READINGS for 2008-04-26
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own…but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:19
The world “hates” me because I believe in Jesus and struggle to live the way He did. During a reunion with college friends, I shared about what a different life I now live because I’ve come to know Jesus in a personal way. One of my friends interrupted me and sarcastically remarked, “Talaga bang nagbago ka na o pa-praise the Lord, praise the Lord ka lang?”
When I invited an officemate to go to a prayer meeting with me, he refused and said, “You know, I don’t need to join a community to feel good about myself or to have friends. I’m already OK with the friends I have now.” Another friend who already attended several prayer meetings and community activities with me suddenly backed out the next time I invited her. She told me, “Ever since I joined you in the community, I’ve had one problem after another. If I continue attending, my problems might just get worse.”
These are but just milder forms of “hatred” thrown back at me when I tried to tell the world, “Jesus loves you.” Fear. Rejection. Sarcasm. I believe the world will hurl more stones as I continue to share Jesus and only with His grace and mercy will I be able keep on. Dina Pecaña
“We must make our way towards eternity, never regarding what men think of us or our actions, studying only to please God.” (St. Francis
Jesus, You are my refuge. Hide me in the tenderness of Your embrace when the world retaliates in anger. Strengthen me with Your grace and truth, ready to face the world once again.
Obedience is a key element in a disciple’s life, necessary for growth in holiness. Paul is a man who is led by the Spirit. He is no longer interested in his own agenda. He hears a call to go to Macedonia that he believes is from the Holy Spirit and so he obeys. Let us open our hearts to the witness of his life and pray that we will be inspired by it.
Acts 16: 1-10
1 He reached also Derbe and Lystra where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, 3 and Paul wanted him to come along with him. On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem. 5 Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number. 6 They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, 8 so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, we sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
P S A L M
Psalm 100: 1b-2, 3, 5
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; 2 serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 5 The LORD is good, his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)
G O S P E L
Being a disciple of Jesus is no guarantee that life will be all blessings and easy. In today’s Gospel He reminds the disciples once again that the path to following Him will involve challenges and suffering. We can expect to go through similar struggles and to be treated the way He was. Unless we are aware of this, we will very easily become disappointed with our experiences of struggle and trial.
John 15: 18-21
18 “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”
Am I willing to follow the path to discipleship?
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 34-36
ARE YOU NEUROTIC?
The Messianic complex is a neurosis of saving the world. There is only one Messiah, and He is Jesus Christ. He does not suffer from this neurosis. But the rest, who think that they are also messiahs, do.
When we have done everything within our power and given all our best, yet still a soul refuses to be saved, we should never blame ourselves. It is not our fault. That soul is responsible for itself, too. When we cannot lead someone to salvation after we have done all we could, we should entrust that person to Jesus. Truly, Jesus alone saves. He is the Way, remember? Jesus is the Master and we are His disciples. Jesus is the Messiah and we are His ambassadors. Jesus is the Minister and we are His co-ministers. There is great consolation in keeping this truth in mind. Moreover, keeping this truth in mind saves us from the temptation of proclaiming ourselves as “ messiahs.”
The song, Your Heart Today, by Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J., ends this way:
“And when I’ve done all that I could
yet there are hearts I cannot move,
Lord, give me hope that
I may be Your heart today.”
There are times when putting our hope in the Lord’s mysterious ways is the only means to save a soul. And hope, too, is the medicine for neurosis.Fr. Bobby Titco
Reflection Question: I am not the Messiah. Jesus is.
“When I’ve done all that I could yet there are hearts I cannot move, Lord, give me hope that I may be Your heart today.”
St. Cletus, martyr, pray for us.
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