for April 19, 2010
Conquer this new week with God's Word in your heart!
Praying for you,
Monday TODAY'S READINGS:
DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
NO TO FREEBIES
"You are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves were filled." – John 6:26
I'm often given "freebies" such as free dinner, a fully-paid airfare or gift items, usually as an incentive for me to get a credit card or join a seminar where they sell membership for hotels.
I used to take advantage of such offers until I realized that I cancel the credit card anyway and end up not buying the membership. After a while, the freebies lost their appeal and I now prefer to turn them all down.
Jesus knew very well that pleasing the crowd is not the way to elicit faith. He recognized that they are after Him not because they believe in Him, but only because of what He can provide for them. It's such a shame that people do not realize that by taking the time to listen and accept Jesus, they would gain the richness of His kingdom and not just plain bread and fish.
Similarly, our faith should not be dependent on signs and wonders. Like the freebies, they might someday cease to be interesting and we'll be much poorer for losing the message that the Giver is sharing. Cecilia Lim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When you look at the signs, are you getting the message?
Lord, nourish us with food that endures for eternal life.
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
It is difficult to refute the truth. I remember as a student I liked taking the contrary position in class discussions as it was fun to fight and argue against the obvious. Classes would have been boring without this challenge. However, this is not an advisable course to take when dealing with the Gospel. The truth of the Gospel is the truth of life and salvation and nothing good will be gained by challenging it for the sake of pure argument.
8 Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, 10 but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." 12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs
that Moses handed down to us." 15 All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
P S A L M
Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
R: Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
23 Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. 24 Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. (R) 26 I declared my ways, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. 27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate
on your wondrous deeds. (R) 29 Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. 30 The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me. (R)
G O S P E L
What motivates our spiritual lives? What do we want to get out of them? A simple question to answer but I dare say our motives are fairly mixed up with all sorts of desires and wants that are based in the world rather than heaven. If this be true, let us own up to it and seek purification so as to not confuse our motives in loving God with the things of the world.
22 [After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. 23 Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither
Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" 26 Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." 28 So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."
t h i n k : The truth of the Gospel is the truth of life and salvation and nothing will be gained by challenging it for the sake of pure argument.
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 Numbers 16-18
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
DESTROYING A GOOD MAN'S REPUTATION
The destruction of a person's good reputation is a terribly cynical action to be involved in. It is totally repulsive that anyone would seek to destroy another person's good reputation simply because they do not share what he believes. Sure, enter into a debate about ideas with that person, but do not attack the dignity of the person. Stephen is a good man trying to respond to the Gospel call of love by preaching and living the Good News. However, he runs into opposition with the leading Jews of his time and they set out not only to destroy him but kill him.
Martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel always takes on this sort of structure — the unjust and violent persecution of the innocent. The Church teaches that every human person has an innate right to their own opinion about spiritual matters. It is something that flows from their human dignity and it is perfectly legitimate to argue with someone about their beliefs so long as we respect their right to hold to what they believe in. In fact, we must defend their right to this.
In the past, neither the Church nor general society has managed to universally respect this right. There are many examples of forced conversions to the faith. Such a program does not ultimately bear good fruit. We cannot change what happened in the past but we can seek to ensure that it never again happens in the future. We must respect a person's right to freedom of faith and religion. Of course, this does not mean we have to accept everything that is done in the name of religion. For example, if someone supports abortion because it is a part of their religion, we do not have to support their
implementation of such a belief. Indeed we are morally obliged to counter it as best as we can. Freedom to believe what we believe does not override the Natural Law.Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Do I tend to attack the person when they disagree with me or my ideas/beliefs?
Holy Spirit, open my heart to a true understanding of the dignity of the human person so that I will always give due respect to the fact that all people are made in Your image and likeness.
St. Anthony of Pavoni, pray for us.
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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