READINGS for 2008-05-20
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7
One spring day in 1918, hundreds of beautiful bouquets were seen drifting from the skies of Baccaret, France. These were dropped by enemy planes flying overhead. Authorities cautioned residents not to pick any of these bouquets. Why? Because attached to each bundle of flowers was a tiny balloon containing poisonous gas. Anyone who smelled the flowers could die. Some people, however, disregarded the repeated warnings and still pursued those deadly flowers.
Evil is like that. It is masked as something good, enticing the senses. To the unsuspecting individual, it’s a booby trap awaiting its prey. The devil is cunning. He employs different tactics to lure would-be victims to his side of the fence. He may also appear as an angel of light. That’s why we have to be vigilant and discerning. Remember, not all that appears good and beautiful is from God.
Protect yourself by putting on God’s armor. Soak yourself in prayer and His Word. When you come face to face with temptation, call on God. He “is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress” (Psalm 46:1). Judith Concepcion
There is a Jewish saying, “People don’t fall because they are weak, but because they think they are strong.” Never underestimate the enemy’s tactics. Always be on your guard.
Lord, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
We must take the last line of this reading to heart. If we fail to humble ourselves before God, we will suffer the consequences of increased sin and greater desperation at our inability to change for the better. In all that we do or say, we should seek to be humble and unassuming. We should never back down from the truth but we can do this humbly if we choose to.
1 Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? 2 You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. 3 You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, “The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy”? 6 But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. 9 Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
P S A L M
Psalm 55:7-8, 9-10a, 10b-11a, 23
R: Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
6  And I say, “Had I but wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest. 7  Far away I would flee; I would lodge in the wilderness. (R) 8  I would wait for him who saves me from the violent storm and the tempest.” 9  Engulf them, O Lord; divide their counsels. (R) In the city I see violence and strife; 10  day and night they prowl about upon its walls. (R) 22  Cast your care upon the LORD, and he will support you; never will he permit the just man to be disturbed. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus teaches that the ways of the world do not necessarily serve well when it comes to leadership in the Kingdom of God. It is not necessarily the rich and powerful that are the focus of God’s attention but the sick, sinners and alienated. It is time for the Church to live this truth by becoming the Church of the poor She proclaims to be. Resources should be focused on evangelizing and bettering the lives of those who need it most.
30 Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 31 He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. 33 They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. 35 Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 36 Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me.”
think: Am I humble? In what ways am I not?
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 1 Samuel 9-12
SPIRITUAL GROWTH NEEDS MENTAL GROWTH
In the opening pages of the now classic book The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck lays down one important tenet he believes in: that there is “no distinction between the mind and the spirit.” Therefore, there is no distinction between the process of achieving spiritual growth and achieving mental growth. I think this is true. Human life is multifaceted – we have thoughts and emotions; we have body, mind, and spirit. We have the left brain, and the right brain. We learn science, and also the arts. We communicate verbally, and also through body signs and gestures. All these are not separate, but they are in fact interrelated.
According to the Gospel story we have today, the great teacher, Jesus, balanced the life He lived with His disciples. There were great moments of revelation: when He would do wonders and miracles as signs of His God-ordained mission. There were, however, also moments of instruction and study. Our Gospel proclamation, for instance, narrates that as Jesus was going through Galilee with His disciples He did not want people to disturb them because He was teaching His disciples about the important events that will unfold when they reach Jerusalem. The average men that they were, the disciples did not readily understand all of Jesus’ lessons. Comprehension and spiritual maturity came to them as they themselves experienced the events of the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus.Fr. Domie Guzman
Aside from having a regular prayer moment, do you also have a regular time to “study” and “update” yourself about faith and spiritual life? What was the last substantial book on faith and spirituality that you read?
Lord, give me the desire to study Your Word and the diligence to keep on learning from the wisdom of Your teaching.
St. Bernadine of Siena, priest, pray for us.
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