READINGS for 2008-06-07
… be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient… – 2 Timothy 4:2
I learned that in earthquake-prone Japan, people are taught to run to the top floor of the building whenever they experience tremors. On the penthouse, you’ll be safe from falling debris and, in the event that the building collapses, it’ll be easier to dig you out. It’s counter-intuitive because the first thing you want to do when you feel a tremor is to get on solid ground. That’s why when an earthquake hit Japan once, some Filipinos working in a building ran down while all the Japanese were running up!
As I thought about that, I realized that many of us make the same mistake in our spiritual lives. When troubles shake us, we “run down” — away from the Lord — instead of “up” towards Him.
We say things like, “I’m not worthy.” Or, “I don’t deserve to be serving the Lord.” So we stay away. We skip Mass. We absent ourselves from the community. We hide from the Lord, just like Adam and Eve after they realized they were naked.
When we are in trouble or in sin we need Jesus all the more. So keep going to Mass. Keep attending prayer meetings. Keep serving the Lord. Because that’s where His saving grace abounds. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
“No matter how much tarnish you think is on the tabernacle of your heart you still shine because of God’s love.” (Mark Woodward)
Lord, I come to You in convenient and inconvenient times. I trust in Your grace and Your love. Amen.
Paul warns us that we live in an environment where there are all sorts of teachings and doctrines, many of which are false and misleading. We must form ourselves well in our faith so that we are not led astray by false prophets. This will be an ongoing challenge in our lives, as we will never exhaust the depth and riches of our faith. God’s bounty is simply inexhaustible.
2 Timothy 4:1-8
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: 2 proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers 4 and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. 5 But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8 From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.
P S A L M
Psalm 71:8-9, 14-15ab, 16-17, 22
R: I will sing of your salvation.
8 My mouth shall be filled with your praise, with your glory day by day. 9 Cast me not off in my old age; as my strength fails, forsake me not. (R) 14 But I will always hope and praise you ever more and more. 15 My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. (R) 16 I will treat of the mighty works of the LORD; O God, I will tell of your singular justice. 17 O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds. (R) 22 So will I give you thanks with music on the lyre, for your faithfulness, O my God! I will sing your praises with the harp, O Holy One of Israel! (R)
G O S P E L
There are many people who spend their lives seeking the acclaim of others. The only thing that really matters is that we gain the acclaim of God — but this will very rarely come as a result of earthly fame and glory. Just because a person is adulated in the eyes of the world doesn’t mean that God will see them similarly. For example, many film stars and athletes are virtually worshipped by the general populace but stand
under the judgment of God due to the often public state of sin in which they live – broken marriages, substance abuse and others.
38 In the course of his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, 39 seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.” 41 He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. 44 For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”
think:Do I seek worldly acclaim? Or do I prefer God’s approval?
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 20-22
LEARNING TO GIVE GENEROUSLY
I don’t think we hear enough today about sharing our blessings with others. We seem to be so concerned about our own welfare that we have little time to think about the needs of others that are, more often than not, greater than our own. What has happened to cause this self-focus at the expense of the common good?
The world has become very small since with all the means of modern communication, we’re able to immediately see what’s happening on the other side of the world. This results in our seeing the vastness of the problems of poverty, war, starvation and the general suffering of humanity. I think this has tended to scare us as individuals and caused us to become overly concerned about our own welfare, to the point that we look at the world and say, “The problems are too big and I am only one person and therefore I am incapable of solving any of the problems. The best thing I can do is to look after myself and not contribute to the number of those in need.”
If everyone takes this attitude, then no one will ever help anyone. No one ever said that you or I alone had to solve the problems of the world. But if we are willing to work with others, we will be able to solve bigger problems than if we go at them alone. The world is a huge place with seemingly insurmountable problems. But there’s also a huge number of people in the world and if everyone does a little, then I think we will be amazed at how much we can achieve if we set our minds to solving some of the problems, injustices and sufferings in the world.
The widow in today’s Gospel does not give much, but she gives her contribution, in fact she gives more than she can afford. If we all follow her example, and what we give is used well, I believe there would be far less, and possibly even none, of the suffering we see in the world today. Mother Teresa did what she could to help the abandoned dying of the world and has inspired others to do the same. Here is a perfect example for us to follow.Fr. Steve Tynan
When was the last time I went out of my way to help a stranger? How long is it since I visited someone in prison, clothed the naked, fed the hungry or cared for the sick?
Jesus, the social teaching of the Church is very clear that we have responsibility to care for the needs of others. Grant me the grace to be generous in sharing all I have with those in need.
St. Robert of Newminster, abbot, pray for us.
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