READINGS for 2009-03-29

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“… it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.” – John 12:27
Richard Fleming (not his real name) received a phone call from his doctor’s secretary. She  called up to confirm his appointment with Dr. Brown scheduled at nine the next morning. He argued with the secretary that he hadn’t set an appointment. He couldn’t remember being advised by his doctor to come in for another checkup. After arguing for some time, Richard told her that he would be there. The next morning, he underwent a battery of tests. After the results were evaluated, the doctor broke the shocking news. “You have a serious cardiac problem, and you’ll have to undergo surgery immediately.”
Meanwhile, at the secretary’s desk, an irate man claimed that he was Richard Fleming. He showed his appointment card to the secretary to prove his claim. The secretary checked her records. She discovered that there were two Richard Flemings. The mistaken identity, the appointment, the phone call all happened at the most opportune time for the first guy.
We may encounter setbacks in life — missed flights, illnesses, financial difficulty, etc. But have you ever thought that just maybe we could be at the right place, at the right time and circumstance? We just have to trust God for He is in control.Judith Concepcion
Can you recall an experience when things didn’t go your way and you blamed God for it? Try to look back and see the experience from a different angle. What do you think God is trying to tell you?
I may not understand Your ways, Lord. Increase my faith and trust in You.


The question this text really poses to us is how deep are we willing to go with God? Are we willing to give everything to Him in the same way as He is ready to give everything to us, or are we always going to hold something back in reserve? Herein lies one of the great struggles of discipleship — being willing to let go of everything in order to allow God to be our all in all!
Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
Psalm 51:3-4. 12-13. 14-15 (12a)
R: Create a clean heart in me, O God.
1 [3] Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2 [4] Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 10 [12] A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11 [13] Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. (R) 12 [14] Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 13 [15] I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall return to you. (R)
Suffering does not only have to be a negative experience. It is part of being human that we will suffer because of the entry of sin into the world. If there had been no sin, there would be no suffering! If we open our hearts to God we will always discover that suffering can lead us to a deeper place of faith and trust in him. This is a good end and thus we can see that God can bring good out of suffering. We will never enjoy suffering, but by faith at least we can gain something out of it!
Hebrews 5:7-9
7 In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 9 and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Again we are invited to reflect upon the nature of human suffering. It is only through living the pattern of death and resurrection in this life that we will be able to share in the definitive death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus’ example is one closely associated with suffering even though He had never sinned. It is only by faith that  we can learn to embrace this pattern of life, death and resurrection and thus begin to participate in the eternal drama and dynamic of our salvation.
John 12:20-33
20 Some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. 27 “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. 31 Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
my reflections
think:Are we willing to give everything to Him in the same way as He is ready to give everything to us?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
My weekly time with God
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
Genesis 9-12


fear facTor
One time I was having this animated conversation with some of my friends regarding a hit reality TV series that deals with defying one’s greatest fears. In that show, the contestants are shown to swim with alligators, to eat exotic and unfamiliar food, to walk through broken glasses and other death-defying stunts that would truly challenge and confront one’s fears. Then, one of my friends asked each of us what our greatest fear was. And majority of my friends responded death.
Why are we afraid of death? Why is it so difficult for us to talk about death? I think it is because death is often associated with darkness and decay, with sadness and hopelessness, with pain and weakness and mortality. More than anything, I think it is difficult because death has to do with losing something or someone. It is about the loss of the people we love, the loss of familiar things that we have gotten so used to, the loss of life and energy and vigor, the loss of beauty and opportunity. But, in today’s Gospel, Jesus was very much aware of the coming of His death. “The hour has come,” began Jesus, “when the Son of man should be glorified.” It was clear to Him that He was getting nearer and nearer to His death. But what was His attitude? He took it with calmness and He even gave symbolisms and imageries of death and what it brings forth. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” He was saying here that it is only by death that new life is attained and made possible.
Yes, death can be a painful experience but if we only look at it on a deeper level and transcend our fears, anxieties and biases, then we would see the beauty of it. For death leads us to new life. It is never an end. It is just a phase. It is just a step towards eternal life, a life without fear for it would be a life in union with the Father. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Reflection Question:
Why do I fear death? When I wake up in the morning, what dominates my thoughts? How can I prepare myself to accept the reality of death?
Lord Jesus Christ, help me to view death not as a painful reality but in the light of the promise of life eternal. Inspire me to live this life with love and kindness that would lead to the attainment of a life in union with You. Amen.
St. Rupert, Bishop, pray for us.

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