Friday, October 21, 2011

SEVEN WEIRDEST THINGS ABOUT GADHAFI

Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the dictator who ruled Libya for 42 years, was killed by rebels in his hometown of Sirte on Thursday. A dictator who oppressed his own people and sponsored terrorism abroad, Gadhafi's legacy will be stained by violence. But beyond his brutality, Gadhafi will be remembered for something else entirely… being a first-class weirdo.

In no particular order, ABCNews.com brings you the seven weirdest things about Moammar Gadhafi.

1. The "Bulletproof" Tent: When Gadhafi was at home in Tripoli, he lived in a well fortified compound with a complex system of escape tunnels. But when he travelled abroad, this "Bedouin" brought a bit of the desert with him, camping out in the world's capitals. The tent was so heavy it needed to be flown on a separate plane, wherever the dictator travelled. To complete the Arabian Nights theme, Gadhafi often would tether a camel or two outside.

2. All-Female Virgin Bodyguard Retinue: They apparently weren't around when Gadhafi needed them most on Thursday, but the eccentric dictator was historically protected by 40 well trained bodyguards – all of them women. The bodyguards, called "Amazons," were all reportedly virgins who took a vow of chastity upon joining the dictator's retinue. The women, trained at an all-female military academy, were handpicked by Gadhafi. They wore elaborate uniforms, as well as makeup and high-heeled combat boots.

3. His "Voluptuous" Ukrainian Nurse: For a decade, Galyna Kolotnytska, a Ukrainian nurse often described in the press as "voluptuous," was regularly seen at the dictator's side. Kolotnytska was described in a leaked diplomatic cable as one of Gadhafi's closest aides and was rumored to have a romantic relationship with him. Several other Ukrainian women served as nurses and they all referred to him as "Papa" or "Daddy."

4. Crush on Condoleezza Rice: In 2007, Gadhafi called former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice his "darling black African woman" and on a 2008 visit she made to Tripoli, the dictator gave her $200,000 worth of gifts, including a ring and a lute. But it wasn't until rebels stormed his Tripoli compound that the depths of the dictator's infatuation were exposed. There among Gadhafi's belongings was a carefully composed photo album made up of dozens of images of no one but Rice.

5. Fear of Flying and Elevators: Part of the reason Gadhafi loved travelling with that tent of his was because he was worried about lodging in a hotel where he'd have to ride an elevator. According to leaked diplomatic cables, the Libyan didn't like heights much either, and would only climb to a height of 35 steps. He therefore wasn't much of a fan of flying, refusing to travel by air for more than eight hours at a time. When he would travel to New York of the U.N.'s annual general assembly, he would spend a night in Portugal on the way to the U.S.

6. Bunga Bunga: In 2010, one of Gadhafi's most eccentric pastimes was exposed by Italian prosecutors investigating Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A 17-year-old prostitute named Karima el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby Heartstealer, revealed that she had been invited to an orgy, called a "bunga bunga." "Silvio told me that he'd copied that formula from Muammar Gadhafi," she told prosecutors according to La Repubblica. "It's a ritual of [Gadhafi's] African harem."

7. An Eclectic Wardrobe: In those photos of world leaders standing shoulder to shoulder on the sidelines of this or that international forum, Gadhafi was always the easiest to pick out. His wardrobe was an eclectic mix of ornate military uniforms, Miami Vice style leisure suits, and Bedouin robes. Gadhafi, who pushed for a pan-African federation of nations, often decorated his outfits with images of the African continent. He'd sport safari shirts printed with an Africa pattern, or wear garish pins or necklaces of the continent.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

God's Message For You Today, July 10, 2011

10 July
Sunday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

ROOTS

"The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the Word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time." – Matthew 13:20-21

In the industry I'm in, time is of the essence. Working 10-12 hours a day is normal. That leaves me eight hours of trying to put myself to sleep and four to six hours of enjoying the company of my beautiful wife, eating, serving in community, exercising and all the other activities I need to do. Of course, the weekends are bliss for me.
The one thing I realized is when I don't pray for a day, everything else falls apart. It's not enough to just read the Word and reflection of the day. If I stop at that, trials and anxieties soon take over and I find myself back to square one.
The strength I need for the day only lasts by getting power from God. I need roots — the roots of prayer. I need to constantly be in fellowship with the One who gives us true joy. Danny Maglutac (dannym@catholic.org)

10
REFLECTION:
How much time do you spend in prayer?

Lord, give me a holy hunger for Your presence.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READING
God likens His Word to the rain that waters the earth and causes plants to grow and be fruitful. If we want God's Word to bear fruit in our  lives, we need to read, meditate on it, and live it.

Isaiah 55:10-11
10 Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, 11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.

P S A L M

Psalms 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
R: The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
9 [10] You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it. God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. (R) 10 [11] Thus have you prepared the land drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods, softening it with showers, blessing its yield. (R) 11 [12] You have crowned the year with you bounty, and your
paths overflow with a rich harvest; 12 [13] the untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills. (R) 13 [14] The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. They shout and sing for joy. (R)

2nd READING

The Apostle Paul was able to accept the trials and suffering that came upon him as he preached the Gospel. He was confident that these trials were not worth comparing with the great reward he would receive in heaven.

Romans 8:18-23
18 Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. 19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

G O S P E L

The parable of the sower describes the various states of the human heart when the Word of God enters it. Today, let us reflect honestly as to the true state of our hearts and by repentance we can allow the plough of the Spirit and God's Word to change our hearts from unfruitful ground to fertile soil bearing a hundredfold.

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower. All who come to him will have life forever.
R: Alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13:1-23
1 On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. 3 And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and
birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, 6 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. 7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. 8 But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. 9 Whoever has ears ought to hear." 10 The disciples approached him and said, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 11 He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. 12 To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.' 14 Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: 'You shall
indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. 15 Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I
heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17 Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18 Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and
the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. 20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 21 But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22 The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. 23 But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."

my reflections
t h i n k : I f we want God's Word to bear fruit in our lives, we need to read, meditate on it, and live it.

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 Psalm 91-95

SABBATH PAUSE
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
SPECIAL NEEDS
Things to ask God for in the coming week
________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
HIDDEN TREASURE
Most important word God told me this week                     __________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
SABBATH

God Can Be Helpl ess

The Marriage Encounter Weekend (MEW) is definitely one renewal program that we have to be thankful for. Since its conception in Spain by a certain Fr. Calvo, and since it was brought to the Philippines via U.S.A. by Jesuit Fr. Ruben Tanseco, the program has benefited countless Catholic and Christian couples in their search for quality married life. The undeniable testimony to this is the number of M.E. communities that have been put up and sustained by couples who, after being touched by the program, decided to make the promotion of MEW as their lifetime apostolate.
Each weekend class has interesting stories to tell. While majority of the couples who come to the weekend seminar are "infected" positively by the presentation talks and dynamics, some are not even able to complete the weekend. Some couples end up quarrelling and breaking up. And there are those who thought that their marriage was fantastic, yet afterwards experience shake-ups in their relationships. The words and wisdom shared by the presenting teams, consisting of two couples and a priest, and the disclosures that either husband or wife do after each reflection, failed to yield good fruits because one of the parties doesn't open up
to listen or to give. Pride, unforgiveness, rationalizations, emotionalism block goodwill and goodness.
Nothing is impossible with God, yes. But the parable of Jesus today awakens us to the reality that although God is powerful, there are instances when His power is rendered helpless because the human heart is unprepared or too preoccupied with temporalities. The economy of God's grace can be likened to the cellphone. Through the years, this gadget has opened up various horizons of exchange. Through the powerful beam of unseen digital energies, voice calls, text messages, video calls, email exchanges and Internet connectivities are now possible. But all these become useless when the user enters a place where he or she "cannot be
reached." Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

Reflection Question:
What unpleasant circumstances in life make you often shut yourself off from others' reach and from God's joys? What can you do to open yourself more to God's grace and goodness?

Lord, make me more receptive to Your grace and goodness. Amen.

St. Etto, pray for us.


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

God's Message For You Today, June 22, 2011

22 June
Wednesday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

Greatness, are you expecting it NOW?

But Abram said, "O Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it? " – Genesis 15:8

Back in the year 2000, when my girlfriend was frustrated with me in my failure to get two points (a sales requirement in a multilevel marketing company) I remember telling her, "Me? I'm always on the verge of greatness." Strangely, that would calm her down.
While I said those words, I didn't realize how powerful they were.
After six years in a company where I reached senior assistant manager, I got an early retirement and started anew as a manager elsewhere. Two years later, I left that second company and successfully worked for myself as an Internet marketer.
We will be known by the results or fruits of our lives, the Gospel says. And one way we can make sure that the fruits will be a great harvest is to change the words we use to describe ourselves.
I used to describe myself as on the "edge" of greatness. Now I say that my life is one marvelous miracle to another.
Now proclaim it for yourself: "I live a marvelous life!" Jomar Hilario (jomar.hilario@gmail.com)
22
REFLECTION:
How do you describe your future?

Lord, help me understand that Your plan for me is a marvelous life!


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READING

God repeats His promise of progeny to Abraham. When we reflect upon this promise in the light of Romans 4, I think we can begin to understand its true significance. Paul presents Abraham as the Father of our Faith in Romans 4; he is the perfect example of what it means to be a man of faith. Thus the real progeny of Abraham are not his blood descendants (obviously of which there are many), but all men and women of faith. It is faith that he has fathered and bequeaths to the humanity as his greatest legacy.

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
1 The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram!  am your shield; I will make your reward very great." 2 But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be, if I keep on being childless and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?" 3 Abram continued,  "See, you have given me no offspring, and so one of my servants will be my heir." 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "No, that one shall not be your heir; your own issue shall be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said: "Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be." 6 Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness. 7 He then said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession." 8 "O Lord GOD," he asked, "How am I to know  hat I shall possess it?" 9 He answered him, "Bring me a
three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." 10 He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the
birds he did not cut up. 11 Birds of   prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram stayed with them. 12 As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep,  errifying darkness enveloped him. 17 When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking brazier and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. 18 It was on that occasion that the LORD
made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River the Euphrates."

P S A L M

Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R: The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds. 2 Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds. (R) 3 Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! 4 Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. (R) 6 You descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! 7 He, the LORD, is our God; throughout the earth his judgments prevail. (R) 8 He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations, 9 which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac. (R)

G O S P E L

There will always be men and women whom Satan uses, whether implicitly or explicitly, as false prophets. This is why it is important for us to be formed in our faith. If we know the basic tenets of our faith we will not be easily led astray by false prophets. If we are ignorant of our faith it will be easy for false doctrines to seduce our unformed minds and hearts.

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R: Alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 7:15-20
15 Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So by their fruits you will know them."

my reflections
t h i n k: There will always be men and women whom Satan uses as false prophets.

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 Psalm 1-5
Psalm 1-5


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
SABBATH

A FOOLPROOF TEST

There is a time-tested methodology for discerning good or bad spirits. We are not referring here, by the way, to paranormal or supernatural activity. We mean here the so-called "Ignatian discernment of spirits."
This kind of framework of guidelines developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola warns us of attributing something too easily to good or to bad spirits. In fact, St. Ignatius is quick to say that while the bad spirit may disguise itself to be a good spirit, the bad spirit can never produce anything good. Only the good spirit will yield something good always.
Satan, the Evil One, is known not only as the Prince of Darkness, but also as the Father of Lies. Or if you like, he is also the Master of Disguise. He can cleverly hide behind attractive and pleasant disguises. In this sense, Satan is the original wolf in sheep's clothing.
In a way, it is true. How can Satan attract people to himself if they see him scary, obnoxious or disgusting? For this, we have to be very vigilant. And our Lord's advice is truly foolproof and effective: "You can tell a tree by its fruit."
In the context of the Gospel episode, Jesus used this teaching of His for the purpose of unmasking false prophets. Now, what if we applied Jesus' acid test to ourselves? It shouldn't take much for us to show our true colors beneath the disguises. We may fool a lot of people (nay more, perhaps even God Himself), but once we start deceiving our very own selves — that is the worst. We can even apply the most elaborate schemes for discerning spirits (yes, the Ignatian or otherwise), and they will only yield the same results.  Fr. Martin Macasaet,
SDB

Reflection Question:
Do I ever take the time to test the spirits whenever I have some choices to make?

Holy Spirit, teach me Your ways so I may be able to discern where the spirit is coming from. Amen.

St. Alban, pray for us.


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fw: choi, God's Message For You Today, June 21, 2011

21 June
Tuesday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

The Secret Trail

"How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." – Matthew 7:14

My husband and I love to travel but we prefer to be away from the crowd. So whenever we go some place, we choose sites where tourists would not normally go. One time we were on an island and we wanted to bike ride around it. But there were just too many tourists that it was nearly impossible to even get our bikes moving. Then I remembered a secret biking trail that a friend mentioned to us. We were hesitant at first but we were glad we took it. It was indeed a great trail where we enjoyed both the bike ride and the beauty of the island not normally seen by the crowd.
There are teachings of the church that restrain us from doing certain things. Premarital sex, contraception and abortion are just some of them. Some people may not have a problem engaging in these acts; after all, we have the freedom to choose how we live our lives. But where our choices lead us makes a lot of difference. We can follow the crowd but just because it is acceptable to many doesn't make a thing right. More than anything, it's a matter of following God.
The choices we make for our lives lead us to either the path to death or the path to eternal life. Jane Gonzales-Rauch (mjsg2468@yahoo.com)

21
REFLECTION:
Who do we please in the way we live our lives? Is it God or people?

Dear Lord, forgive me when I tend to follow the crowd. Send forth Your Spirit that will guide me to the right path. Amen.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READING

Not only has Abraham given up a lot of his wealth, he allows Lot first choice of the lands they have before them. Lot, of course, chooses the most fertile lands and leaves Abraham with mostly semi-arid desert. This only goes to show the continued depth of trust that Abraham has in the Lord's providence. He trusts that God will provide for his needs even if the lands he moves into are incapable of provision. Later we will see Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command! Is there a more faithful and trusting man in human history? Probably only Jesus and Mary outdo Abraham in faith.

Genesis 13:2, 5-18
2 Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. 5 Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6 so that the land could not support them if they stayed together; their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. 7 There were quarrels between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and
those of Lot's. (At this time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were occupying the land.) 8 So Abram said to Lot: "Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are kinsmen. 9 Is not the whole land at your disposal? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left." 10 Lot looked about and saw how well watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the
LORD's own garden, or like Egypt. (This was before the LORD had   destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other; 12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain, pitching his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked in the sins they committed against the LORD. 14 After Lot had left, the LORD said to Abram: "Look about you, and from where you are, gaze to the north and south, east and west; 15 all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever. 16 I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth; if anyone could count the dust of the earth, your descendants too might be counted. 17 Set forth and walk about in the land, through its length and breadth, for to
you I will give it." 18 Abram moved his tents and went on to settle near the terebinth of Mamre, which is at Hebron. There he built an altar to the LORD.

P S A L M
Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
R: He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
2 He who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart 3 and slanders not with his tongue. (R) Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; 4 by whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD; (R) 5 who lends not his money at usury and accepts no bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be disturbed. (R)

G O S P E L

We do not reflect enough upon this statement of truth that the road to perdition is wide and the one to righteousness is narrow and difficult. Yes, God is a generous God but the sin at work in the world places tremendous temptations before us all and we need to be realistic about this in terms of protecting ourselves from the temptations and providing ourselves with an environment that will foster faith and trust in God.

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R: Alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 7:6, 12-14
6 Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. 12 Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. 14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few."
Job 38-42
my reflections
t h i n k: The road to perdition is wide and the one to righteousness is narrow and difficult.

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 Job 38-42

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
SABBATH

THE TEACHER WHO REALLY GOES BEYOND

Three paragraphs, three separate lessons. Short as our Gospel passage today seems to be, it is nevertheless loaded with this combination of compact teachings from our Lord Jesus. (Incidentally, such an occurrence is possible, from the point of view of the behind-the-scenes work. The Gospel writers understandably took some liberty in making editorial arrangements.)
Perhaps we can take our pick among the three lessons. Now even just a quick glance at the passage will make us single out the one in the middle, the famous Golden Rule.
And to think that it isn't even an original teaching of Jesus Christ. Other wise men antedating Him in history or the major religions of the world have their own versions of it. Considering the variety of beliefs, languages and cultures, it is remarkable that the core teaching is the same.
Nevertheless, Jesus Christ couldn't have put it better as He did and there lies His originality: He actually made it a summary of "the law and the prophets" — that is, the Old Testament teaching in its entirety. With this background, therefore, we now appreciate even more Jesus as Teacher.
What is even more admirable is that He would always be the first to apply His own teaching to nobody else but Himself. Wasn't His own Passion and Death the result of His criticism and castigation of the scribes and Pharisees? He did to them what His enemies in turn did as well to Him, but more: they, the chief priests and the Romans, accused Him falsely, subjected Him to a mock trial, tortured, ridiculed and crucified Him. Whereas beneath the Golden Rule is an equal, tit-for-tat conduct, the excessive treatment Jesus got only goes to show the limitation or defect of this law.
No wonder our Lord, in His promulgation of the New Law, was never contented with staying at the minimum. His challenge was to go beyond w h a t i s m e r e l y stipulated, not to be satisfied with mere compliance with the lowest requirements. Jesus comes indeed as a teacher who really goes beyond!  Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

Reflection Question:
Do I walk my talk?

Lord Jesus, You gave us an example of what a good teacher is: one who applies to one's self his own teachings. Help me to become a good teacher like You. Amen.

St. Terence, pray for us.


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Zinio Reader: FRONT SIDE

FRONT SIDE



Android, Android, Everywhere

Google officially wants to be everywhere—or at least it wants Android to be everywhere. At the Google I/O 2011 conference last month, the company outlined a vision for global platform domination, which includes a new cloud-based music service, a new movie rental service, Android for the home, reference designs for new Android hardware, and even, yes, Android light bulbs. Prepare to get bombed by Google Android.

Google's anticipated music service—still in beta and without a lot of major label support—puts all your music in the cloud, and as Google repeatedly reminded us, doesn't require any docking or wires to play the music wherever you want to. Google also introduced a movie service that works with new apps on the Motorola Xoom tablet and Android phones.

Still, the most announcement was the Android-everywhere portion. Google is now ready to send its mobile operating system well beyond phones and tablets. The plan is that it will show up in everything from speakers and exercise bikes to light bulbs. These Android-enabled devices will of course work with Android phones and tablets.

Android as an embeddable operating system is also becoming a reality as Google introduced hardware reference designs that should help Android power all sorts of crazy ideas. Google demonstrated the power of this hardware and the Android platform with a tablet-controlled maze (one that was breadbox-size and one that was large enough for a bowling ball to roll on).

Interestingly, Google said it wants Android, specifically Android Ice Cream Sandwich (or 4.0) to be one OS for all devices, but did not explain how this affects its other operating system: Chrome.

—Lance Ulanoff



Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

God's Message For You Today, June 14, 2011

14   June
Tuesday  TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH      
DIDACHE    

ANYTHING BUT THAT

"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you…" – Matthew 5:44

I was very angry with somebody. No… the word angry is mild. I was livid.
I had a mixture of emotions about something that transpired, and my human instinct told me that I needed to strike back to defend myself. But it was something I knew I didn't want to do. Instead, I lashed out at another person involved and said all the hurtful words I could say. The sleeping monster inside me awoke.
I carried this anger in my heart for many years. And each time I came across the chosen verse above, I would always cringe. Love my enemies? Pray for those who persecute me?... "Lord! Please make me do anything but that!"
To this day that remains a tall order for me. It is not easy. I prayed for the blessing of time, believing that it heals all wounds, and that in God's perfect time the anger in my heart will fade.
True enough, the time came. It felt as if a big thorn in my heart was pulled out. Only then did I actually know what it's like to forgive — the peace of Christ enveloped me and renewed my spirit.  
May His peace fill your heart every day. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
14
REFLECTION:
Was there ever a time when you loved your enemy? If you managed to do it once, you can do it over and over again.

Grant me a change of heart, O Lord


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top      
COMPANION  

1st READING

I am not a fan of forced or heavily encouraged or prescribed tithing. I believe it is far better to instill in people the knowledge of their responsibility for the work of the Church and the care of Her ministers and then preach on this text of generous giving. In this way those who are rich and who can afford to give way more than 10 percent have no excuse to hold back their wealth from the needs of the Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 8:1-9
1 We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God that has been given to the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For according to their means, I can testify, and beyond their means, spontaneously, 4 they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part in the service to the holy ones, 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us through the will of God, 6 so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun, he should also complete for you this gracious act also. 7 Now 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. 8 I say this not by way of command, but to test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others. 9 For you know the gracious act of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.

P S A L M

Psalms 146:2, 5-6, 7, 8-9
R: Praise the Lord, my soul!
2 Praise the Lord, my soul! I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live. (R) 5 Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD, his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. (R) Who keeps faith forever, 7 secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. (R) 8 The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those that were bowed down; the LORD loves the just. 9 The LORD protects strangers. (R)

G O S P E L

Jesus commands us to love our enemies. This fact tells us something of the nature of love that today's world needs to learn anew, namely that love is a decision and is not necessarily dependent upon our feelings or emotions. What is important is that we decide to love every human being we meet! This is a command of the nature of the Gospel and the nature of love; if we do not have love for others, how will we be committed to proclaiming the Gospel to them?

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.
R: Alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 5:43-48
43 Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? 48 So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

my reflections
t h i n k I : f we do not have love for others, how will we be committed to proclaiming the Gospel to them?


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 Job 10-13

Job 10-13

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top      
SABBATH  

JESUS' TOPSY-TURVY TEACHING

Once again Jesus turns conventional norms into a topsy-turvy teaching in today's Gospel reading. And how He does so, specifically regarding concrete and practical matters such as loving and greeting.
The metaphors of sunlight and rainfall used by Jesus bring the message across very clearly. In the new dispensation already long since inaugurated by Jesus, we cannot be selective and "distinctive" (in the sense of making discriminatory distinctions) in our love anymore. The Israelites from of old would love their countrymen and "hate" their enemies. This second verb, by the way, is often misunderstood in the literal sense of hatred. But it simply meant that Israelites were allowed to prioritize their love for their own, and then apply a lesser love on the rest. (What a peculiarity!)  
The new law being promulgated now by Jesus mandates plainly that we love our enemies. Period. No ifs, no buts; no questions, no conditions.
In any case, should we fall short of such radical ideals taught by Jesus, we do ourselves a favor by not watering down or sugar-coating them. We need not despair if we don't attain to such ideals. In the words of popular Christian writer Philip Yancey, "[Jesus] gave [the Sermon on the Mount] to impart to us God's Ideal toward which we should never stop striving, but also to show that none of us will ever reach that Ideal. The Sermon on the Mount forces us to recognize the great distance between God and us, and any attempt to reduce that distance by somehow moderating its demands
misses the point altogether" (The Jesus I Never Knew).  
Yes, Jesus indeed turns our standards topsy-turvy. But it's OK. We will not attempt to put them back in order. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

Reflection Question:
Jesus' teachings vs. the world's teachings: Which do you follow?  

Make me Your faithful disciple, Lord. May Your teachings be always the standard for my life.

St. Mark of Lucera, pray for us.


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top      
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

God's Message For You Today, May 28, 2011

28 May
Saturday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

CAREFUL PLANNING

They transmitted to the people for observance the decisions which the apostles and presbyters had made in Jerusalem. – Acts 16:4

In 2008, our bishop and his priest ministers embarked on an in-depth assessment and evaluation of the diocese. They came up with a diocesan pastoral plan for the next three years clearly defining their five-point priority agenda. This was launched and "transmitted to the people for observance."
I'm writing this article in 2010 when much of the goals laid out have already been achieved. During vicariate and diocesan meetings, it was noted that the parishes were concerted in their activities and moving in the same direction towards building the Church. And it has to be.
We cannot be slipshod about building the Kingdom of God, which deserves nothing less but the best from each one of us.
As the congregations in Derbe and Lystra "grew stronger in faith and daily increased in numbers" (verse 5) with close guidance from Paul and the Apostles, I'm optimistic our diocese is headed in the same direction. Cristy Galang (cristy_cc@yahoo.com)
28
REFLECTION:
Am I serving the Lord and His Church? Do I have a laid-out plan, vision, mission, goals and objectives?

Lord Jesus, I want to serve You with my all and I know I can only do this if I leave no stone unturned. Send me Your Holy Spirit, Lord, that He may be my guide in all I do for You. Amen. St. Accidia, pray for us.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READING

Paul readily responds to an invitation to preach the Gospel in a new area. I believe that he trusts that if the Holy Spirit does not want him there he will raise obstacles to Paul's intentions and lead him elsewhere. I call this the "open door policy." If the doors open and remain open then that is a sign that God wants you to pass through them; conversely, if a door shuts then it could be a sign that this is not the path for you. We have to be careful to test whether the door is locked and not just shut for a period of time or else we could miss the opportunity at hand.

Acts 16:1-10
1 Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, 3 and Paul wanted him to come along with him. On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem. 5 Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number. 6 They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from  preaching the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into
Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, 8 so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 When he had seen the vision, we sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

P S A L M

Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; 2 serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 5 The LORD is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)

G O S P E L

Jesus faced all sorts of trials and opposition when proclaiming the Gospel. Let us never be discouraged to the point of giving up when trials and sufferings engulf our lives. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and on the goal of eternal life and face them. We need never be afraid that Jesus will desert us as His promise is to be with us until the end of time. With this truth in my heart I know I can endure any trial the devil might raise against me.

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R: Alleluia, alleluia

John 15:18-21
18 Jesus said to his disciples: "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also  persecute you. If they kept my
word, they will also keep yours. 21 And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me."

my reflections
think: We need never be afraid that Jesus will desert us as His promise is to be with us until the end of time.

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 1 Maccabees 1-2


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
SABBATH

ON ACCOUNT OF CHRIST'S NAME

A young priest and a bishop were traveling from Siuchow to Linchow on February 13, 1930. With them was a group of young catechists on their way to a mission outpost. At some point in their river journey, some Bolshevik pirates commandeered the boat and took interest in one of the young female catechists. The bishop and the priest defended the hapless girl with all the strength they could muster.
But the group of pirates would brook no opposition to their evil plans and they murdered the bishop and the priest. By God's grace, the two heard each other's confessions before they died.
The two men of the cloth, Bishop Luigi Versiglia and Father Callistus Caravario, both Salesian missionaries from Turin, Italy, were beatified by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000.
They died, as they lived, true to their youthful dream of following the footsteps of Christ as taught them by St. John Bosco, father and teacher of the youth. Though uneducated men, they rose up to tell the story of Christ after He died and rose from the dead. The authorities did what the powers-that-be usually do to people they fear. They persecuted them, true to what their Lord and Master prophesied: "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you…. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name."
Last year, in the run-up towards the national elections, tension ran high between and among the electorate. The electing public was sorely divided between so many candidates. Each group rallied behind a particular name. But in not a few cases, they rallied behind someone because they stood to gain, because their interests were at stake. They were supporters of a particular candidate, but they were never followers or disciples, like the first Christians and martyrs were… like Sts. Luigi Versiglia and Callistus Caravario were, along with thousands of others. The difference? They suffered on account of Christ's name! Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

Reflection Question:
For what cause are you willing to stake your life on?

Lord, to follow You more closely and to love You more dearly are what I desire each day.

St. Accidia, pray for us.


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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

God's Message For You Today, May 3, 2011

3 May
Tuesday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles

SINGLE

And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. – John 14:13

I am Joyce Sosoban, single for a long while now — since I was born actually.
There was a time when I prayed if I should stay single forever, become a nun or get married. After much prayer, I realized that I was for marriage. But that was quite sometime ago. There came a time when I was unsure if I could serve the Lord well if I got married. Still, I want to get married. I don't know what my state in life will be by the time you read this, but for now, my prayer seems to have been unanswered.
There were times when I felt really down, especially when a relationship I had hoped for went pffft. I had to take stock of reality once again: I am alone.
You might wonder, do I, therefore, think God has been inconsistent with His Word in today's Gospel? I don't think so. For one, I'm not God — and, thank you very much, I am happy He is and I'm not. So I'm still perfectly sure He never lies. In the end, as long as I can give glory to Him in my life — in joy or pain — that is good enough for me. Single or not.
That I truly pray for. Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com)
3
REFLECTION:
Do you doubt God because of your unanswered prayer?

Dear Lord, help me to believe that You are working out what is best for me and will answer me in Your time.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READING

The nature of the Gospel is that it does not change. What Jesus passed on to His disciples is exactly the same message that we pass on to the next generation of Christians today! Yes, the language in which these truths are expressed may have changed, but the fundamental truths have not. Paul affirms this as he writes to the Corinthian Community and affirms that his message is not something of his own invention or innovation. The means of proclaiming the Gospel may change, but its message is and always will remain immutable.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. 2 Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; 4 that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; 5 that he appeared to Kephas, then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.

P S A L M

Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
R: Their message goes out through all the earth.
1 [2] The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2 [3] Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge. (R) 3 [4] Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; 4 [5] through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the
ends of the world, their message. (R)

G O S P E L

Jesus tells His disciples that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. These three descriptions of salvation could be the basis of many reflections. Therefore, let us be aware that it is a great mistake to limit our understanding and expectation of the ways and means by which God will work in our lives. There is nothing limited about our God except that which is logically impossible. God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit will continue to surprise us in our faith walks so long as we remain open to their working in our lives. Let us make a commitment to keep the doors open wide to God so that He can fill us with His goodness, lead us with His truth and transform us in His
love.

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord; Philip, whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
R: Alleluia, alleluia
John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And whatever you ask in my name, I
will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."

my reflections
think: Let us make a commitment to keep the doors open wide to God so that He can fill us with His goodness, lead us with His truth and transform us in His love.

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 2 Chronicles 19-20


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
SABBATH

THAT WILL BE ENOUGH FOR US

 "Pinoy Henyo" of GMA 7's lunchtime program Eat Bulagahas taken the whole Philippines (and the Pinoy diaspora all over the world) by storm. The game is now played in almost every birthday party, every reunion or Christmas gathering of friends and family where Pinoys find themselves together with plenty of time to spare.
We all know what it is about — basically a search for the exact right word or concept, with only a "yes" or "no" for clues from the teammate. One is always in search and for those who follow a certain logic, they stand greater chances of getting the right answer. But, with logic and all, it all boils down to educated guesswork. Today, our saints of the day remind us about searching and finding. Philip was one "discoverer" who did not keep silent about his big find: "We have found the one about whom Moses wrote." James, the great apostle, according to long standing tradition, went to far-flung places
and implanted the Church in Compostela, Spain, prior to his beheading in Jerusalem under Herod Agrippa. Philip, ever on the quest, had it in him to seek for solutions to whatever predicament he found himself in. He asked that famous question when crowds followed the Lord out in the desert: "Where can we buy enough food to feed them all?"
Philip was in search of what was "enough." He was on a quest for the ultimate. Today's Gospel shows us this much: "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Christian life is a quest for our "enough." Paul Tillich the philosopher has a big word for this — "ultimate concern" — compared to whom all else pales, and beyond whom there ought to be no other. It is a little like playing "Pinoy Henyo," except that we are in search, not just for a term or concept that can be answered with a "yes" or "no," and not just for a few thousand pesos reward.
Searching and finding — this is what we Christians are engaged in. And our quest ends when we find our "enough" — God and His kingdom!  Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

Reflection Question:
Have you found your "enough?"

Lord, may my heart find its rest in You.

St. Philip of Zell, pray for us.


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

God's Message For You Today, April 24, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections
for April 24, 2011

Dear choi,
He Lives In You! Especially When You Love. Happy Easter! Get out of the tombs of selfishness and live a new life of love!
Each Sunday is a Mini-Easter.  Show that Jesus is alive today!

Praying for you,

Bo Sanchez

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24 April
Sunday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

EASTER SUNDAY

what's your stone?

Mary of Magdala ... saw the stone removed from the tomb. – John 20:1

I thought my tummy ache was merely indigestion but when it got excruciating, I decided to go to the hospital. "Looks like you have a sizeable stone that fell into the bile duct. We have to remove it," my doctor said. "Then after a few days, we have to remove your gall bladder, too."
They explained to me that the procedure entailed inserting an endoscope through my mouth to the bottom of the bile duct where they would dislodge the stone. If they don't do that, the obstruction could cause jaundice and, at worst, poison my blood and cause death. I immediately asked family and friends to pray for my procedures. During the procedure, doctors didn't see the stone that appeared in the ultrasound to be blocking my bile duct. "It must have passed," they explained. I knew the Lord had something to do with it.
To date, I still have my gall bladder. I figured, if the Lord could remove the stone that blocked my bile duct, then He could remove the rest in my gall bladder. After all, He rolled the stone from His grave and conquered death forevermore!
What's your "stone"? This Easter, bring it to Jesus and let Him "roll the stone away." Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
24
REFLECTION:
Easter's victory is not just for eternity and beyond; it's for the here and now.

Thank You, Jesus, for conquering sin and death.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READINGin one year

The fact of the resurrection and its effects are supposed to permeate our daily lives. Christianity is not merely a set of beliefs that those who desire to give it their assent. Christianity is first and foremost a way of life, and perhaps better, a call into relationship with God who is one of us. This call is open to all who want it, to all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and has risen from the dead.

Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Peter proceeded to speak and said: 37 You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses
of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and [in] Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. 40 This man God raised [on] the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name."

P S A L M

Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
R: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. 2 Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever." (R) 16 "The right hand of the LORD has struck with power; the right hand of the LORD is exalted." 17 I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD. (R) 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. (R)

2nd READING

St. Paul has experienced the power of the resurrection offered to us in his choice to embrace the Gospel. He does not have to deny his Jewish background in order to do this. All he has to do is live in accordance with the grace and message of the Gospel. None of us can deny our pasts, whatever they may be. All of us have sins in our pasts, which we must repent of and probably beliefs and practices that may not be consonant with the Gospel. We must leave these behind as we embrace the Gospel but this is not a denial of our past, just part of the process of choosing for the future, which is what we do no matter how we choose to live.

Colossians 3:1-4 (or 1Corinthians 5:6-8)
1 Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in
glory.

G O S P E L

As we reflect upon Mary Magdalene's encounter with the Risen Lord, it is important to realize that each of us is called to experience something similar to this through faith. I think back to my conversion experience (a conversion that shifted my faith from being a nominal part of my life to being an essential and living relationship with God). I remember it in terms of an encounter with the truth of the Gospel that ultimately led me into a personal relationship with a God I used to refer to in more abstract ways. God is real; the resurrection of Jesus is real; faith is not just an excuse that enables people to overcome fear of death, etc. Faith in God, His death
and resurrection, are essential to the full expression of our humanity and being. We have been created for a relationship with God; without this relationship we are on the path to … well, nothingness!

ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed; let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
R: Alleluia, alleluia

John 20:1-9
1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." 3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

my reflections
t h i n k : We have been created for a relationship with God; without this relationship we are on the path to … well, nothingness!

 God's special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ' S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for:____________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Chronicles 1-2

SABBATH PAUSE
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
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SPECIAL NEEDS
Things to ask God for in the coming week
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HIDDEN TREASURE
Most important word God told me this week
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Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
SABBATH

HE SAW AND BELIEVED

Could you imagine the utter shock that Mary experienced at finding the tomb empty? The first thing she does is to seek the leader of the apostles, Peter, and tell him this devastating news: They have taken Him away and we do not know where they had put Him. It was sad enough to see Him suffer and die on the cross, and then find Him missing from the tomb. The least they could do was go and prepare the body as a last act of loyal and faithful love to the One who meant so much to them. Now all hope is lost. Jesus is gone.
Notice in this narrative the beautiful primacy given to Peter? He is the first to be told about the missing Jesus. Then he is the first to see that the clothes are not there. The one who, only a few days ago, denied Jesus is at odds as to understand what he sees. The other disciple, on the other hand, went in and saw the clothes were not there. He saw and believed. The whole point of the Gospel of John is that seeing is believing. For that other disciple, no proof is needed of Jesus rising — to see was enough for him to believe. To see nothing was to believe everything. He saw and believed.
Such devastating news of the missing body turns out to be good news that shook the world in its foundations. Christ has risen! This is the greatest news ever told. Christ has risen. This is the greeting the Russian Orthodox exchange on this day of Easter. Christ has risen. He has truly risen! Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

Reflection Question:
How would you respond if you went to the empty tomb? Would you doubt or would you believe?

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His mercy endures forever. Amen.

St. Sabas, pray for us.


Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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