READINGS for 2008-04-15
A SHEPHERD’S VOICE
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.” – John 10:27
In the Charismatic community where I used to attend, I headed a Bible study group with members under my spiritual care. I have since moved on to another community and so did the members in my group. However, one of them would, every so often, call me to seek my advice. She shares personal experiences and accounts from her life. She values the advice that I give her in practically all aspects of her life — in her marriage, her teaching profession and the way she deals with her children. She feels comfort whenever she talks to me. Our familiarity with each other has blossomed into a friendship — with Jesus as our Shepherd. She has realized that seeking Christian advice helps to bring relief in the midst of the pressures of life.
I can only serve her in that way because, in the years that we have been in the Renewal movement, I have come to a personal relationship with Jesus. In seeking Him, I have found Him to be my personal counselor. And as I defer to Him, He has become my Shepherd who brings comfort and relief. Donna España
Are you too busy to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice? Slow down, listen to Him and He will bring you comfort and relief.
Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd. Show me the path to green pastures.
Barnabas seems to have been the one who introduced Paul (still Saul here) to the Church in Jerusalem. It was his testimony that convinced the apostles that Paul was a sincere Christian. I am also sure that it took Paul time to develop his missionary tactics. His time in formation in Tarsus and elsewhere would have been important in forming him in the mind of Christ and the nascent Church community.
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews. 20 There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however, who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 21 The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The news about them reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas [to go] to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, 24 for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. 25 Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.
P S A L M
Psalm 87: 1b-3, 4-5, 6-7
R: All you nations, praise the Lord.
1 His foundation upon the holy mountains 2 the LORD loves: The gates of Zion, more than any dwelling of Jacob. 3 Gloriousthings are said of you, O city of God! (R) 4 I tell of Egypt and Babylon among those that know the LORD; Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia “This man was born there.” 5 And of Zion they shall say “One and all were born in her; and he who has established her is the Most High LORD.” (R) 6 They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: “This man was born there.” 7 And all shall sing, in their festive dance: “My home is within you.” (R)
G O S P E L
There is no doubt in Jesus’ mind as to the unity He has with His Father. It is this unity that provides the basis for His ministry. We should also seek to unite our own hearts and minds with the Father that we may be empowered to do His will. With God all things are possible. Without Him, we are unlikely to succeed in doing what He asks of us.
22 The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. 23 And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. 29 MyFather, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
think:We should seek to unite our hearts and minds with the Father that we may be empowered to do His will.
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 Numbers 1-3
TO LISTEN IS TO OBEY
“Shema” is the Hebrew word for “listen.” The Hebrew word for “obey” also has “shema” as its root word. To listen is not only to hear, to know, or to understand. For the Jews — and Jesus is a Jew — listening flows into obeying.
As disciples of Jesus, we listen not merely for the sake of knowing. We listen in order to obey. We listen to Jesus because we want and mean to obey Him.
We must always listen to the voice of Jesus. Otherwise, we will be lost. For like sheep, we are nearsighted creatures; we see only up to the tip of our noses. We need Jesus, our Good Shepherd to lead us. But the voice of our Good Shepherd will not bring us to green pastures or to safety unless we obey it.
It is always possible that while we do hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, we refuse to follow it. In such a case, catastrophe awaits us in the jaws of beasts or in the hands of thieves disguised as shepherds. Let us, therefore, pray that we may always obey Jesus.
Listening needs not only our ears to hear and our minds to understand. Listening needs more than our hearts to ponder with. Listening demands our whole self. Fr. Bobby Titco
At the center of the word “heart” is the word “ear” so that I may listen with all my heart and obey the Lord. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening. Give me a heart that always listens to You. Help me to obey whatever You say. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening. Amen.
St. Paternus, bishop, pray for us.
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