READINGS for 2007-05-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

THE POWER WITHIN

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in My name – He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” – John 14:26

I was scared to death. It was my turn to present a report in my masters’ class. Our instructor was from UP and I was told that she has high standards and worse, that some of my classmates were hyper-critical. All the previous reports had been great. I started imagining what could happen: my teacher would frown in dissatisfaction and I might make a booboo and everyone would laugh. Before I vanished in fear, I also remembered many things: it’s my attitude towards the problem that worsens the problem; experience is just 10% of what happens and how I respond makes up the 90%; my husband, Obet, assured me that my report would be great; I have been speaking in prayer meetings since my youth: and that, “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18) Then I felt the fresh surge of confidence washing out my nervousness. I gave the report and did it well. My teacher nodded in approval.
      Jesus was right, “the Holy Spirit... will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (John 14:26). Let Him bring out the best in you! Joie C.

REFLECTION:
Imagine what could you accomplish if you were not scared?

The One Who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world! (1 John 4:4)

COMPANION

1st READING

Acts 14:5-18

Paul struggled to direct the peoples’ adulation to the Lord. He was very aware of the dangers of allowing the glory to come to himself. Pride, and ultimately arrogance, begins as something very subtle and ends in something very destructive. Let us learn from Paul that the glory always belongs to the Lord and that we should do everything we can to see that everybody realizes this.
  

5 When there was an attempt by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their leaders, to attack and stone the apostles, 6 they realized it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside, 7 where they continued to proclaim the Good News. 8 At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth, who had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him, saw that he had the faith to be healed, 10 and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” He jumped up and began to walk about. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,” because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice. 14 The apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you Good News that you should turn from these idols to the living God, ‘who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.’ 16 In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; 17 yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.” 18 Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

P S A L M

Psalm 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R: Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.


1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name give glory because of your mercy, because of your truth. 2 Why should the pagans say, “Where is their God?” (R) 3 Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men. (R) 15 May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 16 Heaven is the heaven of the LORD, but the earth he has given to the children of men. (R)

G O S P E L

John 14:21-26

As disciples of Jesus we should always be seeking His command for our lives. This is not because we are mere slaves of His, but that we recognize His Word to be the truth for us and the only way to everlasting life. It is the Word of God that will give life to our mortality; it will lead us along the path to eternal life. Without God’s Word we are like a sailing ship in the midst of the sea with no wind to take it anywhere!
  
21 Jesus: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” 22 Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, [then] what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. 25 I have told you this while I am with you. 26 The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name — he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” 

my reflections
think:
It is the Word of God that will give life to our mortality; it will lead us along the path to eternal life.

  
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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 Esther A-3

SABBATH

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Around Lystra where Paul and Barnabas preached, people told the story of Zeus and Hermes who, once upon a time, visited the place in human disguise. To their amazement, nobody would offer them hospitality except an old couple, Philemon and Baucis. They prepared a good meal for the visitors even though they themselves had not much to eat. In the morning, the gods asked them: “What is your greatest wish?” And the couple said they would like to be never separated from each other, a wish the gods granted. The gods wiped out the whole population but Philemon and Baucis became two majestic trees to guard a splendid temple in honor of Zeus.
       Paul and Barnabas were in real trouble for being mistaken for gods in disguise. They could have accepted the honors, but they stood up for what they really were: messengers, not of non-existing gods, but messengers of the only true God who had become man in Jesus Christ to save humankind. Sometimes we have the uncomfortable feeling that some evangelists and preachers draw a bit too much attention and honor to themselves. How often do gimmicks distract from the real message that if we want to follow him we have to take up our cross as well! We can discern the identity of a Christian messenger of God easily when we try to find out whether the person preaches himself or Christ – even the “hard” demands of the Lord. The episode in Lystra is not only a story of mistaken identity; it is also a story about lack of charity and its bitter consequence. Lack of charity, in other words hardness of heart and selfishness, invites disaster. At least the people of Lystra had learned a lesson from the ancient myth. Or were they just afraid that to them would happen what happened to their ancestors in the story? We don’t know. To connect this with last Saturday’s reflection we could draw the conclusion: Seeing homeless beggars or poor street children, we may be tempted to mistake their identities and not see in them the face of Christ, the face of God, as did the people in the story of Lystra who mistook Zeus and Hermes for poor vagabonds and refused to extend to them hospitality. The consequence could be fatal. Just read the parable of the sheep and the goat in Matthew 25! Fr. Rudy H.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I try to discern whether a person is a real messenger of God or a fake?

Lord, it is not always easy to discern what comes from you and what is fake. Often I mistake the real identity of some who come and speak in your name. Send the Holy Spirit and enlighten me.

Blessed Rose Venerini, pray for us.




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