READINGS for 2007-05-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

PRAYERS FOR A SERVANT OF GOD

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.” – John 16:24

I’m not guilty of “not asking in His name.”
      Ever since I learned that this priest friend of mine was on the brink of falling in love with a woman, I stormed heaven with prayers. Prayers for his enlightenment and guidance and, most of all, that he experience an inner conversion making Jesus his number one, and not number two, in his life. I offered my daily Masses for him as well as a daily novena to St.Therese of Lisieux, prayed one thousand “Hail Mary’s,” did an overnight vigil before the Blessed Sacrament… among many other prayers and sacrifices. I bet God wanted to answer my prayers because “the harvest is great and the laborers are few.”
      But He will always honor what that priest wants to do with his life. As of this writing, he’s still a priest but I lost touch and I don’t know who scores higher in his life right now. But I believe that the outcome of all this will be what is best – for him as well as for the church because, as the next verse says, “Ask and you shall receive.” Cristy G.

REFLECTION:
Are you asking in His name?

“Lord, those who are bowed down with burdens You lift up, and they do not fall because You are their support.” – excerpt from the “Confessions” by St. Augustine.

COMPANION

1st READING

Acts 18:23-28

May competition in the proclamation of the Gospel never occur to the point that it distracts anyone from the focal point of Jesus Christ in all that we proclaim. What does it matter who does what when it comes to the Kingdom of God? It does not matter one iota! The only thing that matters is that Jesus Christ is proclaimed in Word, Life and Deed so that the Good News travels to the ends of the earth.
  
23 After staying there some time, Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence through the Galatian country and Phrygia, bringing strength to all the disciples. 24 A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus. He was an authority on the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and, with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way [of God] more accurately. 27 And when he wanted to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. After his arrival he gave great assistance to those who had come to believe through grace. 28 He vigorously refuted the Jews in public, establishing from the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.

P S A L M

Psalm 47:2-3, 8-9, 10

R: God is king of all the earth.


1 [2] All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness. 2 [3] For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth. (R) 7 [8] For the king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise. 8 [9] God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne. (R) 9 [10] The princes of the peoples are gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For God’s are the guardians of the earth; He is supreme. (R)

G O S P E L

John 16:23-28

This statement of Jesus does not mean that we are going to get whatever we ask Him for if we append “in your name” to the end of our request. The implication here is that if we are asking “in the name of Jesus” then our whole lives will reflect that reality – namely we are living a full life of discipleship according to all that it means to be a disciple of Jesus. This is no easy thing to do. This text is not a matter of having some sort of magical way of getting what we want; it is a call to deeper conversion so that all that we want will be more of Jesus.
  
23 “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 24 Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. 25 “I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. 26 On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. 27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
  
my reflections
think:
If we are asking “in the name of Jesus” then our whole lives will reflect that reality.

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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 Job 37-39

SABBATH

MY LAST WORD

A day before we celebrate the feast of the Lord’s Ascension, we hear Jesus speaking about His approaching return to the Father. He spoke these words during the Last Supper. So, He was actually not referring to His Ascension but to his death on the Cross the next day. When we celebrated Holy Week again a few weeks ago, we did it with sadness. Nothing is wrong with this. But when we read the Gospel according to John very carefully, we detect that for Jesus the Cross was not the instrument of a cruel death but the way back to his Father. In John’s gospel the Cross becomes the throne on which Jesus is enthroned to rule forever. His last cry on the Cross, according to John’s gospel, “It is accomplished,” is a shout of triumph for having fulfilled the will of His Father to whom He can now return. The Ascension was only a visible sign of this return for His disciples to understand the mystery that surrounds His death and resurrection.
      Have you ever wondered what will be your last word? A strange thought, I admit it. Or have you ever thought of your death? Again, it is a strange, even morbid thought. But it is a quite realistic thought because each and every one of us will reach that moment sooner or later. What will be my last word? Of course, it may depend on the way I die. Will I be lucid enough to still speak? I don’t know. But if I could say a last word, what would it be? Would it be a word of regret for not having done with my life what I should have? A word of protest because I cannot accept life comes to an end? A word of anger because I feel people have hurt me so much and done me so much evil? Or a word patterned after the last word of Jesus, that I forgive those who have hurt me, pray for them, and that in spite of my weaknesses and limitations say that somehow I have done what God expected from me? Will I be able to say “Mission accomplished. Father, into your hands I commit myself”?
      And what will death be for me? An abrupt ending of a life I still want to live for a long time? Or a cruel moment that separates me from my loved ones? Or a fearful moment because I consider it as a step into a dark, uncertain future? Or will I be able to see death the way Jesus saw it: a way to be united forever with our Father in Heaven? Fr. Rudy H.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I avoid thinking about death or do I prepare myself like Jesus for this moment of final union with God?

Lord, I thought it always as morbid to think of my death but following Your example I realize it can be very helpful. Be with me always, especially in that moment of final departure.

Blessed Peter Wright, martyr, pray for us.




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