READINGS for 2009-11-11

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



… when he realized that he was healed, he turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. – Luke 17:15
When I was in high school, I used to make a daily list I called “The Positives.” They were a bunch of good things that happened to me within the day that I was thankful for. They can be as deep as passing a really difficult exam, or healing of my sickness or someone else’s, or as simple as getting to eat ice cream that day. It helped me to be thankful about everything.
I don’t know why I stopped writing that. Maybe it’s because sometimes I find it hard to think of things to be thankful for. Which is kind of silly, since there are so many things to be thankful for every single day, even if nothing “special” happened. Let’s see:
1. I have food on my table.
2. My family is complete.
3. I have a great job.
4. I have a home.
5. I have great friends.
6. I have a God who loves me very much that He showers me with blessings I hardly even notice.
What’s there not to be thankful for?
Hmm, I think I should start writing that list again.Tina matanguihan
What are you thankful for today?
Create in me a grateful heart, o Lord.


All authority and exercise of rightful power is authorized by the Lord our God. We have a duty to submit to lawful authority (Romans 13). However, if we exercise authority in the name of the Church or in the name of secular society, we must ensure that we do so within the bounds of that authority and always for the benefit of the common good. Any other exercise of authority is outside God’s commission and therefore, in principle, we are not obliged to follow it!
Wisdom 6:1-11
1 Hear, therefore, kings, and understand; learn, you magistrates of the earth’s expanse! 2 Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude and lord it over throngs of peoples! 3 Because authority was given you by the LORD and sovereignty by the Most High, who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels! 4 Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly, and did not keep the law, nor walk according to the will of God, 5 terribly and swiftly shall he come against you, because judgment is stern for the exalted — 6 for the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test. 7 For the Lord of all shows no partiality, nor does he fear greatness, because he himself made the great as well as the small, and he provides for all alike; 8 but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends. 9 To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin. 10 For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy, and those learned in them will have ready a response. 11 Desire therefore my words; long for them and you shall be instructed.
Psalm 82:3-4. 6-7
R: Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
3 Defend the lowly and the fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the lowly and the poor; from the hand of the wicked deliver them. (R) 6 I said: “You are gods, all of you sons of the Most High; 7 yet like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” (R)
I wonder how strong our gratitude is to the Lord for ALL that He has done for us? How often do we set time aside and thank God for all His blessing? How often do we make a significant sacrificial offering of money or goods to the Church or the poor in order to thank God for His goodness to us? I am not a great believer in tithing as I think it is too little of a response to the Lord, generally thinking. Every good gift comes from Him and therefore really belongs to Him! Let us start realizing what this means in terms of making our wealth and resources available to the work of the Church.
Luke 17:11-19
11 As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him 13 and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” 14 And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; 16 and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? 18 Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 19 Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
my reflections
think: How often do we set time aside and thank God for all His blessing?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


eXeRcise pOWeR Well OR else …
The title to this reflection sounds a bit like the beginning of a threat. I have news for you — that is exactly how it is meant to sound. Does God threaten us in the Scriptures? You bet He does. He threatens us with His love, His mercy and His forgiveness; He also threatens us with justice, truth and the demands of righteousness. If we are wise people, we will take these threats seriously and recognize that they are for our good.
If we do not want to listen to them, that is up to the individual. However, we know that God is always true to His promises; I bet He is also true to the threats He makes as outlined above. In the Book of Wisdom, we hear an exhortation for those who have power to use it wisely as there will be a day of reckoning sometime in the future. Power, like many other human experiences, can be intoxicating; it can lead us into sin very easily if we do not keep its exercise under the control of the grace of God.
We all exercise certain degrees of power, but those most at risk here are those who have power over others at their fingertips and are tempted to use it for their own benefit and to the detriment of others. This is an abuse of power and those who act accordingly may well get away with here and now, but God’s justice will catch up with them eventually. It is important for us all to use the power and gifts God has given us well as we will have to give an account of them on Judgment Day.
Much of the way we see the purpose of power in our lives will depend upon how we see ourselves as equal members of the one community. If we see ourselves as one of the privileged few, we are already in trouble as this will tend to lead us to exercise power over people rather than for them. This is the critical distinction that we need to understand because when we see power as a gift for others and act accordingly, we will find it very difficult to abuse the power we have. It is self-focus that we have to avoid as this will tend to lead us to exercise power over others for ourselves. This will inevitably lead to sin. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Reflection Question:
Am I a power-hungry sort of person? When I have power, do I use it for myself or for others?
Jesus, help me to realize that the power of the Holy Spirit given to me at baptism is a gift both for me and for others. Help me to share all of the gifts I have with others.
St. Martin of Tours, Bishop, pray for us.

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