READINGS for 2008-09-20

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they heard the word, embrace it… and bear fruit with perseverance.”
– Luke 8:15
He discovered his calling while watching a TV program about troubled schools in Harlem. Ron Clark packed his bags and drove his way to one of the toughest areas of Harlem. And he taught using unconventional methods. Once, he helped the students learn the states and its capitals by changing the lyrics of a popular rap and had them sing and dance with him. He made learning fun and exciting. His curriculum helped the students become complete individuals and to love life.
He saw the potential in each student. One of his students shared that she used to mock her teacher. Instead of punishing her, Ron told her, “Tamara, you’re a smart kid. You can do better.” Later, Tamara and her classmates felt Ron’s sincerity and love for them that they began to respect him. From hating school and being suspended for majority of the year, Tamara landed in the honor roll and entered the gifted program. Her classmates’ scores in Math and Reading also rose.
Have you given up on something or someone because you can’t see results? Remember, it takes time for seeds to grow
and bear fruit. Be patient. Judith Concepcion
Have you grown impatient waiting  for something to happen? Don’t lose heart. Your situation could be like that of which the butterfly, undergoes a process called metamorphosis. Sooner or later, it will emerge from its pupa, ready to spread its wings and fly.
Dear Lord, help me learn the value of patient waiting.


Paul is right when he indicates that we do not know what our resurrected bodies will be like. In fact, it may even be impossible for us to know this since our minds and experience are bound to this world and eternal life is another state of existence altogether. We know that we will be able to recognize one another but will this be by sight or intuition? We know we will be in relationship with one another but there is no marriage in heaven. Perhaps the best thing we can cling to at this time is the knowledge that we will be perfected when we enter into eternal life and united forever with God.
1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
35 Brothers and sisters: Someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?” 36 You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; 38 but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for human beings, another kind of flesh for animals, another kind of flesh for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the brightness of the heavenly is one kind and that of the earthly another. 41 The brightness of the sun is one kind, the brightness of the moon another, and the brightness of the stars another. For star differs from star in brightness. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. 43 It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 So, too, it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being,” the last Adam a life-giving spirit. 46 But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. 48 As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.
Psalm 56:10c-12, 13-14
R: I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.
9 [10] Now I know that God is with me. 10 [11] In God, in whose promise I glory, 11 [12] in God I trust without fear; what can flesh do against me? (R) 12 [13] I am bound, O God, by vows to you; your thank offerings I will fulfill. 13 [14] For you have rescued me from death, my feet, too, from stumbling; that I may walk before God in the light of the living. (R)
You and I are the masters of our own destinies in that we choose to what degree we welcome the word of God into our lives. The promise here is that God will be faithful in working with whatever we are willing to give Him. The extent of the fruit we bear in our lives does not depend upon God’s willingness to work with us – that is a given fact. What is critical is the level of surrender we are willing to make to the Holy Spirit. It is this that will determine how far and deep we go in fulfilling the potential we have in the service of God’s Kingdom.
Luke 8:4-15
4 When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to him, he spoke in a parable. 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. 6 Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. 7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8 And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” 9 Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. 10 He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that ‘they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.’ 11 “This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. 12 Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. 14 As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. 15 But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
my reflections
think:You and I are the masters of our own destinies in that we choose to what degree we welcome the word of God into our lives.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
Saint Margaret of Hungary
Saint Margaret (1242) was the daughter of King Bela I of Hungary and Marie Laskaris.
When the country was freed from the Tartars, both king and queen offered their next child to God. Thus, when Margaret reached the age of three, she was placed in a Dominican convent at Veszprem. She transferred to the Blessed Virgin, a convent founded by her parents in Hasen Insel, when she was ten. In the convent, she continued to live a life consecrated in service to the poor and in contemplation and penance.
Margaret chastised herself since childhood, wearing hair garments, iron girdle around her waist and shoes spiked with nails. She performed the most menial task in the convent and was still frequently scourged.
One day, due to political reasons, Margaret was arranged by her father to marry King Ottokar II of Bohemia. The girl refused her father’s plans ; instead, she took solemn vows when she was 18.
Saint Margaret of Hungary died on January 18, 1271 in Budapest, Hungary. She was beatified on July 28, 1789 and prior to her canonization in 1943 by Pope Pius XII, it was reported that 27 miracles including healing and awakening from death happened through her intercession.
Saint PriSca
Saint Prisca, an evangelist and martyr during the first century, was one of the women who played a significant role in the early church.
During the reign of Emperor Claudius, Prisca and husband Aquila, together with other Jews, were expelled from the city of Rome to Corinth. They were greeted by St. Paul who later influenced them. The couple’s house became the apostle’s base of operation ; thus, not long after, they too were serving as evangelists, preaching the Gospel to other Jews.
Prisca and Aquila later joined St. Paul in Ephesus, preaching to Gentile and Jewish Christians. When news about the installation of the new Emperor Nero spread throughout the land, husband and wife returned to Rome. They thought that Nero was a good man since he had no prior record of anti-Christian animus. No sooner when they were proven wrong. According to tradition, it is believed that Prisca and Aquila were one of those who perished in the general persecution in the year 64.
ELLSBERG, Robert. All Saints : Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. Quezon City : Claretian Publications. 2001. pp. 35-36.


a bOUntiFUl kOrEan harvEst
Today’s gospel of the Parable of the Sower exemplifies the saints we are honoring on this day, Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and their companions. They are of the good soil, upon which the seed fell, thereby producing a bountiful harvest in the land of South Korea.
During the four great persecutions of the 19th century, many Korean Catholics died for Christ. Ninety-three are canonized saints. One of them was St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the very first Korean priest, and the most famous of all Korean martyrs.
Formation to the priesthood was impossible to carry out in Korea at that time, so the French missionaries kept quietly alert to discover talented and generous young men who could go abroad to study for ordination. In 1837, three left for Macao, Andrew being one of them, there to study under the fathers of the Paris Foreign Mission Society. Later, Andrew went twice to the Philippines. They were guests of the Dominicans for some months. Today, there is a shrine at the municipality of Lolomboy, Bulacan, dedicated to St. Andrew Kim Taegon — that was where he stayed.
Finally he was ordained on August 17, 1845, and after that he succeeded. For one year, he was a hunted priest serving harassed Christians. Eventually he was caught and brought to trial.
In answering the repeated questions of his judges, Andrew was an example of wisdom and courage, so much so that some of the judges begged the king to spare his life. Other higher officials denied this appeal. When finally condemned to die, Andrew Kim insisted that he was a true Korean. “If I have been in touch with foreigners, it was because of my religion, it was for my God; it is for Him that I die. An immortal life is to begin for me.”
St. Augustine also wrote, “The martyrs were bound, imprisoned, scourged, raked, burned, rent, butchered — and they multiplied.” Truly, how can you stop a bumper-crop harvest from the seed sown by the Sower on excellent soil? Fr. Martin Macasaet
Reflection Question:
Are you a good soil of the Word? Are you producing bountiful harvest?
Thank You, Lord, for the example of the saints. May I courageously follow their example.
St. Candida, martyr and virgin, pray for us.

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