READINGS for 2007-06-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath


Memorial of First Martyrs of the Church of Rome


 “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” – Matthew 8:8

Her mouth is full of sores, an allergic reaction to a cheap and less known brand of toothpaste. She is jobless and cannot afford her usual brand of toothpaste. For a week, she bears the pain. Her sister offers to bring her to the doctor.
      She agrees, but on the morning of her appointment with the doctor, she attends the morning Mass. She surrenders everything to the Lord – her search for a job, her present illness, her children, her husband. During the consecration, she feels a different kind of peace. And when she utters the words, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed,” she once more puts her entire life in God’s hands.
      She lines up for communion, receives the Body of Christ, and as soon as she returns to her seat, a warm feeling envelops her. In her heart, she knows God is healing her that very moment.
      She goes home, instead of proceeding to the doctor’s clinic. Her sores are gone. Her faith has healed her. Tess VA.

Do you trust God’s word, enough to bank on it in times of hardship?

Lord, strengthen my faith in Your Word.



Genesis 18:1-15

Here is God’s solution to Abraham’s problem. He will give Sara a son. They will name him Isaac which means “he who laughs” because it was a laughing matter that Sara, who was beyond child bearing years, was told that she would give birth in a year’s time. God evidently has a sense of humor, which is a good thing for us, as it makes it a little easier for us to relate to Him.
1 The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance  of his tent, while the day was growing hot. 2 Looking up, he saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;  and bowing to the ground, 3 he said: “Sirs, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. 4 Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.” “Very well,” they replied, “do as you have said.” 6 Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, “Quick, three seahs of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.” 7 He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. 8 Then he got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. 9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There in the tent,” he replied. 10 One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and Sarah had stopped having her womanly periods. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself and said, “Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?” 13 But the LORD said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’ 14 Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Because she was afraid, Sarah dissembled, saying, “I didn’t laugh.” But he said, “Yes you did.”


Luke 1:46-47, 48-49, 50, 53, 54-55

R: The Lord has remembered his mercy.

46 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 47 my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (R) 48 “For he has with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: 49 the Almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his Name.” (R) 50 “He has mercy on those who fear him. 53 He has filled the hungry with  good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” (R) 54 “He has come to the help of his servant Israel, for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 55 the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and to his children forever.” (R)


Matthew 8:5-17

The Word of God is a creative event. We see this in the first few chapters of Genesis where God speaks and whatever He says comes to be. This is the same power and dynamic that we see at work in so many of the miracles of Jesus. Jesus speaks words of healing and deliverance and those things come to be; He commands the weather and it obeys him; He blesses the food and it is multiplied. This is the power at God’s disposal. It is also the same power that is available to us through faith!
5 When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, 6 saying, “LORD, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” 7 He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8 The centurion said in reply, “LORD, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the Word and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’  and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven, 12 but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed. 14 Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him. 16 When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, 17 to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: “He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
my reflections
: The Word of God is a creative event


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Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





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One evening in the middle of July of 64 A.D., the city of Rome was engulfed in flames. Spreading rapidly and burning for a week, the blaze turned half of the imperial city into ashes. It was said that while the flames were consuming the city, Nero, the reigning emperor, was playing his fiddle. The fiddle is probably legend, but the fire was all too real.
      In the minds of his subjects, there was little or no doubt at all that Nero was responsible for the burning of Rome. However, to escape suspicion that he had anything to do with the fire and in response to public clamor, Nero set up a fact-finding commission that was tasked to determine the arsonists.
      Needing a scapegoat, Nero easily blamed the Christians who were regarded as devotees of a new religion named after an obscure Jewish prophet. There began a series of dreadful persecutions against the Christians. To be a Christian meant to be a criminal, an outlaw, an enemy of the people. To be identified with the Galilean named “Jesus” was to incur the penalty of death. Many Christians – men and women of different professions and levels of society, including even children – therefore were killed with atrocious torments.
      In his Annales, even the pagan writer Tacitus testifies to these events and says that a huge multitude perished in the persecution Nero mounted against the Christians. In his letter to the Corinthians, Clement, bishop of Rome, praised the first martyrs of Rome and placed them before the Christians of his time as brethren who gave the finest example by their death for the Lord.
      The memorial of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome is an optional celebration in the liturgy today. But today, when many find it so easy to compromise their faith, these martyrs – and all heroes and heroines of our faith – should not be an optional memory. Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: To die for the faith is a gift to some; to live the faith is a call for all.

Lord Jesus Christ, You were the first Martyr. At Golgotha, You shed Your blood for our redemption. May Your passion, death, and resurrection strengthen us in bearing witness to You in life and in death. Amen.

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, pray for us.

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