READINGS for 2008-03-12

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you.” – John 8:37
There are a lot of ways by which we can rediscover and cherish God’s Word. Here are some suggestions:
        1. Have a Bible (and/or a Companion) just beside your pillow, and read at least the daily Mass readings. Let God’s Word be the last thing on your mind and the first thing you take in every day.
        2. Listen to praise and worship songs. Their lyrics are God’s Word!
        3. Have a “handy verse” for the day. It could be written on a piece of paper, tucked in your wallet or stored in your cell phone so you have something to read and meditate on throughout the day.
        4. Memorize and apply at least one verse a week. Apply it to your day-to-day living.
        5. Love God’s Word in the Mass! My husband and I have made it a habit to close our eyes when listening to the readings. It makes us focus more on the message and allows our hearts to listen more to what God has to say.
        6. Use God’s Word in prayer. The Psalms are a good place to start. Pray back His promises and claim His perfect answers!
        7. Don’t stop! Think of new ways to love Him in His Word.
        Let’s make room! Lallaine Gogna
How much of God’s Word do you have in your life?
I pray for the grace to know You more, Lord. Grant me an unquenchable thirst for Your Word.


 What saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fire? It is that they are men who will not let the truth about God be trampled on by the so-called power of a pagan king. Truth is more important than their lives given in sin. Think about what I just said because this also applies to us today as it did to these three men 2,500 years ago. Truth is never something we can afford to ignore as only the truth has the power to set us free. Sin enslaves us precisely because we are giving in to the father of lies when we commit it.
Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
14 King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? 15 Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach,and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! 18 But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up.” 19 Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual 20 and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace. 24 [91] King Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” “Assuredly, O king,” they answered. 25 [92] “But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.” 28 [95] Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants that trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
R: Glory and praise for ever!
29 [Dan 3:52] “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; and blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.” (R) 30 [Dan 3:53] “Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.” (R) 31 [Dan 3:54] “Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (R) 32 [Dan 3:55] “Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.” (R) 33 [Dan 3:56] “Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven, praiseworthy and glorious forever.” (R)
Jesus specifically tells us that it is the truth that has the power to set us free. God’s love for us is the most powerful truth of all. Why do we spend so much time running away from that love? What is wrong with us? Have we lost our minds? I am sure many other similar questions pass through God’s consciousness many times every day as He watches over us from on high. It is up to us to choose the truth for our lives, that is, choose the way of the love of God.
John 8:31-42
31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. 36 So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. 38 I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.” 39 They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. 40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. 41 You are doing the works of your father!” So they said to him, “We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
my reflections
think: God’s love for us is the most powerful truth of all. Why do we spend so much time running away from that love?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
Saint franciS De SaLeS
Saint Francis De Sales, also known as the Gentle Christ of Geneva, was born on 1567 at Chateau of Thorens, Savoy. He belonged to a wealthy family. His parents wanted him to become a lawyer, intending that he enters politics and carries on the family line and power. Thus, Francis was educated at La Roche, Annecy, Clermont College in Paris then at the University of Padua for his degree in Law. He completed a doctorate in Law ; after which, he returned home to find a position as Senate Advocate.
At this point, Francis received a message, telling him to “Leave all and follow Me.” The man took this as a call to priesthood. But his family did not approve of his decision. Francis still devoted a prayerful life and with the help of the bishop of Geneva, his family was finally convinced.
Francis entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1593. After a year, the priest accepted a dangerous mission of becoming provost of the diocese of Geneva, Switzerland, a stronghold of Calvinists. He was a preacher, a writer and a spiritual director, inviting people to return to the Roman Catholic Church.
Francis became bishop of Geneva in 1602. He worked with a wealthy young widow Jeanne de Chantal in the foundation of the Order of the Visitation.
Saint Francis De Sales died on December 28, 1622 at Lyons and in 1923, Pope Pius XI named him the patron saint of writers.
ELLSBERG, Robert. All Saints : Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. Quezon City : Claretian Publications. 2001. pp. 43-45.
Saint Felician oF Foligno
Saint Felician was born in A.D. 159 at Foligno, Italy. He was a student of Pope Saint Eleutherius. When he was consecrated Bishop of Foligno by Pope Saint Victor I in 204, Feliciano was given the pallium (initially reserved for the pope). He was the first recorded bishop to have received the pallium.
He was arrested during the persecution of Christians during the reign of Decius. Because of his refusal to sacrifice to the pagan gods, he was tortured and scourged. Saint Felician died at the age of 94 on the way to Rome for his execution.
Saint ananiaS of DamaScuS
Saint Ananias was a Christian in Damascus during the first century. He received a vision of Christ. He was commanded to find Saul (Paul the Apostle) in the city. Saul was found blind and staggering after his encounter with Jesus on the road. Ananias healed the man from his blindness, baptized him in faith, and supported him in the preparation of his missionary work.
Ananias served as an evangelist before his martyrdom in Eleutheropolis.


MaKe truth the foundation of your life
In today’s world, lawmakers seem unable to fully respect the dignity of the human person in legislature that is enacted and laws that are passed. I believe it all comes down to whether or not we are willing as individuals first and then as a community, to respect the foundational nature of the truth of the human person in all that we do. This means accepting the fact that truth is absolute. For truth to be truth it must be so for all people of all time or else all we have to live by is some sort of relativistic doctrine or philosophy that depends upon the willingness of the individual to accept or reject it.
        Abiding by the truth is never easy because at times, it makes overwhelming demands on us. What sense is there to speak about moral laws and obligations if they are not the same for all people? Just because something is difficult or challenging does not mean we have the right to dismiss or ignore it. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that the truth will set us free. We need to pray for the grace to not just believe this promise, but to act upon it no matter what the personal cost may be.
        Pope John Paul II often warned the world that it was embracing a culture of death rather than a culture of life, and Pope Benedict XVI has often echoed his sentiments. What is he saying? He is referring to the fact that we either put in place laws that will fully protect the gift of life, from conception to death, or we will pay the consequences of opening our society to the power of death through a diminished understanding of the dignity of the human person. This is not merely a threat; it is an ongoing reality in our world today reflected in a culture of violence and rebellion, drugs, pleasure seeking to the point of the destruction of our lives and relationships and much more.
        The challenge we face today is to become witnesses to the beauty and wonder of life in all its mystery and to live this truth in such a way that human dignity is fostered and never diminished. Fr. Steve Tynan
Reflection Question:
In what ways can I be a better witness to the dignity of the human person in my life?
Lord Jesus, You divinized humanity by taking human form in the Incarnation. Help us to realize the fullness of our human dignity and to live in its truth every day of our lives.
St. Fina, virgin, pray for us.

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