Wednesday TODAY'S READINGS:
DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
"By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit…" – John 15: 8
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The greatest and most effective testimony of our being Christians is when we live great lives.
Now we may fail and we may stumble and we may fall and we may have continuing problems.
I said great lives, not perfect lives… though God is working on that, too. We can talk and teach and preach and debate and argue and convince and even strangle each other in the name of faith and religion.
But unless people see the fruits in our lives, they won't know what kind of tree we're talking about.
And the fruits are in the work we do and the life we live.
Do we do our work honestly and well, no matter how big or small the task?
Do we live a faithful life by God's grace, becoming a more loving person every day?
When we do so, then people see God's glory in us.
Glory to God!Alvin Barcelona (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When people see our work and the lives we live, do they see how great God is?
Lord God, by Your grace, let Your goodness and greatness be seen in my life. Amen.
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
We seem to be never without disputes and differences of opinion. The question is, "How do we successfully deal with them so that they do not tear apart the Body of Christ?" Jesus gave us the authority of the Church as exercised through the Pope and Bishops. It is important to respect this authority when exercised as it will preserve us from error in our faith.
1 Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." 2 Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and presbyters about this question. 3 They were sent on their journey by the
church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, as well as by the apostles and the presbyters, and they reported what God had done with them. 5 But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law." 6 The Apostles and
the presbyters met together to see about this matter.
P S A L M
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5
R: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
1 I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the LORD." 2 And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem. (R) 3 Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity. 4 To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD. (R) According to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. 5 In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David. (R)
G O S P E L
If you have ever watched the way a vinedresser cares for his vines in a vineyard, you may begin to understand why Jesus uses this image here to describe the way God the Father cares for us all. It takes a lot of care to get the best out of a grapevine and thus produce fine wine. God cares for us all this much. Let us be grateful for it anyway and give our all in serving Him in return.
1 Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. 3 You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. 4 Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a
branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be
done for you. 8 By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."
think: It is important to respect the authority of the Church as exercised through the Pope and Bishops as it will preserve us from error in our 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 Joshua 1-4
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
THAT HAND, THAT ABUNDANT FRUIT
Do you remember when Jesus approached a fig tree, searching for its fruits, but found none? Mark 11:12-14 tells us that, disappointed, Jesus cursed the tree and it withered.
In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus narrated the story of a landowner who, also in search for a fruit from one of his trees, found none. The landowner then ordered his servant to cut the tree. But the servant pleaded to give the tree one more year to bear fruit and if still it does not produce anything, then it may be cut off. Jesus expects His disciples to bear fruit — to be "mabunga" (fruitful), not "mabongga" (showy).
Jesus delights in a fruitful disciple. In today's Gospel, He says that we glorify the Father when we bear much fruit. He tells us that the Father prunes the branch that bears fruit so that it may become even more fruitful. The person who lives in Him and in whom He lives bears fruit abundantly.
To bear fruit abundantly means to produce good works for the kingdom of God. God is not contented with occasional good works. He expects us to always use our gifts to the fullest.
Relying on our own strength only, we are bound to fail. Thus, Jesus reminds us: "Remain in Me." Separated from Jesus, we can do nothing. Like the light bulb that will not light unless it is connected to a power source, we, too, cannot bear fruit on our own.
You and I also do get busted. We break down. As the Father prunes us in the hope that we may bear fruit abundantly, we hurt, falter, sulk and even get angry at God sometimes. God's ways can be painful, but they are always for our benefit. God's hands work two-way: gentle but also tough, like a calm breeze but also like a raging storm. Sometimes His hand caresses us but at times strikes us down. There is comfort but there is suffering. One cannot exist without the other. In all these opposite realities, however, the love of God persists.
Suffering has a beautiful message. If it is the way the hand of God moves, we should be grateful because it means that we are not far from God, for His
hand still reaches us. Fr. Bobby Titco
The hand of God is at times the hand of grace and at other times the hand of suffering, but it is always the hand of love.
Hand of God, be upon me. Hand of God, be my hand, too. Amen.
St. Brito, pray for us.
Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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