READINGS for 2009-09-25
WHo Am I?
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” – Luke 9:18
I was attending to some customers at a school event when somebody approached me, held my hand warmly and hugged me with excitement. She kept saying, “So it’s you! Praise God, it’s you!” Then she embraced me so tightly I could hardly breathe. She held me close as she whispered — perhaps afraid that somebody would hear— and asked when I was released from prison.
This lady drives Fr. Arsenio Nuñez, S.J. to the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) where he celebrates Mass regularly. She was touched by the inmates’ stories and consequently began a personal outreach to the elderly and those with no relatives visiting them. Through all those years, I was her coordinator/facilitator until my “liberation day.”
Small world. Who am I, after all, that people who had known me would rejoice to see me free? Well, I was a prisoner in CIW for two decades but was super-blessed with God’s miracles and wonders when Jesus pardoned my sins without condition. Now I seek to do His purpose in my life as I become more sensitive and submissive to His will. Beth Corral
When you meet people who know you, are they happy to see you?
O Lord, my God, always give me the grace to know who You are in my life so I may never go wrong again.
Haggai prophesies that the blessings of God will accompany the lives of all who follow God in true faith. This may seem obvious to us, but let us pause a little here and ask ourselves how strong is our experience in this regard. To what degree have we truly put this idea to the test by placing our lives under the guidance of our faith rather than the wisdom of the world? If we are honest with ourselves, we will discover that we are all called to a deeper trust in God — a deeper faith in His goodness towards us.
1 In the second year of King Darius, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 2 Tell this to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and to the remnant of the people: 3 Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? 4 But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, and take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work! For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts. 5 This is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, and my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear! 6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations,
and the treasures of all the nations will come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. 8 Mine is the silver and mine the gold, says the LORD of hosts. 9 Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give you peace, says the LORD of hosts!
P S A L M
Psalm 43:1. 2. 3. 4
R: Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
1 Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight against a faithless people; from the deceitful and impious man rescue me. (R) 2 For you, O God, are my strength. Why do you keep me so far away? Why must I go about in mourning, with the enemy oppressing me? (R) 3 Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. (R) 4 Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! (R
G O S P E L
The news that the Son of Man was destined to suffer would have been very disconcerting for the apostles. Their understanding of the Messiah would have been uilt around the image of king and at least as splendid as David and Solomon. Suffering of any sort would be very far from their minds. I sometimes wonder how they coped with this revelation of Jesus — I doubt that they coped very well! Sometimes, as we walk the path of our faith, we will encounter similar difficulties and challenges. Let us draw inspiration from the examples of the saints who always seemed to be able to keep their eyes fixed on God and weather the storms of suffering, trials and challenges.
18 Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ ” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.” 21 He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. 22 He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
think: When faced with difficulties and challenges, let us draw inspiration from the saints who were able to keep their eyes fixed on God and weather the storms of suffering, trials and challenges.
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 Wisdom 9-12
We All hAve good And bAd dAys
Peter is a bit of an enigma. Sometimes he gets it totally right; other times he seems to totally misunderstand what Jesus is saying. Today, we read about one of his finer moments, a moment that will be the foundation of the rest of his life and a pontificate of 34 years, the longest in history. I am sure Peter was aware of his weaknesses and that this self-knowledge became one of the reasons for his faithfulness and success as an apostle and disciple of Jesus. We never need to fear our weaknesses as we have a God who can compensate for anything and everything as long as we let Him.
Herein lies one of the keys to greatness in the life of the Church: ‘letting go and letting God’ be our strength and our everything. This is the fundamental teaching of the lives of the saints and the most critical aspect of their holiness. From Peter and Paul down to the saints of the modern age, the message is the same: believe in Jesus as the Son of God and allow this belief to open your heart and life to the grace of God. It is God’s grace that makes the difference when it comes to living out the Gospel. With the grace of God, all things are possible; without it, we will achieve very little or even nothing.
Placing our lives in God’s hand and under His grace does not mean that we will avoid suffering. We will all suffer to one degree or another as we confront sin and its effects in our lives. Life is not a matter of trying to avoid suffering, but embracing it as an opportunity to overcome the effects of evil and bring goodness into the world. Suffering in itself is not good but it can be used for good by God — look at the cross of our salvation!
Jesus tells His disciples that He will suffer. But for all Christian suffering, there is always a resurrection experience if we approach it with faith. Without faith, suffering will be the way through which evil would prevail in our lives. With faith, it is God who wins in the end through the resurrection. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
How do I see suffering in my life? Have I ever suffered as a result of my sinfulness? What do I believe is the role of suffering for a Christian?
Jesus, You went to the cross knowing in Your heart that You would be vindicated by Your Father. Grant me the grace to embrace suffering in my life with the same belief in the resurrection.
St. Nicholas of Flue, Hermit, pray for us.
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