Monday TODAY'S READINGS:
DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
GROWING UP CATHOLIC
"We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." – Acts 19:2
Having grown up in a Catholic environment, I was familiar with almost all the traditions: Mass, confession, confirmation, feasts, etc. I knew I had to hear Mass on holy days of obligation, and I knew that confession is an important sacrament. When I joined a Catholic youth community, I started doing other things like serving in camps and singing in worship. And I thought that was that.
Although I believed in God, I didn't really let Him in my life. I was satisfied only to meet Him whenever I needed to. I prayed, yes, but I couldn't pray for myself because I felt like God was more concerned that I thought about the "bigger things," the ones that affected more people. I drew the line where my life ends and my faith starts; I thought it wasn't right to mix them. Having God involved in my personal life doesn't feel right — after all, why would He bother about someone as small and insignificant as me?
Boy, was I wrong! As I grew up, I learned that when you get to know God, He's not satisfied to be on the sidelines. He wants to be in your life. How silly of me to think that God doesn't care about the details of my life. Tina Matanguihan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Have you allowed God into your life today?
Lord, be in my life.
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
The ability to "speak in tongues" and to "prophesy" are two of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are not that evident in the Church today. Perhaps it is because they tend to fall on the side of the mysterious rather than logical. I wonder what makes us scared of the possibility that God might speak through us (to prophesy) or that we might pray in a language that we do not understand (speaking in tongues)? It is a pity because I am sure these gifts are for our own good and not just God's entertainment!
1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. 2 He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They answered him, "We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 He said, "How were you baptized?" They replied, "With the baptism of John." 4 Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 Altogether there were about twelve men. 8 He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.
P S A L M
Psalm 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab
R: Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
1  God arises; his enemies are scattered, and those who hate him flee before him. 2  As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire. (R) 3  But the just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. 4  Sing to God, chant praise to his
name, whose name is the LORD. (R) 5  The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. 6  God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus tells us that the suffering we endure in this life is directed towards the new life we receive through faith that will surpass anything we could ever have here on earth. Do you believe this? I hope so, or else you will find it almost impossible to persevere through the struggles and difficulties of a life of discipleship.
29 The disciples said to Jesus, "Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. 30 Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God." 31 Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now? 32 Behold, the hour
is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world."
t h i n k : Jesus tells us that the suffering we endure in this life is directed towards the new life we receive through faith.
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 1Samuel 1-4
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
"Be brave!" These are the words of Jesus to His disciples today. He does not request them nor does He invite them to be brave. Jesus commands His disciples to be brave. But can bravery be commanded? Can we expect anyone to be brave simply because we order him or her to be brave?
Jesus can command His disciples to be brave because He gives them the example. The day following the supper where He ordered them to be brave, Jesus faces His passion and death with such remarkable serenity and audacity. He gives His disciples more than a command to follow; He gives them an example to follow, too. We cannot command anyone to be brave unless we are brave ourselves. We have no right to laugh at anyone's cowardice if we are cowards ourselves. We cannot order anyone to be anything without providing him or her an example – more than a command – to follow.
The same is true with Jesus' command that we love one another. Can love be commanded? In his first Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI, affirms that love can be commanded because it has been given first. Jesus can command us to love one another because He has first loved us. Love has been given; thus, love can be expected. Jesus was brave for us even unto death; let us be brave for Him in the midst of all the troubles in a world He has, in the first place, already conquered.
Love is like a well from which we may draw out the bravery we need. We develop courage when we experience that we are truly loved. Just as it is the unconditional and infinite love of Christ for us that should give us courage, so do we encourage others by our Christ-like love for them. One classic story of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, is about a boy who was unperturbedly playing while the airplane he was flying in experienced turbulent weather. When asked by an older passenger why he was not at all afraid that they might crash, the boy flashed a smile and said, "I know we won't crash because the pilot of this plane is
my dad. My dad won't let such a thing happen to us." Fr. Bobby Titco
Where does my courage to face the world each day come from?
You are my courage, O Lord, as I face the world each day. Let me not be brave because of will power but because of my faith in You, my Shepherd, besides whom I need no other. Amen.
St. Thethmar, pray for us.
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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