READINGS for 2008-08-18
GIVING UP THE LIFE
“If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow
me.” – Matthew 19:21
Jonna grew up with strong Catholic values. Her parents are members of a Catholic community and she herself became part of a singles group. For some years she headed the accounting department of our company. For me, she always projected the image of a person who loves God. She had achieved success in both her secular and spiritual life.
One day she asked me if I had time to talk. She revealed that she was filing her resignation that month because she wanted to reevaluate what she wanted in life. She eventually pursued her plans and left the company. A couple of months later, a friend told me that Jonna was staying in a convent in Antipolo to explore if she was called to be a nun.
One weekend, I decided to visit Jonna. She was still the same simple and jolly person I knew. She still projected the image of a person who loves God. But this time you could feel her sense of fulfillment. She gave up her old, “successful” life to have a new life with Jesus. Alvin Fabella
How much of your life are you willing to give to follow Jesus?
Lord, let me not cling to worldly things that will deprive me of my greatest treasure in You.
Ezekiel’s God-induced blindness is a sign for the People of Israel on how they are living their lives. Is it also a sign of how you are living your life? I hope not! For all our commitment to the Gospel, there is always the possibility that the lies of the world have begun to blind us from little truths and then over time, from bigger ones. This process can be exacerbated by presuming God’s goodness to us.
15 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 Son of man, by a sudden blow I am taking away from you the delight of your eyes, but do not mourn or weep or shed any tears. 17 Groan in silence, make no lament for the dead, bind on your turban, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, and do not eat the customary bread. 18 That evening my wife died, and the next morning I did as I had been commanded. 19 Then the people asked me, “Will you not tell us what all these things that you are doing mean for us?” I therefore spoke to the people that morning, 20 saying to them: Thus the word of the LORD came to me: 21 Say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD: I will now desecrate my sanctuary, the stronghold of your pride, the delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul. The sons and daughters you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22  Ezekiel shall be a sign for you all that he did you shall do when it happens. Thus you shall know that I am the LORD. 23  You shall do as I have done, not covering your beards nor eating the customary bread. 24  Your turbans shall remain on your heads, your sandals on your feet. You shall not mourn or weep, butyou shall rot away because of your sins and groan one to another.
P S A L M
Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21
R: You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, You forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing and anger toward his sons and daughters. (R) 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what will then become of them. What a fickle race they are, sons with no loyalty in them!” (R) 21 “Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’ and angered me with their vain idols, I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’; with a foolish nation I will anger them.” (R)
G O S P E L
The man does not ask Jesus about right and wrong but about eternal life. Jesus rephrases this question in terms of a quest for what is good. This is a great description of the moral life as Christians understand it. It has never really been a set of laws that we have to obey but the active search for and living out of the truth which will lead us to eternal life. Too often the media caricatures the Church’s moral teachings as a set of rights and wrongs or do’s and don’ts. This is very misleading and far from the truth.
16 A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” 17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had
think: For all our commitment to the Gospel, there is always the possibility that the lies of the world have begun to blind us from little truths and then over time, from bigger ones.
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 Psalm 6-10
thE iMPErFECt PErFECtiOnist
I confess: I am a perfectionist. I want everything perfect. Because nothing in this world is perfect, sometimes I easily get impatient when imperfection manifests itself.
But I am not perfect. I am an imperfect person who will settle for nothing but the perfect. Because I am not perfect myself, my own imperfection hurts me the most.
Who does not want to be perfect anyway? If Jesus were to ask us the question implied in His advice to the man in the Gospel today, we would almost certainly say, “But, of course, Lord, we want to be perfect.” And He suggests for us to do the same: “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Having heard so, will we also go away sad, for we are a people of great wealth?
To be perfect means not to be a slave to anything. I confess: sometimes I live by my wants rather than by my needs. To be perfect means to deny one’s self to serve the other’s needs. I confess: sometimes I preserve my self and expect others to serve me. To be perfect means to have treasure in heaven. I confess: sometimes I am lured by earthly conveniences. To be perfect means to let go. I confess: sometimes I would rather stay because I am afraid to risk. To be perfect means to follow Jesus. I confess: sometimes I want Jesus to follow me instead. But, unlike the man in the Gospel today, I will not go away sad. I choose to remain with Jesus with the confident hope that He will teach me how to let go and be perfect like Him.
Will you stay with us? Fr. Bobby Titco
Perfection means letting go.
Do not let me be discouraged by my imperfection, O Lord. Make me stay with You rather than flee from Your loving embrace. I believe in you, more than in myself. Increase my faith. Amen.
St. Helena, widow, pray for us.
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