READINGS for 2008-09-25

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays.” – Ecclesiastes 1:4
Nothing struck me more strongly about man’s transitory nature in this world than when we had just buried our mother.
It was the week following her burial. I went to her room, and what did I see? The housedress she wore the day before she got hospitalized; the rolled stockings neatly placed on the shoes she wore the Sunday before for Mass; her hair rollers; the book she didn’t finish reading.
All these reminders made me weep, surely, but what hit me was how death really comes like a thief in the night. It catches us unprepared. One minute we are in this world, then another minute we’re gone. We all die, sooner or later. A part of us stays on in the lives of the persons we leave behind, but eventually they move on, and the world continues without us.
Death is irreversible. How it comes to us is uncertain. There’s only one thing we have control of – how we prepare for it. Tess Atienza
If I just have one more year to live, how will I spend it?
Lord, help me to look constantly at my End. I don’t want to meet my death unprepared, because I want to be with You in Your Kingdom and not anywhere else.


Vanity of vanities …. All is vanity! This is an interesting text to ponder and apply to our lives. I think there is a lesson here for personal grooming. I firmly believe there is a limit to the amount of money and time we should spend on such activities, especially when they are devoted to making us look younger. It is almost as if we are trying to live a lie. The fact is that everyone gets older and their appearance changes with time. The greater freedom and truth is to accept this as a given in life and use the money on something that is far more productive and important such as the Gospel or care of the poor.
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
2 Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! 3 What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? 4 One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. 5 The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. 6 Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. 7 All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going. 8 All speech is labored; there is nothing man can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing. 9 What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. 10 Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. 11 There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.
Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17bc
R: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
3 You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) 5 You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, 6 which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. (R) 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. 13 Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! (R) 14 Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. 17 Prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! (R)
Herod is a carnal man worried only about his own status in the eyes of the people and his own comfort and pleasure. He is not a model for Christian living. He shows no remorse of heart for having killed John the Baptist even though he was aware John was a good man. He is only interested in Jesus because Jesus is a charismatic and thus potentially troublesome figure for his rule. We see later that he does not lift a hand to save Jesus’ life either.
7 Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; 8 others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” 9 But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.
my reflections
think:Vanity of vanities …. All is vanity! I think there is a lesson here for personal grooming.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


MEEtinG JEsUs in a MOrE PErsOnal Way
Herod the tetrarch is both perplexed and curious about Jesus. What triggered this was Herod’s hearing of various opinions and rumors from the grapevine concerning the person or identity of Jesus. He couldn’t believe the rumor saying that Jesus was John the Baptizer who has been raised from the dead — because Herod himself was the one who had John beheaded. And so the poor guy was asking, “Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
Was it a combination of a guilty conscience and an intrigued curiosity which was keeping Herod awake through sleepless nights? If only he just went beyond hearsay, if only he just pacified his conscience with an honest confession of his crime, if only once and for all he approached Jesus squarely and sincerely. With all his power, he could have just easily sent for Jesus and talked with him and clarified everything. But Jesus, on the other hand, would not have time for such insincere and wicked people.
What about us? Oh, surely Jesus would want to invite us into a relationship with Him. But can we, too, be like Herod at times, whereby our relationship with Jesus remains merely on the superficial level? Making matters worse for us is the reality of our sinfulness, which prevents us from coming to Jesus in a more intimate way.
A humble and sincere admission to God of our faults and failures in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all there is to it. If we do not avail of this sacrament of God’s mercy and forgiveness, we might just remain always perplexed about our spiritual life, never getting to know Jesus Christ in a more personal way. Or we will just remain merely “curious” to see Him.
We need not worry. It is not John the Baptizer who has been raised from the dead. Nor is it Elijah or one of the prophets of old who has appeared. It is Jesus Christ — and for all we know, it is He who is just there waiting for us, and is most eager to see us. Fr. Martin Macasaet
Reflection Question:
Have you really come to Jesus?
I have avoided really coming before You, Lord, so many times. Give me courage, Lord. Remind me of Your great mercy.
St. Finbar, bishop, pray for us.

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