READINGS for 2008-05-22
“Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.” – Mark 9:50
Do you know what “Take it with a grain of salt” means? This simply encourages us to be skeptical, to consider information we receive to be not completely true or right.
I learned the wisdom behind this expression the hard way and the lesson almost caused me to lose the friendship and respect of a beloved friend. I immediately believed what a third party said about my friend to be accurate. What was revealed to me hurt me deeply and I reacted without even talking to my friend about it. For months, I agonized about this broken relationship and prayed to the Lord for the chance to make things right. And He gave me that chance.
When I invited my friend to have merienda one time, everything just fell into place. I apologized to her for my mistake and she also said sorry to me. Now I realize that honesty and trust between us will keep the “saltiness” in our friendship. Dina Pecaña
“Let there be such oneness between us that when one cries the other tastes salt.” (Anonymous)
Holy Spirit, salt me with the fire of Your love and Your peace.
James reflects upon the passing nature of the glories of this world. In his mind, they are all decaying and the only lasting reality is that which belongs to God. This is a lesson that we all have to learn. The sooner we detach ourselves from the things of this world, the better we will be able to get the correct focus on the world to come.
1 Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. 2 Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, 3 your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. 4 Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
P S A L M
Psalm 49:14-15ab, 15cd-16, 17-18, 19-20
R: Blessed are the poor spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
13  This is the way of those whose trust is folly, the end of those contented with their lot: 14  Like sheep they are herded into the nether world; death is their shepherd, and the upright rule over them. (R) Quickly their form is consumed; the nether world is their palace. 15  But God will redeem me from the power of the nether world by receiving me. (R) 16  Fear not when a man grows rich, when the wealth of his house becomes great, 17  for when he dies, he shall take none of it; his wealth shall not follow him down. (R) 18  Though in his lifetime he counted himself blessed, “They will praise you for doing well for yourself,” 19  he shall join the circle of his forebears who shall never more see light. (R)
G O S P E L
Internal or external obstacles to holiness ought to be removed at all costs. There is nothing more precious than the road to eternal life. Anything that is a hindrance to our walking that road must be shunned with a passion derived from the seriousness of the choices involved. Jesus, You knew the struggle of choice in the Garden of Gethsemane — help me with the choices I need to make in the light of Your example.
41 Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. 42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe [in me] to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.  44 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.  46 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, 48 where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 “Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”
think:Am I still attached to the things of this world?
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 17-20
WHY DO WE HAVE “FAVORITE SINS”?
In one charismatic group that I go to for regular First Friday Mass, we allot a time for confession before the celebration of the Eucharist. To make the most of the limited time, and because I have regularly heard the confessions of the people there, we agreed that when they refer to a sin they have often confessed, they simply have to say: “Father, I committed my favorite sin.”
Why do we have such things as “favorite sins?” Meditating on Jesus’ words today make me understand this human experience better. Sins don’t just happen, He tells us. We do things in a predictable pattern of “ABC”: A=Activator, B=Behavior, C = C o n s e q u e n c e . According to Jesus, among the activators are:
l P E O P L E AROUND US. Jesus reveals to us that in a way, we are “little ones” who are always drawn to what “big” people around us do. We assimilate what we see them say and do. We are pressured to feel accepted, to show that weare updated as regards fashion, “gimmicks,” entertainment, and the latest news on the silver screen and sports personalities. We can’t say our value systems are never dented and eroded when society seems to tolerate and ogle at the personal excesses of known men and women. Sooner or later, we relax our own moral standards and expectations which then deadens our conscience. Our sense of right or wrong then simply flows with what the majority says and does.
l OUR EXPERIENCES WITH OUR SENSES. Our eyes, our feet, our hands, our ears, our nose, our skin – our sensual experiences – are the gateway to a process of perception-impression-suggestion-expression. What we see and smell enhances taste and appetite. What we see and feel can raise our enzymes and double our heartbeats.
In the end, Jesus is right when He says it is not enough to face sin. We must do something with the negative influences of people around us. We must do something about unhealthy sensual experiences. Fr. Domie Guzman
What are your “favorite sins?” What things usually trigger your struggle with these “favorite sins?” How are you helping yourself against the trigger points?
Lord, I fall into sin over and over again. I beg Your mighty protection from the temptation and a sincere sorrow for the wrong I’ve done. Forgive me, Jesus, for I am a sinner.
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