READINGS for 2009-05-16
“But I chose you from this world and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you.” – John 15:19
“You’re so different already,” someone told Dave during a reunion with his high school classmates.
Yes, Dave is different. He doesn’t smoke or drink liquor. He is not rich but he works hard to put food on the table for his family. He is faithful to his wife. He finds time to be with his two children and helps them in their school projects. He is not perfect but he continues to grow in his spiritual life as he is nourished in his prayer community, the Light of Jesus.
Dave brings his family to the Feast, a prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus every Sunday held at the Valle Verde Country Club. He also serves in one of its chapters. Dave was not always this way. He changed his ways when he experienced a spiritual renewal after attending the Living in the Light Seminar held by the community.
Dave may be different from his high school friends but not from his brothers and sisters in his prayer community. Most of them live like Dave does — different from the ways of the world. Actually, they are living the way they should. In God’s eyes, Dave is not different. For living a godly life is the real way to live. Cynthia Santiago
Where do you belong?
Lord, keep me in Your world where there’s true joy!
The Church is one Church in many places. We see this in the way that the basic proclamation of the Gospel does not change as Paul goes from place to place. We also see it in the way they inform the people of the decisions of the brothers in Jerusalem regarding the requirements of the Jewish Law. The Catholic Church is an institution that is 2,000 years old, the oldest in existence. Our faith today has the same origins as that of the first Christians.
1 Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, 3 and Paul wanted him to come along with him. On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem. 5 Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number. 6 They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, 8 so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, we sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
P S A L M
Psalm 100:1b-2. 3. 5
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; 2 serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 5 The LORD is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus hides nothing from His disciples; He tells them that the world is not going to accept them when they begin to carry out the mission of proclaiming the Gospel to the world. So be it! The disciples were faithful to their task, being martyred in carrying it out. The same is true today, at least the opposition of the world to the Gospel is no different. We may or may not be martyred as we proclaim the Gospel today, but this should not stop us from being as diligent and as obedient as the disciples to the call of God to us.
18 Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”
think: We may or may not be martyred as we proclaim the Gospel today, but this should not stop us from being as diligent and as obedient as the disciples to the call of God to us.
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 Numbers 31-33
A WorlD At oDDs With the WorD oF GoD
No, I am not talking about betting here! I am talking about one of the fundamental experiences of the human race, namely that we live in a world that is not necessarily welcoming of the Gospel message. What should we do? How should we respond? Give up? Certainly not! St. Paul tells us that we have a responsibility to proclaim the Gospel “in season and out of season.” What else can this mean but that we must persevere in the proclamation of the Gospel even if those who hear it are not responding favorably?
Jesus tells His disciples that they will be persecuted; the world will hate them. These are strong words and we cannot ignore them as we seek to understand the conditions under which we will work as servants of the Good News of salvation. The “world” in this text should be understood as those powers that work directly in opposition to the Gospel — maybe “enemy of the Gospel” would be a better description! One of the difficulties is that it is not easy to identify the “world” as such and thus formulate a plan to blunt or even negate its influence. It is really a confluence of powers that do not accept the truth of the Gospel as the basis for life and living. It is thus clear that we will be in opposition to the “world” for as long as we live. It is a bit like the Pauline understanding of the “flesh” or even “sin” in the life of a Christian as that power that works against the salvation of mankind.
Let us never forget that we do not need to fear that such powers will prevail over the grace of God. They cannot because God has victory over sin and death through the resurrection of Jesus. Thus, the best way to confront all the powers that work against the proclamation of the Gospel is to live our lives under the cross of Jesus, the forgiveness of our sins, and in the power of the resurrection. We have victory over the world if we are willing to submit our lives in faith to the grace of God made available to us in the life of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8). Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Is my life a life of victory over the powers of sin or a life lived under the thumb of sin? Am I willing to surrender all to Jesus in order to experience this victory?
Holy Spirit, I am sick of sinning. I want to know victory over sin! Help me to surrender more fully to the grace of God and open my heart to the fullness of the life offered to me by God.
St. John of Nepomuk, Martyr, pray for us.
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