READINGS for 2009-01-24

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



…they said, “He is out of his mind.” – Mark 3:21
Saint Francis De Sales belonged to a wealthy family. He completed a doctorate in Law to follow his parents’ wishes. Then a “voice” told him to “leave all and follow Me.” He felt he had a call to priesthood and he abandoned his plans to seek a position as senate advocate.
You can imagine what his parents and relatives thought of him! Yet, although at strong odds with his parents, he went on to live a prayerful life and, with the help of the bishop of Geneva, his family conceded. So he pursued priesthood and brought many to the Catholic Church with his preaching, writings, efforts to defend the Catholic faith
from Protestants and many other works, especially when he eventually became the bishop of Geneva.
St. Francis’ struggle to follow the Lord was not exclusive. Many saints weathered the same fate. Our Gospel tells us that Jesus Himself was called a “madman.” What would happen if Jesus succumbed to others’ views? Or if St. Francis listened to his parents to save their public image?Cristy Galang
Do I really want to follow Jesus? To be a saint? To help build the church? Am I ready and willing?
Lord, I know that surrendering to Your perfect will is what is best for me. Please give me the courage to follow You at any cost. Amen.


It is the blood of Christ that finally washes away our sins. The Jews offered the blood of animals and birds to purify themselves — we offer the blood of Christ for our purification. This is one of the meanings of the Eucharist. We offer the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father for the remission of our sins. Because it is the blood of the Son of God, we know that it is an efficacious offering, that is, it works and does not have to be repeated. We always offer the same sacrifice Jesus offered on Calvary — we do not kill Jesus again and again!
Hebrews 9:2-3. 11-14
2 A tabernacle was constructed, the outer one, in which were the lamp-stand, the table, and the bread of offering; this is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies. 11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, 12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who  through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
Psalm 47:2-3. 6-7. 8-9
r: God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
1 [2] All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, 2 [3] for the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth. (R) 5 [6] God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. 6 [7] Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise. (R) 7 [8] For the king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise. 8 [9] God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne. (R)
Today’s Gospel is very short but no less instructive than others. Jesus obviously caused quite a stir among the people with His ministry to the point that some people were claiming that He was mentally disturbed. Perhaps this was an argument used in His defense. If so, it indicates the significance of the impact His ministry had on the lives of those who encountered Him. I wonder what significance our lives have on those who encounter us?
Mark 3:20-21
20 Jesus came home. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. 21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
my reflections
think: I wonder what significance our lives have on those who encounter us?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


“karma” iS un-chriSTian!
“Karma.” This is an expression that many of our people use to explain their motivation to do good and to be good to others. Unknown to many, the concept of “Karma” is un- Christian (that is, not Gospel-based), and un-Filipino. The culture and the philosophy behind “Karma” is Hindu and Buddhist. Deeply considered, what “Karma” espouses is a teaching of “conditioned goodness.” That is, I do the good things I do with a somewhat selfish personal motive — that others may return the goodness, or that life may reward my goodness even more. Jesus in His Gospel, on the other hand, stresses doing good even if others do not. In fact, Jesus gave His life for us while we were yet sinners. Jesus went about doing good even to the soldiers who came to arrest Him. He restored the severed ear of one of them. Emphatically, Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount: “… For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? … And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?” (cf. Matthew 5:46-48).
Healthy living, I believe, is more than “Karma” living. Our numerous human experiences tell us that although we are helpful, many more will be those who will criticize and malign us. Some will malign us because we help persons whom they may perceive as undeserving. Others will criticize us because our goodness challenges their own brand of goodness. Healthy living then is a readiness to face life for what it really is — that life is a harvest of ungratefulness. To this, we always add the Christian prescription of forgiveness and letting go. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
Reflection Question:
Beginning today, resolve to delete “Karma” from your usual way of explaining your goodness. A prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty. Take all my will, my mind, my memory. All things I hold and all I own are thine. Thine was the gift to thee I all resign. Do Thou direct, govern all  and sway. Do what Thou wilt command and I obey. Only Thy grace, Thy love on me bestow. This makes me rich, all else will I forego.”
Lord Jesus, make my heart pure so that I will do good deeds without expecting any reward or goodness from others.
St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor, pray for us.

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