READINGS for 2009-07-27
THE PoWER of THE lITTlE THINGS
“... it becomes a large bush….” – Matthew 13:32
Many times in my life, I have been like a John the Baptist.
I experienced doing many pioneering tasks that I felt the Lord was calling me to do. He inspired me and another friend to organize a community for special children in our parish. He also called me, a single woman, to form the family and life ministry there. He asked me to organize a small prayer group among sales ladies in our village commercial center. Even in the workplaces He sent me to, I often was a pioneering employee, someone who started a work unit, set up systems and so on.
Sometimes, I wonder, how could He trust me with such things when I am the quiet and shy type who’d rather work silently in the background? Yet, He continues to call me to more ground-breaking tasks. So I, too, continue to heed His soft whispers in my heart, knowing that He uses mightily the little things that I do to bless His people. Tess Atienza
How comfortable are you in doing small, unnoticeable acts for the Lord?
Use me, Lord, like a writer uses his pen. It remains hidden in his pocket when not in use, but when put to use, its power becomes limitless.
The description Aaron gives to Moses of the creation of the Golden Calf seems to be lacking — how can a calf simply ‘come out’ of a whole lot of gold that has been melted in the fire? We have here a very primitive, even nascent, psychological understanding of the nature of sin. What I mean by this is that the author of this text may be trying to convey to the reader that there is a certain mystery to sin that, at times, we cannot put our finger on its origin. This is certainly the experience of all, at least a few times, in our lives.
Exodus 32:15-24. 30-34
15 Moses turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, front and back; 16 tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God himself. 17 Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.” 18 But Moses answered, “It does not sound like cries of victory, nor does it sound like cries of defeat; the sounds that I hear are cries of revelry.” 19 As he drew near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing. With that, Moses’ wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain. 20 Taking the calf they had made, he fused it in the fire and then ground it down to powder, which he scattered on the water and made the Israelites drink. 21 Moses asked Aaron, “What did this people ever do to you that you should lead them into so grave a sin?” 22 Aaron replied, “Let not my lord be angry. You know well enough how prone the people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us a god to be our leader; as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Let anyone who has gold jewelry take it off.’ They gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and this calf came out.” 30 On the next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a grave sin. I will go up to the LORD, then; perhaps I may be able to make atonement for your sin.” 31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Ah, this people has indeed committed a grave sin in making a god of gold for themselves! 32 If you would only forgive their sin! If you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written.” 33 The LORD answered, “Him only who has sinned against me will I strike out of my book. 34 Now, go and lead the people whither I have told you. My angel will go before you. When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
P S A L M
Psalm 106:19-20. 21-22. 23
R: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
19 Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image; 20 they exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock. (R) 21 They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, 22 wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea. (R) 23 Then he spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, his chosen one, withstood him in the breach to turn back his destructive wrath. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus uses many different parables to illustrate to His listeners the nature of the Kingdom of God. It is important that we reflect upon these parables in order to understand the truth of the nature of the Kingdom of God so that we will be better able to live it. Some aspects of Kingdom living are not easy. We have to know whether or not we are willing to pay the price associated with receiving citizenship in heaven. This is not a game; we are talking about our eternal destiny here.
31 Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.” 33 He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” 34 All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, 35 to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.”
think:There is a certain mystery to sin that at times, we cannot put a finger on its origin.
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 22-24
We Filipinos take pride in the value we place over brotherhood and fellowship. We call this pakikisama. We even have a popular tag line which has become a symbol of oneness and solidarity, “Iba na ang may pinagsamahan,” we often say. But while pakikisama is a cultural strength, when pushed to the extreme, it can also be a weakness. How many among you have gotten into trouble all in the name of pakikisama or brotherhood? Fraternity hazings, for one, are an example of an evil done in the name of pakikisama. In such a case, it is no longer brotherhood or pakikisama. It has become complicity to evil or pakikisamâ.
In the first reading, Moses took time up the mountain. The people below grew impatient and asked Aaron to carve for themselves a molten calf that they could worship. Confronted by Moses, Aaron essentially reasoned that he was forced to give in to pressure. If Aaron was Filipino, maybe he would have said he did it out of pakikisama. But that was not pakikisama, it was pakikisamâ. Aaron gave in to peer pressure. He became an accomplice to the evil of idolatry. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Have you ever done something evil all in the name of pakikisama? Resist the temptation. Be accomplished in life, not an accomplice.
Lord, help me to always choose You all the days of my life. Amen.
St. Pantaleon, Martyr, pray for us.
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