READINGS for 2008-09-21
A LIFE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…” – Philippians 1:27a
In the weekly catechism Ate Lou gives to some parish servants, she emphasized the teaching of St. Josemaria Escriva about prayer and study. “We must never stop studying because it is a means to holiness,” she taught.
Yes, she’s a member of Opus Dei. But what you may have not guessed is that she’s 80 years old. She already walks with a cane yet hears daily Mass in the church about three blocks away from her house. Living with her weak and sickly husband, and her son, daughter-in-law and grandson, she remained faithful to her prayer life, spiritual readings and study — a routine she has practiced for the past 35 years. For relaxation, she tunes in to EWTN, a Catholic network that features Catholic teachings, lives of saints, Eucharistic celebrations, rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet and other stuff that enriches Christian living.
She reminds me of Mommy, who, until a ripe old age, heard Mass daily, woke up at 3 a.m. to pray until 5 for the long list of people she prayed for and other devotions describing how she lived “a manner of life worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
People like them inspire. So should we. Cristy Galang
Examine your manner of living. Can you evangelize with your life?
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of good people who can help us become good Christians. Grant, Lord, that I will also be one.
There is a certain imperative to respond to the grace of God when it is made available to us. It is not as though there are times when His grace is unavailable to us. But I believe there are moments in everyone’s life when God is doing something special and we are invited to respond to a particular grace of a deeper conversion in holiness. If we do not respond, our salvation may not be endangered but at the same time, an opportunity has been missed. This is not only unfortunate but we may not get this opportunity again. I do not know how we will explain this situation at the end of our lives on Judgment Day.
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. 7 Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9 As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.
P S A L M
Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
R: (18a) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
2 Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. (R) 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. 9 The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. (R) 17 The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. 18 The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. (R)
Paul has reached the point where he does not care how God uses him in the proclamation of his Kingdom. What is important to Paul is that God’s will be done in his life. This conviction is born through the depth of his conversion to Christ. He has let go of his own desires for his life and embraced God’s will as the only focus of all he does. We see this in the lives of all the saints as well. It is this depth of surrender to Christ and the Holy Spirit we should seek to imitate in our own lives.
Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
20 Brothers and sisters: Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. 22 If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. 23 I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. 25 And this I know with confidence, that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound on account of me when I come to you again. 27 Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.
G O S P E L
God’s generosity ought not to be our concern. What should be of concern to us is the way we are responding to His love. We cannot control anyone else’s response nor is it for us to direct God in the way He responds to us. What we need to do is ensure that we remain faithful to what we have committed ourselves to, and be thankful to the Lord for the way He has gifted us with eternal life. What we do is our gift to Him in response to the gift of salvation. We should never think that we deserve better than anyone else because of how we have lived and served as this is just our response to God’s love in the first place.
1 Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ 5 So they went off. [And] he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. 6 Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ 8 When it was evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ 9 When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. 10 So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ 13 He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? 15 Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
think: We should never think that we deserve better than anyone else because of how we have lived and served as this is just our response to God’s love in the first place.
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 Proverbs 6-8
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
WOrkErs in thE lOrd’s vinEyard
Jesus must have been hearing from others some complaints and grumblings against Himself. He was being accused of favoring more the outcasts of society — tax collectors, prostitutes, sinners, the poor and marginalized — instead of the more respectable persons.
In this parable, Jesus made use of a familiar situation: the problem of unemployment. Men idling around, whiling away their time or doing nothing in the side streets, or workers being laid-off from companies, or long lines of people outside employment or recruitment agencies. But in Jesus’ parable, the big difference is with the employer. We read what he did: he gave the same salary to everyone, even to those who worked in the vineyard for only awhile. Which was exactly like what God does through His Son Jesus — He gives the sinners, the “Johnnycome- latelies” in the spiritual life, a crack at the Kingdom of God, on equal footing with the Chosen People of Israel.
The main point here is the generosity of God. His generosity — not ours, not anybody else’s. Since it’s His generosity, He can certainly do with it whatever He wants. We really can’t do anything. In the words of the landowner-employer who countered the complaining workers in the parable, “What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?” Being an infinite, almighty, and all-knowing God, His generosity knows neither boundaries nor limits.
We poor mortals have no reason to be envious. When God gives to Juan, he doesn’t deprive Pedro in anyway. He created all of us equal, but it doesn’t mean that He can’t bestow His gifts and graces to some of us. It’s His prerogative.
We are all workers in the vineyard of the Lord God. It’s a good thing that it’s neither palakasan nor a merit system that’s being enforced. Thanks be to Him, our “Boss!” Fr. Martin Macasaet
Do you think you don’t have much talent? Are you looking at others’ talents rather than developing your own?
Enable me to rise above my limitations, Lord. Let my talents give glory to You.
St. Maura Troyes, virgin, pray for us.
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