READINGS for 2008-02-29
WHO iS gOD?
Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. – Hosea 14:10
Don, a corporate executive, was puzzled when the doctor approached him and asked, “Who is God the Father?”
The executive took the question to heart and acted on it. He started reading the Bible voraciously. Day and night, Don meditated on the precepts of the Lord. One day, he heard a voice within, “You haven’t known me for you haven’t repented from your sins.” Don recalled all his past sins, asked for God’s forgiveness and declared, “Lord, You are the way, the truth and the life.”
From then on, Don understood who is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And they dwell on the executive’s heart, hopefully, forever. Judith Ann Ros
Do I take time to read the Scriptures?
Prayer: God, may You be my priority as the day begins.
God is crying out for His people to come back to Him and leave behind their sinful and idolatrous ways. Then and only then will they be saved from their iniquity and delivered from the hands of their enemies. This sounds like a pretty good deal to me. It seems as though God is taking it upon Himself to cleanse our hearts as well as deliver us from the power of sin.
2 Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. 3 Take with you words, and return to the LORD; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls. 4 Assyria will not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount; We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.” 5 I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. 6 I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, 7 and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. 8 Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. 9 Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. “I am like a verdant cypress tree” — Because of me you bear fruit! 10 Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.
P S A L M
Psalm 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
R: I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
5  An unfamiliar speech I hear. 6  “I relieved his shoulder of the burden; his hands were freed from the basket. 7  In distress you called, and I rescued you.” (R) “Unseen, I answered you in thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 8  Hear, my people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, will you not hear me?” (R) 9  “There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. 10  I, the LORD, am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt.” (R) 13  “If only my people would hear me, and Israel walk in my ways, 16  I would feed with the best of wheat, and with honey from the rock I would fill them.” (R)
G O S P E L
The scribe comments wisely upon the answer of Jesus and is commended by Jesus for His insight. Let us pray for the grace not only to have this insight but to act upon it as well. We can be sure the love of God is always available to us for righteous living. Let us make use of it today and set our lives firmly upon a path to virtue and holiness.
28 One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” 29 Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! 30 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ 33 And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that [he] answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
think:We can be sure the love of God is always available to us for righteous living. Let us make use of it today and set our lives firmly upon a path to virtue and holiness.
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 James 1-5
the Generous poor
Seminarians get to live with families in poor communities as part of their pastoral exposure. They are distributed among the homes of active church workers. A seminarian who had just finished this phase of his formation told me this story: “Having lived a life of luxury prior to my entry to the seminary, I have gotten used to having what I wanted, especially when it comes to what I want to eat. The family who hosted me readily noticed this when I decided to forgo dinner one evening and went immediately to bed saying I was so tired and just wanted to sleep. Thinking I was already fast asleep, the father of the house thought aloud, ‘Maybe he didn’t like our food. I’ll pawn my fishing nets tomorrow to our neighbor so that we can buy him some good food tomorrow.’”
The seminarian, sure enough, was so embarrassed by what he heard that he joined the family at dinner straight away and asked forgiveness profusely for his spoiled ways.
It was a real eye-opener for him. He couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the thought that the poor family who hosted him would really go out of their way just to please him and make him feel at home.
The members of the family that hosted that seminarian were known to be God-fearing and God loving people. They were actively involved in the church and in their own community. They were poor but that did not stop them from making time for God and neighbor. I cannot help but be in awe at how some people, like the members of that family, are able to really take to heart the challenge of Jesus in today’s gospel. They are really so serious in living up to the Christian standards of loving God and never fail to manifest this by their love for neighbor. My prayer is that those whose lives have been touched by them may replicate the experience in their own lives. Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
The poor gives out of their lack. Are you able from your abundance?
“Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve You as I should. To give and not to count the cost...” - St. Ignatius
St. Oswald, bishop, pray for us.
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