READINGS for 2008-06-17

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

NEVER UNLOVED

 
“Why should God reward you if you love only those who love you?” – Matthew 5:46
 
I love God.
I love to pray.
I love to read and meditate on His Word.
I love to serve Him.
I love to help others.
I love it when I’m able to resist temptation.
I love God. But I have bad days.
Some days I’m difficult.
Stubborn.
Sinful.
Unloving.
Unlovable.
These times I doubt if He feels that I love Him.
Yet, He loves me... during the good and the bad days. 24-7.
Even on that day when my sins nailed Him to the cross.
I should do the same to others. George Gabriel
 
REFLECTION:
“Do unto others what You would want done unto you.” (Matthew 7:12)
 
Thank You for loving me unconditionally. Help me to love the same way.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
Ahab has been found out. Even though he was not the one who engineered the sin, he is still an accomplice. He was aware of what was going on and did nothing about it. We not only have a responsibility to avoid sin ourselves but to help others avoid it as well. If I do nothing to stop someone from cheating on an exam, I am complicit with the sin. Because I’m aware of what they are doing and that it will affect others, I am at least partially responsible.
 
1 Kings 21:17-29
17 After the death of Naboth the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, 18 “Start down to meet Ahab, king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be in the vineyard of Naboth, of which he has come to take possession. 19 This is what you shall tell him, ‘The LORD says: After murdering, do you also take possession? For this, the LORD says, In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.’” 20 “Have you found me out, my enemy?” Ahab said to Elijah. “Yes,” he answered. “Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD’S sight, 21 I am bringing evil upon you. I will destroy you and will cut off every male in Ahab’s line, whether slave or freeman, in Israel. 22 I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah, because of how you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin.” 23 (Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared, “The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.”) 24 “When one of Ahab’s line dies in the city, dogs will devour him; when one of them dies in the field, the birds of the sky will devour him.” 25 Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab, urged on by his wife Jezebel. 26 He became completely abominable by following idols, just as the Amorites had done, whom the LORD drove out before the Israelites. 27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh. He fasted, slept in sackcloth, and went about subdued. 28 Then the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, 29 “Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son.”
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 11 and 16
R: Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
1 [3] Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2 [4] Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 3 [5] For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always. 4 [6] “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight”. (R) 9 [11] Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. 14 [16] Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God; then my tongue
shall revel in your justice. (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
Jesus is very clear — there are certain aspects of our relationships with others that are pre-moral — when we are simply being hospitable and human towards one another. Our Christian witness comes when we go beyond the call of duty and demonstrate love that speaks of greater commitment than just the fellowship of humanity. This is how we should seek to live our lives – doing the little things well and going a little further than we have to in care and love of our neighbor.
 
Matthew 5:43-48
43 Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? 48 So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
 
my reflections
think:Do I go the extra mile out of love for my neighbor?
 
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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 Chronicles 10-12
  
SABBATH

 

THE ULTIMATE CALL
 
Today, we are called to reflect upon the ultimate call – to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. This is not an easy task to contemplate or accomplish. It is another example of how Jesus radicalizes the Jewish understanding of holiness and takes it to the extreme. We are called to imitate and live the holiness of God Himself in our earthly lives. While none of us will live the fullness of this call because of our sinfulness, this should not stop us in aspiring to such holiness and giving it our best shot.
Jesus calls us to love even our enemies. He wants to remind us that no matter what a person does he or she cannot lose their fundamental dignity as a son or daughter of God. This is one of the reasons why the Church does not advocate capital punishment as a response to sin, no matter how heinous the crime. If we kill a person we deny them the opportunity to reform their lives and make reparation for their sins. I am not saying that society should not protect itself from those who will harm it, only that we should avoid taking the life of such a person if at all possible.
It is easy to love those who love us. The real test comes when we realize that we have to love those who do not love us in return. This is the nature of true love – giving without the demand of something in return. If we can learn to love in this way, we will have gone a long way in imitating Jesus’ love for each one of us, and everyone else in the world, both friend and foe.
It is important that we pray for enlightenment and strength in this area of our lives as we all probably have a few things to learn regarding these matters. The challenge for us is to open our hearts to the grace of God and allow His love to transform us first. This way we will be united more and more with Him and so take on His character and values in a deeper way each day. Fr. Steve Tynan
 
Reflection Question:
Are there any prejudices or wrong ways of thinking that I need to change in my  life? How can I go about doing this?
 
Holy Spirit, I need your help to overcome these struggles in my life. Help me to see that opening my life to the transforming power of the Father’s love is a big first step in the right direction.
 
St. Herve, abbot, pray for us.
 



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