READINGS for 2009-03-14

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

IN THE HOUSE BUT NEvER HOME
 
“But while he was still a long way off, his father... ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20
 
Can someone be in the house but still be never home? Can anything be worse than being lost and not knowing you actually are? The older son was.
What makes a house a home is the embrace of the father. The younger son was thousands of miles away from the father; the older son was just three paces away. But there was no difference. Both were away from the father’s embrace. The younger son was lost and he knew it. When he returned, he allowed his father to embrace him. The older son never left home but he always kept the distance and never accepted his father’s embrace. He was anxiously working to earn his father’s favor, not knowing he already had it to enjoy. The father must have wanted to hug him many times but the older son quickly returned to his shoveling, convinced that he hadn’t earned enough to deserve it.
A repentant tattooed prostitute can be closer to home than the busiest “parish catechist of the year” awardee who never understood God’s real love. Friend, are you on your way home? Jon Escoto
 
REFLECTION:
Am I home? Or am I simply a member of a church organization, working for my club’s recognition?
 
Father, embrace me today, and let me experience it not in mere “symbolic” ways but in the most real, even physical way. Overwhelm me with Your immense and incomprehensible love. I eagerly await for this miracle today.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
It is important that our shepherds, our leaders, pasture us well on the word of God and the teachings of the Church. This is their responsibility; they will be held accountable by God to this end. Let us pray for them that they will realize their duty and continually allow themselves to be formed in His ways so that they will be able to form us in the ways of the Kingdom of God.
 
Micah 7:14-15. 18-20
14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, that dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old; 15 as in the days when you came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs. 18 Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, 19 and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins; 20 you will show faithfulness to Jacob, and grace to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 103:1-2. 3-4. 9-10. 11-12
R: The Lord is kind and merciful.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 3 He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. 4 He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. (R) 9 He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever. 10 Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. (R) 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
The younger son gave His life over to the sensuality of the world and the immediacy of the world’s offer of pleasure. It did not last! The same will be true for all that the world offers — it is all passing away. As the Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us, “All toil under the sun (in the world) is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3). There is nothing that will endure in the world except that which we do in establishing the reign of the Kingdom of God.
 
Luke 15:1-3. 11-32
1 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, 2 but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 So to them he addressed this parable. 11 “A man had two sons, 12 and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. 13 After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. 14 When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. 15 So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. 16 And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. 17 Coming to his senses he thought, “How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. 18 I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.” ’ 20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ 22 But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. 25 Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. 27 The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. 30 But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ 31 He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. 32 But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ ”
 
my reflections
think:There is nothing that will endure in the world except that which we do in establishing the reign of the Kingdom of God.
 
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 John 1-5
 
 
SABBATH

 

homecoming
 
In one Catholic parochial school, two boys were brought to the principal’s office. They were suspected of stealing items from the school bookstore. The guidance counselor, who happens to be the religion teacher of the boys, was also called for. Disappointed, the teacher said to the principal, “I can’t believe it. They are very good in my religion class.” Then sounding defensive and wishing to exonerate the boys, he added, “Just to prove to you, I’ll ask them a simple religion question.” Then he turned to the boys and asked, “Where is God?” One of the boys turned to his mate and whispered, “We’re in big trouble. God is missing and they think we’re the ones who took Him.”
Is God really missing or is it us who are missing? When Adam and Eve sinned against God in the book of Genesis, He asked them the question, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9) Did God really not know where they are? Of course He does. The question was not one seeking information; God was looking for confession on the part of the first man and woman. God wants them to own up to what they had done. God wants them to return to Him.
Chapter 15 of Luke is known to be the Mercy parables. The parables of the lost coin and the prodigal son remind us of the God who constantly longs for the return of His wayward children. In one poignant scene in the Gospel, the Father sees the prodigal from afar. It shows that all along, the Father has been waiting for the son’s return. In this season of Lent, we repeat that beautiful prayer-antiphon, “As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live.” Friend, nawawala ka ba? o nagwawala kaba? The season of Lent calls for your return. Don’t take too long. Fr. Joel O. Jason
 
Reflection Question:
How many times have you postponed your homecoming? Look at the confessional and see in it the Father’s embrace ready to warm your heart.
 
Lord, forgive the numbness of my heart. Let Your grace flow into my heart and share it to others that I may forgive them and love them. Amen.
 
St. Mathilde, Widow, pray for us.
 



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