READINGS for 2007-05-23
HELPING SOMEONE BE STRONG
By working hard in this way, we must help the weak. – Acts 20:35
P S A L M
G O S P E L
It is our loyalty to Jesus that is most important. We cannot afford to allow the world and its ways and doctrines to get a foothold in our lives as this is a sure recipe for disaster as regards our life of faith. Jesus prays that all who will follow after Him be protected from the world and its lies. This is why He consecrates us to the truth as He knows that it is only the truth that can set us free from all the powers and dominions that seek to lead us astray.
God’s special verse/thought for me today_______________________
Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Psalm 17-20
BEING IN THE WORLD WITHOUT BEING OF THE WORLDToday we read and listen to a beautiful prayer of Jesus. Jesus did not suggest that His followers leave the “evil world” and live a contemplative life in monasteries. That is only for a few who have a special calling (and even they are not free from the attacks of evil). The rest must live IN the world with the great task to transform the world, to “inject” the values of Christ into its cultures and societies. When Jesus prayed that we have to live in the world but not be of the world, He means that we are inspired by a completely different set of values than those proposed by the world. When the world lives out selfishness, we try to follow the example of Christ and live a life of service to others. When the world proposes violence and revenge, hatred and division, we are called to live out forgiveness and peace, love and unity. When the world stresses happiness found in wealth and power, we counteract this attitude with a simple lifestyle, with respect for life and human dignity, and sharing what God has given us. This is extremely difficult as all of us have experienced already. And so Jesus prays,“Consecrate them!” To consecrate means to separate his followers from anything evil. Of course, we have to cooperate with grace. We have to be prudent in what we read and watch, and with whom we live. We cannot be consecrated, as Jesus wants it, if we expose ourselves to anti-Christian, or anti-Catholic TV shows and pamphlets, or if we expose ourselves to immoral literature, movies and Internet websites. We cannot be consecrated, separated from anything evil, if we associate ourselves with people for whom dishonesty and corruption is their daily bread. Even the Word of God and the prayer of Christ cannot protect us if we are careless and throw ourselves in the hands of the Evil One. Evil rules for a while but not forever. Eventually it will be defeated and it is good to be on the side of the victor: Jesus Christ who has overcome Satan and death. Fr. Rudy H.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Am I afraid to be different from others around me? Do I have the courage to stand up for Christian values? Do I focus on the difficulty of this task or do I look beyond the present to a victory with Christ?
Lord, I am weak and a coward. I know what You expect me to do in my corrupt environment. Just help me to begin more courageously injecting Your values into the people around me.
St. Didier, bishop, pray for us.
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