READINGS for 2007-07-31
Thus the Lord passed before him and cried out, “The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” – Exodus 34:6
Ever since I lost my beloved better half, Moises, it has been very difficult raising up my children Kukay and Pangga, plus my little grandchildren and my elderly mother.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I had my own business or stable employment.
But the Lord has been a loyalist to me throughout all this.
Faithfully, He has regularly supplied me with rent money and payment for the electricity, water, food and even Kukay’s tuition and daily allowance.
He has also sent angels in the form of people who would trust someone like me who has just been released from the Correctional Institution for Women.
God truly takes care of His own. Beth C.
Be faithful to Jesus and the blessings will just come pouring in.
Praise, glory and honor are Yours, Lord, for Your unwavering loyalty and faithfulness to Your promises!
Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
Moses is one of the very few people in Scriptures to experience speaking to God face to face. This tells us a lot about his holiness and standing in the eyes of God. And yet he is a sinner like us too – he was denied entrance to the Promised Land due to a matter of disobedience concerning the number of times he struck a rock to bring forth water for the people. He is human like us. He needs salvation just like each one of us.
7 The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who wished to consult the LORD would go to this meeting tent outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise and stand at the entrance of their own tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses. 10 On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and worship at the entrance of their own tents. 11 The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. Moses would then return to the camp, but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, would not move out of the tent. 34: 5 Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with him there and proclaimed his name, “LORD.” 6 Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, 7 continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!” 8 Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. 9 Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own.” 28 So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
P S A L M
Psalm 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
R: The Lord is kind and merciful.
6 The LORD secures justice and the rights of all the oppressed. 7 He has made known his ways to Moses, and his deeds to the children of Israel. (R) 8 Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. 9 He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever. (R) 10 Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. (R) 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. (R)
G O S P E L
Life is often a mixture of good and bad. What we should be doing is trying to increase the good and decrease the bad with every choice that we make. Just as a farmer will sort out his crop at harvest time and destroy the weeds and put the grain into his barns, it is important to remember that on Judgment Day this is what will happen to all men and women. We too will be judged good or bad and given our rightful reward or punishment. I pray that it is the former and not that latter that we all receive!
36 Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
think: Life is often a mixture of good and bad. What we should be doing is trying to increase the good and decrease the bad with every choice that we make.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 52-54
WHEAT AND WEEDS A-MINGLING
If ever, let’s say, sinners were never given a chance to reform their lives, if they were just summarily eliminated from society by some unfair means, then perhaps there would be the risk of eliminating saints as well, actual and potential. It would be like closing the door on them permanently, shutting out God’s saving grace. And so perhaps we would never have had the likes of Augustine, Ignatius of Loyola (our saint for today, incidentally), Charles de Foucauld, and Thomas Merton, whose conversions marked that point when God’s grace and blessing prevailed and triumphed over human frailty. Today’s Gospel is indeed an affirmation of God’s patient love, and of the mercy of Him who never ceases to give us a chance and wait for our return. It is only at the end of the world (“harvest time”) when “the Son of Man will dispatch his angels to collect from his Kingdom all . . . evildoers.” If ever such evildoers (the “weeds”) were condemned, it is really their own doing anyway, for they blew the opportunities extended to them by the merciful God. For the saints, on the other hand (fruit of the harvest at the end)”— these are the great and holy men and women who cooperated with God’s grace and patiently endured the evil around them. Or it can also be that the sinners who were coexisting with the saints were in turn positively influenced by them. Wasn’t this what happened with Ignatius of Loyola? While recovering from his infamous cannon-shot leg wound, he was inspired by the biographies of the saints from a book given to him to pass the time while in bed. It made him think: “These men were of the same frame as I; why then should I not do what they have done?”
The great religious congregation founded by St. Ignatius himself (the Society of Jesus) is today a crack military team (as it were), specializing in reaching out to those for instance in far-off mission lands, or the refugees, the poor and downtrodden, or even the elite of society. At the same time they are always at the cutting edge of the Church’s mission, ever ready to go where the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls will send them. Indeed, they are the wheat mingling with the weeds. Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Have you given up on some people? God hasn’t.
Forgive me, Lord, if I am too weak to hope in others. Grant me more love for them.
St. Helen of Skovde, widow, pray for us.
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