READINGS for 2008-05-13
LORD, HELP ME!
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation… – James 1:12
Remember Gary V.’s famous hit? “Nandyan ka na naman, Tinutukso-tukso ang aking puso.…” Temptation comes in every form, attacking where you’re weak. It is the slice of chocolate cake when you’re dieting. The cold mornings in your soft bed when you need to rise up early for work. The “grease money” for a shady deal during enrolment period of your children. The too friendly co-worker whose text messages number more than your spouse’s.
Believe me, the devil won’t appear as a horrible gargoyle with horns and tails. He comes as a cool, smile-flashing guy or a demure, “innocent” lass with well-defined curves. They seem harmless and delightful at the start, until you find yourself seriously ill, fired from your job, drowning in debt, behind bars or left with a broken family.
I know. I’ve fallen many times. And this is what I learned: Don’t even think you can handle it. Just run away from it, not to it. When you see the snake’s head, don’t wait for the rest of it!
When tempted, try this prayer: “Lord, help me!” then run… into the loving arms of God! You will be enormously blessed by doing so. Alvin Barcelona
Do you have a temptation that keeps coming back? Do you run away from it or towards it?
Lord, against temptation and sin, I cannot win without You! Help me persevere, O God, that You may bless me more! Amen.
God never tempts anyone to sin. This should be obvious to us. To tempt a person to sin is an evil thing to do. We have to be on the alert at all times for the work of the devil — he will never tire in trying to lead us away from our commitment to follow God. We need to daily seek God’s grace to resist temptation and remain faithful to Him.
12 Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him. 13 No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: 17 all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. 18 He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
P S A L M
Psalm 94:12-13a, 14-15, 18-19
R: Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
12 Blessed the man whom you instruct, O LORD, whom by your law you teach, 13 giving him rest from evil days. (R) 14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance; 15 but judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it. (R) 18 When I say, “My foot is slipping,” your mercy, O LORD, sustains me; 19 when cares abound within me, your comfort gladdens my soul. (R)
G O S P E L
Leaven or yeast is a fascinating reality in the making of bread. A few grains of yeast, along with other substances, causes the bread to rise even before it is put in the oven. Imagine how a loaf of bread without yeast would become – like a rock. Thank God for yeast to make the bread soft and taste good. Thank God for His grace and Holy Spirit to make it possible for us to live our Christian calling.
14 They had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 He enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. 17 When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, 19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” 20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?” They answered him, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
think:Thank God for His grace and Holy Spirit to make it possible for us to live our Christian calling.
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 Judges 5-8
NEGATIVITY IS CONTAGIOUS
We note that the Gospel today flows directly from where the narration in yesterday’s Gospel stopped. It is not hard to imagine that the disciples, mostly fisherfolks and craftsmen, could have been confused. They loved Jesus because they saw His authenticity and authority. Besides, Jesus was one of them — a Galilean. But the traditional “Jewishness” of the disciples also made them look up to the power and influence of the Pharisees who challengedJesus to work out signs. Reading through the Gospel episode today, we note that the admiration of the disciples for Jesus seemed affected by the unbelief and critical view of the traditional leaders. The disciples seemed to be entertaining some doubts and questions about the credibility of Jesus. Hence, Jesus had also to challenge the disciples: “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees.”
This is a “moment of truth” about humanity. Then and now, its nature has not evolved much. Many human beings are still very much like the disciples: they have weak hearts and spirits. Many are highly impressionable. Hence, even our culture employs the expression “mass” (masa) to refer to the numerous, unthinking crowd. This “mass” is easily swayed positively and negatively by the arguments of a few cunning and manipulative persons who know how to exploit human weakness. Fr. Domie Guzman
Are you part of the masa that unknowingly allows itself to be influenced by popular opinion instead of the truth?
“O God, my strength and my shield, give me the integrity and the courage to proclaim the Risen Lord and His Gospel faithfully. Help me to acquire the perspective of faith when I encounter opposition to Your Word, so that I may be united with Your Son in His humiliation and suffering for Your greater glory.” – Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (+1996).
Blessed Imelda, pray for us.
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