READINGS for 2009-07-10
THANK GoD foR TRIAlS
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” – Matthew 10:16
A few days ago, I read in the papers about a study by British and American economists that found that middle-aged people were not as happy as when they’re older or younger. This mid-life depression, they discovered, was consistent all over the world regardless of one’s marital status, change in job, income or kids.
Another study found that moderately happy people are more educated, earn more money and live longer than those who are extremely happy. Researchers suggest that because extremely happy people are generally satisfied with life, they’re less likely to exert effort to improve themselves or even follow up on their health.
This led me to reflect on the importance of trials and difficulties in our lives. When we experience pain, brokenness, suffering, they make us long for something more.
More of the Lord.
More of His healing.
More of His provisions.
More of His guidance.
Ultimately, all these lead us to become better people. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
No wonder St. Paul said, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
Lord, today I thank You for every dif- ficulty and trial in my life.
Israel (Jacob), Joseph’s father, speaks some words that will become well known many centuries later, like the sentiments of Simeon on seeing the baby Jesus. Both men express a sentiment that speaks of the hope in the human heart that is very difficult to quench. Even though Jacob had been presented with the bloodied robes of his son Joseph, he still maintained a hope that his son was alive! Foolish? Maybe! But, in the end, he was vindicated. With God on our side to help us accomplish His will, let us never lose hope that we can be faithful to the end.
Genesis 46:1-7. 28-30
1 Israel set out with all that was his. When he arrived at Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he answered. 3 Then he said: “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation. 4 Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.” 5 So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport. 6 They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt. 7 His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters — all his descendants — he took with him to Egypt. 28 Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that he might meet him in Goshen. On his arrival in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time inhis arms. 30 And Israel said to Joseph, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive.”
P S A L M
Psalm 37:3-4. 18-19. 27-28. 39-40
R: The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you your heart’s requests. (R) 18 The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted; their inheritance lasts forever. 19 They are not put to shame in an evil time; in days of famine they have plenty. (R) 27 Turn from evil and do good, that you may abide forever; 28 for the LORD loves what is right, and forsakes not his faithful ones. (R) 39 The salvation of the just is from the LORD; he is their refuge in time of distress. 40 And the LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. (R)
G O S P E L
The truth of the matter is that when we go out to preach the Gospel, it is as though we are literally like sheep among the wolves. Our society today is becoming more hostile to the message of the Gospel . This is not an opinion — it is the truth. One has only to turn on the TV, or listen to the radio, to see how far we have strayed from promulgating the truth of the values of the Gospel to the masses. I am sorry to say that probably the majority of what we see on the various media communication is complete and utter trash, if not outright sin.
16 Jesus said to his disciples: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. 17 But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. 19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. 20 For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
think:With God on our side to help us accomplish His will, let us never lose hope that we can be faithful to the end.
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 Chronicles 1-3
in And out oF bed oF roses
We have seen in the Gospel that following Christ does not really guarantee a lot of special offers. In fact, what we hear in the Gospel today is a list of persecutions that the faithful disciples of Christ must be ready to face. This is really how it is to follow Christ in the world. In following Christ, we are not promised a bed of roses but persecutions and pains. But we must also never forget that God’s grace is higher and greater than any trials and difficulties that would come our way. This is so in order for us to see the reality of an all-powerful God guiding us all throughout our life.
The challenge for us now is to continue to see and feel God’s presence in everything we do, and in everything that is happening in our lives, whether good or bad. As human beings, we tend to see God’s presence only when good things come our way. When our family is united and we are doing well, we keep on thanking God. When we are achieving our dreams and plans, we feel God is on our side. When we are healthy and capable of doing all our activities, we appreciate what God has bestowed upon us. But when difficulties start to burden us, we feel that God is the first one to abandon us. When problems begin to surface in our family, we question God as if He is not a part of our family. When we fail to achieve our life-long dreams, we easily give up on God as if He is not the one giving us all the energy and inspiration. When we get sick or terminally ill, we ask God why, as if He has never given us strength from the day we were born up to the present moment. Life is a mixture of joys and tears, pain and fears, triumphs and defeats. Through it all, God is with us.
God cares. God loves us. God is with us — always. Fr. Joel O. Jason
When bad things come our way, we ask “Why me?” When good things come your way, do you also ask “Why me?” When and why have I doubted God’s love and presence in my life?
Oh my God, grant me the grace to see Your presence in the daily events of my life. Amen.
Sts. Rufina and Secunda, Virgins and Martyrs, pray for us.
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