READINGS for 2007-10-01
WE ALL BELONG TO GOD
“Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.” – Luke 9:50
You’ve got to be kidding.
That was my reaction when I read an email from one of the Gawad Kalinga fulltime missionaries I met in Canada. This married couple was committing P1,000 to my ministry for the poor, Anawim, each month.
I rubbed my eyes. Is this a typo? How could they do this? Don’t they need the money for their projects?
Let me explain.
Gawad Kalinga is a ministry pioneered by Couples for Christ. Since they began, they’ve built thousands of homes for the poor all over the country and beyond. Wherever I go, I tell people to join and help make GK777 a reality: 700,000 homes in 7,000 villages in 7 years! I regularly raise funds for them. And my community, Light of Jesus, together with Buklod ng Panginoon, is building 200 plus homes in a GK site.
But now here was this email staring me in the face—a GK missionary—donating to Anawim, my ministry. Wow.
Unity is possible. We don’t have to compete.
Because we all belong to God. Bo S.
Can you reach out and help another group that you don’t belong to?
Lord, remove division and selfishness and insecurity among our religious leaders. Begin with me, Lord. Remove these from within me.
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
The ultimate purpose of my life
GOALS FOR THE QUARTER
Priority areas God wants me to work on
PRAYER SHEET FOR MY LIFE
Things I will pray for regularly
PRAYER SHEET FOR MY LIFE
Things I will pray for regularly
One of the Old Testament themes that characterizes God’s relationship with the Chosen People is that of jealousy. The Lord is jealous in His love for His People to the point that it angers Him when they sin and draw away from Him. It is His love for the People that constantly causes Him to act to bring them back to Himself. It is by the power of God that the People are constantly rescued from danger and near destruction.
1 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 2 I am intensely jealous for Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her. 3 Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain. 4 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women, each with staff in hand because of old age, shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem. 5 The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in her streets. 6 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also, says the LORD of hosts? 7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun. 8 I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem. They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice.
P S A L M
Psalm 102:16-18, 19-21, 29, 22, 23
R: The Lord will build up Zion again and appear in all his glory.
15  The nations shall revere your name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory, 16  when the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in his glory; 17  when he has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer. (R) 18  Let this be written for the generation to come, and let his future creatures praise the LORD: 19  “The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, 20  To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.” (R) 28  The children of your servants shall abide, and their posterity shall continue in your presence. 21  That the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion; and his praise, in Jerusalem, 22  When the peoples gather together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus often tells us that it is the least among us who will turn out to be the greatest. Today we celebrate the Feast of St Therese of Lisieux. She is a perfect example of this truth. She is a young cloistered nun who desires to do great things and discovers that her vocation is simply to love the people with whom she lives and to pray for the salvation of souls. She will not become a priest, nor a missionary to Asia, nor a martyr. However, she does become one of the greatest modern saints and an example of love for all.
46 An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.” 49 Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
It is His love for the People that constantly causes Him to act to bring them back to himself.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Maccabees 1-2
BE AS A LITTLE CHILD
A small child can be a great teacher to us at times. Look at the way a child plays, observe the child who trusts in his/her mother. Listen to a child who makes known a request to the parent. Notice the way a child embraces the parent. Certain characteristics such as innocence, simplicity, dependency, purity of heart are how we are to relate to God as Father.
Today we celebrate the life of a saint who desired to make herself child-like, not childish. Therese desired to be little, since, as she was later to discover, it was through her littleness that God would achieve great things. In her writings, Therese of Liseux teaches us what it is to be totally and completely abandoned to God the Father. We can come to a Father who loves us and anticipates our every need. This, as Therese would suggest, is the “little way of love”. This was the great secret to her sainthood and her being proclaimed as doctor of the Church. I have often read the writings of Therese and come to the conclusion that the spiritual life is really quite simple, and I am the one who makes it so complicated!
In her writings, Therese borrows the image of the elevator , a modern convenience we have become quite accustomed to now. However, in her day it was something new and inventory. Therese understood the elevator as a convenience in her day to reach a higher level. No longer would one have to trudge the stairway and become exhausted at having traveled so many stairs. All that one had to do was to step inside the elevator, press a few buttons and the machine would activate and bring you to your destination. You just have to stand there and wait.
Therese borrows the image and understands that Jesus is like the elevator. His are the arms that lift us to the Father. All one needs to do is rest in His arms effortlessly and confidently that Jesus lifts us to the Father. That is the way a child behaves if they are confident in the parent’s love for them.
In the Gospel the disciples learn a lesson. They are beginning to become popular. They jostle for position, status and attention. They behave childishly. Jesus shakes His head, realizing the intention of their hearts and perhaps afraid it might end up a bit rough! He calls the disciple to Himself and places a child among them. “The least among you shall be the greatest”. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I trust that God will provide for me? Can I abandon myself completely to the Father? Do I recognise that all I have is given to me by God – the giver of all gifts?
Jesus, thank You for drawing me to the Father. I surrender myself to You that you might lead me to the Father. Thank You that I am a son/daughter of God whom I can invoke as Father. Amen
St. Virila, abbot, pray for us.
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