READINGS for 2008-03-05

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



But the people of Jerusalem said, “The Lord has abandoned us! He has forgotten us.” – Isaiah 49:14
Two lovers are walking side by side when the woman stopped the man to ask, “Sweetie, do you love me?” The man smiled, “Of course I do, sweetie.” When they got to the doorstep of the woman’s house, she asked him again, “Sweetie, do you love me?” The man, sensing that there must be something amiss, answered with a creased brow, “Of course I do.”
        When the man got home, the phone rang. To his surprise it was his girlfriend again.“Sweetie, do you love me?” she asked. He replied, “What is wrong?! Didn’t I tell you that I love you?” The woman was quick to say, “See? See? You’re raising your voice at me! You don’t love me!”
         Infantile, you say. Stubborn, even. The Israelites must be one of the, if not the most stubborn and infantile group of people who ever walked the earth. Despite the numerous times that Yahweh has delivered, sustained, comforted, guarded and restored His chosen people, they still said, “The Lord has abandoned us.” They only saw the dead-end alleys instead of the open highways where the Lord’s abundance streamed in. Let’s pray that we are not blind like the Israelites. Red Cerrer
When did God deliver, sustain, comfort, guard and restore you?
You give me fullness of life, Yahweh, my Lord.


God assures us that He will never abandon or leave us. No matter what our present or past experiences have been or what will happen to us in the future, we can be sure that God will always be with us. He may be very difficult to find in situations of extreme suffering but He is there as His own passion and death attest to. His presence may be the only reason that we do not just give in to complete and utter despair. I do not have all the answers — there is always an element of mystery to the way God moves in our lives.
Isaiah 49:8-15
8 Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you, to restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, 9 saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness. Show yourselves! Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be. 10 They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them; for he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water. 11 I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level. 12 See, some shall come from afar, others from the north and the west, and some from the land of Syene. 13 Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, break forth into song, you mountains. For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. 14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” 15 Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
Psalm 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18
R: The Lord is gracious and merciful.
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. 9 The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. (R) 13 The LORD is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. 14 The LORD lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. (R) 17 The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. 18 The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. (R)
Jesus states explicitly that His aim is to do His Father’s will. For the Son of God to say this, we can know for sure that the nature of the communion between the Father and the Son and by extension the Holy Spirit is so profound that Jesus does not lose anything in such a commitment. He does not lose His identity even though it is His  Father’s will that guides Him. In purely human terms, something would be lost here but in the divine this is not so.
John 5:17-30
17 Jesus answered them, “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. 20 For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. 22 Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son, 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. 25 Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself. 27 And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 “I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
my reflections
think:God assures us that He will never abandon or leave us. No matter what our present or past experiences have been or what will happen to us in the future, we can be sure that God will always be with us.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


God Will never forGet us
As a priest, one of the most common complaints that I hear from people is that God has forgotten to look after them. I find this very difficult to believe as the Scriptures are quite clear that God never forgets us; He never abandons us. It is almost unthinkable that a mother or even father would abandon their child but I know of cases where this has happened. Isaiah tells us that God could never do this. Why then do we all experience at times that God seems distant from us? What is the cause and meaning of such experiences?
        We can be sure that if God is indeed distant from us, it is not His choice but our own. It is the sinful choices we make that separate us from God. It is our choice to move away from His perfect will for our life, and so there is no point in blaming God for this. We must realize that there are consequences that accompany sin and disobedience, and that we are the ones responsible for them, not God. Then will we begin to realize that we are the ones who control whether or not God is distant from us. And, if this is the case, then we can rectify the situation by repenting and returning to being a faithful disciple. It is unreasonable for us to think that God would remain close to us despite all the sinful choices we might make.
        Discipleship is never an easy path to take. It always involves sacrifice and suffering. But if our hearts are in the right place and we are truly seeking to do God’s will in all that we do, we can be sure that He will never be far from us. This is His promise to us and I’m 100 percent certain that God’s promises are all true. The big question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to be His disciple. In the Gospels, He frequently tells the disciples that to follow Him will mean taking up their own crosses and persevering with them to the end (see Mark 8:32ff; 9:33ff; 10:34ff). Fr. Steve Tynan
Reflection Questions:
How serious am I when I say I want to follow Jesus? Am I willing to pay the price of carrying my cross on this path?
Holy Spirit, help me with Your grace and strength to persevere in the life of discipleship. I want to follow Jesus wherever He leads me so that I will never be far from Him.
St. John Joseph of the Cross, priest, pray for us.

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