READINGS for 2009-08-02

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

CoNVENIENT fAITH
 
“… you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves  and were filled…” – John 6:26
 
Rewards and freebies are great tools in selling products and services. Oftentimes, the decision to patronize a particular product or service is influenced not so much by the quality or performance but by the freebies that go along with the merchandise. It’s sad that many of us seek for freebies in the church — things that suit our preferences. Like a parish priest who is good at giving homilies. Or a nicely built, well-ventilated church that’s accessible from our house. Or the presence of the Charismatic group where we belong. And when these things are gone, our enthusiasm to go to church and serve God diminishes.
We fail to realize that beyond these things is a far greater reason to embrace the faith — a life in union with God and the great reward of eternal life. We can have all these only when we learn to recognize what is truly important. Jane Gonzales
 
REFLECTION:
Do you find joy in serving God even if it’s inconvenient for you?
 
Dear Lord, I renew my commitment to serve You. Forgive me for thinking of my own convenience. Use me, Lord, to be of service to others for Your glory. Amen.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
I suppose it must have been wearying to travel a long time through the desert from Egypt to the Promised Land. However, surely the hope of a new and better life and the fact that they had not yet starved should have been enough for the people to realize that with God on their side, they were not going to be defeated in battle, nor were they going to be allowed to starve in the desert.
 
Exodus 16:2-4. 12-15
2 The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!” 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, “In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.” 13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, 14 and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. 15 On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?” for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.”
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 78:3-4. 23-24. 25. 54 (24b)
R: The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
3 What we have heard and know, and what our fathers have declared to us, 4 we will declare to the generation to come the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength and the wonders that he wrought. (R) 23 He commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven; 24 he rained manna upon them for food and gave them heavenly bread. (R) 25 Man ate the bread of angels. Food he sent them in abundance. 54 And he brought them to his holy land, to the mountains his right hand had won. (R)
 
2nd READING
 
We live at a time when the battle for our minds is very intense. I believe that it is time humanity as a whole seriously ask itself the question, ”What does it mean to live a simple and satisfying life?” Is the level of consumerism that we have given ourselves into necessary for true happiness? I do not think so! Consumerism as a way of life has captured our minds and is holding them captive while we virtually kill ourselves in order to feed our insatiable appetite for pleasure. This is not and never will be a healthy thing!
 
Ephesians 4:17. 20-24
17 Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; 20 that is not how you learned Christ, 21 assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, 22 that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.
 
G O S P E L
 
Jesus uses the knowledge and memory of the Jews in order to teach them a new understanding of how God provides for them, not just their daily food, but also the gift of eternal life — salvation. Let us take a few moments this Sunday to reflect upon the wonder of this gift and allow ourselves to be drawn more deeply into living it to the full on a daily basis.
 
John 6:24- 35
24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” 28 So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
 
my reflections
think:What does it mean to live a simple and satisfying life?
 
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Ezra 5-10
 
SABBATH PAUSE
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
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SPECIAL NEEDS
Things to ask God for in the coming week
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HIDDEN TREASURE
Most important word God told me this week
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SABBATH

 

guArAnteed QuAlity Food
 
Notice how attractive the packaging and marketing of food products are these days. But sometimes they can also be deceptive. In fact, the ancient Romans gave the warning which still holds up to now in our age of malls and e-shopping: Caveat
emptor (“Let the buyer beware”). Thankfully, some ways of protecting the buyer or consumer have also been invented: guarantees and warranties, repairs and replacements, returns and exchanges.
In today’s Gospel, we read that the food that the Lord offers is by no means perishable food. Rather, it is the food that remains unto life eternal, food which the Son of Man gives, on whom the Father has set His seal. In the words of our  analogy, this is real, guaranteed quality food — not the deceitful kind that relies on slick packaging and advertising. Certainly we always want to get our money’s worth. We do not want to be taken for a ride or be robbed in broad daylight when we buy stuff or eat in a restaurant. Jesus’ audience in the Gospel episode was just as concerned with genuineness and quality. After our Lord told them about such a marvelous food available for them, they at once asked, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”... “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?” Actually it was Jesus who was really concerned with genuineness and quality. He unmasked the people’s sincerity by telling them straight, “You are
looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”
It all culminated in their imploring Him, “Sir, give us this bread always,” and in Jesus’ presenting Himself: “I am the bread of life....”
Just as we would be careful and conscious when we buy foodstuff (checking expiry dates, ingredients and nutrition facts), so, too, it is with life. May we be able to check and see beyond external trappings. And let’s not even be satisfied with ordinary, plain food. Why should we, when Christ offers us the bread which comes from heaven and which gives life to the world? Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
 
Reflection Question:
What am I hungry for?
 
Lord, grant me the grace to always hunger for You so that my life may bear fruit for You. Amen.
 
St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop, pray for us.
 



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