Sunday, January 23, 2011

God's Message For You Today, January 23, 2011

23 January
Sunday TODAY'S READINGS:

DIDACHE | COMPANION | SABBATH
DIDACHE

A Row of Eggheads

Please be perfectly united, with one mind and one judgment. – 1 Corinthians 1:10

In 2008, my cousin Ray was diagnosed with cystic nephroma, a rare medical
condition. He underwent surgery and was miraculously cured. A year later though,

there was a re-growth of the cancer cells. He was operated on again but this
time around, he also had to undergo rounds of chemotherapy treatment. As
expected, Ray lost his hair.
One Sunday morning, churchgoers were attracted to a row of shiny "eggheads" in a

pew. There was Ray seated beside his brothers who all voluntarily shaved their
heads to be like him!
This simple gesture from his siblings became another deep source of strength for

Ray. It was a clear manifestation of love from his family. With such support, he

was confident he would overcome no matter how big his crisis was and how long
his journey would be. For the rest of the clan, it made every member recognize
and value family ties even more.
Replicate this family experience of unity to our circle of friends, the office,
our community, our church and our country. Imagine what we, united in Christ,
could achieve in His name.Marie Franco (rfranco@its.jnj.com)

REFLECTION:
What have I done to bring people together?

Heal our land, Lord, from disunity. Give us servant leaders who can unite the
country and transform it into a great nation under Your Name.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
COMPANION

1st READING

What is it to walk in a culture of death? What a morbid question you might say.
But I am serious – the age in which we live is one where darkness seems to
overcome the spark of life. Abortion, euthanasia, experimentation with embryos
and the list goes on, and most of us hardly bat an eyelid. Lives are being
destroyed every second and what are we doing to change this terrible situation?
As Christians we are called to be a light to the world – a light of truth so
that all may see and understand the truth of the dignity of each human person
from conception to death. Let us all try to think of ways in which we can awaken

the conscience of our age to the darkness threatening to enshroud it in death.

Isaiah 8:23-9:3
23 First the LORD degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in
the end he has glorified the seaward road, the land west of the Jordan, the
district of the Gentiles. Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness for
there is no gloom where but now there was distress. 9: 1 The people who walked
in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a

light has shone. 2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as
they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing
spoils. 3 For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the
rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

P S A L M

Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
R: The Lord is my light and my salvation.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my
life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 4 One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, that I
may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. (R) 13 I
believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14
Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. (R)


2nd READING

Christ must always be the focal point of our proclamation of the Gospel lest we
deprive it of the power it should have. There is no easy way to keep the focus
on Jesus and deflect it from ourselves – we simply have to keep making that
exact decision. Jesus never seeks to do His own will in His ministry – it is His

Father's will to which He constantly defers. Let us follow His example.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10 I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but
that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11 For it has been
reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are
rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul,"
or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." 13
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name
of Paul? 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and
not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be

emptied of its meaning.

G O S P E L

Repentance is an integral part of the proclamation of the Gospel for the simple
reason that we are all sinners. If we accept this, it is not surprising that
Jesus calls for repentance before faith. It is our repentance that clears away
the darkness of sin and enables us to see with the eyes of faith the truth of
the Gospel of love. Let us never forget that we are called to purify our lives
of sin so that we are better able to receive the life of holiness that God plans

for us all.


ALLELUIA
R: Alleluia, alleluia
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the
people.
R: Alleluia

Matthew 4:12-23
12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He
left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun

and Naphtali, 14 that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be
fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond
the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 16 the people who sit in darkness have seen

a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has
arisen." 17 From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand." 18 As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he
saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a
net into the sea; they were fishermen. 19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I

will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of
Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee,
mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left their boat and
their father and followed him. 23 He went around all of Galilee, teaching in
their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every
disease and illness among the people.

my reflections
t h i n k : Let us all try to think of ways in which we can awaken the
conscience of our age to the darkness threatening to enshroud it in death.

God's special verse/thought for me today________________
_________________________________________________________

T O D A Y ' S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for:____________________________________

_______________________________________________________

READ THE BIBLE IN Exodus 19-21

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

LIVING IN DARKNESS an d SEEING A GREAT LIGHT

One of the many signs of maturity is the capacity to live in a state of tension,

an ability to live in a situation of paradox. A mature person is one who can
navigate the self in the midst of seeming contradictions and a world of
opposites, and still come out a better person from the experience. Nature offers

us a lot of examples, one of which is the lily flower. The lily is pure white,
supple and suffused when fresh, with images of cleanliness, purity and pristine
simplicity. These qualities make it a favorite flower for altars of churches and

shrines. But of course, we all know where it comes from. Like love, it "comes
from the most unexpected places." It is no secret that the lily is produced by
the dirtiest of waters, stagnant and stale and, supposedly, sterile! The lily is

thus a story of survival, an epic illustration of the capacity to grow and bloom

even in the midst of deprivation and desperation.
Take it from the story of salvation. Whoever thought Zebulun and Naphtali beyond

the Jordan, the "territory of the Gentiles," would produce anything good?
Just last year, we saw it happen. A 16-year-old boy who sold siomai for a living

back in Batangas was hailed as the champion of Pilipinas Got Talent, winning not

only P2 million but the adulation of millions of Filipinos all over the world.
Recently, National Geographic channel featured something almost incredible. They

discovered that even in the remotest, darkest, dreariest and desolate recesses
in the bowels of the earth, there is animal life, blind like anything, but
capable of self-mobility and self-nourishment. There is life in the darkness!
We cry and lament we've been in darkness as a nation and people for far too
long. Corruption rules the day at every nook and cranny of our tiny nation, in
and out of government. But "a people who lived in darkness had seen a great
light!" We simply refuse to cower in darkness. We are this people now. And we
resolve to let that light shine on today and for always. Fr. Chito Dimaranan,
SDB

Reflection Question:
Do you believe in the light even as you go through the darkest moments of your
life?

Lord, when the world seems so dark, help me to believe and cling to the light
that comes from You. Amen.


St. Amasius, pray for us.

Didache | Companion | Sabbath | Top
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