READINGS for 2009-02-06
Thus we may say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper, (and) I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6
We call her the “saksak queen” or the butcher queen because she killed her husband with 59 thrusts of a butcher knife.
Living with a husband who was irresponsible, a gambler and a drunkard for many years took its toll. Coming home from work one night, she finds him drinking with his buddies in their living room.
Her husband falls asleep but after a few minutes, he wakes up, gets his knife under his pillow and attacks her. She runs to the kitchen, grabs her butcher knife, parries and evades his thrusts. They fight, scramble, fall down the stairs, until they reach the gate where she stabs him 59 times.
Nympha was incarcerated. After serving a number of years, she was released for good behavior. When she was interviewed for one of our shows, she only had high praises for God. “All the time, I knew that He was there and He never abandoned me. I never feared because the Lord is my helper,” she said. Chelle Crisanto
Have you ever experienced the pits in your life? Can you say that you held on to God despite how miserable your life was?
Let me keep my faith, Lord, that I may never wane in my trust no matter what circumstance comes into my life.
One of the first rules of happiness is to learn to be happy with what we have, and not always to wish and strive for the things that we will never be able to achieve or get. Yes, we can aspire for a better way of life, whatever that might mean, but we will never achieve that goal if we are incapable of being happy where we are at the present moment. This does not mean we have to settle for less, but let’s be realistic when we set goals for our lives.
1 Let mutual love continue. 2 Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. 3 Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. 5 Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” 6 Thus we may say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper, [and] I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
P S A L M
Psalm 27:1. 3. 5. 8b-9abc
R: The Lord is my light and my salvation.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust. (R) 5 For he will hide me in his abode in the day of trouble; he will conceal me in the shelter of his tent, he will set me high upon a rock. (R) 8 Your presence, O LORD, I seek. 9 Hide not your face from me; do not in anger repel your servant. You are my helper cast me not off. (R)
G O S P E L
Herod knows that John the Baptist is a good man. Yet, he has made a promise that has left him in a compromised situation. He has to decide as to whether he will act according to his conscience or give in to his fear of what others think about him. I am sure each of us will face similar dilemmas in our own lives. It is important that we be grounded in our faith and trust in God so that we will be able to make a better choice than Herod.
14 King Herod heard about it, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” 15 Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.” 16 But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.” 17 Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. 18 John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. 20 Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. 21 She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. 22 Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” 23 He even swore [many things] to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 26 The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. 27 So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. 28 He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
think:One of the first rules of happiness is to learn to be happy with what we have.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Acts 21-24
The Power of reVenge
I find it horrible to imagine the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod is known for his bloodthirsty acts. His wife, who happens to be his brother’s wife, is no different. We see in this story how far revenge and resentment can go if we allow it to take its stronghold on our lives.
King Herod has heard raving reports about Jesus. He thinks John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. The evangelist goes back in time to narrate in detail the beheading of the Baptist — the forerunner of Jesus’ mission.
Herodias, the wife of Philip and then Herod, we are told, harbored a grudge against John the Baptist because he spoke the truth. John informed Herod that it was wrong to take another man’s wife, let alone his brother’s wife. And so Herodias was outraged by this and held onto the grudge. She wanted to kill him but was unable to fulfill her desire, until an opportunity came. Herod, on the other hand, liked John. He liked to listen to him, even though it perplexed him. One day, the daughter of Herod delights her father through dancing. The king offers her anything, even up to half his Kingdom — generous King that he is! Reluctantly, he gave into her daughter’s wish, which was in fact the wish of her mother, and presents her with the head of John. This is outrageous! Horrendous! Disturbing! All this time the wife of Herod held on to this grudge and finally got her way. Sin is always crouching at our door ready to enter if we give way to it.
We must be rid of all revenge, resentment and all evil. It is like a cancer that will eat us up and erode all sense of moral values if we give into it. How many years did Herodias entertain this thought of revenge? She must have been restless for years before and after the beheading of John the Baptist. What a terrible way to live, waiting for revenge to raise its ugly head. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Am I holding onto grudges in my life? What are these resentments?
Lord, I choose to let go of sin in my life. I ask You to forgive me for my resentments and revenge that I have held onto, often hidden in my heart. Help me to be more like You, compassionate, loving and forgiving. Amen
St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs, pray for us.
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