READINGS for 2008-10-31
LOst AND FOuND
And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more… to discern what is of value… – Philippians 1:9-10
It was two weeks before Christmas and I went to my salon for a manicure and pedicure. Because my nails were wet, one of the staff offered to carry my things. We made our way to my parked vehicle where she carefully placed my belongings and helped me in. At home that night, I needed my wallet. I got my bag only to find out that it was gone.
To make the long story short, I lost a considerable amount of money, valuable pictures, important IDs, credit and bank cards, and lots of sleep that night. The next morning I called the salon. The owner was in anguish and very much ashamed. She wanted to file a case against her employee so that an investigation would ensue. “Think about it, and let me know, OK?” she asked me.
My husband and I weighed the possibilities. We figured that to file a case against this suspected thief would mean she’d lose her job days before Christmas. She may or may not have taken the bag. My wallet may not have gotten lost in her possession. Who was I to be sure?
I called back the salon owner. “Let’s not file the case,” I decided. Praise God, we knew what was truly of value.Lallaine Gogna
Has there been a time when you placed more value on things rather than people?
God of Love, let love increase in my life.
Paul evidently loves the Philippian community greatly. If I were to hazard a guess, I might even say that it is his favorite. He mentions an important principle here that we must take to heart, namely, that God will see to completion the work He has begun in our hearts. This should be a source of great hope and consolation for us as we struggle to overcome sin. If we persevere in our struggle, we can be sure that God will help us be victorious in the end. Admittedly, there are no timeframes given here, but does that really matter? Surely the promise of victory is enough to keep us fighting?
Philippians 1: 1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the holy ones in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and ministers: 2 grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, 4 praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, 5 because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, 10 to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory
and praise of God.
P S A L M
Psalm 111: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R: How great are the works of the Lord!
1 I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. 2 Great are the works of the LORD, exquisite in all their delights. (R) 3 Majesty and glory are his work, and his justice endures forever. 4 He has won renown for his wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the LORD. (R) 5 He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant. 6 He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus teaches this lesson about the Sabbath many times in His ministry, healing people regardless of the fact that this is a work theoretically forbidden on the Sabbath. Is Jesus just a recalcitrant rebel or is it the authorities of His day who are unteachable? It is the latter that is the case. Jesus knows why the Sabbath law was implemented, and He knows as surely that healing the sick is not in contravention of this law, despite what anyone else might say!
Luke 14: 1-6
1 On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. 2 In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. 3 Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” 4 But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. 5 Then he said to them, “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would you not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” 6 But they were unable to answer his question.
think: If we persevere in our struggle, we can be sure that God will help us be victorious in the end.
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 Isaiah 37-40
DOES GOD HAVE FAVORITES?
Does God have favorites? Do some people seem to have much easier lives than others? This seems to be true. However, I wonder if it is actually true. If there is one thing sure in this discussion, it is that each of us has to live our own lives and no matter how much we may wish to, we cannot swap what we have for another person’s life. It is also impossible for me to know what it means to live somebody else’s life. If I am poor and I look at a rich person and think they have got it easy, how do I know this is true? They may have it easy in terms of their response to the needs and requirements of this mortal life but that is not the whole situation. The real question pertains to whether or not they are making the right decisions in the questions that pertain to eternal life, not the life of this world.
Let me explain. Nobody lives their life in a moral vacuum. We are morally obliged to care for the brothers and sisters around us. The rich person obviously has a far greater responsibility in this regard than the poor person. This does not absolve the poor person of any responsibility to care for his or her neighbor. The rich person will be wise to realize that they have a moral responsibility to use their wealth to help the poor. This is not an easy thing for them to do as it means letting go of wealth they could use to increase their own pleasure. However, if the rich person chooses to live only for his or her self, come the Day of Judgment, they may be left to fend for themselves as well. I certainly would not want that to happen to me.
In some ways, the poor person has an easier life with fewer responsibilities than the rich person. To say that God favors the rich may not be a correct assessment of the situation at all. Read the Scriptures and you will find many general condemnations and challenges given to the rich. There are very few that are specific to the poor. Fr. Steve Tynan
Do I tend to believe that I have been given a difficult lot in life, that God has favored others over me? If so, is this a true reflection of the facts?
Holy Spirit, teach me to be grateful for what I have and to use it well so that on the Day of Judgment, I will be secure in the knowledge of having been faithful to God’s will.
St. Quentin, missionary, pray for us.
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