READINGS for 2008-03-08

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“No one ever spoke like this man.” – John 7:46
In 1998, I went to Rome for the canonization of St. Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. St. Peter’s Square was abuzz with excitement. People of different nationalities milled around, smiling and chatting with new friends. Hearing people speak in various languages was a crowning moment for me.
        Amidst the noise and the babble, the announcement came that Pope John Paul II was going to appear in the window to address the crowd. A cacophony of oh’s and ah’s rose to the sky, then slowly came back to earth as it dwindled to silence. The mellifluous voice of the Pope began, speaking of the great love of God above for His people below. His voice had magic, his charisma was overwhelming, his message was overpowering.
        No one ever spoke like this man. For sure, his magnetism was a mere reflection of Jesus’. And while he spoke with no fiery speeches or oratorical flare, the truth on his lips made him a powerful speaker.
       How about you? Chelle Crisanto
When you speak, do people listen?
Lord, use me to speak Your words of truth.


Jeremiah recognizes that he has many earthly enemies who are scheming against him. What he does, admittedly after much complaining, is put his trust in God. He leaves it to God to vindicate him. One of the big mistakes people often make is that they seek to bring about their own vindication. Often, this takes the form of seeking revenge for wrongs done to them. This will only make the problem worse. It’s best to leave the judgment and vengeance to God.
Jeremiah 11:18-20
18 I knew it because the LORD informed me; at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings. 19 Yet, I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter, had not realized that they were hatching plots against me: “Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will not be spoken no more.” 20 “But you, O Lord of hosts, O just Judge, searcher of mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause!”
Psalm 7:2-3, 9bc-10, 11-12
R: O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
1 [2] O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and rescue me, 2 [3] lest I become like the lion’s prey, to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me. (R) 8 [9] Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just, and because of the innocence that is mine. 9 [10] Let the malice of the wicked come to an end, but sustain the just, O searcher of heart and soul, O just God. (R) 10 [11] A shield before me is God, who saves the upright of heart; 11 [12] a just judge is God, a God who punishes day by day. (R)
It is always possible to twist words around and make them support a particular argument as long as it is not too far-fetched. It seems that the leaders of Israel in Jesus’ time were quite good at this. The Pharisees were capable of coming up with Scripture texts to support erroneous conclusions. It is important that we submit our understanding of the Scriptures to the Magisterium of the Church so that we can avoid this sort of error.
John 7:40-53
40 Some in the crowd who heard these words said, “This is truly the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he? 42 Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. 44 Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. 45 So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” 47 So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, 51 “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” 52 They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” 53 Then each went to his own house.
my reflections
think:It’s best to leave the judgment and vengeance to God.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


the perennial Question of sufferinG
The problem of suffering is as old as human thought. It does not take a very smart person to realize that there is something very mysterious and inexplicable why good people suffer. Perhaps it is not so much a matter of understanding why the good suffer, but working out what our individual responses to suffering will be. If you happen to be a bad person, then this is not such a big question.
        Jesus is the greatest person ever to walk the earth and He suffered terribly at the hands of men. It is to His response that we will look for the basis of our own responses as His followers. Jesus, the Son of God, is without sin so there is no way we can attribute any of His suffering to any fault of His own. It thus seems that suffering has at least two sources — from ourselves and others. It is the second source that impinges upon thelife of the good person. We become aware very quickly of the fact that sin is fundamentally evil and unjust. Being unjust, sin inflicts evil consequences upon the innocent. We don’t know why this happens – only that it does and all we can do is respond to it as best we can with the grace of God available to us at the moment.
        Colossians 2:4 tells us that our suffering can become redemptive in nature if we unite our trials with those of Christ. Here lies at least part of the Christian answer to suffering. The saints give witness to the desire to suffer because in suffering, they experience God conforming them to Himself. This is our ultimate goal – to become one with the Trinity. Let us not despair but strive to see in any suffering the opportunity to become more like Christ, and to contribute something of ourselves to His work of redemption. Fr. Steve Tynan
Reflection Question:
Do I always complain about my personal suffering? Did Jesus ever complain about His?
Lord Jesus, help me to grow  to become more like You each day. Grant me the grace to embrace any suffering in my life, and to use it as an offering to You so that I can be conformed to Your image.
St. John of God, religious, pray for us.

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