READINGS for 2008-08-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:23
“I don’t have as much money as I used to, but I have more happiness and peace than I used to.” These are words a friend of mine said while we were talking over coffee. My friend is now a teacher in the province. She used to make a lot more money working abroad but like many crazy Christians I know, she did something insane. She followed God’s call, and went back to the Philippines to use her talents here. She continued by saying, “You see, back when I had more money, I also had more distractions. I could buy anything I wanted, but I was never quite satisfied. I was always looking for the next thing to have and to own. I was restless. But now I am at peace. I’m home.”
I believe her. I see how much happier she is doing what she does best. I see how alive she is — being with her students and devoting the best years of her life helping them realize their full potential.
“It’s true what they say that money isn’t everything. Becoming the kind of person God intended you to be in the first place — now I think that’s priceless,” she concluded.
What can I say to that except amen, my friend.Cess Cosico
Loving Father, help me see what is truly valuable in my life.
Lord, help me to see what is really of value in my life.


It seems that the major message we learn from today’s First Reading is that no matter how powerful you may be in this life, you will have to stand one day before the Lord in judgment. That this is a given fact is sure and we must endeavor to prepare ourselves for such a day. The foolish man will ignore this fact and pay the cost later. The wise person will remember this and will suitably be ready.
Ezekiel 28:1-10
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: Thus says the Lord GOD: Because you are haughty of heart, you say, “A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!” — And yet you are a man, and not a god, however you may think yourself like a god. 3 Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel, there is no secret that is beyond you. 4 By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made riches for yourself; you have put gold and silver into your treasuries. 5 By your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches — 6 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have thought yourself to have the mind of a god, 7 therefore I will bring against you foreigners, the most barbarous of nations. They shall draw their swords against your beauteous wisdom, they shall run them through your splendid apparel. 8 They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea. 9 Will you then say, “I am a god!” when you face your murderers? No, you are a man, not a god, handed over to those who will slay you. 10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners, for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.
Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab
R: It is I who deal death and give life.
26 “I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them and blot out their name from men’s memories,’ 27 Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies, feared that these foes would mistakenly boast.” (R) “‘Our own hand won the victory; the LORD had nothing to do with it.’ ” 28 For they are a people devoid of reason, having no understanding. (R) 30 “How could one man rout a thousand, or two men put ten thousand to flight, Unless it was because their Rock sold them and the LORD delivered them up?” (R) 35 Close at hand is the day of their disaster and their doom is rushing upon them! 36 Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people; on his servants he shall have pity. (R)
Riches and a life of comfort can easily become a false god or idol in any culture. The challenge each of us faces is to avoid this excess and recognize that our earthly sojourn is exactly that—a short journey in which we have to lay the foundations for eternity. Riches and comfort will only be distractions to this end as their focus is earthly in nature. Let us not be seduced by the distractions of the world.
Matthew 19:23-30
23 Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
my reflections
think: No matter how powerful you may be in this life, you will have to stand one day before the Lord in judgment.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


UPsidE-dOWn liFE FOr an UPsidE-dOWn kinGdOM
As early as we can understand, we have been taught to strive to be first. Our parents encouraged us to be first. We are rewarded when we are first. We are congratulated when we are first. Thus, the ending of today’s gospel comes as a shock to us. It is like cold water mercilessly thrown at one of our first lessons in life: It is always good to be first because the first is first, never last.
The Kingdom of God, that Jesus inaugurated, is an upside down world. To belong to it, we must live our lives upside-down.
Living our lives upside down, however, is not the same as living in reverse. Remember: the reverse of L-I-V-E is E-V-I-L. Fr. Bobby Titco
Reflection Question:
Belonging to God’s Kingdom happens not tomorrow, but today.
Though I am in the world, help me, Jesus, to be not of the world. Even here on earth, may I always belong to Your Kingdom. Let my life be lived in the life of Your Kingdom now, not tomorrow. Amen.
St. John Eudes, priest, pray for us.

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