READINGS for 2009-08-01
“The earth has yielded its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.” – Psalm 67:7
Imagine if one day I ask for your bank account number and tell you, “I’ve deposited one million dollars in your bank account.” Naturally, you’d laugh and say, “Sure, Bo. Thanks. That’s a good one.” Of course, you don’t believe I can give you a million bucks.
But let’s just say I really did put a million dollars in your account. Would you benefit from it?
No, you wouldn’t. Unless you believe that I really gave you a million dollars and withdrew it.
I believe God has deposited zillions of heaven’s resources to your Blessing Account. You’ve got all the love, joy, peace, wisdom, holiness and, yes — finances — that you need in this world to serve Him and live a happy life.
But much of these zillions of blessings are unclaimed because you say to yourself, “There are no blessings. God won’t bless me.”
Believe that your Blessing Account is full and withdraw from your account.
God created the entire universe for you — a universe of blessings that are only waiting to be claimed. Bo Sanchez
Have you claimed from your Blessing Account?
Today, I claim from my Blessing Account all that I need. In Jesus’ name!
Unfortunately we do not follow these laws of the Jubilee and I somehow doubt that even the Jews ever followed them given the avaricious nature of the hearts of people. If we were to follow these laws perhaps we would be guided accordingly such that there would be a fairer distribution of the world’s wealth. However, there is no point and nothing to be gained from worrying about something that will never happen. Let us seek to do our bit in creating a more just and fairer world for all.
Leviticus 25:1. 8-17
1 The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 8 “Seven weeks of years shall you count — seven times seven years — so that the seven cycles amount to forty-nine years. 9 Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month let the trumpet resound; on this, the Day of Atonement, the trumpet blast shall re-echo throughout your land. 10 This fiftieth year you shall make sacred by proclaiming liberty in the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when every one of you shall return to his own property, every one to his own family estate. 11 In this fiftieth year, your year of jubilee, you shall not sow, nor shall you reap the aftergrowth or pick the grapes from the untrimmed vines. 12 Since this is the jubilee, which shall be sacred for you, you may not eat of its produce, except as taken directly from the field. 13 “In this year of jubilee, then, every one of you shall return to his own property. 14 Therefore, when you sell any land to your neighbor or buy any from him, do not deal unfairly. 15 On the basis of the number of years since the last jubilee shall you purchase the land from him; and so also, on the basis of the number of years for crops, shall he sell it to you. 16 When the years are many, the price shall be so much the more; when the years are few, the price shall be so much the less. For it is really the number of crops that he sells you. 17 Do not deal unfairly, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God.”
P S A L M
Psalm 67:2-3. 5. 7-8
R: O God, let all the nations praise you!
1  May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 2  So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation. (R) 4  May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. (R) 6  The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us. 7  May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him! (R)
G O S P E L
The most important requirement for evil to prosper is for good men and women to remain silent in the face of that evil. John the Baptist was a righteous man who knew that his own personal integrity demanded that he stand up for the truth even though he knew that that would not be a popular choice. Let us pray for the grace and strength to follow the Baptist’s example and be willing to stand for the truth whenever it comes under attack in our world.
1 Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” 3 Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, 4 for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. 6 But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod 7 so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, 10 and he had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
think: The most important requirement for evil to prosper is for good men and women to remain silent in the face of that evil.
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 Ezra 1-5
BRAVERY AND BALANCE
Our Gospel today narrates John the Baptist’s ghastly death. Before this, King Herod had him arrested and imprisoned.
Curiously, our First Reading (from the book of Leviticus) talks about the Jubilee Year, with its mandate of “proclaiming liberty in the land for all its inhabitants.” If only this applied to John the Baptist in prison. But, of course, this is just a fancy thought. In any case, today’s saint instead can serve as a connection and fulfillment. St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists), was a former lawyer who became a priest and moral theologian. He fought bravely against Jansenism (an erroneous teaching that supported a very rigid morality). He insisted that penitents should be treated as souls to be saved rather than criminals to be punished. He developed a moral theology highly characterized by balance and moderation. According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Alphonsus as a moral theologian occupies the golden mean between the schools tending either to laxity or to rigor which divided the theological world of his time.”
But as his father would attest, Alphonsus as a child was very hardheaded. Accordingly, once he had said a word, nothing could ever break it. So when he lost his first case in his career as a lawyer, he vowed to leave it all behind, to his father’s dismay. Alphonsus then embraced the priestly ministry.
In the case of King Herod, his was a cowardly decision. He simply danced to the tune of the crowd and gave in to the shameless request of Herodias — a stark contrast to John the Baptist’s courage and constancy in the face of trial.
There is also the ideal and balanced combination found in St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s pastoral and moral approach. In it, we have an openness to God’s grace which urges us to conversion, as well as a determined resoluteness to respond and cooperate with it through our human efforts. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
How do I respond to God’s grace?
Lord, I open myself to Your action in my life. Help me to respond as I should. Amen.
St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor, pray for us.
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