READINGS for 2007-09-22
that last seed... – Luke 8:15
Boxing is the form of exercise of Larry Gamboa, author of Think Rich Pinoy .
Before the hour-long workout, he made me read a long article on the wall. Then he left to relax somewhere and I started warm-ups, punching the air, then two rounds with a seemingly defenseless punching bag. You have no idea how hard these bags fight back! Next was punching this flailing ball, then the ceiling mounted ball. I thought I was doing okay but then I was asked to jump rope. My trainer said, “two rounds,” then left. I made the first round then ran to an open window for air and groped for my water bottle. Some of the people training were already smiling. That was the end of my first boxing workout. Now what did that article say that made me push myself?
“Pain is all in the mind.”
And the value of peer encouragement.
As Luke 8:15 said, even that last seed which fell on the rich soil had to strive to grow. It had to shed its outer skin and fight the thick soil for its roots to take hold. And since we’re not plants, we need to read a letter like 1 Timothy 6, before we start our days, so we’ll fight to be faithful until the end. Jomar H.
Have you read an “encouraging letter” today?
May I be encouraging to others, Lord.
Cyrus, the King of Persia has recently conquered most of the Near East and in a display of great benevolence is setting the Jews free from their exile and allowing them to return home. It was yet another beginning for the Jews as they returned to the ruins of Jerusalem and the temple and began to rebuild them. It seems that God inspired some to return to this task but not all. Why this is the case we do not know.
1 In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing 2 “Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia ‘All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him! 4 Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt, be assisted by the people of that place with silver, gold, goods, and cattle, together with free-will offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.’” 5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites — everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so — prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbors gave them help in every way, with silver, gold, goods, and cattle, and with many precious gifts besides all their free-will offerings.
P S A L M
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
R: The Lord has done marvels for us.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. 5 Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) 6 Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. (R)
G O S P E L
The truth will ultimately prevail. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that the light of the truth will, in the end, shine for all to see. It does not matter how hard we try to keep something in the dark, it will eventually be brought into the light. This is the nature of truth in that it cannot be altered or overcome. “The truth will set us free,” Jesus says in John’s Gospel. This is almost a redundant statement in that truth is at the heart of freedom and thus the statement is little more than a definition of truth.
16 “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
The truth will ultimately prevail.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Habakkuk 1-3
NOT A GOOD FARMER
It takes more than just a good seed to produce a rich harvest. It needs more than just a green thumb to have a good yield. A good farmer knows that the quality of soil into which he plants greatly determines the quality of his crops.
A good soil produces a good harvest. The better the soil, the better the harvest. The best soil yields the best produce. Thus, a good farmer sows only on the best soil as much as possible. He does not waste his good seed on a soil of poor quality.
God is not a good farmer. He sows anywhere He wills. His Word, the Good Seed, falls anywhere. It struggles to grow both in a good soil as well as in a bad one. Mindful though He is of the certainty that His Word might fall on bad soil, still God sows unsparingly. And He does not regret doing so. Never. He is always hopeful that somehow the bad soil would still produce something good. While a good farmer sows not unless he is somehow certain about the good quality of the soil, God plants with His fingers crossed in a sign of hope.
God is not a good farmer, but precisely because God is not a good farmer that we, the soil, can become better. God’s hope in us can encourage us to improve our lives and make them fruitful. God believes in us even when we either do not believe in Him anymore or in our selves as well. It takes more than just a good seed to produce a rich harvest. It needs more than just a green thumb to have a good yield. It requires God, who is not a good farmer but hopes and believes in us, to lift us up each time we fall and encourage us when we fail so that we may begin again and become better persons.
But we must allow God to farm our hearts first. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What kind of a soil am I?
Lord of the harvest, farm my heart with Your love and make it worthy of Your Life-giving Word. Do not allow Your Word in my heart go to waste. Make it bear fruit and produce a rich harvest for the Kingdom where You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
St. Jonas, martyr, pray for us.
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