READINGS for 2008-04-12
A NIGHT OF HEALING
“Aenas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.” – Acts 9:34
I came that night with much expectation. But what transpired surpassed all of my imaginings. Fr. Fernando Suarez came home to the Philippines from Canada to heal. “My message for everyone here is that God loves you very much. Only love heals. Only God heals.” As we lined up to be prayed over, my heart hushed at the miracles that were taking place.
The lame were able to walk! Right before our eyes, those who came in wheelchairs stood to push their chairs downstage after Fr. Suarez laid hands on them. The blind could now see! There were stories upon stories of surgeries no longer needed, cataracts gone and sights restored. Pains disappeared!
I stood in awe. As I climbed the stage, I remember whispering, “Lord, I open my heart and life to You now…”
The moment Father laid his hands on me, I rested in the Spirit. I found myself in God’s embrace. I saw two flickering lights as I lay there. And I knew with all my heart, I was healed.
Not long after that, I got pregnant — the first time in our eight years of marriage. Lallaine Gogna
How have you disposed yourself to the healing power of God?
Lord, only Your love heals. Reveal to me my sicknesses, especially those that need most healing. Heal me, my Lord.
Peter’s vision for the proclamation of the Gospel extends far beyond the confines of Jerusalem. It will only be a small step for him to embrace the reality of the Gentile mission. The Gospel is for all people. No one is to be excluded from it. The universal nature of the Gospel means that we as Christians hold a truth and a gift for all people that will require much humility and cunning in order to share it with all. We must share the Gospel with both conviction and humility, leaving it up to the individual to choose to accept it or not.
Acts 9: 31-42
31 The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the holy Spirit it grew in numbers. 32 As Peter was passing through every region, he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.” He got up at once. 35 And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. 36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated means Dorcas). She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving. 37 Now during those days she fell sick and died, so after washing her, they laid [her] out in a room upstairs. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs where all the widows came to him weeping and showing him the tunics and cloaks that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40 Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and raised her up, and when he had called the holy ones and the widows, he presented her alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord.
P S A L M
Psalm 116: 12-13, 14-15, 16-17
R: How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
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) 14 My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. (R) 16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. 17 To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. (R)
G O S P E L
Many of Jesus’ followers leave him because of this teaching we have just studied over the last few days. They would not have done this if the teaching were easy to accept; if it were only symbolic in meaning. Jesus would have been disappointed and so He tests His closest followers’ response. Peter answers with faith: “Lord, where will we go; you have the words of everlasting life!” This is a truth to which all believers must cling to no matter how hard it becomes to understand the work of God in our lives.
60 Many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” 61 Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? 62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” 66 As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. 67 Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
think: Do I turn away from God in the face of difficult teachings?
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 Leviticus 19-21
HE BELIEVED BUT DID NOT UNDERSTAND
When people cannot accept your teaching, the easiest option they take is to abandon you. But their abandoning you does not stop you from teaching what you should. Lessons do not depend on learners. Lessons have a life of their own. They are simply there – take it or leave it.
The people abandoned Jesus because they could not stomach His doctrine. But their leaving Him behind did not give Jesus even the slightest thought to discontinue teaching His doctrine, much less, to water it down so as to make it more acceptable to them. Indeed, His doctrine has a life of its own because He Himself is His doctrine. He Himself is what He teaches.
Because He is the doctrine, the words that Jesus speaks are spirit and life. Accepting His teaching means accepting Jesus Himself. Rejecting Jesus is not logically possible to go hand-in-hand with welcoming His doctrine.
Simon Peter had insight into this simple logic. Thus, when the Twelve were asked if they, too, wanted to go away, Simon Peter gave the perfect answer to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life, and we believe; we know that You are the Holy One of God.” Notice how carefully worded the thoughts of Simon Peter: “…we believe….” He did not say, “…we understand...,” but “…we believe….”
Ordinary lessons in life demand understanding. The doctrine of Jesus, however, requires faith. Faith is to believe without necessarily understanding. That is why “trust” is another word for faith. Simon Peter and the other apostles remained in the company of Jesus not because they understood but because they trusted Him.Fr. Bobby Titco
Do I understand or do I trust the Lord?
Jesus, when I am confronted with the difficult situation of choosing between understanding You and trusting You, please give me the grace to choose to trust rather than to understand. You are the Truth: Teach me, Jesus. Amen.
St. Julius, pope, pray for us.
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