READINGS for 2008-07-02

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

GOOD VS. EVIL
 
The demons… came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. – Matthew 8:31-32
 
I know someone who was involved in illegal black market trading. He would earn hundreds of thousands, sometimes even a million, in a day. Then one day, he was swindled out of all his earnings.
I also know a gang leader whose expertise was painful extortion. When things got complicated, he moved on to being a bigtime drug dealer. He was caught and is now scheduled to face a firing squad in China. In both instances, we can clearly see that evil begets evil and the end is always total destruction.
On the other hand, goodness begets goodness and, by nature, it creates rather than destroy. If goodness creates and evil destroys ad infinitum, guess which will come out the winner for eternity?
Now the next question is: Which side do you want to be on? Cecil Lim
 
REFLECTION:
Choose the path that leads to life, not destruction.
 
Father, deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
Amos outlines one of the fundamental principles on which we must build our moral lives – namely, to seek out good, not evil. There is never any justification to perform an act that we know is morally evil. It is never permissible to choose evil in order to do good in the end. This may sound a little harsh but what is at stake here is the question of truth. We cannot sacrifice the truth or the whole moral life falls apart.
 
Amos 5: 14-15, 21-24
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts, be with you as you claim! 15 Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph. 21 I hate, I spurn your feasts, I take no pleasure in your solemnities; 22 your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me holocausts, 24 then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 50:7, 8-9, 10- 11, 12- 13, 16bc- 17
R: To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
7 “Hear, my people, and I will speak; Israel, I will testify against you; God, your God, am I.” (R) 8 “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always. 9 I take from your house no bullock, no goats out of your fold.” (R) 10 “For mine are all the animals of the forests, beasts by the thousand on my mountains. 11 I know all the birds of the air, and whatever stirs in the plains, belongs to me.” (R) 12 “If I were hungry, I should not tell you, for mine are the world and its fullness. 13 Do I eat the flesh of strong bulls, or is the blood of goats my drink?” (R) 16 “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, 17 though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?” (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
Jesus is not interested for demons to dominate the lives of people. He wants them gone so that we can be free to receive His love and follow Him to eternal life. The devil is constantly at work in the world to distract us from the promises of God, and attract us to the pleasures of the world that will cause us to neglect our spiritual lives. We may not be possessed by demons but the sin we have embraced through temptation has a similar result – an inability to follow God’s will.
 
Matthew 8: 28- 34
28 When Jesus came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. 29 They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. 31 The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. 33 The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
 
my reflections
think:The devil is constantly at work in the world to distract us from the promises of God, and attract us to the pleasures of the world that will cause us to neglect our spiritual lives.
 
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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 2 Chronicles 25-27
  
SABBATH

 

sEEk GOOd and avOid Evil
 
The prophet Amos is often depicted as the “doom and gloom” prophet. He was a simple peasant farmer chosen by God to preach to the people of the Northern Kingdom. Around 8 BC during the time of Amos, Israel lived a comfortable, luxurious life and enjoyed political stability. This was to change when Amos comes to town. The threat of neighboring Assyria was close and his prophetic insight sought to bring this to the attention of the people.
The first reading gives us an account of social justice that Amos was to bring to the people. He proclaims to the people that they must seek good and avoid evil. Idolatry, immorality and corruption were the downfall of their relationship with God. They forgot Him who redeemed them and who had helped them come to the place of peace and happiness they were now experiencing. They disobeyed the commandments of God, and the LORD sought to win them back to His heart and love.
God reminded them that He is the source of their security and comfort. He seeks from His people a sense of justice since they have been dwelling in unfaithfulness. He challenges the life in regards to their worship, which is contradictory to their way of life, seemingly lip service at its best. Human life can only flourish where righteousness and justice prevails.
God gave us the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. The voice of our conscience tells us to do good and avoid what is evil. It is in our conscience where the voice of God echoes. The Church teaches us, “…conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (Guadium et Spes 16). This “natural law” was placed within us by God to always act in ways that are good and true. We were created in the image and likeness of God. We must then respect each other since we are all children of God, brothers and sisters in Jesus. Fr. Brian Steele
 
Reflection Question:
What are the ways in which I can seek to do good to my neighbor today? What can I do to avoid the evil of sin?
 
God our Creator and Redeemer, You are all good and all that you have made is good. Teach me to live according to Your goodness. May I respect those whom I meet and always remember the great dignity I have in being Your child.
 
St. Bernardino Realino, priest, pray for us.
 



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