READINGS for 2008-12-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. – 1 John 2:17
As a banker he was unequalled. He was the highest-ranking Filipino in Citibank worldwide. When he took over as president of PCIBank, its growth was phenomenal and Euro Money awarded it as the Best ManagedBank in Asia.
It came as no surprise when he was appointed Central Bank governor and he received recognition as the Best Central Bank Governor in the whole world. But his string of achievements suddenly came to an end in December 2006 when Rafael B. Buenaventura died of cancer at the age of 67. Most of what he accomplished as a brilliant and star-studded banker will soon be forgotten. But he will certainly be remembered by those who knew the person that he was. I am one of them.
I was fresh from Citibank U.S. when RBB hired me at PCIBank where I worked with him for 10 years. Through it all, he was an officer and a gentleman, always mild-mannered and an approachable CEO. His mother once told me that Paeng will not turn away anyone who asked for his help.
Just like everything in this world, his achievements will pass away. But his kindheartedness and love for others will linger on for many years to come.Mari Garcia
How do you want to be remembered after you are long gone from this earth?
Lord, please give me the wisdom to focus on what will last forever.


Life in the world is always going to be challenging due to the temptations of sin that are present everyday of our lives. John’s description of sin in terms of lust of the eyes, flesh and the pride of life, is worth meditating upon as it is full of insight and challenge. John captures something of the truth in the way the devil seeks to deflect us from the truths of God through lust and pride. If we can overcome these, we will be well on the way to a life of holiness.
1 John 2:12-17
12 I am writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have conquered the evil one. 14 I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one. 15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.
Psalm 96:7-8a, 8b-9. 10
R: Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
7 Give to the LORD, you families of nations, give to the LORD glory and praise; 8 give to the LORD the glory due his name! (R) Bring gifts, and enter his courts; 9 worship the LORD in holy attire. Tremble before him, all the earth. (R) 10 Say among the nations the LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. (R)
The Church needs more people like Anna – willing to give their lives in the unseen service of prayer and intercession. Yes, there are many convents and monasteries of contemplatives doing this right now, and I thank them and God for their commitment and service. However, the more people we have praying and interceding, the better it will be for the Church and the worse it will be for the devil. I am sure we all want to see the Gospel prevail over the works of darkness, so let us get down on our knees in regular intercession for the mission of the Church!
Luke 2:36-40
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the ribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. 38 And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
my reflections
think: The more people we have praying and interceding, the better it will be for the Church and the worse it will be for the devil.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


Contrary to what a work- and profit-oriented society may think, senior citizens (elderly people) are a blessing (not because I am also one of them). They bring the traditions of the past into the future. They are a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow. Often, they suffer because some of them cannot understand “the youth of today.” Let us admit that it is not always easy to leave behind what was dear to us in the past and move into an often totally different future. I sometimes become a bit sentimental when I think of my childhood and youth (even though we went through a difficult time after WWII), but I try to see myself in younger people who suggest and implement all kinds of changes. They just do what I did many, many years ago. I am excited about the future. What wonders will the next years bring?
Why do I suggest today reflecting on senior citizens? Because we meet in the gospel reading one great example: the 84-yearold Anna, daughter of Phanuel. No word from this old lady is recorded. But Luke tells us that she praised God when she saw the baby Jesus, and he adds that she spoke of the child to all she met. Anna didn’t spend the next days with useless tsismis but she did what every disciple of Christ is called to do: speak about Christ and share Him with others. Anna was a widow. She had known sorrow and the hard life of widows but she did not become bitter but better. She was a sweet lola whose faith deepened over the hard years of widowhood. Her openness and hope led her to the brief encounter with the Messiah. She met Jesus only for a few moments. But her years of prayer and fasting, her years of staying in the House of God prepared her to see beyond appearances. She recognized in this baby the One the nation was waiting for – the Messiah. Anna gives us an example (not only to senior citizens) how we can prepare ourselves to be close to God and discover the Lord’s presence behind insignificant appearances. Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
Do I spend enough time in the presence of God to recognize Him in daily life?
Lord, I admire old Anna. Thank You for making her recognize You in the little baby. She was well prepared. I am not. Lord, as we begin a new year the day after tomorrow, grant me the grace to spend more time “in Your house” so that I may be able to discover You in the little people I meet every day.
St. Anysius, bishop of Thessalonica, pray for us.

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