READINGS for 2012-07-01
For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. – Wisdom 2:23
Once upon a time, I thought I was a target of God’s wrath. I felt God was playing darts, and I was the bullseye.
I imagined God looking down at me, shaking His head in disgust. I felt I was a great disappointment to Him. To escape His judgments, I needed to pray, read my Bible, go to Mass, avoid sin and become holier.
But no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t be good enough. I’d fail to pray or read my Bible. I’d slip into sin again.
I felt like I was running up an escalator that was actually moving downward! How could I ever make God like me?
But as I reflected on key stories of the Bible, especially where Jesus was exposing the face of His Father, I realized it didn’t jive with my image of God. Slowly, a new face of God emerged in my heart.
Today, I’m riding the escalator that’s going up. I don’t pray or read the Bible or live as a good boy out of fear.
I do all that out of love.
Yes, I’m still His bullseye — I’m a target of God’s affection!
And I pray the same miracle will happen in your life. Bo Sanchez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How do you see yourself in relation to God?
God, grant me the grace to see myself as You see me — Your beloved!
Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us.
Our God is a Creator and not a destroyer. Death has come as a result of sin. It is a bit like using a piece of glass to stabilize a wobbly table — it will work for a while but will eventually get crushed and you have to look for another solution. When we choose to sin, we misuse the gift of life and free will that God gave us. We set a process of decay into motion and the ultimate end is death. This is our doing, not God’s.
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
13 God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. 14 For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, 15 for justice is undying. 2: 23 For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. 24 But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it.
P S A L M
Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
R: I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
1  I will extol you, O Lord, for you drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me. 3  O Lord, you brought me up from the nether world; you preserved me from among those going down into the pit. (R) 4  Sing praise to the Lord, you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. 5  For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will. At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing. (R) 10  Hear, O Lord, and have pity on me; O Lord, be my helper.” 11  You changed my mourning into dancing; 12  O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks. (R)
St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that they have experienced many of life’s good things here on earth. The question they have to answer is whether or not they want to go one step higher and start living for the pleasures of eternal life. This is a question that we all have to answer at one time or another, and the sooner the better because we do not know when God will call us home.
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
7 Brothers and sisters: As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also. 9 For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 13 Not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs, that there may be equality. 15 As it is written: “Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.”
It is unlikely that any of us have suffered as long and as badly as the woman with a hemorrhage in today’s Gospel. Yet all her suffering has not left her without faith. She still believes in God enough to seek healing from Jesus. Let us pray that our hope and trust in God will be as strong as hers.
Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.
21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. 22 One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” 24 He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him. 25 There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. 28 She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” 29 Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” 31 But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” 35 While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” 36 Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” 37 He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. 41 He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” 42 The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. 43 He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
think: When we choose to sin, we misuse the gift of life and free will that
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Humility is Power
I’m not sure about the veracity of this story but I share it nonetheless for the lesson it gives.
It was said that the son of Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, dined in a restaurant and gave the waiter a gratuitous $100 tip. Bill Gates went to the same restaurant the next time and gave the same waiter a $10 tip. The waiter told Bill Gates of the tip his son gave and Bill Gates replied, “Well, what can I do? He is the son of a billionaire. I, however, am a son of a farmer.”
What is the moral of the story? Bill Gates may be the richest man in the world but his feet remain solidly planted on the ground. He never forgot his roots. His riches never got into his head. Jairus was a synagogue official. He was a well-respected man. He had authority and power. He must have always been in control — always over and above every situation. But not over the condition of his daughter who is near death. He heard of Jesus of Nazareth, the lowly son of a carpenter. He came to Him, “fell at his feet and made this earnest appeal: ‘My daughter is critically ill. Please come and lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live.’”
Imagine the humility the official had to summon to accept that no, he is not in control, that his power and authority are limited after all. Jesus rewarded that humility with the cure of raising back his daughter to life.
Humility attracts the attention of God. Arrogance and pride repulse Him. Pride was the first sin of the first man and woman. Pride, the temptation “to
be like God” apart from God, was the first sin that God condemned.
Today’s Gospel is a beautiful reminder for all of us. Positions of power are never meant to be used to overpower others, to lord over. The Christian proposal is quite the opposite. Positions of power are meant to empower the other, especially the weak and the vulnerable.Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you in any position of power or responsibility? Do your subordinates feel empowered by your authority?
Lord Jesus, You came to serve, not to be served. Make my heart like unto Thine. Amen.
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