READINGS for 2008-02-11
“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” – Leviticus 19:2
“Who is Arun Gogna at home?” someone asked me this during one of my talks. With a grin, I said, “At home I water the plants, play with our dogs, write books, read books, pray while singing, watch wrestling, cuddle my wife… the typical things ordinary people do.”
Some of us may think that holiness is living a weird life, a life very different from others. We may equate holiness with eating grasshoppers when fasting or scourging one’s self with a whip. But I am convinced, especially after studying the lives of the saints, that holiness is living ordinary lives extraordinarily well. After all, it is the ordinary things done with love, compassion and the awareness of God’s presence that do make us holy.
Come to think of it, maybe I should restate my answer to that question. “Arun Gogna, when he is at home, waters the plants while singing to them, plays with his dogs with great delight, writes every day with passion, reads books that give meaning and life, prays from the heart while singing from the soul, watches wrestling to unwind and turns it off when it becomes violent, cuddles his wife while thanking God for her — just doing ordinary things that ordinary people do extraordinarily well.” Arun Gogna
Do you do ordinary things extraordinarily well?
May our ordinary lives show Your glory, O Lord.
All people are called to live just and holy lives. One aspect of justice in our globalized world that needs a lot of attention is the question of a just wage. It is the moral responsibility of the employer to pay a just wage to all employees. The minimum wage guaranteed by law must be adhered to but, in many cases, even this may not satisfy the moral requirement of paying a fair wage to all employees.
Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy. 11 “You shall not steal. You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another. 12 You shall not swear falsely by my name, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD. 13 “You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor. You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer. 14 You shall not curse the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD. 15 “You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly. 16 You shall not go about spreading slander among your kinsmen; nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the LORD. 17 “You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow man, do not incur sin because of him. 18 Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15
R: Your words, Lord, are Spirit and Life.
7  The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. (R) 8  The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. (R) 9  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (R) 14  Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (R)
G O S P E L
This parable is clear in its denunciation of injustice and morality by condemning the neglect of living a truly moral life. It’s clear in Jesus’ mind that the Day of Judgment is a serious reality we must prepare. Just because we have accepted the Good News of salvation does not mean that we will automatically enter heaven. This will largely depend on whether or not we have heeded the Gospel and lived a life according to its principles.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
think: Just because we have accepted the Good News of salvation does not mean that we will automatically enter heaven. This will largely depend on whether or not we have heeded the Gospel and lived a life according to its principles.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Corinthians 1-4
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
From the first century A.D. came Onesimus, slave to the Colossian Christians Philemon and Apphia.
Onesimus committed theft from Philemon and in order to escape punishment, fled to Rome where he sought the help of St. Paul. The apostle converted Onesimus and sent him back to his master with the canonical Epistle to Philemon. In the letter, Paul asked Philemon for Onesimus’ freedom so he could have him as one of his assistants. Because of the apostle’s request, Philemon granted Onesimus pardon and gave him his freedom.
Onesimus became a faithful servant of St. Paul. And with Tychicus, he became bearer of the Epistle to the Colossians. Onesimus continued his service, until he became a preacher of the Gospel then a successor of St. Timothy as bishop of Ephesus.
Because of Onesimus’ merit of celibacy, the governor of Rome had him tortured for 18 days. His legs and thighs were broken with bludgeons, then Onesimus was stoned to death.
Saint Juliana Of nicOmedia
Saint Juliana, patron of the sick, was the daughter of a pagan named Africanus.
He promised Juliana to a young noble named Evilase. The girl did not want him for a spouse ; thus, she insisted that he first becomes chief magistrate of Nicomedia before they would marry. When he became prefect, she again insisted that he be converted to Christianity. Evilase did not agree. Juliana’s pagan father tortured her to change her mind but she remained firm to the Catholic faith.
Evilase brought the woman before the tribunal during the persecution of Maximianus. He denounced her a Christian. Thus, Juliana was burned and boiled in oil before finally beheading her in 305 A.D.
Her relics are found at Cumae, Naples in Italy.
Saint SilVin of auChy
Silvin, also known as Silvinus, was born in Toulouse, France. He served as a courtier of Childeric II and Theodoric III. The man gave up his worldly possessions and became a penitential pilgrim to Jerusalem and a number of holy sites. He was ordained priest in Rome then consecrated regional bishop. Silvin devoted 40 years of his life in missionary activities by evangelizing in the area around Therouanne and Toulouse and preaching about Christian truths and obligations. He taught the pagans to renounce the pleasures of life by applying the strong lessons of self-denial and mortification. In the end, he retired to the Benedictine Abbey of Auchy-les-Moines.
Saint Silvin died on February 15, some time between the years 718-720. His feast day is commemorated on February 17 in the Usuard, the Belgic and Roman martyrologies, and on February 15 in Auchy. Most of his remains are in Saint- Bertin’s Church at Saint-Omer.
the Way to Jesus’ heart
It is common to find large billboards along roads or in front of edifices declaring that such projects have been made through the initiative of this or that politician. Such practice is not limited to government projects though. When one enters a church he cannot miss well-olished brass tags on images of saints or on pews stating who donated them. Most of us admire those people who share their riches to the church, or, to others, for that matter. We sometimes think that those people have already ‘’bought’’ their way to the people’s heart or even to heaven. Our admiration thus leads to wishful longing. So we say, “If I become Mayor, I would also make…” or, “If I become rich, I will donate…” Today’s Gospel presents a different point of view as regards winning the heart not just of men but of God. Jesus has made the road to His heart available to everybody, even to the simplest people.
Jesus outlines them so clearly: Feed the hungry. Give water to the thirsty. Clothe the naked and welcome the stranger. Do those and you’ll merit a slot in the roster of the saints. Jesus made glory attainable for all. Heaven is not a place only for those who are able to do extraordinary things on earth, like contribute large sums of money to charitable institutions or churches. Not all of us can accomplish exceptional missionary undertakings like the disciples of old. But all of us can surely measure up to the norms that Jesus presents today. He has opened up the way to heaven by simply telling us to respond with acts of charity to anyone in need. And that is the only gauge. Our capacity to respond to human need will determine if we are worthy to be counted among the elect, those to whom Jesus will say, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34).” Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
Do we know the road to the heart of Jesus?
Lord Jesus, You teach us the simple acts of charity that can make us saints some day. May You use us as Your
instruments to help those in need.
St. Paschal, pray for us.
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