READINGS for 2008-04-01
A TASTE OF HEAVEN
How will you ever believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? – John 3:12
Derek and Amanda Ross, a lovely young American missionary couple, invited me for dinner in their home. Derek left his profitable construction business in the US to serve in the Philippines through True Love Waits International. They are Baptists but they don’t talk about doctrines or denominations. They simply want to encourage young people to live pure lives — to give them the message that True Love Waits. (Their website has an incredibly cool name: www.wagmuna.com.) Derek works with Catholic and non-Catholic schools, teaching young people to stay pure before marriage.
One thing struck me about them. They are such positive people! Derek kept praising his Filipino co-workers and sharing how he loved our culture. They kept talking about their big and small blessings. Gosh, it was so refreshing being with them.
When I’m with great people like Derek and Amanda, I cannot help but get excited about heaven. Because heaven is about being with great people for all eternity.
Friend, when people are with you, do they believe more in heaven?
Or less of it? Bo Sanchez
Does your life reflect heaven?
Lord, help me to be more grateful, positive and affirming. Help me to bless the world that it may understand the things of heaven.
One of the most important measures of Christian conversion is the amount of change hat happens after. True conversion is always accompanied by change and Christian discipleship, that lifelong walk we have all begun is all about ongoing conversion. This should eventually result in us becoming more and more like Christ.
32 The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. 34 There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, 35 and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. 36 Thus Joseph, also named by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, 37 sold a piece of property that he owned, then brought the money and put it at the feet of the apostles.
P S A L M
Psalm 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5
R: The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
1 The LORD is king, in splendor robed; robed is the LORD and girt about with strength. (R) And he has made the world firm, not to be moved. 2 Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting you are, O LORD. (R) 5 Your decrees are worthy of trust, indeed, holiness befits your house, O LORD, for length of days. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus is somewhat astounded that a teacher of the Law does not understand the concepts He is talking about! I wonder how well we know the truths of our faith? I wonder how well we can defend Church Teaching if it is challenged by those around us? It is each one’s responsibility to learn more about our faith so that we can both better apply what we learn to our lives and also defend it against those who attack it.
7 “‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can this happen?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? 11 Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. 12 If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him mayhave eternal life.”
think:Mary’s obedience ultimately leads to our salvation through Jesus Christ.
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 Exodus 28-30
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
The ultimate purpose of my life
GOALS FOR THE QUARTER
Priority areas God wants me to work on
Fr. Robert Reyes, otherwise known as “The Running Priest,” is known for his collection of exotic animals, including various reptiles. He once told me that not all snakes are venomous and that there are only very few snakes with fatal bites. He added that several snakes have bitten him already. But still, I will never have a snake for a pet. Will you?
If each time we sin against God and against one another a snake would bite us, we would have died a long time ago, if not from the venom of very few deadly snakes, at least by infection from snakebites. But no snake appears each time we sin, so we’re not afraid to sin.
Sin is like venom. It is fatal. It kills. Once it spreads, there is no stopping its deadly consequence. Sin consumes the sinner just as Venom (of Spiderman 3) consumes whoever the “symbiote” touches.
Scripture tells us, “The wage of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Death is sin’s natural consequence. As death is inevitable when venom flows freely through a person’s bloodstream so is death inescapable for a person living in sin. I mean here, as the Apostle Paul refers to in Romans 6:23, not only physical but spiritual and eternal death as well.
The death of Jesus on the cross is the antidote for the poison of sin because sin is disobedience to God while the death of Jesus is obedience to Him. We apply medical remedy to someone bitten by a snake. To someone afflicted by sin, only the merits of Jesus apply themselves. “We have all fallen short of the grace of God” (Romans 3:23). We all need the merits of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins.
While effective antidote for snakebites may not be always within our reach, the merits of Jesus are always available to us. They are also consistently effective, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. But the merits of Jesus must be consciously and sincerely accepted. St. Augustine said, “God who created you without asking you will not save you without consulting you.” Now, God consults us. Do we want to be saved? Fr. Bobby Titco
The wage of sin is death. But Jesus has the antidote for sin. Do I want to be healed? Do I really want to be saved?
Jesus, heal me. Jesus, save me. I love You, Jesus. Increase my love for You.
St. Venantius, bishop and martyr, pray for us.
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