READINGS for 2008-07-20

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones… – Romans 8:27
I was taking a nap one afternoon when I was awakened by a sudden heaviness in my chest, as if a huge object was on top of me. I had difficulty breathing. Was I having an asthma or a heart attack? Nope. I was just feeling somebody else’s spiritual burden. Who was it?
Not knowing who and what to pray for, I prayed in tongues, the Spirit’s language, and lifted the burden to God. After 10 minutes or so, the heaviness left me. The face of a friend, whom I hadn’t seen or talked to for a long time, flashed in my mind.
I called her up and learned that she had a big problem that was weighing her down. She had kept this to herself for several weeks. Through our conversation, I was able to confirm that when she was at her lowest point, it was the same time I felt the heaviness in my chest.
When we are at a loss for words, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid. He knows what’s in our hearts. He will pray for us and with us. He is our Helper in time of need. Judith Concepcion
Don’t know what or how to pray? Call on the Spirit to guide you.
Come, Holy Spirit I need you. Teach me to pray.


It took the Chosen People quite a while to come to the belief of monotheism. Most scholars think this belief had solidified by about the time of the prophet Elijah. Before that there seems to have been a belief in a whole panoply of gods with their God, Yahweh, being the greatest. As Christians, we follow the belief in monotheism. There are no other gods than the Triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All other gods are mere constructs of human belief and not to be countenanced at all.
Wisdom 12: 13, 16- 19
13 There is no god besides you who have the care of all, that you need show you have not unjustly condemned. 16 For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. 17 For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved; and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity. 18 But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us; for power, whenever you will, attends you. 19 And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and you gave your sons good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.
Psalm 86: 5-6, 9-10, 15-16
R: (5a) Lord, you are good and forgiving.
5 You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you. 6 Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my pleading. (R) 9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship you, O Lord, and glorify your name. 10 For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds; you alone are God. (R) 15 You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity. 16 Turn toward me, and have pity on me; give your strength to your servant. (R)
The Holy Spirit has been sent to help us pray, or at least, this is one of the reasons God has given us the Holy Spirit. Paul recognizes that there will be times when we have no idea what we should be praying for. It is then that the Holy Spirit, with words and utterances beyond our understanding, intercedes for us. After all, He knows the mind of God perfectly and thus should know what we should be praying for.
Romans 8: 26-27
26 Brothers and sisters: The Spirit, too, comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. 27 And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.
Our lives will always be a bit of a mixture of good and bad this side of eternal life. While we seek to root out the evil and sin, and cultivate the good and the virtuous, we will often fall short of the goal. God is not going to destroy us in His attempt to weed out the sin. He will gently lead us to repent in this life and finish off the job of purification when we die in the theological construct called “purgatory.” It is there that the final processes of purification will occur before we reach eternal life in heaven.
Matthew 13: 24-43
24 Jesus proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. 26 When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27 The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 He replied, “No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, ‘ First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’” 31 He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’ ” 33 He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” 34 All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, 35 to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:  “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation [of the world].” 36 Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, 38 the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the  kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
my reflections
think:Our lives will always be a bit of a mixture of good and bad this side of eternal life. Are you seeking to root out the evil and sin in your life? God’s special verse/thought for me today

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
My weekly time with God
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week


GOd is GOOd
Goodness is an attribute of God. He cannot be anything else but good. God is the Highest Good, as Aquinasteaches us. God is infinitely good and in all actions God reveals good (Catholic Catechism, no.385). God manifests His goodness to us in creation, Scriptures, Church, family. Most of all, God has revealed this goodness, uniquely and providently, in the sending of His only Son, Jesus.
In Genesis, we read an account concerning the action of God in creation. God rejoices and see all is good. In creating man and woman, He notices and observes that this part of creation, the pinnacle of all creation is “very good” (Genesis 1). There is no darkness or disorder in the works and being of God. There is no god like our God, as the book of Wisdom tells us. God is Lord of heaven and earth, the Almighty God, the Creator, the one whom we can call Father. God cares for His creation in every way. God is compassionate and is ready to forgive, slow to anger, rich in kindness.
This goodness of God is for us to take hold of. We are to see in the exemplary life and teachings of Christ the way of goodness. There is power in the manifestation of goodness. Goodness drives out hatred, seeks to love, and heals the wounds of division and sin. When we show goodness to others, God is quick to forgive us and show us His mercy. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans tells us that all things work for the good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).
We are blessed to know the Good News. The Good News is the gospel of Christ who suffered, died and rose from the dead. We are no longer enslaved to the wickedness of sin and the devil, but have the power to exercise righteousness, justice and goodness. In Jesus, we are restored to that original goodness which had been lost through our disobedience. The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of goodness in our lives so that we can reflect the goodness of God. Fr. Brian Steele
Refection Question:
How has God revealed His goodness in your life? What can you do today to manifest the goodness shown to you?
God, You are good and forgiving. Help me by Your grace to be good in all that I do and say today and always. Amen.
Sts. Flavian and Elias,bishops, pray for us.

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