READINGS for 2008-04-02
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” – John 3:16
I love John 3:16. In fact, it’s the first Bible verse I’ve ever memorized. It’s easy! All you need to do is remember the word “Gospel” and use each letter for the key words like this:
“For God so loved the world that He gave his Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not Perish, but have Eternal Life.”
How convenient it is when we know the words of the Bible by heart! When Angelito Nayan was abducted in Afghanistan, it was a memorized verse from Jeremiah 29:11 that gave him hope.
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord. Plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.”
He shared that verse with his fellow abductees and boosted their morale until they were released.
Get into the habit of reading the Bible and memorizing the verses that touch you. And when you’re down, joyful, tired or discouraged, you’ll know the perfect words that God wants to share with you. Cecil Lim
Be closer to God by keeping His words close to your heart.
Lord, help me to learn the words that bring me nearer to You.
The reason for the arrest of the apostles was obviously not sustainable in terms of the truth. This is what we can read into their freedom by an angel of the Lord. Further evidence of this is seen in that they did not seek to flee but went straight back to doing what they had been doing before their arrest. What can we learn from this? Simply that when we are convinced of the truth then we ought to be willing to stand by it no matter what the cost.
Acts 5:17- 26
17 The high priest rose up and all his companions, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and, filled with jealousy, 18 laid hands upon the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, 20 “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” 21 When they heard this, they went to the temple early in the morning and taught. When the high priest and his companions arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin, the full senate of the Israelites, and sent to the jail to have them brought in. 22 But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison, so they came back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked and the guards stationed outside the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 When they heard this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss about them, as to what this would come to. 25 Then someone came in and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area and are teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them in, but without force, because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
P S A L M
Psalm 34: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
1  I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 2  Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad. (R) 3  Glorify the LORD with me, let us together extol his name. 4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (R) 5  Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. 6  When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. (R) 7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8  Taste and see how good the LORD is; blessed the man who takes refuge in him. (R)
G O S P E L
John reminds us that God sent Jesus to redeem us, not condemn us. It is quite bizarre how the Church and those who desire to imitate Her teachings portray God as a stern judge rather than the God of Love which is the clear witness of the New Testament. As Christians, it is up to us to dispel the false images of God present in today’s media by living the truth that He is first and foremost a God of love.
16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. 21 But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
think:When we are convinced of the truth, we ought to be willing to stand by it no matter what the cost.
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 31-33
THE CROSS: THE EFFECT, NOT THE CAUSE
In the old Catechism, it was stated that Jesus became man “to die on the cross to save us from sin.” While this answer remains valid, it is no longer the first answer to the same question. The first answer should now be this: Jesus became man because God loves us so much and He wants us to share in His divine life through His Son, Jesus.
Read John 3:16 carefully. It tells us the very reason why God sent us His Son Jesus. Do you read the word “cross” or the verb “die?” No, you do not. Instead, you read the word “love.” Love is the only reason why Jesus became man. God loves us not because His Son died for us. Rather, His Son died for us because God loves us. As far as God’s love for us is concerned, the Cross is not the cause.
God loves us even before there was a cross. It is the effect of His love for us. He loves us even with the cross. Do we love Him in the same way? Do we love God even before some form of a cross tests us? Do we love Him even with the cross? The opening thought of this reflection leads us to conclude with another question. If man did not sin, would Jesus have come? I suppose you should know the answer very quickly. Of course, He would! It is not sin that made Jesus come to us. Have you forgotten? It is love, not the Cross, which gave us the Son of God. Fr. Bobby Titco
How do I understand and appreciate God’s personal love for me?
Help me love You, Father God, even with the cross. Help me love Jesus in the cross. Help me love beyond the cross. Amen.
St. Francis of Paola, hermit, pray for us.
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