READINGS for 2007-05-21

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“But take heart, I have overcome the world…” – John 16:33

As a kid, I’ve always wanted to be invincible. I’ve always dreamt of having the strength of Superman, the cool contraptions of Batman and the telekinetic abilities of Aquaman. But I later realized that my comic book heroes did not have absolute invincibility. Each one has a weakness. Superman melts before Kryptonite. Batman is useless without his utility belt. Aquaman is powerless without water.
      Let me introduce you now to a Superhero that I came to know when I was 12 years  old. He has been my Superhero ever since. Yes, He is invincible. He made Kryptonite.  He doesn’t need a utility belt and He walks on water. In fact, of all the Superheroes I know, only He claimed to have conquered the enemy. And the nice thing about this is that He is for real.
      Jesus, my Superhero. He knows all my problems. He accepts me as I am. He laughs  with me, cries with me, comforts me, heals me and He never leaves me. And when I am overrun by problems and the pressures of day to day living, He reminds me to “take heart” for He has overcome the world.
      Are you looking for a Superhero? Try Jesus, He’s just a prayer away. Randy B.

Have I put my trust in other heroes only to be disappointed? Is Jesus my Superhero? Do I call on Him for help?

Jesus, you are my Superhero. Teach me to trust you in everything I do today. And when I am overwhelmed by challenges of today, remind me that You “have conquered the world.”



Acts 19:1-8 

Paul spent three months in Ephesus. I think he spent more than a year in Corinth! This should give us some sort of idea of what it took to establish a Christian community in a new place. Paul worked with the people for a long time in order to identify the natural leaders and form them in the truth of the Gospel. He would teach them and explain to them the ways of the Christian faith so that they would be able to do this to the next generation of converts.
1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and came down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 He said, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.” 4 Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the LORD Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 Altogether there were about twelve men. 8 He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.


Psalm 68:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R: Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.

1 [2] God arises; his enemies are scattered, and those who hate him flee before him. 2 [3] As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire. (R) 3 [4] But the just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. 4 [5] Sing to God, chant praise to his name, whose name is the LORD. (R) 5 [6] The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. 6 [7] God gives a home to the forsaken;   he leads forth prisoners to prosperity. (R)


John 16:29-33

Jesus predicts that His friends will abandon Him for a time but this will not be the final story. He has conquered the world and so we can be sure that the Good News will prevail in the end. This is still the pattern we experience today in that the Church has its good times and its bad times; its struggles and its triumphs. The challenge for us is to try to maximize the good times over the bad. The only way to do this is with greater trust and faith in God – believing the Holy Spirit will give us the strength to accomplish all that needs to be done.
29 The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. 30 Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? 32 Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

my reflections
He has conquered the world and so we can be sure that the Good News will prevail in the end.



  God’s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Have you ever felt alone, deserted by friends? Today’s gospel passage is again taken from the farewell discourses Jesus held during the Last Supper. It is amazing how clearly He knew what his disciples would do a few hours later: run away in fear and leave Him alone when soldiers came to arrest Him. But there is no word of resentment or disappointment. Jesus knows His people, us, very well. He knows all our weaknesses. When we say during Confession, “I promise not to sin again,” I think the Lord must be smiling – for He knows that soon we will leave Him alone again and sin. And yet, he loved His disciples in spite of their weakness. And so He loves us with all our imperfections and weaknesses.
      There is something even more amazing. Jesus still trusts them. If we are very kind and generous persons we might be able to forgive someone who has betrayed us but we usually don’t trust that person anymore. Again, Jesus is different and teaches us to overcome this temptation and continue to trust a person even when we were hurt by a betrayal.
      There is more in this passage. Jesus knew that He would be left alone by his disciples but He did not feel alone, for He knew God was with Him. Such moments may be llowed by God to make us aware that we have relied too much on people and forgotten that the only reliable support is our Father in Heaven.
      And then there is this tremendous sensitivity of Jesus! He knows very well that a betrayal not only hurts the one who is betrayed, but that a person who has hurt a friend later feels very sorry and experiences the pain of remorse. “I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me.” He assures us of this so that remorse will not overwhelm us but that peace will return into our hearts and help us to make up for the sin we have committed. Fr. Rudy H.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How do I react when betrayed by a friend? Can I forgive and still trust?

Lord, so many times, every time I commit a sin, have I betrayed You, left You alone. You have always forgiven me. Help me to forgive others, in the same way.

Blessed Eugene de Mazenod, pray for us.

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