READINGS for 2008-09-27
A JOYFUL GOD
Rejoice, O young man, while you are young…. Ward off grief from your heart. – Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
I was a playful kid. Well, I still am. As a child, the Salesians of Don Bosco reared me. These clerics were different. Yes, they taught us serious subjects like Religion and Morality. However, their influence upon me was greatest outside the classroom. They would play football and basketball with us after school, share jokes and play tricks on us during recess and tried to be “one of the guys” during our free times. Maybe that was one of the reasons why I tried entering the congregation’s Juniorate. I saw from them that it was fun to serve the Lord!
I almost always got 95 or higher in Religion. The reason? I had a blast studying it. Our teacher would draw cartoons on the blackboard to stress a point and made it fun to learn!
Today’s reading reminds us to lighten up, have fun and enjoy our youth. God is a joyful God! Things seem to work out better when we enjoy what we do. Efficiency and creativity do set in because we relax and have a clear mind. The Lord wants us to be happy and we can depend on Him to “ward off our grief.” Ariel Driz
Are you having fun following God?
Lord Jesus, I rejoice in Your love. Grant me the grace to have fun following Your ways.Amen.
Our youth is a time to enjoy and offer to the Lord for Him to use as He pleases. Yes, we should follow the desires of our hearts as long as they are part of God’s plan for our lives. This is not an exhortation to do what we please, when we please, however we please. The latter is a licentious life that will lead to judgment and condemnation. The former is a life of service that will lead to judgment and salvation.
9 Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes; Yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment. 10 Ward off grief from your heart and put away trouble from your presence, though the dawn of youth is fleeting. 12: 1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come. And the years approach of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 Before the sun is darkened and the light, and the moon, and the stars, while the clouds return after the rain; 3 When the guardians of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, And the grinders are idle because they are few, and they who look through the windows grow blind; 4 When the doors to the street are shut, and the sound of the mill is low; When one waits for the chirp of a bird, but all the daughters of song are suppressed; 5 And one fears heights, and perils in the street; When the almond tree blooms, and the locust grows sluggish and the caper berry is without effect, Because man goes to his lasting home, and mourners go about the streets; 6 Before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl is broken, And the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the broken pulley falls into the well, 7 And the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it.8 Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all things are vanity!
P S A L M
Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17
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 And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus makes it very clear to His disciples that all is not well in the minds and hearts of the people of Israel. A time will come when He will suffer and ultimately be put to death. The disciples had better prepare their hearts for this eventuality so that when it comes, they will not be led into despair but will be able to persevere unto the resurrection and new life.
43 While they were all amazed at his every deed, he said to his disciples, 44 “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
think:We should follow the desires of our hearts as long as they are part of God’s plan for our lives.
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 28-31
JUst in CasE WE havE QUEstiOns . . .
The Gospel today seems like a sequel to that of yesterday. Or perhaps it is like an immediate “follow-up,” in the sense that Jesus’ newfound identity as Messiah has got a necessary implication: that “the Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But probably, just like the disciples we too are amazed and we fail to understand the whole thing. Making matters worse is that we are afraid to ask Jesus about the matter. Could it be that there is something blocking us from drawing near to the Lord? Or that some kind of fear grips and paralyzes us in our relationship with Him?
If in all honesty, it seems that the meaning of it all is so concealed that we do not comprehend it, let us humbly ask the Lord to enlighten us. Nothing is impossible if we put our trust in Him. Far from some sort of a board examination or a dissertation defense, God’s ways are not at all nerve-wracking and complex. He is plain and simple, clear and straightforward enough in His teachings and sayings, and it is in serenity and prayer that we truly encounter Him. More often than not, perhaps it is we who complicate things, and we end up prisoners of our own fears and anxieties.
The First Reading today from Ecclesiastes advises us, “Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes. Yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment.” We need not worry, for it is not a right-minus-wrong, no-copying exam of sorts. But just in case we don’t understand something and if we have questions, let us not hesitate to ask Jesus. Fr. Martin Macasaet
Is something blocking you from drawing near to the Lord?
Help me to see the things that block my drawing nearer to You.
St. Vincent de Paul, priest, pray for us.
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