READINGS for 2009-05-17
SImpLE IS BEST
“Let us love one another, because love comes from God” – 1 John 4:7
Out of the blue, I decided to call up my friend Lea. She answered with a hint of panic in her voice, saying that she was too stressed at work. We chatted and reminisced and, before long, her tone became relaxed. We said goodbye and she thanked me for restoring her sanity.
Wanda just had a major fight with her boyfriend. It was a very public spectacle and our friends told her to forget the guy. I went through my old journal and shared with her painful moments that I experienced with my husband and how we overcame them. Suffice it to say that she and her boyfriend are now happily married.
I bet when I ask you to describe love you’ll think of adjectives such as unconditional, everlasting, enduring and sacrificial.
Because of these adjectives, some people tend to not give in because they fear they’ll have to keep giving beyond their capacity or else be judged lacking.
But love can be present in the simplest gestures, such as a call from a friend, sincere concern, shared wisdom, camaraderie, kindness or a word of thanks, among many others.
And because love is present, what is simple becomes very profound.Cecil Lim
“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” (Mother Teresa)
Lord, help me bring to life every simple deed, by pouring my love and offering it to Thee.
The ministers in the Early Church were very sensitive about personal adulation. I think that in experiencing personally the person of Jesus they really knew without doubt how much greater He was than them. It is important that ministers today have a similar sensibility in order to ensure that the people of God are focused on Jesus and not on them. Personality cults are not a part of the Gospel unless the person in question is Jesus Christ.
Acts 10:25-26. 34-35. 44-48
25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, paid him homage. 26 Peter, however, raised him up, saying, “Get up. I myself am also a human being.” 34 Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. 35 Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. 44 While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. 45 The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, 46 for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter responded, 47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?” 48 He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
P S A L M
Psalm 98:1. 2-3. 3-4 (see 2b)
R: The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R)
Love is the essence of the life of a disciple of Jesus. Without love it is impossible to even say, let alone for it to be true, that we are following Jesus. As we seek to grow in our faith, a good measure of growth is whether or not we are growing in our capacity to love! If we are not growing in love it is highly unlikely that we are growing in faith. Love is not a feeling; it is a decision we make to open ourselves to the truth that we are vessels of God’s love and ministers of His love to others.
1 John 4:7-10
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. 8 Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. 10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
G O S P E L
Those who love one another always treat each other with respect. True love always respects the dignity of the other person and even more so when the other person is weaker. This is why abortion is such a heinous crime against humanity as the unborn are the weakest of all people, the ones with absolutely no voice or ability to fight back, who has his or her dignity violated. Far more often than not, convenience and preserving one’s lifestyle is the reason for an abortion. I cannot think of little else that disgusts me more than this knowledge.
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.”
think:Those who love one another always treat each other with respect.
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 34-36
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
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
Joy is the result oF keepinG the commAnDments
In our day and age of hedonism, where the experience of pleasure seems to count for almost everything, a Gospel reading such as the one we have today will probably fall on deaf ears. John reports to us the words of Jesus where he tells us that true joy will come only when we “abide in His Word,” or in other words, keep God’s commandments! This does not simply imply, but tells us straight out that human fulfillment and true joy do not result from an anarchic understanding of freedom but a freedom where we choose to place ourselves under the will of God (see Psalm 118/9) knowing that His will is the only way to our true happiness.
I can hear the cries of “heresy” coming from our hedonistic world but I do not care! When Jesus tells us something we can be sure that it is the truth! If it is the truth then it will lead us to true human fulfillment. The consequence of this truth is that disobedience to the will of God as a result of following our desires and pleasures cannot and will not lead us to a fulfilling way of life. The choice is yours and mine to make. I suppose it ultimately boils down to trusting in the fact that what God wills is indeed the best thing possible for us. For me, this is simply a given. I believe that God loves me and thus all that He desires for me will be the best for me.
Living a Christian life in today’s world will often mean having to be in conflict with the thinking of the world. It is important that we do not give in to the way the world thinks or we will find that our Christian witness will become compromised and ineffective. This would be a tragedy for us as individuals, and the Gospel as a whole. The world needs men
and women who will stand up for what they believe as Christians and so present the Gospel to the world in an uncompromised form. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Do I tend to give way to the thinking of the world in the decisions I make? If so, what am I going to do to reverse this situation?
Father, You have created us to receive Your love and to be united in love with You. Help me to always choose a way of life that is consonant with this truth.
St. Paschalis, Priest, pray for us.
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