READINGS for 2008-06-04
SHARE YOUR LIFE
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. – 2 Timothy 1:8
In December 2004, I started MabutingBalita.net, an email and website ministry. I sent friends and family (numbering about 50) inspirational pieces from Bo Sanchez and Kerygma magazine. After several emails, I began sending my personal stories and reflections of how God has been working in my life.
June 2005 came and I began to have my doubts, even to the point of stopping it altogether since I thought I was not doing much good anyway. It was eating much of my time, keeping me up late every night. Was it all worth it?
In prayer, I asked God if he wanted me to continue. I felt Him answer with love saying, “Yes!” So I kept at it.
To date, I have received several emails and feedback on how much people appreciate the emails. From the original list, it has now grown to around 1,970 members (and counting) from all parts of the world — most of them I don’t even know.
God is using me to make a difference just by sharing about myself. How can you make your testimony count? Jun Asis
Have I been timid in sharing my faith with others? How can I strengthen my resolve to share my testimony?
Lord, give me the courage and opportunities to share about Your love for me to the people I meet.
Paul wants to encourage Timothy to keep growing in his faith so he can lead the community in his care better. Paul knows it is not an easy task to be in pastoral care of others. He therefore exhorts Timothy not to allow the flame of faith in his heart to die out. We should also seek to fan this flame at every opportunity we have.
2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2 to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. 6 For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. 8 So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. 9 He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
P S A L M
Psalm 123:1b-2ab, 2cdef
R: To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes.
1 To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven. 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters. (R) As the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the LORD, our God, till he have pity on us. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus is frustrated by the insanity of the questions of the Sadducees — and He tells them so. He basically tells them they should be reading the Scriptures with faith, not as some sort of intellectual game of trying to trip Him up with silly questions. God’s focus is always directed towards giving life to us. This means we should focus on the life promised to us and not focus on death.
18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and put this question to him, 19 saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants. 21 So the second married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died. 23 At the resurrection [when they arise] whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God? 25 When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. 26 As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”
think:Am I focused on the life promised to me or on things that lead to death?
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 Kings 10-12
ARE YOU VERY MUCH MISTAKEN?
Jesus addresses the Sadducees at the end of this Gospel Reading, and basically tells them they are mistaken in their interpretation of the Old Testament texts, upon which their argument is based.
Let us return to the text and see if we can draw any conclusions from what Jesus is saying. What is the mistake the Sadducees are making? It is clear that the mistake Jesus is referring to has to do with their lack of understanding of the resurrection. The Sadducees, if you remember, do not believe in the resurrection of the body. Their whole argument with Jesus points to an assumption of the resurrection that fails to recognize that when the body of a person is resurrected, it will be different from this mortal life. We do not have the time here to address this issue fully, but let me go so far as to say this: To understand the true significance of the resurrection of the body, it is critical we also understand that what we are discussing here has its roots in the creation of humanity, and also in our final end. As Augustine tells us, we are created to be with God, and what we have in the resurrection of the body is the final stage of our preparation for union with God.
Jesus challenges the Sadducees to recognize that their question is at best frivolous, and at worse, totally irrelevant, as in the resurrection of the body there is no reason to talk about marriage—the focus of our attention will be our union with the Trinity. It is from this relationship that our other relationships will stem from. As such, our “marriage” will be with the Lamb of the Book of Revelation. If the Sadducees are going to understand what the resurrection and, more importantly, the resurrection of the body really means, they will have to first leave behind their understandings of relationships as understood here on earth.Fr. Steve Tynan
How serious am I when I say I want to follow Jesus? Am I willing to pay the price of carrying my cross on this path? How earth-bound are my understandings of life after death? Am I willing to let go of the preconceptions I have about God, and even human existence, in the light of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels?
Holy Spirit, help me to open my mind to new ideas and new ways of growing in understanding of who I am and my relationship with God. Thank You for opening me up to these new insights.
St. Francis Caracciolo, religious, pray for us.
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