READINGS for 2009-05-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” – John 16:7
Do you still remember the time when your mom walked you to school for your first day of class? When you wouldn’t let go of Mommy’s hand and cried, begging her to stay?
But Mom had to go. It was for our own good. It was to allow our teachers to do their job, for us to learn and grow. Mom was confident to leave us because she knew we were in good hands.
It’s the same with Jesus.
Life is tough. One of the reasons life is difficult is because we try to go through it alone. But Jesus is reminding us today that we don’t have to do anything on our own. He promised a Helper who will not just be with us but within us to console us, fill us with courage, cheer us on and keep us going. Jane Gonzales
Do you feel overwhelmed by life? Tired from the  struggles, fearful of the future? The Holy Spirit can guide us through the maze of life.
When my cares are too heavy to bear, oh Lord, may I always remember that You gave me a Helper. Amen.


There is something that amazes me about this story, namely the faith and trust of Paul in God. It seems that the jailer takes Paul et al. home, are baptized along with their families and they have a meal together. Then what happened? Did Paul go back to jail with them or did he go free? Verse 35 tells us that they returned to the jail only to be freed by order of the magistrate in the morning.
Acts 16:22-34
22 The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. 24 When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake. 25 About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, 26 there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew [his] sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.” 29 He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” 32 So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. 33 He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. 34 He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.
Psalm 138:1-2ab. 2cde-3. 7c-8
R: Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
1 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; 2 I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. (R) Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. 3 When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (R) 7 Your right hand saves me. 8 The LORD will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O LORD, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. (R)
Jesus seems to know the end result of His mission, namely that judgment will have been passed on the devil. However, He must still face the final testing of His obedience to His Father — His suffering and death. The same ought to be true for us as we face testing and trial every day. We should know that with the grace of God, the result is our vindication and thus find it easier to entrust our lives into God’s hands as Jesus did. Why don’t we always do this? If you discover the answer to this question please let me know. I know it has something to do with sin.
John 16:5-11
5 Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: 9 sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
Deuteronomy 4-7
my reflections
think: As we face testing and trial every day, we should know that with the grace of God, the result is our vindication.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


For the sAke oF the Gospel
It is always an interesting exercise to read about the trials and difficulties of the men and women who gave everything in order to serve the Gospel. Paul and Silas are flogged for preaching the Gospel in Philippi. Do you think this bothers them much? I am sure that they would not have enjoyed the experience, but it did not stop them from sticking to their task of proclaiming the Gospel. I wonder if we have the depth of faith that Paul and Silas had? Are we willing to endure the trials and difficulties, and not just expect good times and blessings, as we serve the Church?
Even when they were imprisoned for preaching the Gospel, Paul and his companions continued to praise the Lord. Yes, that is right, they did not complain about their troubles but chose to give glory and praise to God despite their imprisonment. It would probably do us all good to read stories such as this on a regular basis. Why? Perhaps it will inspire us to endure the trials and difficulties when they come in our lives. It is this aspect of the Christian life that is often the most difficult to maintain, and thus we ought to do everything we can to try and strengthen ourselves in order to face such situations.  
It is during our struggles and trials that we probably have the most important opportunity to give witness to the nature and character of the Gospel and those who give their lives in its service. It is at the time of greatest challenge that the true character of the Gospel and the individual has the opportunity to shine. We must ensure that we take such an opportunity if and when it comes our way! Jesus did not take a backward step in His ministry, and neither should we!
There are many who have preceded us as disciples of Jesus who have given their lives in order to be faithful to God’s call. They have become martyrs of the faith. Do we have what it takes to follow in their footsteps? Let us pray for the grace to keep faith with them as we follow their example. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Reflection Question:
What am I willing to give for the sake of the Gospel? Am I willing to give my life in its service?
Jesus, help me to be inspired by the lives of all the men and women who have preceded me. Grant me the grace to never take a backward step.
St. Dustan, Bishop, pray for us.

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