READINGS for 2008-03-20
TRAgEDY OR bLESSiNg?
“What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” – John 13:7
After many years, the Clark family of Scotland had saved enough money to go to the United States. They already had their passports and gotten reservations on a new liner. It was a dream come true for them.
Seven days before their departure, a dog bit the youngest son. Because of the possibility of rabies, they were quarantined for 14 days. The father was so disappointed and angered by the turn of events that he cursed both his son and God.
Five days after the ship left port, they received tragic news. The Titanic — the ship they were supposed to board — had sunk.
At one time or another, we’ve experienced setbacks in life. There were times that we had it all planned and then the unexpected happens. Our world crumbles. We feel depressed, angry and disappointed. Sometimes, we even blame God for our seeming misfortune.
We may not always understand the Lord’s wisdom behind every event but all things happen for a reason. Who knows? What we may consider as tragedy may turn out to be a blessing after all. Judith Concepcion
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
When things don’t seem to go my way, help me to trust in You, for You know best.
The First Passover must have been an absolutely amazing experience. The people fled from their Egyptian captors into the night not knowing where they were going or how long it would take to get there. It was truly an act of faith – a faith that would be sorely tried and tested in the years of journey ahead of them. Yet, the most remarkable aspect of it all to me was they were willing to take the first step out of slavery and into freedom.
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. 4 If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. 5 The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. 7 They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. 8 That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 11 “This is how you are to eat it with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD. 12 For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first-born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt — I, the LORD! 13 But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you. 14 “This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”
P S A L M
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
R: Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
12 How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? 13 The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. (R) 15 Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. 16 I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. (R) 17 To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 18 My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. (R)
Christians are constantly called to a similar act of trust and belief every time we celebrate the Eucharist. Here we are taught that the bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. This is not easy to believe. This is one of the foundations of our Catholic faith. It is the source of our freedom as the children of God in that it celebrates
the sacrificial act of Jesus that forgives our sins.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
23 I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, 24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
G O S P E L
One of Jesus’ last communal acts on earth before His death was to wash the feet of His disciples. Think about its significance to us about Jesus’ relationship to us. Think about what this says to us of how we should see our lives in relation to those around us. Think about the depth of the level of response this calls forth in our lives of faith.
1 Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, 3 fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, 4 he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” 11 For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? 13 You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. 14 If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.
think:One of Jesus’ last communal acts on earth before His death was to wash the feet of His disciples. Think about its significance of to us. God’s special verse/thought for me today
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 Genesis 37-40
SAGETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, was born in 387 A.D. at Kilpatrick, Scotland. The young Patrick was captured in a raiding party and was taken to Ireland as a slave where the boy herded and tended sheep. In Ireland, Patrick grew close to God.
His captivity lasted for six years. In a dream, God spoke to Patrick, ordering him to leave the country by going to the coast.
There he found sailors who brought him back to Britain where he was reunited with his family. Patrick entered the seminary. He was ordained priest by St. Germanus, then become a bishop years after. He was assigned to take the Gospel to Ireland in 433. For 40 years, he converted hundreds and thousands of Irish to Catholicism.
One legend even says that Dichu, a chieftain of one of the tribes, was converted to the Catholic faith. In his attempt to kill Patrick, the chieftain was not able to move his arm until he became friendly to the latter.
Patrick and his disciples continued to preach and baptize people. They built churches throughout the country, performed miracles, and pronounced God’s love and mercy in confession.
After years of travelling, living in poverty and enduring much suffering, St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Downpatrick, Ireland.
Saint cyriL of JeruSaLem
Saint Cyril, born around 315 A.D. in Jerusalem, was ordained priest then bishop in 349. Not long after, he was in several controversies, which he inherited from his predecessor. One accusation was that the bishop sold church properties to the emperor to give alms to the poor. Thus, Cyril was condemned and thrown into exile. Sixteen years after, he returned, only to be caught in between proponents and opponents of Arianism. Cyril died in 386 at the age of 70.
In 1882, Cyril was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church because of his surviving work, The Catechetical Lectures.
Ellsberg, Robert. All Saints : Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. Quezon City : Claretian Publications. 2001. pp. 123-124.
Saint SeraPion the SchoLaStic
Saint Serapion the Scholastic of the fourth century was a disciple of Saint Anthony and a friend of Saint Athanasius. He served as a monk, heading a catechetical school in Alexandria. In 339, he was Bishop of Thmuis. He fought Arianism and Macedonianism, thus, he was banished by Emperor Constantius II. Saint Jerome gave him the title “Confessor of the Faith.”
Among Serapion’s works were several learned letters, a treatise on the titles of the Psalms, and the sacramentary Euchologium (collection of liturgical prayers). He also wrote against Manichaeism, supporting the principle that man
has the choice to choose whether to use his body for good or evil. This meant it was a lie to think that “our souls are of God, our bodies of the devil.”
Serapion the Scholastic died of natural cause between 365 – 370 during his exile in Egypt.
one Man’s death
Today we remember the death on a cross of the Son of God, the Word made flesh. Today, we celebrate His death because it signifies and is the basis of the forgiveness of our sins. Without the event on Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago, sin and death would still reign supreme in our world, unchecked by the forgiveness of God as manifested in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
As we gaze upon the crucifix in today’s ceremonies, let us ask ourselves what it means for us. How is my life changed by what Jesus did, and what He continues to do in my life as He offers me the gift of salvation? What is my response to Jesus’ offer of forgiveness for my sins as He hangs on the cross to pay for the price of my disobedience? What am I doing in my life to help share this truth with others? This may sound like a lot of very heavy questions for one day. It will be “par for the course” so to speak, if we regularly reflect upon these questions. Many Christians today leave their Christianity —their living of their faith — to specific times and places. This is wrong. Our faith must permeate our lives in every aspect and at all times. Our lives ought to be a reflection upon questions that have eternal significance far more than they are a living out of those things that are passing away. It is a matter of priorities and we will not get the priorities right unless we reflect often and seriously upon the questions that matter.
The Church’s liturgical calendar highlights various moments of Jesus’ life to remind us to reflect upon certain truths. God invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of life with Him. Will we accept the invitation, or will we remain at a distance from the one who offers us the gift of salvation?
This Good Friday, let us spend some time reflecting in silence upon the events that mark the coming of our salvation into our lives and the world. Let us give thanks to God for this gift of His love and resolve to live the fruits of this gift all the days of our lives. Fr. Steve Tynan
Does my life reflect eternal realities or am I living for things that are passing?
Dear Jesus, I silence myself today. May I hear Your shout of love through the life that You offer for me.
St. Nicholas vin Flue, hermit, pray for us.
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