READINGS for 2007-09-27
EVEN IN THE SHADOW
“..And he kept trying to see him.” – Luke 9:9
We all have dark periods in our lives, no matter how “spiritually mature” we consider ourselves to be now. You know, those times when God did not seem to exist in our lives, those times that we allowed ourselves to wallow in sin.
I don’t know if you will agree with me on this. Even in the darkest period of our lives, when we thought we are the worst of all sinners and deserve hell even while still on earth, there remains a part of us that seeks God. There’s always a hole inside of us that longs to be filled by God — or what He represents: peace, joy, love, serenity, contentment.
I have gone through the same route.
Through God’s graciousness and mercy, I am now in His light, where love and peace abound. Tess VA.
Are you still living in the shadow of sin?
Lord, give me a way out of this pit that I am in. Take me by the hand and lead me to Your light.
Haggai chastises the people for their lack of zeal in rebuilding the House of the Lord. This indicates a certain self-centeredness that is abhorrent to God. It is not that God does not want them to live in good housing themselves, but that their neglect of their religious life and obligations indicates that their love for Him is waning. This is never a good thing. Often there is nothing better than a communal project to re-ignite the spirit of a people after such a long trial as exile must have been.
1 On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak: 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: This people says: “Not now has the time come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” 3 (Then this word of the LORD came through Haggai, the prophet:) 4 Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! 6 You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; you have drunk, but have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; and he who earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it. 7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! 8 Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house that I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
R: The Lord takes delight in his people.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. 2 Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. (R) 3 Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. 4 For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. (R) 5 Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; 6 let the high praises of God be in their throats. 9 This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia. (R)
G O S P E L
We know that Herod is a weak and cowardly man and that he is thus threatened by the smallest of things. If the popularity of John the Baptist was a source of fear to him, then how much more will the ministry and popularity of Jesus! Yet, he has nothing to fear from Jesus. His fears are all in his own mind and are probably the result of a bad conscience! When irrational fears abound, often a good place to look for the source is if there is sin in our lives.
7 Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,“John has been raised from the dead”; 8 others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” 9 But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.
think: When irrational fears abound, often a good place to look for the source is if there is sin in our lives.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Zechariah 1-5
Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest
THE HEART OF JESUS TODAY
We remember today the blessed memory of St. Vincent de Paul. The Gospel on which this reflection is based is taken from the Mass of St. Vincent de Paul. St. Vincent de Paul was born in Gascony, France in 1581. He began his adult life as an opportunist. He entered the seminary, and when he completed his priestly studies, his first parish assignment was in Paris. As a newly ordained priest, however, Vincent was captured by Turkish pirates and was sold to an alchemist who traded him to a plantation owner who was a former priest with three wives. Vincent converted the ex-priest and went with him to Avignon, Rome and back to Paris where they gained some friends. As he spent a year caring for the poor in Chatillons, Vincent was changed. He gathered volunteers to provide food and clothing for the poor he was serving. Many also came to actually serve the poor with him. He spent the next forty years of his life serving the poor. He founded the Congregation of the Mission (commonly known today as the “Vincentians”) to form priests and to support the poor. Later on, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. After serving the poor for more than forty years of his life, Vincent de Paul passed away in Paris in 1660.
Holiness is the perfection of charity. The more loving we are, the holier we are. Holiness is not developed simply by spending the whole day before the Blessed Sacrament inside a church. Holiness is loving Jesus in the tabernacle of the hearts of the people inside and outside the church, most especially the poor. Holiness is charity-in-action, a contemplation of the face of God in the distressing disguise of the poor. St. Vincent was the Bl. Teresa of Calcutta in his time while Bl. Teresa of Calcutta was St. Vincent in her time. Yet both Vincent and Teresa were another Jesus to the poor of their times.
Jesus, was often found absorbed in prayer. But He was also always found touring all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness. His heart belonged to God. He needed more men and women who would labor with Him for God’s Kingdom. This need persisted in the age of St. Vincent de Paul and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. It remains a need in our age as well. Will we stand idle, praying for holiness inside a church only? Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: How can I be the heart of Jesus today?
May our holiness, O Lord, be manifested in our love for others. Perfect Your love in us and may our love for You be perfected in our deeds. Jesus, we love You; increase our love for You. Amen.
St. Deodatus, pray for us.
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