to trust that You will not give me more than I can handle, and that Your love will see me through always.

COMPANION

1st READING

1 Peter 5:5-14

Humility is an essential aspect of good leadership. Why do I say this? Apart from the fact that this is clearly one of the principal ideas espoused in today’s reading, it seems to me to be fairly obvious that humility is essential to leadership in terms of the need of any leader to be on a constant learning curve. No one person knows everything and thus we need to humbly admit that we are always seeking to learn more in order to do what we do better. Without this humility in learning leadership  becomes stale and irrelevant to the lives of the people that it is supposed to be serving. Yes, there is another key to good leadership – to lead is to serve and it is impossible to serve without humbling one’s self.
  
5 Beloved: Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.” 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. 10 The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ [Jesus] will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. 11 To him be dominion forever. Amen. 12 I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. 13 The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

P S A L M

Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17

R: For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.


1 [2] The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. 2 [3] For you have said, “My kindness is established forever;” in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. (R) 5 [6] The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD, and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones. 6 [7] For who in the skies can rank with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the sons of God? (R) 15 [16] Blessed the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk. 16 [17] At your name they rejoice all the day, and through your justice they are exalted. (R)

G O S P E L

Mark 16:15-20

Jesus promises his disciples that he will be with them to the end of time and that this personal presence will be the ultimate form of protection and grace that will accompany us in our service of his kingdom. Do you really believe that God is present in your life, leading and guiding you in his ways of truth and love? I hope so! Without the presence of God in us, nothing is possible; with him, on the other hand, everything is possible! The promise of God is always true and we can know for sure that he will be faithful.
  
15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 18 They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the LORD Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. 20 But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the LORD worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

my reflections
think:
To lead is to serve and it is impossible to serve without humbling one’s self.

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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 Ezra 1-5

SABBATH

THE DEVIL AND HUMILITY

One of the surest ways of defeating the devil every time is to go into battle against him in humility. The devil can imitate virtually everything Christ can do except the grace of humility. Why is this? I think it is a result of the fact that at the root of every sin is a certain arrogance and pride rooted in rebellion against the will of God. Whether we are aware of it or not, when we sin we are rejecting the plan of God’s will for our lives and asserting our own independence. It is as though we are saying to God just as Satan did those fateful years ago, “I refuse to submit my life to you. I will be my own Master and god!”
      This is why Peter warns us to be careful and vigilant, that the devil’s lies will not find their way into our hearts and corrupt us with his doctrine of arrogance, pride and self-sufficiency. Such is the way of sin; such is the destructive power of sin; such is the plan of the devil to destroy our relationships with God. It is only when we are vigilant and alert to the lies of the devil that we will recognize them and be able to reject them. There is nothing Satan likes better than the idea that he does not exist!
      Why? Simply because if we do not think he exists then we will not be wary of his lies as he attempts to lead us astray along a life of sin! It makes his job of corrupting us so much easier. I for one can do without making Satan’s job easier; I have enough trouble as it is rejecting the sin and temptation in my life!
      As we remember Mark today, we also give thanks to God for the gift of his Gospel and the way the Gospel helps us to get to know Jesus better. It is through the words of God provided for us by men who were faithful to the guidance of the Holy Spirit nearly 2000 years ago, that we are given special insight into the mind and the heart of God. Let us take the time today to read through the Gospel of Mark and see what it is God might be saying to us at this time. If we cannot do this today, let us do it over the next few days or week. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Peter warns us to be careful and vigilant, that the devil’s lies will not find their way into our hearts and corrupt us with his doctrine of arrogance, pride and self-sufficiency.

Holy Spirit, open my heart to the Word of God for my life in the Scriptures. Help me to be committed to reading them everyday if possible.

St. Mark, evangelist, pray for us.




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