READINGS for 2008-08-04
They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over — twelve wicker baskets full. – Matthew 14:20
It is amazing that Jesus never worked a miracle just to amaze and mesmerize an audience. He never did them for the applause. He did not turn stone to bread to satisfy His hunger. Bishop Fulton Sheen explained that there were about 35 recorded miracles in the Bible which Jesus performed. Of these, three miracles brought the dead to life: a child, a young man and an adult. Nine related to nature such as the calming of the storm and walking over water. A good portion, 23 of them,was healing from sickness such as the lame walking, the deaf hearing and the blind seeing.
Each miracle was a sign leading to the fullness of life in God through Jesus. As with the multiplication of the bread, there were two sets of reactions. The first were those who believed that Jesus is the Messiah. The second were those who followed him, hoping He would do the miracle again and so their stomachs would be filled. The people had a choice: To take the sign as proof of God’s love or to view them as entertainment or selfish satisfaction.
Whenever you read a miracle account, go beyond the supernatural act. Dwell in the loving presence of God in each of His signs. Jun Asis
Do I see the real meaning to each miracle Christ performed? Am I moved to love Him more and believe His truth?
Lord, thank You for the daily miracles You send my way. Each of these is a sign of Your love for me.
Hananiah is a false prophet who makes up his messages from the Lord so that they will be pleasing to the ears of the people and he will be welcomed and feted among them. Jeremiah, on the other hand, speaks the truth and is rejected by the people. God will vindicate Jeremiah in the face of Hananiah and because the people have chosen Hananiah over Jeremiah, they will discover that they will be exiled as Jeremiah told them.
1 In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people. 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two years I will restore to this place all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon. 4 And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,’ says the LORD, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’ ” 5 The prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people assembled in the house of the LORD, 6 and said, Amen! Thus may the LORD do! May he fulfill the things you have prophesied by bringing the vessels of the house of the LORD and all the exiles back from Babylon to this place! 7 But now, listen to what I am about to state in your hearing and the hearing of all the people. 8 From of old, the prophets who were before you and me prophesied war, woe, and pestilence against many lands and mighty kingdoms. 9 But the prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent by the LORD only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled. 10 Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, broke it, 11 and said in the presence of all the people, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Even so, within two years I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, from off the neck of all the nations.’ ” At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away. 12 Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. 13 Go tell Hananiah this: Thus says the LORD: By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke! 14 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: A yoke of iron I will place on the necks of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him. 15 To the prophet Hananiah the prophet Jeremiah said: Hear this, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, and you have raised false confidence in this people. 16 For this, says the LORD, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth; this very year you shall die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD. 17 That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died.
P S A L M
Psalm 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
R: Lord teach me your statutes.
29 Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. (R) 43 Take not the word of truth from my mouth, for in your ordinances is my hope. (R) 79 Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. (R) 80 Let my heart be perfect in your statutes, that I be not put to shame. (R) 95 Sinners wait to destroy me, but I pay heed to your decrees. (R) 102 From your ordinances I turn not away, for you have instructed me. (R)
G O S P E L
Peter follows Jesus’ command and steps out of the boat on to the water. Either he is a fool or he is a man of tremendous faith. He cannot be anything in between or else he would not have done what he did. I think he is the latter, not a fool, or perhaps we might want to see him as a fool for Christ and thus have a bet both ways? All I know is that to follow Jesus will require for us to step out in faith into the unknown as Peter does here, trusting that Jesus has everything in hand. Are you game to do this?
Matthew 14:13-21 (or Matthew 14:22-36)
13 When Jesus heard of it, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. 14 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 [Jesus] said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” 17 But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” 18 Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” 19 and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over — twelve wicker baskets full. 21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
think:To follow Jesus will require for us to step out in faith into the unknown.
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 11-12
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Saint RoSe of ViteRbo
Saint Rose of the 13th century was born in Viterbo, Italy. At the age of eight, she received a vision from the Blessed Mother. She was told that she would wear the habit of Saint Francis and that she must set an example by her words and actions. Rose took the special mission of encouraging people to remain faithful to the Holy Father. She began preaching in the streets. She told people to stand up to Emperor Frederick who took over the land of the Church. The saint was able to convince many that her father became frightened. When he threatened her to be beaten if she did not stop preaching, she gently replied, “If Jesus could be beaten for me, I can be beaten for him. I do what Jesus has told me to do, and I must not disobey him.”
At the age of 15, Rose gained enemies from the state. The emperor threw her and her family out of the city. Rose prophesied that the emperor would die not long after, which just happened.
Two years later, Rose returned home where she died in 1252.
Nicomedes was a priest during the persecution of Christians in the first century.
He was arrested when he fearlessly got the relics of the martyr Saint Felicula to give it a Christian burial. Nicomedes was given the chance to apostatize. He was asked to sacrifice to the pagan gods. Instead, he refused and bravely said, “I sacrifice only to the almighty God who rules over us all from heaven.” Nicomedes was sentenced to die. He was beaten with whips and lined with lead. During his torture, the saint died.
The body of Saint Nicomedes was thrown into the river Tiber so no one would bury it. But a brave Christian, by the name of Justus, rescued the remains and placed it in a tomb on the Via Nomentina.
Pope Telesphorus, a Greek, led the Vatican from 126 to 137 A.D. According to some, it was in Pope Telesphorus’ pontificate when the traditions of Christmas midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the commemoration of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of Gloria began.
The writer Irenaeus said that it was Telesphorus who served as the first pope to suffer martyrdom after St. Peter.
The Latin Church thus celebrates Pope Telesphorus’ feast day on January 5, while the Greek Church celebrates it on February 22. The Carmelites honor Telesphorus as their patron saint since the pope is believed to have lived as a hermit on Mount Carmel.
saCraMEnt OF GOd’s MErCy
He almost did not make it to the priesthood. He was a slow learner or so they say. He had a hard time with Latin. And during his time, a seminarian had to be fluent in Latin to be considered for ordination to the priesthood. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney became a priest because of mercy.
God’s mercy made John Marie Vianney a priest. He became a priest not because he deserved it. He became a priest because God desired it and gave him such a very precious gift gratuitously. Jean Vianney was a sacrament of God’s mercy. No wonder, he devoted much of his entire priestly life dispensing God’s mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He spent very long hours in the confessional, reconciling men and women with God, and giving them spiritual advice. He was also renowned for his devotion to the Holy Eucharist. A humble servant of God, He served in parish of Ars for 42 years until he passed from this life to the next. Pope Piux XI declared John Marie Vianney, who almost did not become a priest, Patron of the Universal Clergy.
As Patron of the Universal Clergy, John Marie Vianney reminds priests that their priesthood is always an unmerited gift that the Lord entrusted to them. It is out of His mercy and of His mercy alone that they are priests. They are priests because of the Lord’s mercy, priests by their life and ministry, and must serve as reminders of God’s mercy to His People. They are priests; they are sacraments of God’s mercy.
Priests must always be merciful. Otherwise, they have already forgotten what they really are. Fr. Bobby Titco
God’s gifts are always gratuitously given.
Thank You, O God, for all the gifts You give me. When I fail to thank You, please remind me immediately and let me show my gratitude to You sincerely. As I receive gratuitously from You, so help me give freely to others, too. Amen.
St. John Vianney, priest, pray for us.
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