READINGS for 2009-06-22
WHERE CHRIST IS LEAST KNOWN
The Lord said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
“I believe I am called to put in my share, no matter how small it is, in building God’s kingdom where Christ is least known,” my close friend, Riza, wrote to me about her moving to China. More than the independence, the enticing pay and new job, she saw going to China as obeying God’s will. She saw her task of building their newly modified organization and building up people as part of her life’s mission “to build, teach and support Christian communities.”
I was sad to see Riza go. To me she was more than a friend. She was a sister I never had, a confidant I often ran to and a constant source of encouragement. But how could I be saddened by the Lord’s calling for her?
Just like Abraham who left his homeland for the Lord’s Promised Land, Riza faces many challenges, trials and uncertainties. Nevertheless, just like Abraham, she obeyed His will and left her loved ones, her home and her community behind. I am certain that the Lord will make Riza a blessing to the foreign land He has led her to just as He made Abraham a great blessing to all communities of the earth. Dina Pecaña
Are you ready to leave everything and everyone behind and follow the Lord to wherever He wants you to go?
Lead me, Lord, to the place where You want me to be, where You need me to serve You and Your people and where You can use me for Your glory.
We will never know what convinced Abraham to leave behind a very comfortable lifestyle in order to follow the voice of God. Either Abraham was so simple he would follow any voice he heard or he had some deeper reason of which we are not told about that convinced him that this voice was not just any other voice. I very much doubt the first of the above reasons and so the second must be it. I wish I knew what it was in detail that convinced him.
1 The LORD said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.” 4 Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai, his brother’s son Lot, all the possessions that they had accumulated, and the persons they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land as far as the sacred place at Shechem, by the terebinth of Moreh. (The Canaanites were then in the land.) 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel, pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. He built an altar there to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name. 9 Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb.
P S A L M
Psalm 33:12-13. 18-19. 20 and 22
R: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
12 Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind. (R) 18 See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. (R) 20 Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield, 22 May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. (R)
G O S P E L
Judging is quite a particular profession. One does not become a judge without first doing a lot of study and then an apprenticeship, usually as a lawyer for many years. I do not know whether it is a job I would aspire to with a great deal of zeal. It seems to me to be the perfect job to leave to someone else as being a judge will never be easy. Besides, I think God will be watching very carefully how one exercises the enormous power and influence that comes with such a job.
1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. 2 For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. 3 Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? 5 You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
think: We will never know what convinced Abraham to leave behind a very comfortable lifestyle in order to follow the voice of God.
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 2 Samuel 5-8
2 Samuel 5-8
leArninG to JuDGe riGhteously
I always find it difficult to understand and hence to explain this teaching about not judging one another. Life is all about making judgment calls as to what to do and when to do it. This will at times mean making a judgment regarding a person, his or her character, etc. What does Jesus mean when He tells us to avoid judging one another?
It seems to me that it is not a blanket condemnation of judgment but more a reminder that the criteria that we use to judge others will be used in our own judgment. That is, we cannot afford to be hypocrites, having one standard of judgment for ourselves and another for others, or else we will find ourselves in a very difficult situation on judgment day.
Herein lies another important aspect of Christian life. It is only at our final judgment, when we die, that we will have to account for everything we have done. Nothing will be hidden on that day and we will have to give an account for it. Perhaps this partially explains why we often see people flourishing now due to evil acts and sinful practices. Yes, they may get away with these for now, but we can be sure they will have to give an account for them on the Last Day. It may be of little comfort to us if we are the victims of other people’s sinful activity, but at least it is some consolation.
God is a just God and we can be sure that He will not just ‘sweep under the carpet’ the sins of others, or even our own sins. We can be sure that reparation will have to be made — it is the details of this reparation that remain unknown to us. However, I think it is safe to say that we can leave such issues in the hands of God with confidence. I am not sure that I would trust myself to do a good job in judging the sins of others anyway. There would probably be too much in common with my own life for me to make an objective judgment. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Do I tend to judge other people harshly or with mercy? What can I learn from my own experience of forgiveness in relation to learning to forgive others?
Father, You are a merciful and loving God. Help me to love and forgive others in the way You love and forgive me.
St. Paulinus of Nola, Bishop, pray for us.
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