READINGS for 2009-09-01
lIGHT youR lAmP
… and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. – Luke 4:32
The first time I met Emy Serafica was when I was 14 years old — a greenhorn-of-a-preacher who led our young Light of Jesus Community with just 20 or so members. Emy was a natural leader and an eloquent speaker who read the Bible like crazy. People enjoyed his preaching. The three main points he focused on were what made his talks unique.
As Light of Jesus grew in number, I asked Emy to lead one of our five sub-groups. But before long, Emy told me he felt that God was leading him to leave community with 20 members of his sub-group to form a Protestant church. I was shocked, hurt and felt numb but I still wished him the best.
After 14 years, Emy and I met once again. We hugged each other for a long time. And with expressions deeper than any words could say, we forgave each other. A few months after, Emy died of a heart attack. I’ll miss his preaching. But he preached three major points to me one last time through his death: One, life is short. Two, divisions and fights don’t matter at death. Three, use your lamp and light it until the last breath of your soul.
Your lamp is your core gift. Mine is preaching and writing.
What’s your lamp?Bo Sanchez
Is your lamp lighted?
Let me light my lamp into dark corners where people don’t know You.
No one knows when the Lord will come in glory and so the only sensible thing is to be prepared at all times for His return. This means seeking to live holy lives starting now. There is no excuse for sin in our lives. God has given us the grace and power of His resurrection so we may be free from sin and its powers. Let us decide to accept the gift of God and live in the grace He offers.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6. 9-11
1 Concerning times and seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. 3 When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. 5 For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. 6 Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. 9 For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. 11 Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
P S A L M
Psalm 27:1. 4. 13-14
R: I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 4 One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. (R) 13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. (R)
G O S P E L
One of the things that impresses young people today is to hear someone speak with authority and conviction. This has always impressed me especially if the person is able to convince me to change my opinion on a particular subject. This is the way our lives and our conversation must be if we are going to be effective evangelists today. It is a grace — a gift from God, and thus, we must pray for its development in our lives.
31 Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!” 35 Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. 36 They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 37 And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
think: Do I consciously prepare for the Lord’s return by the way I live my life?
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 Job 6-9
WhAt Authority And PoWer
In today’s world, very few people would say “No” to the offer of power. If a person has power, he can use that power to obtain most other things in life. The question for us in today’s Gospel is, “Is this the sort of power that Jesus has, or is it something different?”
If we examine the life of Jesus, we will discover that He never uses His power to achieve His own ends but to help others or for the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is not interested in power for what it can give Him. This is what marks a person who lives for the world to come rather than for the pleasures of this world. Are our dreams and yearnings directed for this world or the next? If we answer this question honestly, we will be more than halfway towards a life of true holiness. We will know where we stand and what we have to do to direct our lives to the right path.
We live in a world that pays little or no attention to the prospect of eternal life. Even the so-called ‘life insurance’ that many people take out does not speak of any sort of hope in the life to come. It is directed solely towards our earthly lives. But the most powerful life insurance that anyone can take out is that of faith in Jesus Christ and it has no monthly premium. Faith sets us up for eternity, not just give monetary aid to those we leave behind.
Jesus’ power and authority come from the fact that He knows where His life is directed, which is obedience to the Father’s will, and all He has to do is to live it out faithfully here on earth. And so it is with us. Through faith, we will gain authority and power over our own lives, making us an example for others. Are we ready to take up the call of faith and live according to God’s will or do we prefer to mess around with false gods and powers that the world offers to us today?
Conversion of heart to Jesus is the foundation stone of a faith-filled life. It will mean giving up the world and its earthly attractions, but it opens for us the world of eternal life. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Am I ready to let go of this world and focus on the one to come?
Jesus, grant me the grace to open my life to the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about conversion. Help me to surrender to Your call and not the call of the world.
St. Aegidus, Abbot, pray for us.
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