READINGS for 2009-05-18
GIFTS OF THE SpIRIT
“The Helper will come — the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me.” – John 15:26
I prepared well for my Baptism of the Holy Spirit seven years ago. I heard Mass every day on the week before the event. I went to Confession. I read Scriptures daily and took time to reflect on them. I listed down the gifts I wanted and prayed for them. But during my baptism, I felt nothing while almost everyone acknowledged that they had felt something. Their reaction made me more depressed. Where were my gifts?
Two years after my baptism, my daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition that included the tightening of her skin. We had to see a few doctors before we met someone who told us there was no definite cure for it. I did some research on foundations for her condition but all of them were overseas. We were troubled and running out of options.
It was only then that I realized what gifts the Spirit gave me — wisdom, faith, discernment and knowledge to handle our family situation. All these gifts helped me deal with this trial. We simply followed all the doctor’s instructions and entrusted our daughter’s healing to God.
To this day, our daughter’s condition has improved as we continue to call on the Holy Spirit for her complete healing. Alvin Fabella
“Don’t trust in your ability to follow God — trust in His ability to lead you.” (Anonymous)
Lord, please send me the Holy Spirit daily so that I may be guided in all the decisions that I need to make. Amen.
t seems that even from the beginning, women were more readily attracted to faith. Why this is so, I do not know — it is still the same today. The great challenge the Church and all its individual communities and organizations face is to attract men to the Gospel. Seventy plus percent of any religious crowd seems to be women! Let us pray that the men of our day open their hearts to the Gospel and become a force for evangelization.
11 We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace, and on the next day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We spent some time in that city. 13 On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there. 14 One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying. 15 After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.
P S A L M
Psalm 149:1b-2. 3-4. 5-6a and 9b
R: The Lord takes delight in his people.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. 2 Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. (R) 3 Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. 4 For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. (R) 5 Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; 6 let the high praises of God be in their throats. 9 This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia. (R)
G O S P E L
When we are being persecuted for our faith it will not help to blame the persecutors for their ignorance. The only way to help those who persecute us is to forgive them and then evangelize them. It may not be their fault that they are ignorant of the truth and the Gospel. Maybe no one has shared with them God’s love in a way that breaks through the barriers in their lives. Whatever the case, our job is not to judge them but to share the Gospel with them as best we can.
John 15:26 -16:4a
26 Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. 27 And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. 16: 1 “I have told you this so that you may not fall away. 2 They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. 3 They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. 4 I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.” (R)
think:Our job is not to judge those who persecute us but to share the Gospel with them as best we can.
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 Deuteronomy 1-3
truth is unDer AttAck toDAy
My first professor in philosophy at a secular university in Australia opened the history of philosophy course by saying, “The greatest threat to society today is the philosophy of relative skepticism.” I wondered what he meant by that but it did not take me long to find the answer. The world today and most of society no longer seem to believe in the idea of absolute truth, and people live as though they do not have to give much attention to truth, only to enjoying life and doing what works in order to get by.
Christians cannot subscribe to such a philosophy. We believe that it is God who reveals to us the truth of morality and it is up to us to interpret it according to the grace of the Holy Spirit. We believe there is a level of fundamental truth that underlies our human nature, and in order to live a fulfilled life we need to discover what demands truth makes upon our actions. This will be the work of a lifetime. There is always more we can learn about on what it means to contribute to the creation of our character and selves in the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1:26- 27).
Perhaps the greatest witness a Christian can give to the world is to live faithfully according to the Word of God. If we fail to live according to who God created us to be, the result will be a society in chaos — which is largely what we have with the prevalence of broken families, teenage sex, and drug abuse. The root of this disorder is in society’s lack of willingness to live according to the commandments of God.
Society is skeptical about moral truth because it is easier to be like that than to believe in the truth. The problem is that this leaves the door wide open for temptation and lies of the devil to wreak havoc in the moral lives of today’s youth and the entire society. We have to ask ourselves whether or not we want to be part of the solution or have resigned we ourselves to become part of the problem? Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
What do I believe? How do I want to live my life? What sort of witness do I want my moral life to give to the world?
Jesus, help me to be inspired by the vision that the Scriptures and the lives of the saints give for life and so live it to the full.
St. John I, Pope and Martyr, pray for us.
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