READINGS for 2008-12-04
WhAt’s IN A NAmE?
Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. – Philippians 2:9
Thor. Mars. Poseidon. Mercury. These names remind us of thunder, war, the sea and a messenger whose feet had wings. Jordan. Jabbar. Lebron. Basketball and athleticism at its finest.
Angelina. Renee. Dayanara. Flawless beauty. Many names evoke certain images when we hear or say them. Above all these, the name of Jesus stands out. It means love, goodness, mercy and sacrifice, Messiah, God.
If you want you want to be identified with Jesus, make sure that when people say your name, it will evoke the same imagery. When they speak your name, people should think of generosity. It must bring up memories of compassion and honesty. When friends speak of prayer and God’s Word, it’s good that your name is on top of their list.
I’m sure you wouldn’t want the mere mention of your name to create tension and uneasy silence. Or be associated with gossip, slander or malicious rumors.
We live our faith and carry the name of Jesus. What we do should always be a reflection of His person. If we call ourselves Christians, we should always take care of Jesus’ name.Jun Asis
Are you living up to your name and identity as a Christian?
Dear Lord, help me turn my identity into Yours through the way I live. I ask this, my Jesus, through Your mighty Name. Amen.
As we celebrate the Advent Season, we are aware of the call to a deeper repentance and surrender to God. It is only in this way we will grow in steadfastness of mind and heart, and be able to reject the temptations of the enemy that constantly assault our lives. Discipline is a key to growth in the spiritual life. We should always seek to develop good, disciplined habits of prayer and reflection.
1 On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah: “A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. 2 Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. 3 A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you.” 4 Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. 5 He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; he tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. 6 It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.
P S A L M
Psalm 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a
R: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. (R) 19 Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This gate is the LORD’s; the just shall enter it. 21 I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. (R) 25 O LORD, grant salvation! O LORD, grant prosperity! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD; we bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. (R)
G O S P E L
Ultimately, it is the way we live our lives that will matter the most when standing before the Lord on Judgment Day. Saying the right thing is always easier than actually doing it. The true test of our holiness is not the number of prayers we pray but the relationships we have with the people us. Let us remember to treat all people with the love and respect that is their right.
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 24 “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
think:We should always seek to develop good, disciplined habits of prayer and reflection.
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 Ezekiel 37-40
“THE LORD IS AN EVERLASTING ROCK”
International terrorism, natural catastrophes, the threat of illness, of economic problems — all these and other realities can rob us of inner peace and the feeling of security. Some of us have been disappointed by people we trusted. Many of us are even disappointed by the Church. And so we ask: Where do we find strength and security in this uncertain world?
Isaiah gives us the answer to our question in today’s first reading: “The Lord is an everlasting Rock.” The Lord is the only foundation that gives us the security we long for. He is the only one who lasts forever and who never disappoints. He is the rock that strengthens our faith. Jesus elaborates on this image of the Rock when He speaks in today’s Gospel passage about the two builders. The man who builds his house on sand is the person who relies on passing things: money, fashion, people.
The message Jesus has for us is found in the man who builds his house on rock. And what is this rock? The teachings of Jesus — His word, His life, His example. But listening to the words of Jesus or reading it in the Bible is not enough — acting on His Word is equally important. As a spiritual writer put it: “An inspiration which is not converted into action is like a fetus which miscarries.”
There is another truth hidden in the words of Jesus. Faith does not protect us from trials. Each of the two houses is attacked by storms. To have one’s life built on the “everlasting Rock” is no insurance against difficulties. On the contrary, as a consequence of building one’s life solely on Christ, we often face more problems than anybody else, because we are always swimming against the current. Somewhere I once read, “Jesus came not to make life easy but to make men great.” Jesus gives us the assurance today that in the worst storms that may assail us, we will not be destroyed but remain safe. May this thought guide us safely through the hectic Christmas preparations. Fr. Rudy Horst
Why do I often feel insecure? Do I act out what I read in the Bible? What can I do this Christmas season to act on Jesus’ words?
Lord, I thank You for Your honest words. How often am I tempted to think I please You by just reading the Bible and finding security in pious emotions. Your word today makes me aware that, especially in this Advent season, You want me to act on Your word and reach out in love to less fortunate brethren.
St. Ada, abbess and dedicated virgin, pray for us.
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