READINGS for 2008-03-29
A POWERFUL THiNg
“Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated men, they were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.” . Acts 4:13
“Flinordeluna ka naman eh.” There have been times in my life when friends and family have said that of my reaction to others’ unfair or hurtful treatment of me. They’re referring to Flor de Luna, the protagonist of the 80s soap opera, who was always mistreated. Because I thought that was the Christian way, I would always try to give the benefit of the doubt, give way, understand and remain silent — even when I was being abused.
I am slowly learning that my love for truth and justice should also mean that I speak up for myself when the situation calls for it. I am learning that God’s power in me doesn’t only mean the grace to comfort the weak in their distress, but to also speak on their behalf — if needed. I am learning that power doesn’t mean I do not fear — only that I overcome my fear of being rejected or being looked on as less than a “saint.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Peter and John’s boldness came from courage grounded in Jesus’ total acceptance of them. I, too, am learning that. And it’s a powerful thing. Joy Sosoban
“Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Lord, grant me courage to be what You want me to be.
The authorities marvel at the way the disciples are able to proclaim the Gospel and interest so many because they are uneducated men. Education is not a necessary precondition for receiving the gift of salvation. Thanks be to God for that. However, lack of education is also no excuse for any unwillingness to proclaim the Good News, even to those who are educated. Each of us must do his or her part in the work of the Kingdom of God.
13 Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. 14 Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. 15 So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, 16 “What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. 20 It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened.
P S A L M
Psalm 118:1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21
R: I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 14 My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. 15 The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. (R) 16 “The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.” 17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. 18 Though the LORD has indeed chastised me, yet he has not delivered me to death. (R) 19 Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This gate is the LORD’s; the just shall enter it. 21 I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus commissions His disciples to take the Good News to the ends of the earth. This task is not yet complete. There are millions of people who have not yet heard the Gospel. We have inherited this commission from the disciples through our baptism. Let us make sure that we are prepared to play our part in this task and not just be content with being a part of the Church for what we can get out of it.
9 When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. 12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. 13 They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. 14 But later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. 15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
think:Jesus commissions His disciples to take the Good News to the ends of the earth. This task is not yet complete. What are you doing to make this happen?
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 Exodus19-21
so What if We are uneduCated layMen?
Education is an important aspect of life, particularly in regards our secular existence in a very complex and busy world. Religious education is also very important as it lays a solid foundation upon which our faith can be built. However, there is an even more important aspect to our Christian faith and this is the lived experience of it. This includes both the experience of receiving God’s grace and Spirit in our lives, and responding to that grace and seeingits fruits. Without a lived experience, our faith is liable to wither and die in this world of instant entertainment and experiences. It is perhaps one of the reasons why so many of the “born again” congregations easily poach young Catholics over to their churches – they emphasize the lived experience of their faith and work towards bringing that
experience into the lives of others.
We Catholics tend to rely upon age-old formulae and practices which, in many cases, demonstrate little immediate relevance to the youth of today. This is a problem that youth ministries in our parishes and communities must seek to redress. I am not saying that an emotional high is all that we need; however, it does have a place in the schema of evangelization. It is important that we recognize that human beings are emotional beings and that it is possible to use our emotions to the advantage of the Gospel proclamation.
Pope John Paul II and his successor Benedict XVI have called for a New Evangelization in the Catholic Church. What they mean by this is that we need to discover new ways to reach out to those who have never heard the Gospel and to those for whom the Gospel has lost its relevance for one reason or another. There are enormous challenges ahead for the Church and that means for you and me. Let us not lose heart but give our all in seeking to the best we can to enliven the Gospel of Christ in the hearts of all men and women. Fr. Steve Tynan
What changes do I need to make in my life in order to allow myself to grow more deeply in and be committed more deeply to my faith?
Jesus, You fixed Your heart upon the goal of Your Father’s will. Help me to do the same and to never lose sight of what You call me to do daily – namely live the truth of the Gospel.
St. Secundus, nobleman, pray for us.
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