READINGS for 2009-03-09
CHARITY AND JUSTICE
“For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.” – Luke 6:38
In monitoring my personal finances, I use a simple worksheet where I log the date, amount and brief description of all my sources of funds and expenses for the month. I classify each expense item by indicating a code. For example, UTI refers to utilities, ENT for entertainment, LON for loans, ALL for food/allowance, GFT for gifts, PER for personal items/shopping, etc.
At the end of each month, I would sort the list by code, take the sub-total for each then tabulate it in a separate monthly summary sheet. This gives me an idea of where to make necessary adjustments the following month if I had overspent.
Another code I have is CHY for charity. It includes the amount I shell out for Mass offering, stipends for the seminarians, World Vision pledge, ad hoc donations and various contributions. This way, I’m able to monitor whether I am faithfully giving my tithe or have been amiss in being generous. The words of a priest friend struck me in one of his homilies. “When we share the little of what we have, that’s charity. When we give out what we have in excess, that’s justice.” Marie Franco
Do you share what you have out of charity or justice or because you are banking on the promise of receiving something in return?
Father God, remove greed in this world, especially the one that resides in my heart.
Shame, more often than not, stems from a certain sense of guilt. When Daniel talks about the shame of the people of Israel when they come before God, he is referring to the shame they experience because of their sins. The people, and we can include ourselves here if we are honest, know that they should have done better in avoiding sin! Why didn’t they? Why haven’t we? Most of the time it is simply because we choose the easier path of sin and compromise, rather than follow the truth and act in love.
4 “Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments! 5 We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. 6 We have not obeyed your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land. 7 Justice, O Lord, is on your side; we are shamefaced even to this day: the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, and all Israel, near and far, in all the countries to which you have scattered them because of their treachery toward you. 8 O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers, for having sinned against you. 9 But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness! Yet we rebelled against you 10 and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God, to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.”
P S A L M
Psalm 79:8. 9. 11 and 13
R: Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
8 Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. (R) 9 Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake. (R) 11 Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death. 13 Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise. (R)
G O S P E L
The call to holiness is not only for those in leadership in the Church. It is the universal call upon all Christians. None of us can dismiss this calling without imperiling our salvation. One of the focal points of the Second Vatican Council was to reinforce and remind us of this calling so that the Church as a whole could get back on a proper footing of discipleship. There is still a long way to go before we all take up this call with the urgency necessary to produce a truly holy People of God.
36 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 38 Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
The call to holiness is not only for those in leadership in the Church. It is the universal call upon all Christians.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Hebrews 5-8
Life is, first and foremost, life “with” someone, a life relation to the other, in relation to God, to those whom we love, and to those who love us. In our day-to-day living, it is inevitable that we find ourselves judging others and even condemning them as if we’re perfect, incapable of committing any mistakes. Why is it that people have the tendency to gawk at others’ imperfections, a transference wherein he exactly acts as a faultfinder just to justify and cover up his limitations? Over and over again, unconsciously, we fix our eyes on others’ face dirt. It is really a sad commentary that we indulge ourselves in doing things that we should not, such as gossiping and judging others, and hastily get away when the things get rough. On the other hand, we have a propensity to get infuriated when someone does the same thing to us. We tend to be self-righteous and notice the other’s speck and forget to look at ourselves first.
We also seek out for forgiveness, right? At some stage in our personal prayer, we beg for God’s forgiveness for the wrongs we have done, am I right again? Yes, it is easy to say sorry and beg for forgiveness every time we do something wrong but we become stone-hearted to accept another’s shortcomings. With that conduct, we are like the unforgiving servant in the parable. Now, I challenge you to take a look at your life: do you have an admirable relationship with others — with your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors? You may come to realize that you’re miles apart from them even though they’re just around. Learn from the parable of the unforgiving servant whom the Master has forgiven and punished later for he did not forgive his fellow servant. Let us be guided by the biblical maxim, “The measure you give will be the measure you receive back.”Fr. Joel O. Jason
The practice of abstinence in Lent is far from mere dieting or refraining from certain types of food. Why not make this Lenten season an occasion to practice spiritual abstinence from righteousness and harsh judgment?
Lord, incline my heart to forgive. Teach me to love others rather than condemn them. Amen.
St. Frances of Rome, Religious, pray for us.
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