READINGS for 2009-06-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. – Matthew 8:26b
I was struggling during the latter part of 2007. I would have to spend my Christmas break with people I wasn’t sure that I could face. I couldn’t avoid them and yet I didn’t know if I could forgive them enough to be civil. I wrestled long and hard about it. I asked for prayers, consulted my priest-friend and thought about it a lot. What these persons had done to me caused me trauma and pain in the past.
A few days before I was to leave for my vacation, I felt at peace. I was able to buy gifts for them. I could think of them without hurt and anger in my heart. The Lord had calmed the tempest within.
Anger, pain and unforgiveness can cause a raging storm to break inside our hearts. In the midst of all that, we wonder if the Lord is with us in our struggle. But I think the Lord appreciates that battle — the effort to follow His will and to become like Him by forgiving and loving. And when the time comes, He will calm the storm and give us the peace that our heart so desires. Joy Sosoban
“Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your God is.” (Anonymous)
You are a big God. May I find my perfect peace trusting in You amid the challenging circumstances of life.


What do we learn from the story of Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt? Perhaps it is simply that we should not reminisce and look back on our old sinful lives of sin and always look forward to the new life that God offers us. There is little to be learned from a life of sin other than what not to do; there is a life of opportunity in front of us particularly if we open ourselves to the grace of God!
Genesis 19:15-29
15 As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, “On your way! Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 When he hesitated, the men, by the LORD’s mercy, seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and led them to safety outside the city. 17 As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told: “Flee for your life! Don’t look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away.” 18 “Oh, no, my lord!” replied Lot. 19 “You have already thought enough of your servant to do me the great kindness of intervening to save my life. But I cannot flee to the hills to keep the disaster from overtaking me, and so I shall die. 20 Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to. It’s only a small place. Let me flee there — it’s a small place, isn’t it? — that my life may be saved.” 21 “Well, then,” he replied, “I will also grant you the favor you now ask. I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 Hurry, escape there! I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” That is why the town is called Zoar. 23 The sun was just rising over the earth as Lot arrived in Zoar; 24 at the same time the LORD rained down sulfurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD out of heaven. 25 He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. 27 Early the next morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood in the LORD’S presence. 28 As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region of the Plain, he saw dense smoke over the land rising like fumes from a furnace. 29 Thus it came to pass: when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.
Psalm 26:2-3. 9-10. 11-12
R: O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.
2 Search me, O LORD, and try me; test my soul and my heart. 3 For your mercy is before my eyes, and I walk in your truth. (R) 9 Gather not my soul with those of sinners, nor with men of blood my life. 10 On their hands are crimes, and their right hands are full of bribes. (R) 11 But I walk in integrity; redeem me, and have mercy on me. 12 My foot stands on level ground; in the assemblies I will bless the LORD. (R)
Jesus demonstrates His power over the natural world not to show off but to affirm that there is nothing that is beyond His power. The two are very different realities particularly when we consider the humility of Jesus and how He never uses His power for His own gain. In fact, here is a very good gauge of the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives — if we are using them for personal gain, then this is or may be bordering on simony; if we use them for the sake of the Kingdom of God, God Himself will increase them and bless our faithfulness to His will.
Matthew 8:23-27
23 As Jesus got into a boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. 25 They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. 27 The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
my reflections
think: There is little to be learned from a life of sin other than what not to do; there is a life of opportunity in front of us particularly if we open ourselves to the grace of God.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
Did I fulfill my last quarter goals?
What were the most important words the Lord gave to me this quarter?
What were my greatest blessings these past three months?
What are my most pressing needs for the next quarter?


the poWer to commAnD even the elements
There is nothing beyond the power of God. The only things that are impossible to God are sin and logical contradictions — neither of which anyone in their right mind would want their God to be capable of anyway. Today’s Gospel clearly demonstrates the absolute power of Jesus. The disciples ought to have been in no doubt as to the divinity of Jesus, having experienced such a miracle. Yet, why do we constantly hear of the disciples lacking faith or failing to respond as Jesus expected them to? Perhaps we can put it down to a lack of understanding or maybe it has something to do with the fear that Jesus talks about in the Gospel. I do not know the answer; all I can do is reflect on the question from the point of view of my own experience. I have to ask myself why do I fail to respond to the Gospel call in the way I know I should.
In the answer to this question, I begin to discover the areas of my life where I need to surrender more deeply to the grace of God and allow His Spirit to empower me more fully to a deeper faith response. This is what growing in holiness and faith is all about — letting go of my need to be in control, even when I know my control is faulty or sinful, and having the faith and trust to allow the Spirit of God to lead me in my life. The more honest we are in admitting our weaknesses and struggles, the greater the opportunity for God to make up for them in our lives. This is a humbling process as it proclaims to the world that I am not capable of following Jesus in my own strength and therefore I need help. Such an image is far from the one the world tells us is acceptable — that is, being self-sufficient and independent. However, the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with self-sufficiency and everything to do with faith and reliance upon Jesus who ALONE has the power to save! Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Reflection Question:
Am I willing to let go of the reins of my life and let God be the one to take them up and lead me wherever He wants me to go?
Holy Spirit, help me to surrender all to Jesus and hold nothing back. I pray for the grace to truly live a life of faith and trust in Him.
First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, pray for us.

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