READINGS for 2007-10-23
“Be ready for whatever comes. Be dressed for action.” – Luke 12:38
For the first time, I was tasked to be in charge of all the candidates for confirmation. I became one of the speakers in the seminar. All the papers were submitted to me. Though I delegated the task of monitoring the payment and issuance of official receipts, I was still responsible for it.
Many snags occurred. Our parish priest grilled the catechists for it. He bluntly told us we were disorganized. We were nervous that the ceremony would be in chaos for there were 150 candidates.
Not to mention their parents and godparents.
Hours before the confirmation, I knelt down and prayed from my heart, “Lord, please send your Holy Spirit to these candidates. I may be disorganized but only you can put everything in order. I entrust to you the candidates and the ceremony. Be with us this afternoon.”
God heard my prayer.
Silence reigned as the bishop anointed oil on every candidate. Only the beautiful voice of the soloist singing hymns could be heard.
Photographers did not crowd the main altar.
Everything was in order. The bishop, our parish priest and all the people were impressed by the solemnity of the ceremony.
God taught me that as his soldier, I must always put on the best armor – prayer. Rosann J.
God taught me that as his soldier I must always put on the best armor – prayer.
Though I am ready for all that may come my way, I am only so because I put my trust in You.
The power of the grace of God made available to us in Christ is far greater than the power of sin. This is the primary point that Paul is trying to make here. He is not really interested in how sin has been passed down from generation to generation but the fact that it has a malevolent presence in our lives. However, the power of sin is nothing in comparison with the grace that is made available to us through the Gospel.
12 Through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned. 15 If by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many. 17 For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. 18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. 20 Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
P S A L M
Psalm 40:7-8, 8-9, 10, 17
R: Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
6  Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; 7  then said I, “Behold I come.” (R) “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, 8  to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” (R) 9  I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. (R) 16  May all who seek you exult and be glad in you, and may those who love your salvation say ever, “The LORD be glorified.” (R)
G O S P E L
There is no doubt that the Scriptures urge us to be alert and ready for any possibility in life. This is important for us to remember as we never know when it is that God will call us to himself and thus we will find ourselves having to give an account of how we have lived. We are but servants of God and like any employee or servant we are accountable to Him for the way in which we have used the gifts and resources that He has given us. Let us ensure that we prepare well for that day by being faithful in all we do.
35 “Gird your loins and light your lamps 36 and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. 38 And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.”
think: We are accountable to Him for the way in which we have used thegifts and resources that He has given us.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Mark 1-3
GRACE OVERFLOWS TO MANY
I once heard the phrase that we are all “fallen image bearers”. We are icons of God that reflect to one another the beauty and wonder of God because God dwells within us through the grace of the Holy Sprit. Yet we have fallen. Unfortunately, we have been distorted somewhat in our humanity through the sin of our first parents. But, Jesus has restored us to that dignity that once was ours in the beginning Our first parents disobeyed God and since then we have become fallen image bearers. The image we bear remains, that of being created in the image and likeness of God, yet we have fallen. We are grateful to God because it is through Jesus we have been redeemed. However, we still bear the wounds of our fallen human nature and we have the tendency to sin – the power of concupiscence – that drive within that causes us to sin.
Jesus, the obedient one, Son of God, has undone the disobedience of man - Adam. Grace and mercy has flowed to us through the obedience of one man Jesus who died on the cross for us. Paul states in his letter to the Romans that the “gracious gift of Jesus Christ overflows for the many”. Paul tells of the contrast between life and death. One man brings death through one act of disobedience and one man brings about life through one act of righteousness. “For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of one, many will be made righteous”. Have you ever noticed that when you sprain an ankle the whole body stoops with the agony? The ankle is a small bone yet the whole body seems to become affected. This can serve as a clear insight on the way sin affects many, that is the whole of the Body of Christ. We have been speaking of obedience versus disobedience and sin versus grace. The sore ankle is like the sin that enters in to the world. The whole body that stoops down under the weight of the pain is the people that Paul talks about who have been affected. .Sin entered the world through death and thus death came to all men inasmuch as all have sinned. Yet as Paul writes in his letter, grace has overflowed all the more. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ His son. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: Some of the symptoms of our “fallen” nature are loneliness, broken relationships, miscommunication, and withdrawal, loss of innocence and purity of heart. What are those areas of your life where you need Jesus to redeem and restore what has been lost through our fallen human nature?
God, Redeemer and Creator, I thank You for having created me in Your image and likeness. Father, I thank You for allowing me to be a reflection of Your beloved Son. Continue to heal me and redeem my life that I may glorify Your name. Amen.
St. Oda, widow, pray for us.
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