READINGS for 2007-05-10

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“If you keep my commandments…” – John 15:10

I love my son purely and unconditionally. He enjoys my love tremendously. But sometimes he gets it wrongly. He thinks my love allows him to do everything that he likes even if it can hurt him – like playing violent computer games or eating too much or staying out in the sun too long. Let me get it straight. His playing Counter Strike at times or binging on pork chops and barbecue or burning his skin while playing at noontime do not remove my love for him. But if he continues on  disobeying me (and his mom, especially) he will “damage” himself seriously.
      Every time my son obeys us, the more he becomes open to the pureness of our love. But when he disobeys, he closes and shuts himself off to that true love meant for him.
      Jesus loves us purely and unconditionally. But that love doesn’t mean we can do anything we want because he’ll continue to love us anyway. Nope! Doesn’t work that way. We need to be faithful and follow his commandments. Why? Because if we don’t we will seriously hurt ourselves. And Jesus, who loves us so much, wouldn’t want that to happen.
      Keeping His commandments is for us. It beautifully opens us more to His pure   love. Love. Be faithful. Obey! Alvin B.

Does your love for God translate into faithfulness and obedience? Or do you understand God’s love as license to do anything you want?

Lord, I want to be more open toYour love by following Your commands. By Your grace make me faithful and obedient. Amen.



Acts 15:7-21

Peter hits on a truth here that has continuing application for the Church today, namely the truth that there ought to be no division of peoples within the Body of Christ. Paul will express it simply in the terms of there being no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. This is something that we need to work for constantly today especially in the light of the division of the world into poor and rich. The Gospel must seek to overcome all barriers between peoples.
7 After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.” 12 The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them. 13 After they had fallen silent, James responded, “My brothers, listen to me.” 14 Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written: 16 ‘After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, 17 so that the rest of humanity may seek out the LORD, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the LORD who accomplishes these things, 18 known from of old.’ 19 It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. 21 For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

P S A L M 

Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 10

R: Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Sing to the LORD; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 10 Say among the nations, “The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity.” (R)


John 15:9-11

Here is one of the more common Gospels used during the Sacrament of Marriage. It speaks of love, and in particular the Father’s love for us and the call for us to imitate this love in the way we relate to one another. Today’s world has little idea of what true love is in the way that the Word and concept is used and abused in the media. It is up to us to be living examples of love in the world so that the world can rediscover love’s true meaning.
9 As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy  may be in you and your joy may be complete.

my reflections
It is up to us to be living examples of love in the world so that theworld can rediscover love’s true meaning.



God’s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Blessed Damien De Veuster, whom the Church honors today, was a young Belgian CICM priest who was ordained at Honolulu on May 24, 1864. He served for nine years as an energetic missionary in the islands of Hawaii. Within one hundred years of the arrival of Westerners, half of the population had been wiped out by diseases. The worst was leprosy. A law was passed that all natives who suffered from leprosy were snatched from their families and sent to the remote and inaccessible island of Molokai where the sick were dumped in the surf. Those who made it to the shore lived in horrible conditions. “As long as the lepers can care for themselves”, wrote the superintendent of the board of health to Bishop Maigret, “they are comparatively comfortable, but as soon as the dreadful disease renders them helpless, it would seem that even demons themselves would pity their condition and hasten their death.”
    When Fr. Damien asked to be assigned to the island he entered hell. First, he tried to restore dignity to death by designing a clean and fenced cemetery where dogs and pigs could not devour the dead in their shallow graves. He joined people in building clean new houses and did in his homilies not address the sick as “dear brothers and sisters,” but as “we lepers.” He dressed their ulcers, helped them erect their cottages, and went so far as to dig their graves and make their coffins.
    The close contact with them had its consequence: one day Fr. Damien detected the symptoms of leprosy on his own body. In spite of the illness, which ravaged his body, he doubled his efforts and worked tirelessly for his co-lepers. He began to feel lonely, longing for his religious community and for the sacrament of Confession. When a bishop came near the island, he refused to land. Fr. Damien had to row out and shout his confession up to the bishop who remained on board. On April 15, 1889, after fifteen years on the island, Fr. Damien died of leprosy. Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1995. He is the patron of people with leprosy, outcasts, and those with HIV/AIDS, and of the State of Hawaii. Father Damien Day is recognized each year in Hawaii on April 15. Fr. Rudy H..

P.S. The Daughters of St. Paul sell a two-hour movie about Fr. Damien on VCD.

REFLECTION QUESTION: What about my love for my fellowmen? Am I ready to give myself totally to others as Jesus and Bl. Damien did?

Lord, I cannot say much. Just that I am ashamed and beg You to give me a lot
more love for my fellowmen, especially to those who suffer.

St. Alphius, martyr, pray for us.

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