READINGS for 2009-02-01
yOUR OWN PROPHET
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words in his mouth; he shall tell them all I command him.” – Deuteronomy 18:18
“You shall preach next Friday, Bo.” More than any other, these “sacred” words from Aida changed the direction of my life. “OK,” I said meekly. That was all a 13-year-old boy could say to a wise and mature woman like her. But at the back of my mind, I wondered, “Why me?” I was the youngest in our prayer group.
So the next week, I preached my first talk. It was a disaster. But Aida’s belief in me was unflinching. Right after the “disaster,” she told me to give another “disaster” the next Friday.
That was almost 30 years ago. Today, I’m a preacher. And I love my job. I’ve reached millions all over the world with God’s Word. Why? Because of one woman who believed in me. As I say this, I already imagine Aida shaking her head. She will tell me with a smile, “Well, how could I not believe in you? God believed in you, Bo.” I sometimes get teary-eyed when I look back, wondering what I would be now without an Aida in my life.
May you find one in your journey — someone who believes in you so much that he or she would be willing to accept the early disasters that will flow out of your budding greatness. Bo Sanchez
Have you met your prophet? Have you been someone’s prophet?
Lord, may I recognize Your voice when You speak to me through someone else. May You use me to speak to someone.
God chooses to speak to the Church through individuals. At times, throughout history, it has been the obedience of an individual to God’s Word that has left a lasting effect on the world. I am thinking of people such as Sts. Benedict, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, Mary and many others. God used them in a special way simply because they made themselves available to Him. The same can be true for us if we are willing to surrender ALL to Jesus.
15 Moses spoke to all the people saying: “A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen. 16 This is exactly what you requested of the LORD, your God, at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let us not again hear the voice of the LORD, our God, nor see this great fire any more, lest we die.’ 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘This was well said. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him. 19 If any man will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it. 20 But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name
of other gods, he shall die.’”
P S A L M
Psalm 95:1-2. 6-7. 7-9 (8)
R: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
1 Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalm to him. (R) 6 Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. 7 For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. (R) Oh, that today you would hear his voice: 8 “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, 9 where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works.” (R)
Paul is not saying anything negative against marriage. His primary concern expressed here is that people make themselves available for the work of preaching the Gospel. He is right when he says that those who marry have other concerns to attend to. But these are good things too, as building a family is in its own way building up the people of God, provided the parents take seriously their responsibility to form their children in the teachings of the Church.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
32 Brothers and sisters: I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. 33 But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.
G O S P E L
Jesus has been given full authority to speak with the voice and mind of God during His ministry on earth. It is important for us to both realize and believe that we, too, have been given much of that authority through baptism. We are no longer powerless in the face of sin. Jesus has given us victory over sin and the devil. We are no longer easy prey for temptation. Through the grace of God, we have victory in all our battles — if we really want it.
21 Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. 23 In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; 24 he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!” 25 Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26 The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. 27 All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” 28 His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
think:Through the grace of God, we have victory in all our battles if we really want it.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Acts 1-4
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
At various times in the Gospels, we hear of Jesus entering into a synagogue and preaching. It was customary for the Jewish Rabbi to comment on the Scriptures, exhorting the people in the ways of God. Jesus, as it were, was the guest preacher who would often speak in the synagogue. The Rabbi would quote from that source or another, and bring out the treasures, both new and old, by expounding on a given topic.
Mark tells us that as Jesus taught, people were astonished. He didn’t quote from this one or another but spoke as “one having authority.” People were amazed at this grace in which He spoke. Of course we know, not like the people of old, that Jesus is the Son of God and He spoke the mind and will of God in all His preaching and teaching. To have the mind and heart of God is what we should always pray for. There will be times when we, too, will be asked to give advice or counsel to someone. Without the help and guidance of the Spirit we will be merely noises and sounds, making no influence on those who listen to us. Isn’t it strange that while some misunderstood the ways of Jesus and could not comprehend His teaching, let alone accept it, the demons shout at the top of their voice, “I know who you are!”?
We are told that His fame spread far and wide because of the way He taught — with authority. We have been given authority to live out our Christian life in faith and love. Through the grace of our baptism we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit and are able to speak and live in the authority of Jesus Himself. This is never something to boast about. This authority is a service to the people whom we associate with, an authority that is gentle and lowly, yet powerful because it comes from God. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
In my life, where do I hold position/s of authority and responsibility? Do I pray to the Lord to help me and guide me in using this authority given to me? Do I abuse the authority given to me as a Christian?
Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace. Help me to speak Your word, to counsel those in need, to offer advice when asked of me in the power and authority of Your Spirit which is love. Amen.
St. Brigid of Kildare, Virgin, pray for us.
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