READINGS for 2009-10-29
mARTyRS foR CHRIST
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? – Romans 8:33
During the time of Saint Anisia, Christians were persecuted severely. Emperor Maximian ordered that all Christians who refused to denounce their Christian faith and make sacrifices to pagan gods would be executed.
One day, while Saint Anisia was on her way to Mass, she noticed big crowds of people going to the pagan temple. She ignored them and continued on her way. One of the pagan soldiers intercepted her and asked: “Who are you and where are you going?”
Saint Anisia replied with full conviction, “I am a Christian and I am going to my church.”
The soldier grabbed her arm, dragged her and forced her to join the crowd. Saint Anisia struggled, managed to break away and called upon the name of Jesus to help her. The soldier became furious upon hearing the Lord’s name. He drew his sword and struck Saint Anisia, which led to her martyrdom.
When we choose to live for Christ, be ready for sufferings and hardship. We may be persecuted, imprisoned or even killed for our faith but we have God’s eassuring love that He will not abandon us. Even though we suffer, the reward is great for those who will endure till the end. Judith Concepcion
Are you being persecuted for your faith? Take it as a great honor to be identified with Christ through your suffering.
Lord, grant me the graces that I need to endure my sufferings for the sake of Your kingdom. May I finish the race.
Paul’s experience of salvation has given him an unshakeable belief in God’s love for him and he wants to share this knowledge with us. He knows that there is nothing that has the power to take away his experience of God’s love and salvation. If only we had the same assurance as he did, perhaps we would give as much as he did to the building of the Kingdom of God.
31 Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. 34 Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
P S A L M
Psalm 109:21-22. 26-27. 30-31
R: Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
21 Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake; in your generous mercy rescue me; 22 for I am wretched and poor, and my heart is pierced within me. (R) 26 Help me, O LORD, my God; save me, in your mercy, 27 and let them know that this is your hand; that you, O LORD, have done this. (R) 30 I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD, and in the midst of the throng I will praise him, 31 for he stood at the right hand of the poor man, to save him from those who would condemn his soul. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus is not afraid of Herod. Nor should we be afraid of what others may do to us because of our faith. What we should fear is our failing to respond to the grace God gives us. It is the gift of God’s grace for which we will have to give an account on judgment day. Let us seek to be faithful to all that He gives us and to live simple lives of obedience to His will. The simpler the better as it will be more difficult for the devil to distract us that way!
31 Some Pharisees came to Jesua and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. 33 Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’ 34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! 35 Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
think: Let us seek to be faithful to all that He gives us and to live simple lives of obedience to His will.
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 Isaiah 49-52
Why ARe yOu AfRAid?
Are you afraid of something? Of somebody? I wonder who among us does not experience fear in several degrees at different times of life. This experience of fear indicates how vulnerable we are in this world, how insecure, how fragile our joy and happy today and receive tomorrow the result of a physical examination which has detected a cancer in one or the other part of our body. We can live in peace and joy today and tomorrow we get the news that a beloved relative has died in a freak accident. Yes, fear lurks everywhere, in everybody’s life.
No wonder that Jesus said so many times, “Don’t be afraid!” I read that in the whole Bible we find the words “don’t be afraid” 360 times (I have not counted it but rely on a writer who hopefully has counted correctly). If this figure is true, the Bible would tell us for every day of the year “don’t be afraid.” When John Paul II was elected pope, he raised his voice and practically shouted in his homily during his inauguration to the whole world, “Don’t be afraid!” And it became one of his main themes during his long pontificate; for he was only too much aware of the fear that grips individuals and nations.
St. Paul was very much “troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked,” as he writes in today’s passage from his letter to the Romans. Read his letters and the Acts of the Apostles and you will realize that if anyone had reason of being afraid, it was St. Paul. How was he able to endure all these trials and dangers? Today he gives us an answer, “With God on our side whocan be against us?” Ah, if we only had a faith like St. Paul. Just read the last verses of today’s first reading. “For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
What are the things that cause me fear and anxiety? Could it be that I lack trust in God and need a stronger faith?
Lord, I am a coward; I am afraid of so many things. This only shows how weak my faith is. May I learn from St. Paul to trust You more, cling to You and so face undisturbed whatever the future might bring.
St. Narcissus of Jerusalem, Bishop, pray for us.
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