READINGS for 2008-11-03
ACts OF KINDNEss
Do not seek your own interest, but rather that of others. – Philippians 2:4
“To live so that others can breathe easier because I have lived.” This is my mission statement. It was in 2004 when I adapted this line from a forwarded inspirational e-mail that eventually redefined the course of my life.
In living this out, I have strived to become more generous — conscious to cheerfully extend myself in service to others.
I’m not talking of anything fancy or earthshaking here. Just random acts of kindness. I could be the ever-ready messenger, cook, driver, “alalay,” fundraiser, solid shoulder or the listening heart for sob stories to family, friends and colleagues. It could mean giving a smile or a warm greeting to strangers I encounter. Volunteerism has even taken a new dimension. From simply forking out some extra change, I’ve learned to actually give my time, talent and treasure regardless of inconvenience or sacrifice. The sight of a face that brightened up with a big smile or glowing eyes is a reward in itself! (Okay, I love the occasional bear hug too!)
When we look beyond ourselves, our little gestures could actually touch hearts. As we make people “breathe easier,” that’s enough for them to see God work out His little miracles.Marie Franco
Am I a WIIFM asking “what’s in it for me”?
Father God, I am more than adequately blessed. Give me the clean heart to pay it forward.
The call to live in unity with one another is important for any Christian. Unless Christians can learn to work together for the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, there will always be a very public and prominent counter-example to the Gospel in the multitude of denominations that have been spawned since the Reformation. There is no other way to view this than as a scandal that we all have a responsibility to try to reconcile.
1 Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. 3 Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, 4 each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.
P S A L M
Psalm 131:1bcde, 2, 3
R: In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me. (R) 2 Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me. (R) 3 O Israel, hope in the LORD, both now and forever. (R)
G O S P E L
In all that we do and say in this life, the ultimate reward we should have at the foremost of our mind is not here on earth but in heaven. It is only our heavenly rewards that are going to endure beyond the passing pleasures of this moment. The sooner we realize this truth, the freer we will become in giving our time and energy to the service of the Kingdom of God. We will be less and less concerned with what others think about what we are doing and more focused upon God’s will.
12 On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. 13 Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; 14 blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection
of the righteous.”
think: It is only our heavenly rewards that are going to endure beyond the passing pleasures of this moment.
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 49-52
CHRISTIANS OR BUSINESSMEN?
Filipinos are very good in returning favors. We call it “utang-na-loob.” Perhaps, we are the best in practicing this among all races. No other culture has a name for it and “utang-naloob” cannot be perfectly translated into any language at all.
But Jesus tells us today that we should grant favors more to those who are not good at all in returning them. Invite to dinner those who cannot invite us back. Do good to those who cannot repay us.
Those who are not good in returning favors given them are not necessarily ill-mannered. Jesus makes us aware that there are those who cannot pay us back simply because they do not have the means, not necessarily because they do not have the desire to do so. If this is the case, God will be the One to reward us. That certainly is better, for God cannot be outdone in returning favors. Moreover, if we, with all our weaknesses, know the value of acknowledging favors shown us, how much more God, who knows the perfect ways in repaying a good deed done.
But should we even expect to be repaid for any good we do? If we do, then we are not necessarily Christians but businessmen. Fr. Bobby Titco
God cannot be outdone in returning favors.
You are generous to us, O God. You let the sun shine and the rain pour upon the good and the bad, the grateful and the ungrateful, the saint and the sinner. Teach and help us imitate your impartial generosity without counting the cost, without any repayment in mind. You, O God, are our just reward. Amen.
St. Martin de Porres, religious, pray for us.
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