READINGS for 2008-06-10
THE LIGHTS OF TORONTO
“Your light must shine before people so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
First, there was total darkness. Then there was this tiny flickering white light. Suddenly, a spread of hundreds of lights like diamonds glittering on a dark velvet fabric.
This was the spectacle I saw from the window of the airplane as we landed in Toronto. It was my first time there, and as we made our way to the hotel, I was amazed with the array of lights dotting everything in the city — the streets, the stores and every window of every skyscraper in the metropolis.
At the time, we were suffering a series of brownouts back in Manila and thus we had to conserve electric power. So I asked our tour guide, “Haven’t you heard of energy conservation here?”
“Oh, we have lots of energy here,” she said as she rattled on about the Niagara Falls, located at the outskirts of Toronto, which has provided the city limitless hydropower for centuries.
Yes, Toronto is like the place described in today’s Gospel — a city that cannot be hid because it is always lighted. In the same way, our light — powered not only by waterfalls but by our Mighty God — must always shine. Cynthia Santiago
Lord, may I never be in darkness; let me shine so that everybody will see Your wonderful work for Your people.
The widow who feeds Elijah in this story is an example of generosity to others. However, the story also tells us that God cannot be outdone in generosity. The jars of meal and oil will remain miraculously full until the drought breaks and the widow is able to obtain food elsewhere. The lesson here is that if we give all we have in the service of God’s will, we can be sure that God will provide for our needs.
1 Kings 17:7-16
7 After some time, however, the brook ran dry, because no rain had fallen in the land. 8 So the LORD said to Elijah: 9 “Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have designated a widow there to provide for you.” 10 He left and went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.” 11 She left to get it, and he called out after her, “Please bring along a bit of bread.” 12 “As the LORD, your God, lives,” she answered, “I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.” 13 “Do not be afraid,” Elijah said to her. “Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. 14 For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’ ” 15 She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; 16 The jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.
P S A L M
Psalm 4:2-3, 4-5, 7b-8
R: Lord, let your face shine on us.
1  When I call, answer me, O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; have pity on me, and hear my prayer! 2  Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart? Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood? (R) 3  Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one; the LORD will hear me when I call upon him. 4  Tremble, and sin not; reflect, upon your beds, in silence. (R) 6  O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! 7  You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound. (R)
G O S P E L
Lights are designed to do exactly that – light up the way from one point to another. When we talk about our lives being a light for others we are speaking of being living examples of faith that will help others come to know and experience the love of God. This is the call of all Christians — to be a light to the world and to proclaim His truth to the ends of the earth.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. 16 Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
think: Is my life a light to others?
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 2 Kings 9-12
WHAT IS GENEROSITY?
What does it really mean to be generous? Today’s story of the widow at Zarephath invites us to look at the nature of generosity and how perhaps we can apply it to our lives. The prophet Elijah asks the widow for food and receives the reply that the widow has enough food for one last meal with her son. Nevertheless, she chooses to share what she has with Elijah.
I am reminded of the story of the widow’s mite in one of the Gospels where she gives all she has to the collection box in the temple regardless of the fact that she has nothing more to live on. Both the widow of the Gospel and the widow of Zarephath seem to have something more than self-preservation in mind. They seem to know more about their situations than we do. Yet, what more can they know? The only thing they could be relying on is faith. It is highly unlikely in either case that someone is going to come along and feed either of them. Yet, each of the women gives all they have with no assurance for the future.
This is the type of generosity that God expects from His disciples. It is not necessarily a matter of giving all the money we have to the Church, although something similar could be part of our calling. But it is a matter of entrusting our lives into the hands and the will of God. Only through this depth of faith will our lives bear the fullness of the fruits that God desires for us. Such faith is not a prerequisite for salvation but it is necessary if we are going to fully surrender our lives to His purpose.
Jesus’ life is an example of this profound faith and trust in God – the result being that He wins for us God’s forgiveness and the gift of salvation. Let us remain open to the grace of God in such a way that we will be willing to follow Him wherever He leads us. Fr. Steve Tynan
Am I generous person or do I only give from my excess to others? How can I be more generous with the blessings I have received from God?
Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind to the fullness of grace so that I will achieve the potential God has given me and be a channel of God’s grace to others.
St. Bardo, Benedictine archbishop, pray for us.
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