READINGS for 2009-07-24

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“… and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown… ” – Matthew 13:19b
Fr. Hubert Decena shared in our Bible class an experience he had when he was asked to bless a ship. After he read all the prayers at the dock, he then proceeded inside the ship to sprinkle it with holy water. As he was walking through the deck and rooms, he noticed bloodstains on the floor. He found out they were from a chicken that was killed and its blood sprinkled to drive away evil spirits. It’s an old superstitious belief.
He said to himself, “Satan came ahead of me.” So, instead of just blessing the ship, he prayed prayers of exorcism as well. We must not underestimate the enemy. Satan knew they were calling a priest to bless the ship and he made his ground by inspiring someone in the group to perform this cultic ritual prior to the blessing to “position” his evil spirits there before it’s too late.
Often, people think that nothing will be lost if they cover themselves from all angles by practicing both superstitious and Christian beliefs. That’s not true. The Bible says that the devil is like a lion always on the prowl looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). So, Christians, be on guard. Cristy Galang
Do I still have superstitious beliefs? Do I read the horoscope and let it influence me?
Protect me, Lord, from the cunning enemy. Hold me tight at all times and do not give the enemy a chance to take me from You. Amen.


The Ten Commandments set out how we should relate to God (first three) and to one another (last seven). We need to be aware that it is not an easy thing to encapsulate the essence of a relationship with God in three simple laws. We need therefore to read between the lines, so to speak, in order to discover the full meaning and import of such laws. In other words, we cannot just deal literally with the laws. We need to be aware of their contextual development within a covenant relationship of love where God promises much to those who will live by this set of commandments and all they entail.
Exodus 20:1-17
1 In those days: God delivered all these commandments: 2 “I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. 3 You shall not have other gods besides me. 4 You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; 5 you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; 6 but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain. 8 “Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. 9 Six days you may labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. 11 In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you. 13 “You shall not kill. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.”
Psalm 19:8. 9. 10. 11
R: Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
7 [8] The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. (R) 8 [9] The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. (R) 9 [10] The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (R) 10 [11] They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb. (R)
Do not be surprised when you discover that being a disciple of Jesus is not easy. All the saints discovered this truth and it failed to daunt them. They continued to give of their all and served God in the best and fullest way they could. The temptations  and difficulties that we will face will be many and varied as the parable tells us. The question is: “Do you have what it takes to overcome them all or are you going to succumb to one or another of them?” This is the ultimate question a disciple of Jesus must answer and the answer is not given in words but in the deeds of his or her life.
Matthew 13:18-23
18 Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear the parable of the sower. 19 The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. 20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 21 But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22 The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. 23 But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
my reflections
think: The temptations and difficulties that we will face in being a disciple of Jesus will be many and varied. Do you have what it takes to overcome them?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Chronicles 13-15


enriched soul in A rich soil
In today’s Gospel, we hear the first of a series of parables. We hear of the life of the seeds growing in three different ways. One fell on rocky ground and grew immediately but earned a quick death because it was not deeply rooted and so withered by the scorch of the sun. The other fell among the thorns and so when it grew up thorns destroyed them. And the third fell on rich soil and thus grew well and bore fruit. We all know that we are referring to the Word of God being offered to all of us. In many ways God will always reveal to us His will, but the question is how we are in receiving it. How do we receive His Word?
What is common among the three kinds of seeds is that they all grew. The physical result of being planted is seen by the naked eye. Yet physical growth that is seen can never guarantee rootedness and depth. Loudness, impressions and image cannot be an assurance that depth or rootedness is present. Sometimes, it is just a shallow effort at pretensions.
May we be humble enough to acknowledge our own shallowness and our limitations. Let us ask for His grace that we may be able to listen to His Word, accept His Word and grow in His Word. Let us ask for His grace to realize that being planted and nourished does not happen apart from the soil. Kailangan nating hindi lamang mahulog sa lupa nguni’t maibaon sa lupa. (We need not only be scattered on rich soil but to be rooted and be enriched in the soil.) May we be able to take root in Christ’s example and humility. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Reflection Question:
Has the word of God found a rich soil in you? Do you exert the effort to make yourself rich so that His will, His Word, will grow and yield a fruitful harvest?
Loving Father, grant us the grace to grow in faith, hope and love in a rich soil that our life may be enriched with Your saving power forever and ever. Amen.
St. Christina, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.

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