READINGS for 2009-03-04
a MOdEl OF PaTIENCE
“For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed…”– Luke 11:32
Being first timers in New York, its urbanity and our unfamiliarity with the place brought us anxiety. Our cab dropped us off in downtown Manhattan in the morning after we had agreed that he’d pick us up at the same spot in the evening. When pick-up time came, our anxieties heightened because the roads around our meeting point were closed because of a flea market that was temporarily erected on the streets. Hoards of shoppers filled the streets and traffic was snarled. Thirty minutes had passed since our agreed rendezvous and we wondered how our cab driver would find us.
After a short prayer, he finally found us. We expected him to be worried or even mad but So Yong, our Korean cab driver, had a joyful disposition.
The 40-minute ride back to New Jersey stretched to two and a half hours because of traffic. But the delay didn’t bother the Korean who turned out to be a Christian. We had a wonderful time sharing about God’s glory in our lives.
Our anxieties had been unfounded after all and So Yong taught us a neat lesson on the virtue of patience. The Lord sent this angel and turned our worries to repentance for not trusting Him enough. Donna España
Anxieties bring useless worries. Turn to God in prayer and He will take care of all your concerns.
Lord, teach me to seek Your presence during my anxious moments. I repent for the times I didn’t put my trust in You for every worrisome situation.
Responding to the Word of God is all we can do — it is all that God looks for in us. God never asks us to be reconciled with Him under our own strength; He never asks us to be the ones to take the initiative. God always takes the initiative and provides us with the grace to respond if we are willing to accept it. Do you have the humility to stand before God in your sinfulness, admit it, and then accept the graces God gives you to change and grow in holiness?
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” 3 So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” 5 when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. 7 Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 8 Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. 9 Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” 10 When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.
P S A L M
Psalm 51:3-4. 12-13. 18-19
R: A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
1  Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2  Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 10  A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11  Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. (R) 16  For you are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it. 17  My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. (R)
G O S P E L
Looking for signs may be a valid response for a few times but only for a few. More often than not, God will expect us to put our trust in Him and simply ‘get on with our lives!’ How many more signs do we need? Isn’t the resurrection of Jesus a good enough basis for our faith and reason to become a disciple of Jesus? If it is not, I have no idea what sign could be stronger than this one!
29 While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. 30 Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. 32 At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
think: Responding to the Word of God is all we can do — it is all that God looks for in us.
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 Psalm 29-32
The most common thing we do when we pray is talk, talk and talk. We tend to beg for the graces that we need. The most common prayer that we do is a prayer of petition. Somehow, it has been the easiest way for us to pray.
However, we usually forget that prayer is a two-way communication. It is a dialogue. We cannot call prayer a dialogue if we do not give God the chance to speak in the silence of our hearts. We fail to remember the words of the boy Samuel in the temple: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Oftentimes, we change it to: “Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking.”
In these modern times, most people would like to do the talking. They would prefer to be heard than to be the one who listens. Besides, listening is not that easy. It demands a form of discipline to the one who is listening. Somehow, listening has now become a commodity — something that is difficult to find.
But wouldn’t it be better if we let God do the talking? Besides, God knows what is best for us. He clearly knows what would be helpful and what would be harmful for us. If only we would let God speak to our hearts, then His will may not be that obscure for us.
Let us not be afraid, then, to turn our hearts to God. He is more than willing to listen to us but we must not forget that we must also let God do the talking. Besides, His ways are better than us.
In this season of Lent, we are being asked to listen more and talk less. In this age wherein people have no time to listen, let us take the extra step to give a listening ear. To give time for people who are asking for a little attention. Who knows?
Maybe God would speak to us through a friend in need. But if we let that opportunity pass, God may not have another time to talk to us. And maybe, we won’t have another time to silence our hearts. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Am I a listening person? How generous am I with my time dedicated to prayer? Have I listened to God lately?
Loving Father, You have listened to my groaning and appeals. Help me open my heart so that I may listen to Your loving will. Open my ears that I, too, may listen to my brothers and sisters in need. Amen.
St. Casimir, Confessor, pray for us.
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