READINGS for 2008-12-05

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! – Isaiah 29:17
When I was a child, it was much easier to dream. I imagined having my own company, with a posh office, driving a Mercedes and living in a penthouse.
But there came a time when I ceased to dream. I thought growing up required being “practical” and “realistic.” So I pursued other things and found myself not going anywhere at all.
But God had other plans. In my wandering, I met a man who centered his life on preaching and helping the poor. He talked about building dozens of houses for the poor and teaching practical wisdom to multitudes around the world. A bestselling author, he was able to make a difference in the lives of those even he had never met before. He once said that his gift was to lead people to dream.
Soon enough, I found myself dreaming again. This time, I imagined myself helping people discover their true purpose in life, enhance their skills and fulfill their dreams. I imagine going around the world, wherever God would lead me to, and helping make forests out of orchards (Isaiah 29:17).
And I believe that one day, all these will come true. After all, our God is a God of dreams. Red Cerrer
“Know your purpose. Develop your potentials. Serve others.” (John C. Maxwell)
Father, make me an instrument to fulfill Your dreams.


We all must develop a respect and thirst for the truth that is reflected in the words we speak, particularly when we are speaking about others. God knows the truth anyway, so why do we seek to hide things from Him? It is a hopeless exercise. Lies may serve to better our lives for a short period but such a foundation will eventually crumble and fall, and we will be in a far worse situation than the original one. Honesty is indeed the best policy.
Isaiah 29:17-24
17 Thus says the LORD GOD: But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! 18 On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; and out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. 19 The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; all who are alert to do evil will be cut off, 21 those whose mere word condemns a man, who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. 22 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham. Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. 23 When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, they shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. 24 Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
R: The Lord is my light and my salvation.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 4 One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek, to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. (R) 13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. (R)
Two blind men together seems to invite jokes about the blind leading the blind. However, this is not a laughing matter and becomes even less so when Jesus speaks words of healing to them. Double trouble has become double blessing in the presence of the Lord. Let us never despair of Jesus’ power and willingness to save us. Let us pray that we will never forget the lesson of today’s Gospel.
Matthew 9:27-31
27 As Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
my reflections
think: Let us never despair of Jesus’ power and willingness to save us.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


From small ads in newspapers to giant billboards, from flyers to TV spots – advertising is ‘in’. Advertising has become an art – or a distraction, depending on how you see it.
How different was Jesus. In today’s Gospel, we read about a spectacular miracle: two blind men receiving their eyesight. And what does Jesus tell them? “Take care that no one learns about this!” Jesus could have been the greatest advertiser. His miracles were more impressive than the most stunning giant billboard. “Tell everybody,” He could have told those He had healed. “Go around the whole land and tell everybody what I have done.” But no! The kingdom of God comes quietly to those who have faith in Christ and open their hearts to Him. More than proclaiming His miracles, He wanted His disciples to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom of God. More than advertising Himself, He wanted the Good News of God’s love and mercy to be known. And this “policy” began with His birth. He was born in the darkness of the night, in a dark cave, unknown to those who count in the world.
What have we made of Christmas! Nothing of the original mystery is left. The peaceful coming of the Savior has been drowned by the noise of advertising firms, loudspeakers, drunken revelers who sway home after their “Christmas parties.”
“Take care that no one learns about this!” The mystery of Christ’s birth and life can only be approached in reverent silence, in awe and adoration; it is advertised only in silence and understood by those who tune in to this silence. During this Advent, why not spend more time in a quiet Adoration Chapel than in a noisy mall? If you want to experience a blessed and grace- filled Christmas – take care that no one learns you spend much of your time in the silent presence of your Savior. Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
Why do I avoid silence? Am I afraid of silence and quiet? How can I make room in my daily schedule to spend more time in the obscurity of silent adoration?
Lord, I have allowed myself to be influenced by our noisy, hectic time. And so I have lost something essential: the awe before the mystery of Your Incarnation and presence. Remind me in these days again and again of this and draw me into the silence of Your presence where I can find peace, happiness and Your blessings.
St. Gerard, bishop of Braga, pray for us.

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