READINGS for 2009-06-17
mY pERSONAL pRAYER
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites!” – Matthew 6:5
Every step was an agony, and the cross that I bore seemed heavier as each moment passed. I was looking down when a pair of feet appeared, and I knew that I had reached my destination.
I put the cross down, and with it, I shed all my hurts, anxieties, betrayed hopes and shattered feelings. For a moment, it all seemed too much, and I couldn’t stand or even look up.
Then a hand reached out to touch me. And from that point, I could feel the warmth spread through me. My soul was flooded with peace, consolation and an overwhelming sense of love.
I looked up and took Jesus’ hand. Then I stood and was enveloped in His embrace. I knew then He would be with me all the way. I’ve never been good at saying my prayers aloud. Probably because when I pray, I do it with visions, like the one I just described.
Sometimes Jesus and I dance in circles. Other times we just walk holding hands, side by side.
We understand each other, my Lord and I. I am so glad He listens not with ears but with His heart. And so I pray likewise.Cecil Lim
“Kneeling before the tabernacle, I can think of only one thing to say to our Lord: ‘My God, you know that I love You.’ And I feel that my prayer does not weary Jesus.” (St. Therese of the Child Jesus)
Lord, remind us that what we say is not as important as saying it from our hearts.
Paul announces the Kingdom principle of giving — namely, the more we give, the more we will receive. Why is this so? Simply because the more generous a person’s heart is the more capable it is of receiving as well. We have all heard the Gospel principle that it is better to give than to receive — well, here it is in practice. The more we give of ourselves and our resources to God the more there is for Him to refill. Let us call forth the generosity of God through our own generosity.
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
6 Brothers and sisters: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You are being enriched in every way for all generosity, which through us produces thanksgiving to God.
P S A L M
Psalm 112:1bc-2. 3-4. 9
R: Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
1 Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. 2 His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed. (R) 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house; his generosity shall endure forever. 4 Light shines through the darkness for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just. (R) 9 Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. (R)
G O S P E L
Fasting seems such a dated asceticism and yet dieticians will tell us that it is actually good for our health to give our bodies a day to ‘clean out the system,’ so to speak. Fasting also reminds the appetite that it is not the one in control of our actions; it tells all our appetites that they have been put on notice and that any time the mind and will can assert control. In fact, this ought to be always the case. That it is not is a good reason to practice fasting so that we will put the appetites of our lives back in their proper order.
Matthew 6:1-6. 16-18
1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. 2 When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, 4 so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 5 “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 16 “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
think:Let us call forth the generosity of God through our own generosity.
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 1 Samuel 17-20
soWinG AnD reApinG in AbunDAnce
One of the things I have noticed that seems to govern the world of economics is that it is much easier to make money when you start off with a lot of money and I do not mean to just rely on investing the money in the bank and reaping the interest. It is easier to be an entrepreneur when one has money behind you. In fact, it is almost always the case that you need money in order to make money.
This is why it makes a lot of sense to me when Paul tells the Corinthian community that if they sow sparingly, they will also reap very little; and if they sow generously, the rewards will be equally great. There is a spiritual reality and truth captured here that we would do well to remember. I do not think Paul is speaking here of material things or objects — he is speaking about the spiritual blessings that God pours out on His people.
Before you ask, I will also remind you that we cannot manipulate God — it is truly up to Him how He blesses or rewards us. Just because we believe that we might deserve something from Him in no way guarantees that it will be forthcoming. However, I do believe Paul is placing before us a very important principle in terms of what God expects from us who have faith in Him. If we have faith in God, there is no reason we should not entrust every aspect of our life to Him. Why would we want to hold anything back? It is precisely this to which Paul is referring here in his letter to the Corinthians.
Paul wants them to give their all in the service of the Kingdom. Being a relatively rich community, they tend to hold things back from God. Why do I say that? Simply because history teaches us that this is the tendency of the rich. The richer we become, the more self-sufficient we turn out, too. The need for God is not as pressing as when we are poor and this subtly affects the way we live our faith. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
To what degree do I surrender my life to God and His will? Do I make decisions without reference to God and my faith or do I seek His wisdom at every turn in my life?
Holy Spirit, grant me the wisdom to choose to seek the wisdom of God concerning all the decisions of my life. Help me to see that in following His will, I will reap a life of happiness and blessing, whereas going my own way will ultimately lead to emptiness.
St. Avitus, Abbot, pray for us.
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