READINGS for 2009-09-11
moRE THAN mEETS THE EyE
Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy... The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly... – 1 Timothy 1:13-14
I met him during one of our youth camps. He wasn’t the kind of person I would normally hang out with — he was some kind of a slacker, and drank and smoke whenever he wanted to. He was goofy and he had issues about believing in God, even if he attended the youth camp. He was just so unlike my “normal crowd.” Even so, we somehow clicked. Summer came and he decided to go with us for a Gawad Kalinga summer build in Aurora. We hardly talked about God there but we all enjoyed the presence of everyone, the beauty of the surroundings and being able to help in GK. A week after the build, he added me to his Friendster list. In his self-description, he had written: “I found God in Aurora. I finally experienced the love God has to offer me. Thank You, Lord!”
Who am I to say that God can’t work through people like that?
Often, we’re quick to judge the kind of people that God can touch and those that He can’t. But all we really need to do is to bring them in contact with the Lord. The rest is His work. Tina matanguihan
There is always more than what meets the eye.
Jesus, help menot to be judgmental but to see everyone the way You see them.
Paul has personally experienced the transforming power of God’s love and grace. He tells Timothy that he constantly thanks God for the graces that are at work in his life. We should be doing the same thing. Sometimes we do not know what it is that God is doing in our lives; at other times, nothing much is happening because of our sinfulness. Whatever may have been or is the case at this moment, now is the time to reaffirm our surrender to God’s grace and thank Him for transforming us into His image and likeness.
1 Timothy 1:1-2. 12-14
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 2 to Timothy, my true child in faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. 13 I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. 14 Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
P S A L M
Psalm 16:1b-2a and 5. 7-8. 11
R: You are my inheritance, O Lord.
1 Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; 2 I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you. 5 O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. (R) 7 I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. 8 I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) 11 You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)
G O S P E L
Judging others is a particularly inimical sin in that none of us is in a position to pass judgment on others as we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). This parable reminds us that our own sin can often blind our perceptions of others’ lives. We may even be making an incorrect judgment on them, and thus, compound our own sinfulness. Let us pray that we will have the grace to accept that judgment belongs to God alone. This is a good thing as He is likely to be far more merciful than any of us will be in judging our neighbor… and us!
39 Jesus told his disciples a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40 No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.
think: Judgment belongs to God alone.
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 Proverbs 5-8
the blind leAding the blind
It is not good to ask a blind person to lead another blind person on an obstacle course. It is sure to end in some injury. Today’s Gospel warns of the pitfall of becoming the judge of another as we are just as prone to sin as the others are and we are therefore not in the best position to cast judgment on them. The implication of this is that we should concentrate on our own responsibility to grow in holiness rather than on judging others. In any case, the greatest form of judgment we can bring to the life of another is the direct witness of our own life of holiness. Without the personal witness of holiness, any judgment we make on others opens us up to the accusation of hypocrisy.
Jesus often calls His disciples to focus on their own response to the grace of God rather than that of their neighbour. It is a very good principle to remember. When we judge others without taking care of our own holiness, whatever advice we give to others will just boomerang on us.
The call of holiness is universal — none of us can avoid it. In fact, it is the basis of any vocational calling we have. Without growing in holiness, we will not be able to successfully pursue our calling. Jesus’ life witnesses to this truth as we can see through His commitment to prayer notwithstanding that He is one with the Father and the Spirit in the Trinity. Even Jesus knows the necessity to be committed to the basic aspects of His relationship with His Father. Thus He was and remains an example for us to follow, and to draw inspiration from, so we can make the necessary decisions that will keep us firmly rooted in the love of God and His grace. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
How committed am I to living out the fullness of the Christian calling to live a holy life? Am I taking short cuts that can give me problems later on?
Holy Spirit, I need Your grace to convince me that the basics of a life of holiness are essential — namely, prayer, reading the Scriptures and the lives of the saints, and studying the teachings of the Church.
St. Patiens of Lyons, Bishop, pray for us.
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