READINGS for 2007-10-13
“Blessed are those who hear...” – Luke 11:28
Last week I was shamed.
I was not happy with the way my plans were working out. On hindsight, it was due to my shortcomings. But just the same, I was grumbling and complaining internally.
Then I received news that a childhood friend died. He was 43. At the wake, I met a former neighbor. He used a metallic cane to help him walk and was suffering from a rare, progressive genetic disease with no known cure. He further told me he had to quit his job, that earlier his only child, after consultation with 29 plus doctors, had died and that they just survived being kidnapped.
Yet he said: “In all these, God is with us.”
Then I found out that a good friend was dying. She had colon cancer and the doctors had given up hope. As I talked to her husband on the phone, I sensed he was deliberately being positive, saying that the events had brought him and his wife closer to each other.
I felt like a wimp in battle, an amateur amidst professionals. I met champions who embraced the seemingly bleak future with amazing confidence in God’s heart. These individuals were ready to deal with what God would allow and has allowed to happen. They were embracing what choices God would make for their lives. Ariel D.
Doing God’s will is not an event or a status, it is about choosing to trust Him and have an attitude of a child of God.
Today, Lord, You talk about being blessed if I listen and do Your will. I begin to see that it is not about my situation but the
way I handle the situation; it is not about titles or roles but how I play those roles You give me.
God will pass judgment on sin and evil. In fact He has already done so with Jesus’ death on the cross. Here sin is put in its place, defeated and cast down to the nether world. What we must seek to do is to bring that victory to bear upon every sin and temptation that seeks to destroy our relationship with God and others. Sin brings death and desolation; holiness brings happiness and rejoicing. Let us choose to live with the latter rather than the former.
12 Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit in judgment upon all the neighboring nations. 13 Apply the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come and tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for great is their malice. 14 Crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; for near is the day of the LORD in the valley of decision. 15 Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness. 16 The LORD roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem raises his voice; the heavens and the earth quake, but the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the men of Israel. 17 Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more. 18 And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; and the channels of Judah shall flow with water: a fountain shall issue from the house of the LORD, to water the Valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a waste, and Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, because they shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem for all generations. 21 I will avenge their blood, and not leave it unpunished. The LORD dwells in Zion.
P S A L M
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
R: Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
1 The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad. 2 Clouds and darkness are round about him, justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne. (R) 5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his justice, and all peoples see his glory. (R) 11 Light dawns for the just; and gladness, for the upright of heart. 12 Be glad in the LORD, you just, and give thanks to his holy name. (R)
G O S P E L
Once again Jesus is not willing to let a comment pass Him by without His taking the opportunity to use it as a means to teach a deeper truth to the people. It is true that Mary is a happy woman as His mother. However, there is a far greater happiness and satisfaction in being a disciple of Jesus. Mary ought to be (and is) much prouder of her obedience to God’s word than she is of the fact that she is the Mother of God. It is her obedience that makes her holy.
27 While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” 28 He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
think: There is a far greater happiness and satisfaction in being a disciple of Jesus.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Matthew 5-6
A LIGHT FOR MY PATH
The person who follows the Lord is the one who hears the word of God and keeps it. The woman we hear in the Gospel is delighted at the words that fall from the lips of Jesus and in return blesses the mother of Jesus. In the Gospel, Jesus does not reject the woman’s praise but reinforces His command by calling those “blessed”, who accommodate the word in their heart and lives as Mary did – she treasured these things and pondered them in her heart In his letter to the community James uses similar language to what Jesus says in the Gospel. He says to not only be hearers of the word but also doers. Anyone can hear the word of God, but is another thing to put into practice. The one who doesn’t practice is like the one who looks in the mirror then walking away forgets what he looks like. We also can have the word reflected to us in many ways but fail to adhere to it. The word is reflected to us through seminars, homilies, bible studies and other means.
Notice the joy of a parent when the child obeys the command given. The parent is happy that the child is obedient and there is trust on the part of the child that what the parent says is right and loving in a particular situation. Or note the satisfaction of the teacher who, in imparting values and information to the student, has the student understand all that has been taught. The child obeys the parent; the student listens to his teacher because there is trust and love. So too, God rejoices in the one who obeys His word. Jesus says, “if a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him”. To keep the word of God and obey it is an acknowledgment of our love.
The psalmist states, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path”. The Bible is full of instructions that lighten our path, our pilgrimage of life. Some have called it the book of life. This is true since in the bible we can discover certain directives and percepts to life. The psalms are the real prayers of a real people. The prophets help us discover God and His will in our lives. The Gospels give us access to the Son of man and the Son of God. The pastoral letters are practical applications by which we can base our lives. Happy the man who trusts in the Lord and places his life under His word. Let us trust again in the word of the Lord. Let us seek to follow the Lord and adhere to His teachings. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I allow myself to be guided by the word of God? Do I pray with the scriptures? How can I live out the Word of God in my daily life? What are the means by which I can appreciate the word of God more?
Lord thank you for Your word. Let me be accounted as one of Your disciples as I live according to Your word. May I not only hear the word but keep it. AMEN
St. Theophilus, bishop, pray for us.
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