READINGS for 2009-05-21
BELIEVE IN THE BUT
“…you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” – John 16: 20
Feb. 23, 2007 was perhaps one of the saddest days of my life.
After a physically demanding and emotionally draining month of preparation, combined with all the expensive pre-medications and procedures, I got my period again. I was not pregnant. This was the last straw. The end of the line. Everything after remained uncertain.
I had a numbing feeling of despair. The sadness was crippling even. Buckets of tears could not take away the pain. Yes, through all the eight years of waiting for a child, I had known disappointment. But not like this. It was as if nothing could console me.
Grief can be a cruel thing. It can rob us of so much. The Gospel today tells us about it: We will grieve, but… Wait — there is a but! God’s word assures us — but your grief will become joy! No matter how grim your circumstances, know there is a but! No matter how dark the pit, hang on to this promise. Our grief will become joy!
On March 28, just over a month from that dark day in February, I held yet another pregnancy test in my hands. Lo and behold — there were two lines! Positive!
Oh, what inexplicable joy! Lallaine Gogna
Our assurance in whatever it is we are going through is God’s perfect and abiding love. He can turn our mourning into dancing if only we
Whenever it seems like there is no hope, teach me to rely on You, Lord. Especially when it is most difficult, I will trust You.
The Roman Empire under most of the emperors until the early fourth century, actively persecuted the Christians to the point that thousands upon thousands of Christians were martyred. We remember some of the more prominent ones, the apostles, Ignatius of Antioch, Felicity, Perpetua, Cocmos, Damian and many others. But there are numerous more we remember only as martyrs and without their names and stories. It is their blood that laid the foundation for our faith. Let us never forget them.
1 Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. He went to visit them 3 and, because he practiced the same trade, stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue, attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. 6 When they opposed him and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your heads! I am clear of responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 So he left there and went to a house belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next to a synagogue. 8 Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized.
P S A L M
Psalm 98:1. 2-3ab. 3cd-4
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)
G O S P E L
How many times did the disciples of Jesus fail to understand what He told them? I am sure that it was more than what is recorded in the Gospels. If so, this ought to teach us that there are elements in God’s call that we will not understand. Thus, we have to make faith decisions by trusting in His goodness and love rather than because of full knowledge of the mission ahead of us.
16 Jesus said to his disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ [of which he speaks]? We do not know what he means.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing with one another what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”
think: There are elements in God’s call that we will not understand.
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 12-14
WeepinG For our sins
When it comes to putting God first in our lives, we have to be ready for the fact that this may set us apart from the rest of society. The world is hurrying along the path of damnation while we are struggling to maintain our commitment to the path of salvation. This may sound a little harsh or even alarming in terms of being judgmental concerning the state of the world. However, to say anything less would be to not speak the truth. It would be a disservice to those who do not have faith in Christ to tell them that they are okay when they are not. The truth of the matter is that eternal life comes through faith in Jesus Christ and no other way.
Jesus tells His disciples that they will weep and wail, or lament their situation in life precisely because they know the truth and are responding to it with repentance and a life of service to the Gospel. The challenge in all of this is to realize that addressing the issue of sin now is a positive thing and it prepares us well for Judgment Day. Those who continue to live their lives in apparent or decided ignorance of the demands of the Gospel will be in for a very rude shock. I cannot believe that people really think that they have nothing to answer for in their lives. They must know that they are sinners and need to repent. It would be a very deluded person who does not know or accept this fact.
The saints realized the wisdom of repentance and saw every act of penance done here on earth as a worthwhile step towards the goal of eternal life. If it is good enough for the saints, it ought to be good enough for us. The teachings of the saints also speak about how every act of suffering here on earth is an opportunity for us to confront our sins and let the Holy Spirit deal with them by joining our suffering to that of Jesus on the cross. In this way, we begin the process of purging both sin and the effects of sin from our lives here and now, and we do not leave it all for after our death. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
How do I see the role or fact of suffering in my life? Am I willing to see that it is a means by which God confronts and deals with the sin in my life?
Holy Spirit, I want to grow in holiness. Help me to open my heart to Your work so that I will be better able to surrender my life to the power of Your grace.
St. Rita, Widow, pray for us.
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