READINGS for 2009-05-14

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Feast of St. Matthias,Apostle
“This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:17
Somehow the command to love doesn’t get through to us. We feel we are more “loving” than the shameless politician who poses for a photo op as he doles out a kilo of rice to a poor family for extra votes.
After all, we’re sensitive to the hurts of other people. Our hearts go out to battered wives and abused children when we read about them in the newspaper. We shift uneasily in front of our TVs when we see little children sobbing with hunger or sitting in silent despair beyond crying.
But deep inside, we know that genuine caring reaches beyond feelings to action. Caring, like steam or electricity, isn’t worth much unless something happens as a result of it. Love without deeds is a myth. Good intentions don’t count.
Because we can’t do everything, we often don’t do anything. If you want to be a loving person, don’t start by taking on the needs of the whole world. Start with caring about one person and build from there.
You can’t do everything, but you can do something. What you can do, you should do. Today, determine that in the power and grace of God you will do it.Jon Escoto
People put in our paths are not disturbances to our work. They are our “work.” Our work to love. Who is my “work” today?
Father, in this world that couldn’t care less, we are to be a people who couldn’t care more. Show me today the person that I should do the work of love to.


Judas hung himself on a tree in despair of his sin. Did he repent of his despair before he died? I do not know, but I certainly hope he did. Despair is a terrible thing; there is nothing good about it! It is the opposite of faith and hope and leads only to death and destruction. Matthias stands as the replacement of Judas and thus as the assurance of God that there is always another way than despair. Let us seek to find the way of God when despair comes knocking at our door.
Acts 1:15-17. 20-26
15 Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place). He said, 16 “My brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was numbered among us and was allotted a share in this ministry. 20 For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his encampment become desolate, and may no one dwell in it.’ And: ‘May another take his office.’ 21 Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” 26 Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.
Psalm 113:1-2. 3-4. 5-6. 7-8
R: The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
1 Praise, you servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD both now and forever. (R) 3 From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the LORD to be praised. 4 High above all nations is the LORD; above the heavens is his glory. (R) 5 Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high 6 and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? (R) 7 He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor 8 to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people. (R)
Remaining in the love of God is the key to being a disciple of Jesus. It is the only way we can gain the strength to overcome all the struggles and difficulties we will encounter in proclaiming the Good News to the world. Matthias probably took on the role of an apostle with mixed feelings. I know that is how I would be, as he would have realized the difficulties that lay ahead of him. Let us never be daunted by the future as it is not really our focus as today will have enough struggles of its own!
John 15:9-17
9 Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. 16 It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. 17 This I command you: love one another.”
my reflections
think: Remaining in the love of God is the key to being a disciple of Jesus.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


Divine FrienDship
I find it very comforting and consoling to think that God wants to be my friend. He is not just intent upon being the Master and Lord — He wants to develop a relationship with me as though we were equals, which of course we are not. However, in the Gospel today we hear Jesus tell His disciples that He wants a relationship of friendship — quite a remarkable request, don’t you think?
In many ways, to have friendship with Jesus is more difficult than that of the Master-Disciple style of relationship. It is much easier for us to be given commands rather than the freedom to choose how we will respond to the graces God offers us. Our God is a personal God who places a high premium on freedom of choice and respects the choices we make even when He disagrees with them! This is very different from the more common understanding of God as a vengeful, angry God who is never happy with what His subjects are doing. He has given us a great deal of freedom and autonomy and with such comes a higher degree of responsibility. Ah, yes, there is a catch!
It is important that we reflect upon God’s desire for friendship, as it will help us develop a truer image of Him as a God who desires relationship above and beyond all other things. There have been times in the past when people failed to recognize the importance of God’s desire for friendship. This led to an understanding of God that was very rigid and impersonal. We must avoid this tendency even though it may give us greater certainty in our relationship with God. I do not believe that it is a correct reflection of the relationship God wants to have with us. We are all aware that there is a fluid nature to human relationships — an unpredictability that makes being in relationship with others both a joy and a good sort of a struggle. Our relationship with God should be no different.
Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Reflection Question:
What sort of relationship do I have with God? Is it based on rigid guidelines or am I free to relate to Him as a friend?
Holy Spirit, help me to know the truth of God’s character and so be freer and better able to enter into the fullness of the relationship He desires to have with me.
St. Matthias, Apostle, pray for us.

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