READINGS for 2009-04-13
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. – Matthew 28:9b
I sold five deodorant sticks last week but I just got the payment today in cash. I also sold hundreds of Switchfoot rock concert tickets last year but one friend of mine just deposited the payment today. I now have the overdue money.
In my room, I decided to thank God by raising my face and my hand with the cash and repeatedly shouting, “Thank You, thank You, thank You!”
I wasn’t shy (because it was my room anyway) but it was the first time I ever did that. I only held around P4,000 — not that big an amount to many people. But my conviction is that I must be more thankful — nah, joyful! — for the blessings that come my way. Expressions of joy, like the one I did, shouldn’t be held back even if years of conditioning dictate that I should.
Why am I saying this? Read the Gospel again on how the Apostles responded to Jesus. They embraced His feet. I’m not sure if that’s a Jewish custom but it’s something I’ve never done even during times of extreme joy. This leads me to think: How do we express our own joy? Do we keep it in for appearance’s sake? Let’s resolve to be more expressive in our gratitude and joy today. Jomar Hilario
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.(Meister Eckhart)
Lord, I just want to thank You for all You’ve done and all You’re going to do in my life!
Peter tells the people how he sees it — the truth according to a firsthand witness. Let each of us take the time to examine this text to see what we think Peter believes to be the essential aspects of the Gospel that are worthy of proclaiming. Peter preaches to a particular audience; each of us has our own audience and context in which we must live and proclaim the Gospel. I wonder what we think are the most important aspects of the Gospel for our particular situation?
Acts 2:14. 22-33
14 On the day of the Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, “You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 22 You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. 23 This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. 24 But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says of him: ‘I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. 26 Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 27 because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 29 My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. 30 But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. 33 Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you both see and hear.
P S A L M
Psalm 16:1-2a and 5. 7-8. 9-10. 11
R: Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
1 Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; 2 I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you. 5 O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.” (R) 7 I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. 8 I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; 10 because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. (R) 11 You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)
G O S P E L
There seems to be something of almost a dialogue between the resurrection appearances of Jesus in Galilee and Jerusalem. Perhaps Jesus wants to comfort His followers with appearances in both places as if to affirm that they should not just focus upon one aspect of His life? Perhaps the reason is simply that the disciples have dispersed and so Jesus has to appear in both places in order to meet with all whom He wants to meet? I do not know the reason. Perhaps it would be helpful to reflect some more on this question?
8 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” 11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. 12 They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy [him] and keep you out of trouble.” 15 The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
think:What do we think are the most important aspects of the Gospels for our particular situation?
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 Exodus 16-18
eAster – A DAy For Decision mAkinG
The rumor about the empty tomb was embarrassing for the Jewish authorities: the seal of the tomb had been broken, the body was missing and the soldiers confessed that they had slept.
Today’s Gospel reflects a well-known reality: whoever encounters Christ cannot remain neutral. He is, as Simeon had predicted, “a sign of contradiction.” Even after His death and resurrection, Jesus continued to draw contrasting reactions to His person. There were those who were overjoyed to encounter Him and ready to bring the good news of His resurrection to others, and there were those who refused to believe in spite of the strong evidence; they twisted the truth with a ridiculous alibi.
Even today, there are countless faithful all over the world who accept Jesus and believe in His resurrection. But there is also an increasing number, even of Christians, who do not believe in the resurrection anymore. They had not been there to record the event. Actually nobody had witnessed the event, they say. For their scientific mind, it is nothing but a fairy tale for children.
Yes, whoever encounters Christ cannot remain neutral. We have to make a clear decision — for Christ or against Him. And those who try to play safe by taking no clear position are hit by the words of the Risen Lord, “I wish that you were either hot or cold. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).
What does it mean to make a decision for Christ, based on faith in His resurrection? It means that we must become transformed, changed people, like the apostles. We remember St. Paul who, as a pious Jew, fiercely persecuted the Church. After his encounter with the Risen Lord near Damascus, he was changed and became the most courageous witness of Christ — and he even suffered for this. Until now he is not liked by the Jews. Our decision for Christ should make us such witnesses, unafraid of what others might say. Not an easy task, of course. All apostles suffered for it, but it brings inner joy and peace and, in the end, we will be united forever with the Risen Lord in His glory. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Does my faith in the resurrection of Christ carry me through life?
Lord, let my basic decision for You which I made in Baptism and which I renewed yesterday, be reflected in all decisions I have to make .
St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr, pray for us.
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