READINGS for 2009-02-20
TURNING GREEd INTO CREEd
“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” – Mark 8:36
A story I heard a long time ago tells about a very old grandfather who won P100 million in the lotto. His family was afraid to tell him that he won because they thought that the excitement might give him a heart attack. So they invited a priest to reveal to their grandpa the good news.
The priest came and greeted the old man and asked him a question. “Sir, if you won P20 million in the lotto what would you do with it?” The old man replied, “I will buy a new house and a new car.”
The priest continued his questioning, “How about if you won P50 million?” He answered without doubt, “I will buy a plane.” Then the priest asked the ultimate question, “Well, what if you won P100 million?” The old man sheepishly said, “I will donate P50 million to your church!” The priest had the heart attack.
Today, God gives you more than P100 million. Today, He offers you His fresh, unconditional, undying love. Will you hoard it or give it away?
Turn your greed into your creed.Arun Gogna
In what area of my earthly life now must I lose so I can win eternal life?
Teach me Your ways, O Lord. Show me my riches in You.
We have here an explanation that details how the world has so many different languages. Through the study of linguistics, we know that languages have and still are developing, and while individual changes can occur quickly, it takes a long time for a distinct language to develop from another one. As we come to the end of the proto-historical first chapters of Genesis, let us remember that the truths taught here reflect the concerns of an ancient people and are in no way a scientific attempt to explain the natural realities discussed.
1 The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words. 2 While men were migrating in the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.” They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.” 5 The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men had built. 6 Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do. 7 Let us then go down and there confuse their language, so that one will not understand what another says.” 8 Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world. It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.
P S A L M
Psalm 33:10-11. 12-13. 14-15
R: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
10 The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. 11 But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. (R) 12 Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind. (R) 14 From his fixed throne he beholds all who dwell on the earth, 15 he who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus assures His disciples that following Him is going to involve great sacrifice and even suffering. This is the truth for us all. We will not be able to avoid such things, and thus, we will have to choose whether they will make us stronger or destroy our faith. Jesus will never fail to give us the grace to overcome our struggles and difficulties. Let us be grateful for this and accept His offer with thanksgiving in our hearts.
34 Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. 36 What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 What could one give in exchange for his life? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 9: 1 He also said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power.”
think:Jesus will never fail to give us the grace to overcome our struggles and difficulties.
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 Galatians 4-6
Be PrePared for an ordeal
The wise man says if you want to serve the Lord be prepared for an ordeal. It will involve sacrifice, suffering, discipline, persecution and endurance. To follow the Lord is not easy. Jesus Himself said the gate is narrow and few choose to follow the narrow way. Are you afraid? Jesus tells us not to, but to place our complete trust in Him. He will assist those who are prepared for the ordeal, who want to take up the cross and follow Him.
I remember how that hit home to me once in prayer. I was meditating on the Agony in the Garden and was wondering whether there was an easier path to Christianity. Even Jesus was known to say, “Let it pass.” It is difficult being a Christian — sometimes you just want to give it all up. It seemed easier not being Christian, but that is a lie that the enemy loves to spread. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christianity demands certain responsibilities — taking up the cross, denyingone’s self and following the Lord. Jesus endured agony, blood, sweat and tears. It was only through embracing and accepting all these that Jesus was able to experience the resurrection. We, too, must be prepared for dying so as to rise again. Sounds like an ordeal, and it is. But thanks be to God who has sent His Holy Spirit to strengthen us for the journey.
To deny oneself is the hardest thing to do. Unfortunately, we have allowed our lives to become too comfortable. We live in a consumerist society, to buy happiness and to indulge, always seeking the biggest and best. We seek to be indulgent because life is too stressful, too busy, too time-consuming and so the body, mind and spirit say, “What about me?” It’s all about me — I, me and myself. Never mind about the rest of humanity — let them take care of themselves. Yet isn’t it amazing that when we reach out to others, when we forget our self (not to the detriment of our health) that we feel so much better? There are many people who are absolutely selfless that you wonder how they do it. The secret is the power of the Spirit, a personal relationship with Jesus and communion with God every day. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
What are your God-given ambitions?
Lord, grant me the grace of Your Spirit to follow You. Help me to be selfless today. Amen.
St. Sadoth, Bishop and Martyr, pray for us.
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