READINGS for 2008-08-24

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. – Matthew 16:19
The Mount Morgan gold mine in Queensland, Australia is one of the biggest in the world. Yet, original land owners lived in abject poverty on the mountain’s barren surface. For so many years, they didn’t know that they were actually standing on immeasurable treasure.
The universe is pregnant with heavenly blessings for the children of God. You simply have to: (1) Know this truth, and (2) Choose blessing.
Blessing doesn’t fall from the skies. You have the key that unlocks its deluge. God’s Word shows you the ways that govern its binding and loosening. Follow them. Your companions are Faith to see the gold in the dirt, Love to generously give, Hardwork to plant as seed, and Perseverance to keep you on the path.
You have the complete ability to choose blessing or curse. You hold the key. Heaven has a beautiful life in store for you. Choose it. And with God, create it.
By the way, it’s a daily choice.Jon Escoto
God created this day to bless you! Chances are, you are now standing on Heaven’s treasure. Have you seen it yet?
Lord, Your daily “blessing-fromthe- heavens” requires daily work of CHOOSING. Give me the clarity of vision to see it, and the courage
to CHOOSE it today.


Politicians and leaders in our society have been invested with a certain authority by God. Romans 13 outlines this truth to us. It is important that we realize that we have a responsibility to respect that authority if it is exercised within the bounds of the laws of morality. The alternative to this is anarchy which no one, especially the Lord, wants. Leaders in the secular world must remember that they will stand under God’s judgment for the way they have led the people and exercised power. I think this knowledge ought to cause a great deal of concern in the minds of many of today’s leaders.
Isaiah 22:15, 19-23
15 Thus says the Lord: Shebna, master of the palace: 19 I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station. 20 On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open. 23 I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family.”
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
R: (8bc) Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.
1 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; 2 I will worship at your holy temple. (R) I will give thanks to your name, because of your kindness and your truth. 3 When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (R) 6 The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees, and the proud he knows from afar. 8 Your kindness, O LORD, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. (R)
Paul has given up in his efforts of trying to comprehend why the Jews have rejected the Gospel. For the last three chapters, he has attempted to understand this problem with all sorts of tortured arguments and reasoning. The result: He is no closer to understanding it now than he was when he started. Thus we look at his final cry: All is mystery and I am forced to leave this problem in the hands of the only person able to resolve it, namely God Himself.
Romans 11:33-36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given him anything that he may be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Jesus quite clearly intends to create an authority structure in preparation for the time when He will return to His Father. In fact, it would be irresponsible for Him not to do something like this. The only reason the Catholic Church has survived 2,000 years of history is the promise God gave Peter and his successors that He, God, would guarantee the leadership of the Church for the future. An institution will only be as strong as its leadership, a fact the Church has born out over the last two millennia.
Matthew 16:13-20
13 Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.
my reflections
think:An institution will only be as strong as its leadership.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

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in thE sChOOl OF st. PaUl
The Jubilee Year of St. Paul which Pope Benedict XVI closed last June 29, made the whole Church focus more on this great apostle from whose letters we read again this week. He a great missionary and teacher who who amazes modern psychologists with the way he approaches people whom he has to correct.
Paul was at Thessalonica only briefly because a riot against him forced him to leave soon (Acts 17:1-10). The visit was fruitful, a community was established, and the oldest existing letter written by Paul was the one sent to the Thessalonians. Paul was strict and could be stern but when we read today’s first reading we discover a very loving and kind Paul. There were things in the Christian community at Thessalonica he had to correct but before doing so he shows his love for them first. He admires and acknowledges their growing faith, their love for one another and their endurance in times of persecution. And he prays for them.
Paul knows only too well that in every human being there are good and bad qualities. We know this, too. Unfortunately, we often focus on the negative aspects, on the faults and failures of a person. We criticize and end up discouraging instead of encouraging a person. These opening sentences of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians are an excellent guide to help us create better relationships with people whom we are forced to correct. It is good to first contemplate on what good the person has done and still does; what good traits and attitudes we can discover in that person. And then, like St. Paul, we pray for this person before we have to confront him/her with what wrong has been done.
St. Paul teaches us to become more balanced and positive in interpersonal relationships and so we create an atmosphere where a correction can easily be accepted. Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
Do I detect in me the tendency to see only the negative side of a person? Do I tend to encourage or discourage?
Lord, I thank You for what You teach me through St. Paul. Remind in moments when I correct a person not to forget the praise and prayer to uplift my brother or sister.
St. Joseph Calasantius, priest, pray for us.

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