READINGS for 2009-02-05
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick, no food, no sack, no money in their belts. – Mark 6:8
When taking a trip abroad, the first advice to follow is to travel light. But my wife and I never learn. Almost always we’d have clothes and things we were not able to use during the trip. We’d end up with excess baggage that we’d have to pay dearly for.
There’s a story about a rabbi who was visited by a friend who was surprised to find the scholar’s home with just a table, a bed, a kitchen and his books. When asked about his spartan home, the rabbi explained, “In this life, I am just passing through.”
It’s been said that life is a journey; but it must be emphasized that it should be a spiritual one. So weigh your spiritual baggage. If it does not help you spiritually, dump it. Things like bad habits, vices, unforgiveness and all kinds of sins should have no space in your baggage.
Our final destination is heaven. Bring only what is spiritually necessary. Otherwise, we pay for it. Rolly España
What do you carry in life? Spiritual treasures or worldly trash?
Lord, simplify my life that I may prioritize only the things that will bring me and others closer to heaven.
Awe is an interesting experience to have. I remember the first time I was truly in awe of a teacher and I remember being willing to sit on the floor in his classes (there were not enough chairs) and thinking nothing of it. The focus was to be able to hear what this priest had to say about living a moral life. It did not matter how uncomfortable I was — what mattered was that I gained the opportunity to learn from someone who obviously lived and breathed all that he taught!
Hebrews 12:18-19. 21-24
18 Brothers and sisters: You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm 19 and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. 21 Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” 22 No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, 23 and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, 24 and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
P S A L M
Psalm 48:2-3ab. 3cd-4. 9. 10-11
R: O God, we ponder your mercy within you temple.
1  Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised in the city of our God. His holy mountain, 2  fairest of heights, is the joy of all the earth. (R) Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,” is the city of the great King. 3  God is with her castles; renowned is he as a stronghold. (R) 8  As we had heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; God makes it firm forever. (R) 9  O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple. 10  As your name, O God, so also your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Of justice your right hand is full. (R)
G O S P E L
The disciples are sent out in pairs as this will provide them with greater protection and support when trouble arises. It is important that we all realize that we are not called to be lone disciples of Jesus. We are called to live in the community of the Church, in whatever form is available to us and suits us best, as it is as the Body of Christ that we have all the gifts of the Spirit available to us. In pairs, the disciples can encourage and help one another should it be necessary. Let us always seek to work as a team in the work of the Church.
7 Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick — no food, no sack, no money in their belts. 9 They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. 11 Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” 12 So they went off and preached repentance. 13 They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
think: We are not called to be lone disciples of Jesus. We are called to live in the community of the Church.
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 17-20
SenT By JeSuS
It was a common scene in Israel to see a band of people following one master. The rabbis would gather their disciples to learn the ways of God. The political groups were vibrant with people wanting to serve the common cause. Religion, too, had set up their groups of people seeking to witness to the better life. Jesus was one of many who gathered a group of disciples to Himself. He would teach and send them out to continue the work to be accomplished — that of establishing the Reign of God.
The disciples moved from place to place, preaching, teaching and healing so the Kingdom of God would be advanced more effectively. This is where the structure of the bishopric was adopted — the one who would send his priests to be pastors of a given flock. They were to trust completely in God for their provisions. Their work focused on calling people to repentance and belief in God. These men were apostles (apostolos) to be sent, messengers of God, as Jesus Himself was.
It must have been amazing for these men to witness the action of God in their midst. Many people were cured from their sicknesses, heard the Word of God and submitted to faith in God’s grace, repented from their old ways of life and seek new life in the Lord.
In the same way today, many have heard the call of God and dedicated themselves to preaching the Word. We must pray for the apostles of our modern era: bishops, priests and clergy, religious, those consecrated and all who give their lives in service to God.
We are all called to be apostles (apostolos), to be sent. Some are sent to the workplaces, schools, offices and other places where the seed of the Gospel can be planted. We must be tireless in advancing the Kingdom of God. It is our duty as baptized Christians to preach and teach the Word of God. Francis of Assisi once said to his brothers, “Preach the Gospel and if you must, use words.” Our actions speak volumes to people around us. We must seek to be genuine witnesses in our age. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Where can I be an apostle for the Lord? What are my areas of work where I too must sow the seed of the Gospel?
Lord Jesus, You sent the disciples to preach. Use me in my daily life to witness to Your love and grace.
St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
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