READINGS for 2008-10-08
bEYOND PRIsON WALLs
For His merciful kindness is great towards us. And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. – Psalm 117: 2
There have been many stories about convicts who lived a life of debauchery and sin outside the prison walls, but after sometime of being behind bars and serving their sentence, they slowly notice God’s presence, embrace His teachings and live a new life — whether inside the prison walls, or outside.
Many transformations have occurred while being with the lowest of the pit, mixing with the scums of the earths. It seems that the environment they have been transported in gives them a better view of God and His magnificence.
Butch Belgica, Eddie Mesa, Vincent Crisologo — these are men who defied reason, were wild and wanton, who were incarcerated for their misdeeds. But when they were released, they began to preach about God and His goodness.
There are others who are still there, languishing, serving for life, but, now mouthing a different language, spreading and sharing God’s love to anyone who would listen. The walls and bars were not a hindrance to their mission, as they praised God for His mercy and kindness. Chelle Crisanto
Never under- estimate the mercy of God.
Lord, thank You for Your mercy that endures forever!
What Paul did in the 14 years Paul mentions here are difficult to account for. It seems quite clear that there was a break between the time of his conversion and his ministry as we read from his letters and the Acts of the Apostles. What did he do? I do not know. Perhaps it was a time of formation, study, and reflection. All we know is that when he arrived on the scene, everyone knew he was back.
Galatians 1: 1-2, 7-14
1 Brothers and sisters: After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 I went up in accord with a revelation, and I presented to them the gospel that I preach to the Gentiles — but privately to those of repute — so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter to the circumcised, 8 for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised worked also in me for the Gentiles, 9 and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Kephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, we were to be mindful of the poor, which is the very thing I was eager to do. 11 And when Kephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong. 12 For, until some people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcised. 13 And the rest of the Jews [also] acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Kephas in front of all, “If you, though a Jew, are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
P S A L M
Psalm 117: 1bc, 2
R: Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! (R) 2 For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever. (R)
G O S P E L
Prayer is an essential part of any disciple’s life. Without prayer, we are fodder to the lies of the enemy. Why? Prayer is our daily link with Jesus. Prayer is the lifeblood in our spiritual veins. Prayer is the way we are led in the paths of truth and righteousness. Prayer is the way we receive the love that makes us holy. And I could keep on going here for the next few pages!
Luke 11: 1-4
1 Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread 4 and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
think: Prayer is the lifeblood in our spiritual veins.
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 Sirach 1-4
NO ONE IS ABOVE CORRECTION
Paul tells us of a time when he felt it was necessary to challenge Peter on his preference to eat only with the Jewish converts to Christianity, and neglect to fellowship with Gentile converts. There were certain pressures placed upon Peter to do this, but this does not justify his actions. Paul was right to correct the leader of the Christian Church. In the 2000 year history of the Church, there have been both men and women who have rightly challenged the actions of one particular Pope. Are you surprised at this? Maybe you think a Pope is beyond being challenged in such a manner? Well, if the Pope was a truly holy man, then I bet he welcomed the challenge and was grateful for it.
The same ought to be true for all of us. If we are challenged about a particular practice in our lives, particularly if it is sinful or bordering on sin, we ought to be grateful to the person who challenges us as they may be instrumental in saving us from serious consequences. None of us is beyond challenging or falling into serious sin. It is part of our love towards each other to challenge a brother or sister in danger of sin and in turn receive such a challenge with gratitude when it comes to us personally.
The Holy Spirit will be the main avenue of challenge for us, but God sometimes uses other people, particularly those who are close to us. The stronger our relationship with a person, the more likely we are to be an instrument of challenge for them as we have established a relationship upon which a challenge can be made without destroying the relationship. It is not easy to confront a friend about a fault in his life, but true love will embrace such difficult situations with steadfastness knowing that it is truly a demand of love upon us. Jesus never lost an opportunity to proclaim the truth to an individual in error. Let us pray that we will have the grace to do so when called upon by the Holy Spirit and the demands of love to do so.Fr. Steve Tynan
Am I reluctant to challenge a friend who has fallen into sin? Why is this the case?
Holy Spirit, help me to embrace every aspect of the demands of love in my relationships with others. Help me to see that true love embraces fully even those things that are difficult.
St. Pelagia, virgin and martyr, pray for us.
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