READINGS for 2009-03-26

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“He was a burning and shining lamp.” – John 5:35
In 1954, late President Ramon Magsaysay died in a plane crash on his way to the Visayas. My grandfather, the late Vice President Arturo M. Tolentino, was supposed be on that plane. He was to accompany the late president but was held up by another speaking engagement. He was then a congressman.
Lolo went on to become a senator, senate president, secretary of Foreign Affairs and proclaimed vice president in the 1986 snap elections. He wrote and passed over 2,000 laws during his time as a public servant and was thought of as the most credible authority on the Philippine Constitution.
But I’m most proud to say, confidently, that he was an honest and just man. He used his genius and brilliance to serve the people. They aptly named him “The Fiscalizer.” He died a few years ago at the age of 93. I wonder how different things would’ve been had he gotten on that plane. I can only imagine how different things would be today if he were still alive.
We are all called to be a shining light in this world. I pray I would radiate even a fraction of Lolo’s brightness.George Gabriel
Is your lamp hidden under a basket?
Lord, let Your light shine through me.


The golden calf stands as a reminder for us today of all the idols and gods we place before Jesus in our lives. It is easy to condemn the actions of Aaron and the people as sinful, but what about the gods of secularism and materialism that we worship every day? It is no different today than it was 4,000 years ago! Let us seek to take the plank out of our own eyes before trying to remove the splinter from our brother’s eye.
Exodus 32:7-14
7 The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. 8 They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshipping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ 9 I see how stiff-necked this people is,” continued the LORD to Moses. 10 “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.” 11 But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, “Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’ ” 14 So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.
Psalm 106:19-20. 21-22. 23
R: Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
19 Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image; 20 they exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock. (R) 21 They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, 22 wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea. (R) 23 Then he spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, his chosen one, withstood him in the breach to turn back his destructive wrath. (R)
To whom do we look for final approval in our lives? Is it to the powers and personages of this world or is it to God? If it is not the latter then we are most likely building for ourselves an edifice that will come crumbling down in the not so distant future. The wisdom and values of men can survive for a time, even generations, but they all have a use-by date! God’s values and truth are immutable and last forever. I know what I want to work for — that which will endure forever.
John 5:31-47
31 Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot be verified. 32 But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. 33 You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37 Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. 40 But you do not want to come to me to have life. 41 “I do not accept human praise; 42 moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. 46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
my reflections
think:Let us seek to take the plank out of our own eyes before trying to remove the splinter from our brother’s eye.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


The Power of TeSTimony
One Monday, I was having lunch with a group of priest-friends after playing some rounds of bowling. It was our day off and all of us were dressed rather casually. When we asked for the bill, we were surprised to be informed that somebody already paid for it. When we inquired who it was, the manager told us a woman was intrigued by the sight of us young men collectively making the sign of the cross before taking our meals. Knowing from the manager that we were priests, she offered to pay our bill without our knowledge. The moral of the story? If you want free lunch, you know what to do.
That is the power of testimony. Sometimes we give our testimony unknowingly. At times we need to do it consciously.Every Sunday, a man and his neighbor would usually come out of the door at about the same time. One is going to play golf, the other goes to Sunday Mass. Every time, the man would invite the other to join him for a round of golf. The other would politely decline. After a series of tries, the golfer said, “You know, I always ask you to join me for golf every Sunday. How come you never invited me to join you in Church?” At times, we “believers” tend to keep our faith to ourselves. We tend to be timid in inviting others to the faith. Today in the Gospel, Jesus challenges the Christian to be a  powerful testimony for all the world to see. Unless we are willing to do this, a great aspect of our Christianity is missing. Christianity began when a small group of impassioned men shared to the world the Christ event. Evangelization is not about numbers. It is about passion, it is about being excited in the faith. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Reflection Question:
Does your practice of the faith manifest excitement and enthusiasm? What areas of your faith is suffering lukewarmness and dryness? Today, pray for the renewed outpouring of the Spirit in your life.
Lord, help me to become true witnesses of Your Word so that I may proclaim Your glory through the depths of my faith in You. Amen.
St. Liudger, Bishop, pray for us.

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