READINGS for 2008-08-01
STANDING UP TO THE BULLIES
It is for your sake that I have been insulted. – Psalm 69:7
I was shocked by an article I read in Newsweek’s issue on school bullies. In Japan, seven kids committed suicide during a two-month period all because they were being bullied. The article hit me hard because I was bullied as a kid too.
I was a perfect target for the bullies because I was smaller, thinner, quieter, less athletic and less intelligent than my other classmates. But I had another “weakness” that was easy to pick on: I was a Christian. I carried my Bible wherever I went. So they called me all sorts of religious names. It began with “Fr. Bo.” Then, “Bishop Bo.” Then “Pope Bo.” And finally “Saint Bo.” I remember their favorite sport: They would kick my school bag across the room, spilling all its contents, and say, “You won’t get mad, right Bo? Mabait ka, eh. You’re a Christian.”
But this bullying never crushed my spirit. (OK, it drove me to tears many times. But it never made me give up my faith.)
As a teen, my love for God went through fire — and became stronger.
Has your faith been bullied before?
God is strengthening your love.Bo Sanchez
Have you been criticized for doing good?
Lord, strengthen my resolve to follow You and do good amidst persecution.
The Old Testament understanding of God was based very much within a structure of cause and effect. That is, if the people of God acted in certain ways then God’s blessings would be with them; if not, then disaster often followed. The Christian understanding is somewhat different in that we recognize that God chose to save us even though we were in no way deserving of salvation. God’s love and blessings are gratuitously given; it’s up to us to respond to them in gratitude.
1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this message came from the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing. 3 Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them for their evil deeds. 4 Say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you disobey me, not living according to the law I placed before you 5 and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them, 6 I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this the city which all the nations of the earth shall refer to when cursing another. 7 Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD. 8 When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD bade him speak to all the people, the priests and prophets laid hold of him, crying, “You must be put to death! 9 Why do you prophesy in the name of the LORD– ‘This house shall be like Shiloh,’ and ‘This city shall be desolate and deserted’”? And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14
R: Lord, in your great love, answer me.
4  Those outnumber the hairs of my head who hate me without cause. Too many for my strength are they who wrongfully are my enemies. Must I restore what I did not steal? (R) 7  Since for your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face. 8  I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother’s sons, 9  because zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me. (R) 13  But I pray to you, O LORD, for the time of your favor, O God! In your great kindness answer me with your constant help. (R)
G O S P E L
Familiarity often breeds contempt, or so the saying goes. Jesus had difficulty working miracles in the places where He had grown up probably because people found the shift from friend to prophet/Son of God too difficult to make. I think I would have a similar difficulty if one of my old school friends suddenly turned up in my life claiming to be the Son of God.
54 Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? 55 Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” 58 And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
think:God’s love and blessings are gratuitously given; it’s up to us to respond to them in gratitude.
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 2 Maccabees 5-6
The Gospel today speaks about moral living. This Gospel is proper to the memorial of St. Alphonsus Ligouri. He was given the title of Doctor of the Church for his writings on Moral Theology.
Alphonsus was born in Naples, Italy, in 1696. He was a lawyer before he became a priest. He formulated a system called “Moderate Probabilism,” used in his days in resolving moral problems.He also founded the “Redemptorists,” the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
Moral living is not only about the Ten Commandments or about a set of Church precepts or a list of “do’s and don’ts.” Moral living is living as Jesus lived. Simply put, it means following Jesus, more than following the law. That is the reason why Jesus came not to abolish the Law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. To become like Jesus is to become a moral person. Fr. Bobby Titco
Moral living is Christ-like living.
Lord Jesus Christ, help me to become more and more like You in my efforts to obey You. It is in being like You that I fulfill all laws and satisfy all obligations that define my Christian faith. Amen.
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