READINGS for 2008-02-18
THE MiSSiNg STAMP
“Do not judge others, and God will not judge you...” – Luke 6:37
One night, I noticed that one stamp from my collection binder was missing. I had my eye on my two usual suspects — my six-year-old daughter, Mac, and four-year-old son, Jac.
The two suspects were already fast asleep so I decided to defer my “speech” for the next day. Then I found a multi-folded piece of paper with my missing stamp taped on it!
Handwritten on one of the sides was the name Maria Angela Caliah, Mac’s full name. “Case solved,” I told myself.
I opened the letter and the actual text — misspellings and erasures included — went like this:
Thanks Jesus im sorry for Fighting my Brother
Thank you for everting you gave in the earth
i love you Lord
Immediately, I had a complete turnaround. I felt guilty about fretting over a stamp that was used for such a wonderful prayer. I was also guilty for reading Mac’s letter. I could easily be convicted for my crime because aside from my fingerprints all over the letter, a drop of my tear made a small smudge on the paper. Alvin Fabella
Sometimes, things are not what they seem to be.
Thank You, Lord, for teaching me not to judge others immediately. MayI see the good in others first and not judge their actions.
Too often, we seek revenge for the wrongs others have done to us and we are not satisfied until we have “seen justice done.” Sometimes I think we lack a good understanding of what it means to be merciful and to pardon people for their sins. I would like to challenge us all to see the desire for the conversion of those who have sinned against us as the greatest priority we would have for them. Punishment may teach someone that there are consequences to his actions. Conversion will help ensure he will never do it again in a far more certain manner.
4 “Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! 5 We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. 6 We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land. 7 Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you. 8 O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you. 9 But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you 10 and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God, to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.”
P S A L M
Psalm 79:8, 9, 11 and 13
R: Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
8 Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. (R) 9 Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake. (R) 11 Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death. 13 Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise. (R)
G O S P E L
We like to focus our understanding of the text “the amount you measure out is the amount you will get back” on the things we want for ourselves. It’s often a material focus. I think Jesus has such things as mercy and forgiveness at the forefront of His mind when He makes this statement. We all need mercy and forgiveness so this is a good thing. However, it does mean that we have to be committed to such a life before we can be assured of receiving it ourselves.
36 “Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful. 37 Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 38 Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
think: Punishment may teach someone that there are consequences to his actions. Conversion will help ensure he will never do it again in a far more certain manner.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Philippians 1-4
The theme of judgment always brings to mind a grim scene — a fully garbed god seated on his mighty throne, grilling a soul for misdeeds on earth. But when Jesus says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” surely He was thinking of more than just the judgment at the end of days. There are so many life situations that this command of Jesus finds perfect sense.
Johannes Minkus tells this inspiring story: An old lady went to a restaurant for a bowl of hot vegetable soup. After ordering, she found herself a table, sat beside it and hang her bag under it. She was not given a spoon so she went back to the counter to request for one, only to discover on her way back that someone was seated on her chair eating from her bowl. Thinking that the man was homeless and hungry who loitered around the city, she felt pity. Nonetheless she wanted to have what was rightfully hers, so she sat in front of the man and began dipping her own spoon in the bowl and sipped her soup. The man was shocked but said nothing. Instead he stood up, ordered a cup of coffee, placed it beside the woman’s bowl, smiled at her, then headed out. Just then the woman thought of her bag. She reached under the table and found none. Then she thought, “So, he was a thief!” Feeling violated, she looked around to get sympathy only to find to her surprise that her bag was under another table with a bowl of cold soup on top. She went to the wrong table!
How often have we embarrassed ourselves in the past on account of our own clueless slip-ups? Like an old rich matron mistaking a priest for the janitor and instructing him to hail her a taxi. Or an applicant for a job advising a man to call his boss only to discover that he is the boss. Follow Jesus’ command to refrain on making judgments on people even if only to spare ourselves of disgrace. Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
How many times have we misjudged others?
Lord, You are the true judge of all. Give me the grace to see people through Your just and loving eyes.
St. Simeon, pray for us.
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