READINGS for 2007-10-22
WHAT YOU DO
Empowered by faith... – Romans 4:20 I run a web discussion group
(firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s been going on for two years now. Almost every day, I send out a Catholic-related question like: Why confess to a priest? What’s a scapular for?... And I accompany it with the easy-to-understand answer. My audience is about 700 curious people all over the world.
It’s hard to count, though.
Notice I said I send messages “almost” every day. That’s because, some days I forget to or am too burdened by work that I never get to do so.
One day, someone emailed me, “Father Jomar, please subscribe me again to your group. I changed emails and I want to keep reading your insightful Q&A.”
I am not a priest, okay? So this was funny and also a wake up call. What I do – it does matter to some people. I want to believe that it matters to God too, that’s why I continue to do it. Jomar H.
What do you do that matters to God?
Guide my thoughts, words and deeds, Lord, that my life may glorify You.
St Paul presents Abraham as a man whose life was governed by his faith in God. This is perfectly true when we consider that Abraham left the comfort of his life in Ur as a response to God’s call and embarked on a journey that would take him way to the north to a place called Haran and even as far as the Jordan River where there would be little security for him. This was a journey of faith. It should inspire us to entrust our lives to God as well.
20 He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God 21 and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do. 22 That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 But it was not for him alone that it was written that “it was credited to him”; 24 it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.
P S A L M
Luke 1:68-69, 70-72, 73-75
R: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
68 He has come to his people and set them free. 69 He has raised up for us our mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. (R) 70 Through his holy prophets he promised of old 71 that he would save us from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 72 He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. (R) 73 This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us 74 free from the hand of enemies, free to worship him without fear, 75 holy and righteousness in his sight all the days of our life. (R)
G O S P E L
The demands the Gospel makes on our lives in terms of holiness and justice ought to be enough to ensure that no one will ever have the need to go before a judge or authority figure to demand justice from us in terms of earthly belongings. The parable Jesus tells only to clearly spell out this obligation and the consequences if we do not heed it. Let us reflect carefully on the way we live and the way we treat others.
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 15 Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ 18 And he said, “This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods 19 and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!” 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ 21 Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
think: Let us reflect carefully on the way we live and the way we treat others.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Matthew 27-28
GIVE GOD THANKS IN ALL THINGS
Have you ever noticed the behavior of the spoilt child? They tend to have everything to their hearts content yet they are not satisfied. They want more!
Unfortunately they carry this attitude into their adult years and beyond.They expect things to be given to them when they want it and that means now. Their life can be a miserable mess if they let it come to this. The spoilt child can have a tendency to frustration, anger and rebellion. They realize they are no longer in control and they will put a fight for it.
I think we can all suffer from this “spoilt child syndrome” at times in our life. We want something and yet we also realize that we cannot have everything that we see and want. The rich man we hear about in the Gospel, I believe is suffering from a “spoilt child syndrome”. He has everything to his heart’s content. Actually, he has done well in his harvest. He is to be commended on the hard labor and work he exerted to receive such abundance in goods. Yet he faces a dilemma. When he realizes he hasn’t enough room to store his bountiful harvest, he decides to tear the smaller ones to make room for larger ones. That’s OK. But then he goes on to say, “Look at me, I can sit back and relax”. He feels he is made for life. Notice the attitude.He knows his wealth; he is aware of his success however pride settles in whereby he becomes complacent.
What happens if he is to die, where will all the produce go? We too can be likeminded whereby we sit comfortably with all that we have. Just as the rich man never mentioned his gratitude for God, so too can we forget that all we have is of God’s gracious giving. I am reminded of Job’s trials and difficulties yet he was able to remain faithful to the Lord, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.” He is aware of the Lord’s goodness in his life and his faith is in God. So strong is this that when calamities befell he could resolutely give all to God. Everything is given to him by the Lord in the first place. The example of Job is an example for all of us. We have received many things from the Lord. Do we give glory to God for what we have? Do we share our resources with others or keep it to ourselves as the rich man did in the Gospel. What a sad existence if we didn’t share with others all that God has given us. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: What are the things we find ourselves attached to in some way. Are there any things that I have to surrender to the Lord that I may be possessive about?
Take, Lord, and receive all that I have and possess. You have given all to me; now I return it. Give me Your love and grace – that is enough for me Amen.
St. Philip, bishop and martyr, pray for us.
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