READINGS for 2009-07-25
Feast of St. James, Apostle
We are often troubled but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair. – 2 Corinthians 4:8
“Tita, no…, it’s like this,” Cezz would say as she demonstrates the dance steps for our company party. I follow her instructions.
“No, tita, follow me,” she’d say again to correct my clumsy steps. What can I do if I can’t really catch up with this modern dance sequence? If not for our department’s sake, I wouldn’t make a laughing stock of myself!
But come to think of it, I see Jesus in the person of Cezz. He’s my God who never tires of teaching me the right thing to do, especially in my struggles now that I am back to the fold of free society.
In prison, I never had to deal with the challenge of caring for my ailing mother whom we sometimes have to bring back and forth to the hospital. And when’s there’s a heavy downpour outside, it rains inside our house as well. So we scatter empty basins, dippers and pots on the floor plus umbrellas above our mosquito nets to keep us dry as we sleep.
I just praise and thank God that despite all hese adverse situations He is always there to lift me up and carry me through. I’m always reminded to have confidence and approach God’s throne where there is grace and mercy just when I need it (Hebrews 4:16). Beth Corral
Are you rattled, worried and helpless about your life’s situation now? Let go and let God do the rest. For sure you will be at peace.
Father God, thank You so much for Your infinite grace and mercy. Let me be Your vessel of blessing so that I may bless others too. Amen.
Each of us is a fragile work of God in progress. Perhaps we should all walk around with a sign on our backs saying. ‘Fragile! Handle with care!’ That would all be a bit too much. Yes, we are a work in progress, but with God as the one forming our lives, we could not be in better hands. Let us seek to be as clay in the hand of a potter so that He can do with us as He desires and then, recognizing the fragility of each human being, treat one another with the dignity and respect we all deserve.
2 Corinthians 4:7-15
7 Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. 15 Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
P S A L M
Psalm 126:1bc-2ab. 2cd-3. 4-5. 6
R: Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. (R) Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. (R) 4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert. 5 Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. (R) 6 Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. (R)
G O S P E L
It is good to have ambitions of service, not glory. This is the lesson James and John learned in today’s Gospel. Let us seek to serve and not be served in imitation of Jesus. The vast majority of sin comes about when we lose the correct perspective on life and one of the greatest traps we fall into is the one that suggests to us that we are more important than we really are. Let us leave the decision as to our place in heaven to God and not seek to preempt Him in any way. As I said earlier, let us use our energy serving the Kingdom, not reshaping it according to our own faulty vision.
20 The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. 21 He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” 23 He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left[, this] is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27 whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
think: It is good to have ambitions of service, not glory.
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 Chronicles 16-18
Are you A viP?
Once, I was invited to say Mass at SM Megamall. It was a weekend and parking was usually difficult to find. I was told that a space was reserved near the entrance gate at fifth floor so I won’t have difficulty finding a parking space. When I got to the place, I signaled to the guard that I’m parking at the space provided. The guard didn’t know me and I don’t blame him. He waved at me to go away saying, “Sa iba na po kayo pumunta, para sa VIP po ito.” (Go somewhere else, this is reserved for a VIP). I must admit, at that moment, I was tempted to say, “I am that VIP.” But I couldn’t bear to be arrogant so I calmly drove away. Fortunately, I found a parking space.
When the guard on duty inspected my bag, he saw my priest vestments. He apologized, “Sorry sir, kayo po pala ang magma-Mass?” I said, “No problem. You’re doing your job.” Have you had that temptation? The feeling of wanting to be “above the rest”? The mother of James and John definitely had. Listen to her request, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom” (Matthew 20:21). While Jesus did not directly reject this request from the over-eager mother, He certainly reoriented the disciples’ idea of who is greatest in the Kingdom. Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Matthew 20:25-27).
The admonition of Jesus is clear. The kingdom of God is not a matter of making one’s importance felt. It is a matter of making others feel important by the loving service you render. That makes you a VIP in Jesus’ list. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Have you ever used an official privilege for unofficial purposes? Have you ever worn masks to make your importance felt?
Lord Jesus, purify my intentions. Make me a servant whose only joy comes from knowing that I do Your most holy will. Amen.
St. James the Apostle, pray for us.
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