READINGS for 2009-07-31

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“You are respected everywhere except in your own hometown and family...” – Matthew 13:57
She was a poor lady, the daughter of a laundrywoman, who worked as a maid in my grandmother’s house back in the ‘60s. She eventually got married to my uncle. Do I see some eyebrows rising?
Sounds like a typical movie plot: Poor girl marrying a rich guy. Simply put, everybody was against the union. But against all odds, my uncle and aunt bravely sailed on and traveled together through the many journeys of life despite the rejections and insults hurled at them by family members and neighbors.
Today, after 40 years of marriage, they own hectares of lands, a chain of condos and tall commercial buildings, to name a few of their business empires. They have become the richest among our relatives who used to berate my aunt because she was just a poor maid’s daughter.
As Christians, we shouldn’t look down on people because of the social class they belong to, who they are or where they come from. Because in the eyes of God, we are all His children.
And who knows? Down the road, we might just find that the years have reversed our fortunes. Henry yu
“Beware so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.” (Jean de la Fontaine)
Lord, help me to accept people for who they are and not for what I want them to be.


Most religions have festivities and holy days to celebrate. These celebrations remind us of important aspects of our faith. It is up to us as individuals to seek to deepen our understanding of these celebrations so that they would be more than mere rituals — that they would be for us life-giving celebrations of the saving work of God’s grace in our lives.
Leviticus 23:1. 4-11. 15-16. 27. 34b-37
1 The LORD said to Moses, 4 “These are the festivals of the LORD which you shall celebrate at their proper time with a sacred assembly. 5 The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month, at the evening twilight. 6 The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD’s feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work. 8 On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD. Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work.” 9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you come into the land which I am giving you, and reap your harvest, you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 who shall wave the sheaf before the LORD that it may be acceptable for you. On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this. 15 “Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf, you shall count seven full weeks, 16 and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD. 27 “The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement, when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves and offer an oblation to the LORD. 34 “The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD’s feast of Booths, which shall continue for seven days. 35 On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly, and you shall do no sort of work. 36 For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD, and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and offer an oblation to the LORD. On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work. 37 “These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly, and offer as an oblation to the LORD holocausts and cereal offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day.”
Psalm 81:3-4. 5-6. 10-11ab
R: Sing with joy to God our help.
2 [3] Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel, the pleasant harp and the lyre. 3 [4] Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast. (R) 4 [5] For it is a statute in Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob, 5 [6] who made it a decree for Joseph when he came forth from the land of Egypt. (R) 9 [10] There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. 10 [11] I, the LORD, am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt. (R)
St. Ignatius was a man on a mission who would not let minor losses in battle discourage him. Once he had set his mind to the task of following Jesus and forsaking the world after the Battle of Pamplona, he had many ups and downs but persevered through them and laid the foundation for the Jesuit Order. Like all saints, he experienced rejection, even at times from the Church authorities. However, not even that could stop him. As we reflect upon his life today, let us pray for the grace to imitate his perseverance and courage and fulfill God’s call on our lives to their completion.
Matthew 13:54-58
54 Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? 55 Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” 58 And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
my reflections
think: Let us deepen our understanding of our religious celebrations so that they would be life-giving for us.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Chronicles 34-36


FAmiliArity breeds blindness?
Whenever there is a lunar or solar eclipse, astronomers bid everyone to go outside of the house and make sure to catch a glimpse of these rare occurrences. We do take time to watch out for these rarities for indeed they come once in a lifetime. Do we hear astronomers telling us to go out on this or that night to watch the stars? No. Why? Because they are always there. Much as they are beautiful to look, we do not really bother to look at them because after all, they’re always there. Most of the time, we do not even notice that the stars are up there. Familiarity breeds blindness.
Today we hear of the relatives and town-mates of Jesus failing to see anything significant in Him. Could it be because they have grown too accustomed to seeing and hearing Jesus? They have become too familiar with him. Their familiarity bred blindness to the wonder of the Word made flesh.
Today, ask God to open your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you: people, things, events and experiences. There is beauty and wonder all around. It would be a pity if they all remain a part of an inanimate landscape that daily we carelessly pass by. Let us not allow too much familiarity with them to blind us from appreciation. Let us not allow them to go to waste. Fr. Joel O. Jason
Reflection Question:
Today, make a conscious effort to acknowledge and affirm anything that you see beautiful in the people around you. See what difference it will make to you and to them.
Lord, there is nothing in the world that You have created that is not beautiful. Take away the scales of familiarity in my eyes. Warm my heart to the beauty that lies in every living creation of Yours. Amen.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest, pray for us.

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