READINGS for 2009-01-10

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14
I know a man who used to get in trouble with his wife because she claims he never listens to her. Every time she would call him, he wouldn’t respond. “Why don’t you answer me?” she’d demand. His reply would be, “But I didn’t hear you.” The wife interpreted this as her husband’s way of ignoring her. She accused him of selective hearing — subconsciously not listening to her whenever she spoke. Of course, the man vehemently denied this. And the conflict only deepened.
Until the man had a hearing test. That’s when they discovered that he was partially deaf to a certain frequency of sounds, including — you guessed it — his wife’s voice.
The Lord has selective hearing, too. He doesn’t hear our prayers that will not benefit us or, at worse, harm us. Like those times we asked Him to make us sick just so we could avoid an undesirable situation. Or the times we prayed for death because we were depressed or heartbroken. Or the times we asked Him to bless us with something less than what He actually wanted to give us. But when we do ask for something according to His will, be sure that He has perfect hearing. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
When did you ask the Lord for something that wasn’t good for you?
Lord, thank You for wanting the best for me. Amen.


As I read newspapers or articles in magazines or books, I sometimes wonder about the lies that are propagated in the name of truth. God is the only person who has been faithful to all His promises throughout history. Yet so often we place our trust in the promises of human beings who often fail to deliver on them. And then, the more perverse reality is that we are willing to trust them again even after they have proven to be unreliable. Yes, we will always have to place a degree of trust in other people, but why are we so unwilling to place our trust in God? Why do so many popular writers dismiss faith in God as nonsense? I do not know the answer to this question other than to say that is their choice.
1 John 5:5-13
5 Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. 7 So there are three that testify, 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord. 9 If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
Psalm 147:12-13. 14-15. 19-20
R: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. (R) 14 He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. 15 He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word! (R) 19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. (R)
Miracles and physical healings are merely by-products of Jesus’ ministry. His focus is to proclaim the Good News of our salvation through faith in what He will do on the cross. This is why we must be careful not to preach a ‘sugar-coated’ Gospel that fails to focus upon the call to take up our own crosses and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. It is not easy to be a disciple of Jesus, so any preacher who says otherwise is either a liar or does not know what he is talking about. Look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the many thousands who have been martyred for their faith in Christ and the lives of asceticism lived by millions more!
Luke 5:12-16
12 It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. 14 Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” 15 The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, 16 but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
my reflections
think: Why are we so unwilling to place our trust in God?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


JeSuS wanTS uS To Be hiS BeST man
My youngest sister decided to marry her workmate, an Indian Malaysian whom she met in the course of her work as a trainer in a cruise ship company. They decided to have rites for mixed marriage because they thought that it would be best for both families. My sister comes from a devout Catholic family and I, her brother, happens to be a religious priest. Her man’s family, on the other hand, belongs to a family of Brahmins. Her man’s grandfather,  in fact, was a Hindu priest. For the peace of all, we had a Catholic rite celebrated at the Ermita Church, with me as presider and solemnizer. After a couple of weeks, our family went to Malaysia to witness the Hindu wedding.
My brother - in-law, a silent and ever-smiling fellow, decided that I be his “best man” in the Hindu rite. While the ceremony was going on, I realized that in the eastern wedding rite, the best man practically carried out all the significant acts, such as putting on the rings on the toes of my brother-in-law, and preparing the flower petals, coconut milk and water near the dais where the wedding was to take place. I guided my brother-in-law to his place at the dais. I sat by his side while the Hindu priest chanted the preliminary rituals. When all was set, after about half an hour, my sister in her beautiful bridal dress came in. Then I stood by the side of the couple throughout the rites and later, led them to the shrine for offerings.
My role in the Hindu wedding makes me now appreciate what John the Baptist says in the Gospel: that he is the best man of Jesus and that he had now to decrease while Christ increases. As best man, his job was to prepare the bride and the bridegroom for the wedding, and to ensure that the wedding proceeds well.
As Christians, we all are best men for Jesus the bride. We have to do our share so that His union with the Church, and with humanity becomes more and more a reality. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
Reflection Question:
Are you doing your share so that others may come to know the beauty of a relationship with Jesus? Who are the persons whom you have helped introduce and be “married to” Jesus?
Make this your prayer-word today: “Jesus, may You increase while I decrease.”
St. William of York, Bishop, pray for us.

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