READINGS for 2008-07-24
THE HEARING AID CALLED “mERCY”
“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” – Matthew 13:13
Hugh Hefner, the flamboyant founder of the Playboy porn empire, will never understand what faithfulness in marriage means even after reading 300,000 books on the subject. At the age of 80, he currently has three “hot” blondes sharing his bed as his stay-in concubines. (He used to have seven but he decided to “downsize.”)
A Filipino actor-turned-politician who boasts of his record of 86 children from different women, will never understand the Christian Parenting seminar being taught in the church across the street where he lives.
A BIR officer of the country, whose pocket is padded from “under the table” deals will never understand a sermon on honesty. Why? Not because the ideas are too complex. Even children know how to explain faithfulness, responsibility and honesty. Truth is, understanding brings guilt. Understanding requires repentance as a response. This is the part they don’t like. Sin blinds the eyes, plugs the ears and dulls understanding.
Two things can make you understand: God’s mercy or His judgment. Choose His mercy now! You might not like His judgment if it’s too late. Jon Escoto
Have there been truths from God’s Word that you still refuse to understand? Pray for God’s mercy to open the eyes of your heart.
Lord, let Your mercy visit my life like never before, that my heart may listen to Your love, and make me finally understand. Amen.
They say familiarity often breeds contempt. This seems to be the message God is making to His people. Therefore, we must be careful not to fall into this trap as we seek to live as His disciples. It is important we retain a sense of awe at the way God works in our lives; a sense of reverence and awe at the gift of the Blessed Sacrament; a sense of amazement and awe at the fact that God chooses weak and sinful people like us to share in the mission of evangelization.
Jeremiah 2: 1-3 , 7-8, 12-13
1 This word of the LORD came to me: 2 Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, following me in the desert, in a land unsown. 3 Sacred to the LORD was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest; should anyone presume to partake of them, evil would befall him, says the LORD. 7 When I brought you into the garden land to eat its goodly fruits, you entered and defiled my land, you made my heritage loathsome. 8 The priests asked not, “Where is the LORD?” Those who dealt with the law knew me not; the shepherds rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after useless idols. 12 Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD. 13 Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.
P S A L M
Psalm 36:6-7ab, 8-9, 10-11
R: With you is the fountain of life, O Lord.
5  O LORD, your mercy reaches to heaven; your faithfulness, to the clouds. 6  Your justice is like the mountains of God; your judgments, like the mighty deep. (R) 7  How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8  They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house; from your delightful stream you give them to drink. (R) 9  For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light. 10  Keep up your mercy toward your friends, your just defense of the upright of heart. (R)
G O S P E L
There is always a sense of mystery that goes with the work of God in the lives of His people. Why does He do this with that person and not this person? We will never really know the answer to that question. As the theologians often say, “It is a mystery!” This should not matter to us as we can understand enough to know that God is on our side in whatever He might be doing. We do not have to worry about His intentions as we do with ourselves and others. This is something we should always be thanking Him for.
10 The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. 12 To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.’ 14 Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: ‘You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. 15 Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.’ 16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17 Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
think:It is important we retain a sense of awe at the way God works in our lives; a sense of amazement and awe at the fact that God chooses weak and sinful people like us to share in the mission of evangelization.
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 Maccabees 5-6
rEMEMbEr thE lOvE OF GOd
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Perhaps some of you married your first love. You probably remember how you were loved and accepted for who you are. You did not have to compete, or boast, or win the admiration of your beloved. Some of us feel the chemistry – we go all gooey. Love is an amazing thing. You can’t seem to go through a moment without each other.
God speaks through the prophet in a powerful way. He asks His bride Israel a question, “Do you remember? Do you remember when we first met? Do you remember when I first called you by name? Do you remember when I carried you through your times of slavery into the place of freedom?” God remembers everything.
God remembers how faithful, dedicated, loyally committed Israel was as a youth. He remembers how He was loved, as a bride cherishes her husband. He remembers how Israel followed the ways of righteousness, being led by the hand, in a land unsown. He remembers how Israel placed her hands in the loving guidance of her God. He remembers the devotion of religion and true worship, the sacrifices and fruit of their labors. God remembered when He provided for Israel good fruits, and the taste of good things. But Israel forgot God.
The heavens shuddered at this forgetfulness, this rebellion, this ignorance. What have they forgotten? God speaks of two evils. Firstly, they have forsaken God and rebelled against Him — the source of living waters. Israel abandoned her first love and embraced false idols – Baal. God Himself was the one who gave her life-giving power. He is the source of her life and blessings. Secondly, the Israelites dug cisterns (watertight plaster to hold water) and practiced idolatry. By their fellowship with the pagan gods, they have taken to broken cisterns — false idols that cannot provide abundant life. Fr. Brian Steele
Have we forgotten God who has created us, redeemed us and given us life and blessings? Have you forgotten your youthful devotion towards Him?
Lord, help me remember my love for You in the youth of my conversion. I will keep Your commandments and be faithful to You. You are my treasure, my life, myGod. Amen.
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