READINGS for 2009-07-03
Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle
STRANGERS No moRE
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God. – Ephesians 2:19
Finding a friend is one of the most amazing gifts we can have. Friends have been crucial in my survival and sanity. I have shared many laughs, tears and growing pains with a small group of people I am happy to call my friends. Many times over, I have also seen God’s love personified through them.
I believe God created friendship because we need it. He anticipated that there would be parts of our lives best shared not exactly with our parents or blood relatives, but with people we label as “friends.” God knew that our ability to nurture and love other people, even those not included in our direct family, was a crucial part of our ability to love Him as well. I also believe that this is why Jesus was sent to be one of us — so that He could become our friend — one with us in our struggles and frailties. The Lord wants to be our closest companion. He wants to join us for coffee, to hear about our day, to share in our pains and dreams.
You may have just recently met Jesus. Maybe you’re just getting to know each other. Or maybe you’ve known Him for many years. Spend time with Him every day. Believe me, He makes a fantastic friend.Cess Cosico
Have you been taking care of your friendships?
Lord, be my friend as I journey through life.
The Church, our faith, the work of God in the world — they are built on the foundation of the apostles. Paul reminds us of this early on in the life of the Church. However, let us not forget that we are meant to be the modern-day apostles upon whom God continues to build His Kingdom. It is through us that the Spirit continues to reveal the Gospel, and bring its truth to the ends of the earth. Let us pray for the grace to surrender to whatever apostolic work God wants us to do.
19 Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. 21 Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; 22 in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
P S A L M
Psalm 117:1bc. 2
R: Go out to all the world and tell the God News.
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! (R) 2 For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever. (R)
G O S P E L
St. Thomas is often given the nickname ‘the doubter.’ Literally this is true; he doubted the resurrection of Jesus until he personally witnessed Jesus standing before him. However, I think it is a little harsh to label him such all because of one mistake or doubt. We all have our own struggles, and I am sure we do not wish to be known by them. We would much rather be known by our triumphs and accomplishments than our mistakes. Let us remember Thomas as the Apostle to India (and China) rather than the doubter he was at a moment of weakness.
24 Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail-marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
think: It is through us that the Spirit continues to reveal the Gospel and bring its truth to the ends of the earth.
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 Kings 20-22
to not see And still believe
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hands into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25) — words of a practical man. In our visually-oriented world, no one will doubt the validity of that principle. “To see is to believe” is already a tried and tested cliché. But that is precisely why it has become a cliché, because everyone is saying it. But does that practical principle really hold water?
I remember once trying out the IMAX theatre at the Mall of Asia. It’s a special kind of theatre where images come alive in three dimensional images. I watched a documentary on people climbing the top of Mt. Everest. Wearing 3D glasses, I literally ducked, crouched, and covered my head from the objects I saw coming out of the gigantic screen. I swear I really saw things falling over me. But in reality, there was nothing. It was just a screen. It only looks that way. Looks can be deceiving. Appearances can be tricky. That is why, when it comes to questions of what is true, good and beautiful, we cannot simply rely on appearances. Truth is not the monopoly of the visible world. There is a big part of truth that goes beyond the scope of the visible. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince expressed it so eloquently, “It is only with the heart that one sees rightly…What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The words of Sacred Scripture say it thus, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart” ( 1 Samuel 16:7). The words of our Blessed Lord plainly put it, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29). Fr. Joel O. Jason
Are you a visually-oriented person? How much does this orientation color your life of faith?
Lord, grant me the grace I need to trust and love You. Please forgive me for the times that I doubted Your goodness and love for me. Amen.
St. Thomas, Apostle, pray for us.
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