READINGS for 2008-06-18
“But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6
“Papa, I don’t want to be late for school,” said our six-year-old daughter, Mac. “Don’t worry. It’s OK if you’re late for school sometimes,” I assured her. But after I said that, I realized it sounded more like a lame excuse for my waking up late.
When we arrived in school, she quickly got her bag and dashed out of the car. She even forgot to give me her usual good-bye kiss.
The following day, I made sure I got up early and was ready to leave 30 minutes ahead of schedule. We arrived in school early. This time, she remembered to give me her goodbye kiss before getting out of the car.
Out of curiosity, I went to the other gate to catch a glimpse of her before she turned to the corridor leading to her classroom. It was there where I saw a wonderful scene.
As Mac neared the corridor, she didn’t turn towards her classroom as I expected. Instead, she went straight down the corridor that led to the chapel.
Now I understood why she didn’t want to be late. She wanted to spend a couple of minutes with Jesus every morning to start her day. Alvin Fabella
Do you make it a point to talk to God each and every day?
Lord, I want to establish a relationship with you. I know that having a relationship includes a regular time for conversation.
Is Elisha hungry for the power of Elijah in asking for a double portion of his grace? I do not think so. What I read into Elisha’s request is a desire to serve in the same way he has witnessed Elijah doing. We see in the attitude of Elijah what should be in all mentors – the desire that their disciple will exceed them in holiness and stature. As long as Elisha’s heart remains good, the extra power he gains will be used for good purposes.
2 Kings 2:1, 6-14
1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 6 Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here; the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.” And so the two went on together. 7 Fifty of the guild prophets followed, and when the two stopped at the Jordan, stood facing them at a distance. 8 Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water, which divided, and both crossed over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” 10 “You have asked something that is not easy,” he replied. “Still, if you see me taken up from you, your wish will be granted; otherwise not.” 11 As they walked on conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 When Elisha saw it happen he cried out, “My father! My father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!” But when he could no longer see him, Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two. 13 Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle which had fallen from him, and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan. 14 Wielding the mantle which had fallen from Elijah, he struck the water in his turn and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.
P S A L M
Psalm 31:20, 21, 24
R: Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
19  How great is the goodness, O LORD, which you have in store for those who fear you, and which, toward those who take refuge in you, you show in the sight of men. (R) 20  You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plottings of men; you screen them within your abode from the strife of tongues. (R) 23  Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones! The LORD keeps those who are constant, but more than requites those who act proudly. (R)
G O S P E L
Holiness is not measured by what other people see in you but by what the Lord Himself knows is in you. We can make things look very good from the outside with all the right signs and practices. However, if our inward motivation is absent or wrong then all the outward show means nothing. Jesus reminds us that it is not enough to know what we should do and how we should live — we have to actually do it.
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1 Jesus said to his disciples: “ Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. 2 When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, 4 so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 5 “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 7 In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread; 12 and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; 13 and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. 14 If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. 16 “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
think:Are my good actions backed-up by a true motivation to be holy?
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 Chronicles 13-15
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Saint meDarD of noyon
Medard, the patron saint of brewers, peasants and prisoners, was born in Picardy, France in 470. He was the son of a Frankish noble father and a Gallo-Roman mother. The young boy got his education at Saint-Quentin. Medard entered the priesthood and was proclaimed a priest at the age of 33. He served as a successful missionary that he was chosen to succeed the see of Vernandois, like his brother Saint Gildard, the archbishop of Rouen.
Based on traditions, the new bishop moved his see from Saint-Quentin to Noyon when the Huns attacked. He later united this with the diocese of Tournai. The union of the two lasted until 1146.
Saint Medard died on June 8, 545 at Noyon, France.
Every year, during the celebration of the saint’s feast day, a young girl in the district is chosen to be the most exemplary. She is escorted by 12 boys and 12 girls to the church. In the church, she is coronated with roses and given a gift of money. In art, the saint is depicted as a boy sheltered from the rain by an eagle. This is based on a legend which says that if the sun shines on his feast day, the next 40 days will be fine ; otherwise, the next 40 days will be wet.
Saint ePhrem of Syria
Saint Ephrem, a devotee of the Blessed Virgin, was born in 306 in Mesopotamia. He was thought to be the son of a pagan priest. And through the influence of Saint James of Nisibis, Ephrem was baptized into Christianity at 18. He helped in the evangelization of the people in Nisibis, serving as a deacon then a preacher.
When the persecution of Christians began, Ephrem went into the hills and became a hermit. He lived in a cave, feeding only on what the earth provided. Ephrem preached and founded a theological school in Edessa. Initially, the saint had a problem with his temper. But when he finally gained control of it, people thought he was just naturally calm because those who listened to his sermons ended up weeping.
Saint Ephrem was a great writer. He wrote homilies and poems in several languages – Greek, Latin, Syriac and Armenian. He used this means to fight against Gnosticism and Arianism in Syria. The saint was also a composer of hymns ; thus, he was given the title “the Harp of the Holy Spirit.” These hymns were used in public worships and these helped the people in their faith.
Saint Ephrem died on June 9, 373. And because of his writings, he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1920.
ALL GLORY IS FOR THE LORD
In the world, we are encouraged to accept praise and credit for our work and to demand recompense for it. This is how capitalism works. It is the engine that runs the modern world economy. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether this is also the way it should work in the Kingdom of God. St. Paul tells us in his letters to the Thessalonians that a workman deserves his keep. This is so, but when it comes to working for the Kingdom of God, the motivation of those who toil in the harvest of souls is never to earn salvation but to offer one’s life in thanksgiving to God for the gift of salvation he or she has received.
The prophets of the Old Testament are a living example of what this means. We do not see them living comfortable and easy lives in the Lord’s service — they are usually persecuted and live very difficult livcs. It is the same with the saints. I am not saying that we have to be persecuted to be seen as doing the work of the Kingdom of God. However, I do believe that we need to be very careful about promoting ourselves in that work.
We could look at Elisha and maybe think that he wants to be a prophet for the power that he will exercise. If this is the case, I do not believe the blessing of God will remain with him long. He may become very famous in terms of peoples’ recognition of some of the things that he does but it will be a passing fame that has no substance. That the memory of his and Elijah’s deeds has passed down to us to this day tells me that they were truly men after God’s heart and that they did not seek the glory for themselves but truly offered all they did to the Lord for His glory.
This is one of the tests of a true man or woman of God –does he seek to draw attention to himself, keep the glory or does he see himself as a true servant of the Lord, directing all the glory to Him and promoting the Kingdom of God? Fr. Steve Tynan
Have I let self-preservation control me or am I in control of it? How willing am I to expend my life in the service of the Kingdom?
Lord Jesus, help me to realize that it is only in You that I will find ultimate fulfillment. The world can offer me only a passing glory – You can offer me eternal joy and happiness.
St. Gregory Barbarigo, bishop pray for us.
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