READINGS for 2007-04-26

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

NEVER ALONE

“Do you understand what you are reading?” – Acts 8:30

Building a startup company can be overwhelming. I know because I am in the middle of doing this right now. Permits and SEC papers are just the first part of the job. There is the searching for investors or creditors as well. And then of course we can’t forget the making of the business plan, feasibility study and marketing strategy. Then there’s the area of construction. Legal issues and lease contracts are another. Last but not the least is the accounting and supervision of cash flow. Whew. I’m exhausted just writing those headings down!
      But that’s why our team has consultants. They’re the ones who know better than my partners and I about each of the areas. They advise us of the facts so that we are able to make fully informed decisions. The technology transfer doesn’t happen in an instant, but with a little bit of time and dedication, each of us has gotten a better handle on each topic.
      God didn’t create humans to be totally independent of each other. If He did, then He wouldn’t have given Adam an Eve. And He wouldn’t have instructed Philip to run after the Ethiopian eunuch.
      Do you find yourself grappling with a problem too big for you? Maybe you’re ignoring the helping hand stretched out to you. My advice: Start looking around for God’s provision. Victoria L.

REFLECTION:
Have you become guilty of too much self-reliance?

For the people You send my way to keep me on the right track, thank You, Lord.

COMPANION

1st READING

Acts 8:26-40

Philip was able to explain the text to the Ethiopian eunuch. This means that he had taken the time to understand his faith. He was not content simply with the experiences of faith, but understood it well enough to be able to answer questions from an enquirer. How well would you be able to answer questions about the Scriptures or doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic faith? Do you think it might be about time that you set out to learn more about what you believe?
  
26 The angel of the LORD spoke to Philip, “Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” 27 So he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and join up with that chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. 32 This was the scripture passage he was reading: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 33 In [his] humiliation justice was denied him. Who will tell of his posterity? For his life is taken from the earth.” 34 Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply, “I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this? About himself, or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him. 36 As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” [37] 38 Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the LORD snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the Good News to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

P S A L M 

Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20

R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.


8 Bless our God, you peoples, loudly sound his praise; 9 He has given life to our souls, and has not let our feet slip. (R)16 Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. 17 When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue. (R) 20 Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness! (R)

G O S P E L

John 6:44-51

We know that the Father draws us to Himself through grace. How attentive are we to these moments of grace in our lives? Are we alert to them daily? Have we ever wondered what we might have missed through apathy or indifference? Probably it is best not to think too much about that and put in place the mechanisms by which we will try to ensure that we do not miss any more offerings of grace that the Lord wants to give us!
  
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

my reflections
think:

 
How well would you be able to answer questions about the Scriptures or doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic faith?

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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 6-10

SABBATH

OBEDIENT TO THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

This story about Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch is very instructive to us of the nature of the life of a disciple of Jesus. The first thing we note is that Philip hears the Holy Spirit tell him to go up and approach the eunuch. This indicates to us a number of things including the fact that Philip must in the very least have been attentive to the voice of the Spirit at that time.
      Secondly, Philip is obedient to the voice of the Spirit. Thirdly, he is able to explain to the eunuch the Scripture passage that he is reflecting upon. Philip does not question the command of the Spirit to approach the eunuch. This indicates that he is used to such instruction or, if this is the first time it has occurred, that he has the faith to believe that such a thing is possible. Do we? Also, he has obviously reflected upon the nature of his faith to the point that he is knowledgeable enough to be able to explain it to the eunuch. This is evident in that the Spirit inspires the eunuch to ask for baptism.
      Philip is then willing to take the initiative to baptize the eunuch there and then! While this may not be advisable to any of us but priests in this day and age, in emergency circumstances, that is, particularly where there is danger of death intervening before baptism can be administered, anyone can baptize someone as long as they use the right words and pour water over them.
      In summary, Philip is obviously a man of the Spirit, who is open to the Spirit leading him at any time to share the Gospel with complete strangers. Here is a great example to us of how we too should be cultivating within our lives an awareness of and commitment to the mission of the Church. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: When was the last time I shared the Gospel with someone who was far away from the Lord? Are there times when I have failed to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do this?

Lord Jesus, open my heart more fully to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and make me more willing to be obedient to it.

St. Peter of Braga, martyred bishop, pray for us.




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