READINGS for 2007-07-01

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



"Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” – Luke 9:54

One day, I was giving a talk to a thousand people.
      Three rows from the front was a man who was sleeping like a grizzly bear hibernating
for the winter. His jaw was open, his head tilted way back, and snoring to his heart’s content.
      I screamed my messages. I jumped up and down. I made people laugh. I made people cry. Nothing happened.
      I felt anger boil within me.
      I felt disrespected! Does he not know who I am? And doesn’t he know what he’s missing? I prepared this talk for hours upon hours of study and prayer. I’m distilling gems of truths that will totally change his life! How dare he sleep on God’s Word!
      After my talk, grizzly bear came up to me and said, “Bo, I don’t miss coming here. You bless my life. Even if I’m so sleepy. You see, I work night shifts in my factory and drove four hours just to come here this morning...” I felt like someone punched me in the solar plexus.
      I gave him a hug. “Brother, in my talk, you can sleep as much as you want to,” I told him. Gosh, when will I stop judging people? Bo S.

Who are the people you’ve been judging? Are you God? Do you know all the details?

Lord, teach me to withhold judgment. Remind me I’m not God and don’t know everything.



1 Kings 19:16, 19-21

Anointing has a very strong history in the Old Testament. There seems to be an understanding that the grace of God can be passed from one person to another through the “laying on of hands” or anointing of the second person. This is what we read today in terms of Elijah passing on his prophetic ministry to Elisha. It is a similar understanding that lies at the basis of our belief that the bishops of today, who lay hands on priests-tobe at their ordination, are the direct successors of the Apostles of Jesus. Through their consecration or anointing, we have a direct and unbroken link to the ministry of Christ and His Apostles.
16 “You shall anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel, and Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, as prophet to succeed you.” 19 Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. 20 Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and I will follow you.” “Go back!” Elijah answered. “Have I done anything to you?” 21 Elisha left him and, taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then he left and followed Elijah as his attendant.


Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R: You are my inheritance, O Lord.

1 Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; 2 I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.” 5 O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. (R) 7 “I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me.” 8 I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; 10 because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. (R) 11 You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)


Galatians 5:1, 13-18

What does it mean to be truly free? What does it mean to have been given the freedom of the sons and daughters of God? We hear all sorts of definitions of freedom today, most of them in terms of freedom from one or another sort of authority. This is a negative and, I think, unhelpful way to look at freedom. The biblical understanding of freedom is that it is always freedom FOR something  and ultimately freedom to be and to act as a son or daughter of God. Thus we talk about a freedom FOR righteous and holy living – focusing upon the positive, rather than just seeing it as a freedom FROM the powers and influence of sin.
1 For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. 13 For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. 16 I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. 18 But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.


Luke 9:51-62

Jerusalem is a place of suffering for the prophets. It is there that they were most often persecuted and even put to death by unsympathetic and corrupt kings. Thus as Jesus turns His attention to Jerusalem, people become apprehensive and take a step back; no one enjoys suffering and it looks like this is what will happen. People begin to have second thoughts about being His disciple. Yet, and Jesus knows this, very little is gained without a price being paid. I think that He knows that the supreme sacrifice is going to be asked of Him in the near future and He makes the first steps towards that end.
51 When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, 52 and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, 53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” 55 Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they journeyed to another village. 57 As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” 59 And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “[Lord,] let me go first and bury my father.” 60 But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” 62 To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a  hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”
my reflections
What does it mean to be truly free?



God’s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________




My weekly time with God


Things to be grateful for from the past week





Things to ask God for in the coming week





Most important word God told me this week






This new month of July is a fine reminder that we are already more than halfway through the year . . . and so also with our Sunday-to-Sunday reading of Luke’s Gospel. In this sense, we have arrived at a particular milestone in the journey. Using such a metaphor or theme of traveling, in fact, is helpful, for that is exactly how Luke arranged his material: along the literary framework, that is, of a journey to Jerusalem. This episode marks this special transition in Luke’s Gospel.
      Well, life is indeed a journey after all — and as we travel along, we are all behind Jesus, following him. Such a following of Jesus surely does not merely consist following in His footsteps, in a near-literal imitation of what He does, but (more importantly) imitating Him in his attitudes, acquiring His values and convictions.
      For instance, we see Jesus’ determination and sense of urgency in His setting out on the road to Jerusalem. A literal translation of the opening verse is even more indicative of such a conviction of his: more than just “firmly resolving” to proceed toward the Holy City, the text literally states that “he hardened” or “stiffened” his face. With such urgency and resoluteness, there was no time to waste on violent arguments against unreceptive Samaritans.
      And then, of course, we also have Jesus’ straightforward demands when it comes to following Him. Definitely He wants us to embark on a journey with Him with open eyes, without any illusions or pretensions at all. The cost of discipleship is indeed high: we must be ready and willing to pay the price, throw our weight on the plow and never stop the hard work. May the courageous resolve of Jesus be our example and inspiration, as we ourselves continue in our journey. Fr. Martin M.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are we ready and willing to pay the price of discipleship?

Teach me to count the cost, then grant me the resources needed to pay the account,Lord.

Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us.

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