READINGS for 2008-12-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

FINALLY!
 
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay...” – 2 Peter 3:9
 
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always fantasized about my Prince Charming. He’s been personified by so many different men as I grew up — from Shaun Cassidy to Parker Stevenson, from my neighbor to my carpool mate, from my preacher friends to the not-so-committed attendees in the prayer meeting.
But after 36 years, none of them turned out to be The One. Nope, not even the guys who actually made it as my boyfriends. I reached a point when I told the Lord that I was finally ready to be single for life, despite the promises of marriage I had received from God.
It was shortly after that when I met Chris. He was so unlike my “dream guy” because ever since I began serving the Lord fulltime, I always thought I’d marry a preacher like myself. Chris isn’t a Charismatic and had never attended a prayer meeting before he met me.
But in him I saw another face of God. The face of patience. Of gentleness and kindness. Of caring and concern.
Last year, we tied the knot — a fulfillment of a promise God had given me long ago. It may have seemed like I waited forever but you know what? God fulfilled His Word in good time.Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
 
REFLECTION:
“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength...” (Isaiah 40:31)
 
Lord, grant us patience to wait on Your will in our lives.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
This text celebrating God’s desire to bring consolation to His people is the beginning of the second section of Isaiah. We shift a gear and the prophecies of a coming new and blessed age under the Messiah become stronger and more compelling. We are privileged to live in the time following the fulfillment of these prophecies and yet they remain a source of hope for us. Why? Simply because we have yet to realize the full potential of all the blessings God has given to us.
 
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
1 Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries out in the desert: Prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! 4 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. 5 Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 9 Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! 10 Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. 11 Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
R: (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
8 [9] I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD-for he proclaims peace to his people. 9 [10] Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. (R) 10 [11] Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. 11 [12] Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven.  (R) 12 [13] The LORD himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. 13 [14] Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps. (R)
 
2nd READING
 
To God time is meaningless as He transcends time; He is not limited as we are to a single spatio-temporal dimension. He can be and is present to all of time for all of eternity. This means that we have to learn to accept that God is not at all pressured by dates and deadlines. He knows what He will do in the future and it is as present to Him now as it will be tomorrow or was yesterday! Time does not have the same urgency with Him as it does with us!
 
2 Peter 3:8-14
8 Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out. 11 Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought [you] to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. 13 But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
 
G O S P E L
 
John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry. Likewise, we are called to do all we can to prepare the way for the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those whom we know. Let us be on the lookout for any opportunity we might be able to use to open people up to the possibilities of a life of faith. This is what it mean, at least in part, to be on mission in today’s world.
 
Mark 1:1-8
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 3 A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’ ” 4 John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 6 John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. 7 And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit.”
 
my reflections
think:Let us be on the lookout for any opportunity we might be able to use to open people up to the possibilities of a life of faith.
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Daniel 1-2
SABBATH PAUSE
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
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SPECIAL NEEDS
Things to ask God for in the coming week
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HIDDEN TREASURE
Most important word God told me this week
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SABBATH

 

WHO IS HE?
 
Who is He whose birthday we are preparing for? St. Mark gives us today a very clear answer: He is the Messiah and the Son of God. There is no sweet-baby sentimentality in Mark’s words. His statement about the identity of Jesus is rather shocking: the Messiah — the Anointed One, a word that was used for kings, priests and prophets. This infant we are waiting for is someone very special – something we often forget when we swoon over the cute baby Jesus. The Son of God! Another statement that not only shocks us but forces us down on our knees in awe.
I think it is quite helpful during this time to have a look on the two titles which Mark uses to introduce the protagonist of his book. Who is Jesus? What does it mean for us that Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One?
Through His suffering and death for us, He became the King of the universe. If Jesus is a King, I am His subject. I am supposed to be loyal to Him, to serve Him, to stand up for Him and to defend Him.
Jesus is a prophet. That means He tells the truth (He even IS the Truth). But the truth hurts. A prophet is not a nice person; a prophet challenges.
Jesus is a priest who offered Himself on the “altar” of the Cross for us and for our sins. He urges us to take up the cross and follow Him. That leads to the question: Are we ready to sacrifice ourselves for others? The Bible already makes us aware that as brothers and sisters of Christ, we are called to participate in the royal, the prophetic and priestly role of the Messiah. But what about the prophetic role? The Church—you and me—is supposed to be a prophetic Church, telling the truth to a world of lies and falsehood. In these days, we could exercise our prophetic role by pointing out the real meaning of Christmas, by preparing ourselves and by returning to what we are supposed to be: Christians, disciples of the Messiah, the king, priest and prophet. Fr. Rudy Horst
 
Reflection Question:
Read the reflection once more and answer the questions asked there.
 
Lord, Messiah and Son of God, make me a real disciple of Yours, a person who makes You visible in the world; a disciple who takes the royal, priestly and especially prophetic role seriously. Give me the necessary  courage, Lord.
 
St. Servus, martyr, pray for us.
 



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