READINGS for 2008-06-03

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

WHAT EYES DON’T SEE
 
But grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 3:18
 
I saw a man walking awkwardly across the street and was causing traffic. When I noticed that he was using a cane to grope his way, I went after him and helped. “Thank you,” he said. “Every day, the Lord always sends good people to help me. Today it’s you.” He was a masseur in a nearby sports club and always traveled alone. He literally walked by faith and not by sight. He recounted that there was even a time when a customer paid him paper instead of money. “Though I knew he was cheating, I didn’t bother complaining because people like him would only insist in their falsehood. I’m not that blind to allow myself to hate him,” he said.
I accompanied him up the bus until he was about to ride off. I offered to walk him home but he said, “No, sir, you’ve helped enough. Another good person like you will be sent by God to help me home. By the way, thanks a lot. I saw Jesus in you today.”
That experience changed me. Here was a blind person who saw Jesus clearer and better than those who can see like me! Scripture was right in saying, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). I just prayed that I may have eyes of faith like his and live the way he believed. Obet Cabrillas
 
REFLECTION:
Is my heart pure enough to see Jesus today?
 
Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus… open ourhearts Lord, we want to feel Jesus.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
Peter acknowledges that we have to work hard at maintaining the Christian witness of our life. There are many choices to be made – choices that mark the rejection of sin and temptation and an alliance with the grace and will of God. This is the daily battle of every Christian. Yes, as we develop good habits in various areas of our lives, some of the decisions will become progressively easier. However, there will always be sin that must be rooted out and destroyed in our lives.
 
2 Peter 3:12-15a, 17-18
12 Beloved: wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. 13 But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace. 15 And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, 16 speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. 17 Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. 18 But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 90:2, 3-4, 10, 14 and 16
R: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
2 Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (R) 3 You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) 10 Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong, and most of them are fruitless toil, for they pass quickly and we drift away. (R) 14 Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. 16 Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children. (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
Jesus reminds us that we have various responsibilities in our lives – some to earthly authorities and others to spiritual ones. It will require discernment from us to balance our time and resources between these priorities. Many choices will be obvious, others will require a lot of thought and prayer. There is also no guarantee that such decisions won’t be a source of suffering for us.
 
Mark 12:13-17
13 They sent some Pharisees and Herodians to him to ensnare him in his speech. 14 They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” 15 Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 So Jesus said to them, “Repay  to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him.
 
 
 
 
my reflections
think: How are my priorities?
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Kings 7-9
 
SABBATH

 

IN WHAT KINGDOM DO YOU LIVE?
 
This is a real question to consider. Many Christians today are focusing their attention on the kingdom of this world rather than the Kingdom of Heaven. The focus on the “Prosperity Gospel” message is a case in point. People are so intent on God’s blessings here and now that they fail to grasp the fundamental truth that the real blessing God wants to give to us is the gift of eternal life. If we are focused on this gift, does it really matter if we receive blessings that are transitory at best, and totally irrelevant at worst, to our Christian calling?
In the Gospel today, Jesus challenges us to look at how we use our time and energies and resources. There is a legitimate call for us to render unto Caesar that which is his, but that is all. Many people spend too much time focusing on their involvement in the world and its concerns and then they forget to prioritize the journey to the Kingdom of Heaven.
The people are surprised only because over a long period of time, the practice of the Jewish religion had become very worldly. It is the result of allowing the more immediate pressures of the world to consume them, rather than keeping them in the right perspective according to faith. This gives rise to the whole question of discerning what we should commit ourselves to, and what we should let pass. The world’s affairs can consume us even before we realize it is happening. This gives rise once again to the dilemma of where we invest our time and energy. We need to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us discern what to do.
Yes, we should pay taxes to Caesar but this does not mean that we have to take on all the values that Caesar puts before us. We have to take responsibility for how we choose to live our lives, and ensure that the decisions we make lead us to the Kingdom of God, and not tie us to the kingdom of Caesar. We live in the world but we are not going to find our true fulfillment in it. We are only really passing through on the way to eternal life. Fr. Steve Tynan
 
Reflection Question:
Is the focus of my life In the right place? Have I made good decisions lately that are leading me to God or am I headed in the wrong
direction?
 
Jesus, You are the Way, the  Truth and the Life. The words You speak are the words of eternal life. Help me to listen to Your will so that I will be  better able to discern the decisions that come to me every day.
 
Sts. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Ugandan Martyrs, pray for us.
 



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