Monday, July 28, 2014

 

Tuesday 17th Week in Ordinary Time

July 29, 2014
Tuesday 17th Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial of St. Martha]

Jer 14: 17-22 / Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13  / Jn 11: 19-27

Reading: Jer 14: 17-22
This you will say to them: Let my eyes shed tears night and day without ceasing! For with a great wound has the virgin daughter of my people been wounded, a most grievous wound. If I go into the country, I see those slain by the sword. If I enter the city I see the ravages of famine. For the prophet and the priest did not understand what was happening in the land." Have you then rejected Judah forever? Do you abhor Zion? Why have you wounded us and left us with no hope of recovery? We hoped for salvation but received nothing good; we waited for healing, but terror came! Yahweh, we know our wickedness and that of our ancestors, and the times we have sinned against you. For your name's sake do not despise us; do not dishonor the throne of your glory. Remember us. Do not break your covenant with us! Among the worthless idols of the nations, are there any who can bring rain, or make the skies send showers? Only in you, Yahweh our God, do we hope, for it is you who do all this.   
Gospel: John 11: 19-27
Many Jews came to Martha and Mary to offer consolation at their brother's death.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said, "Your brother will rise again." Martha replied, "I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day." But Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection; whoever believes in me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" Martha then answered, "Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."

Reflection
     In the first reading, Israel was experiencing a severe drought, so Jeremiah cried out to Yahweh for help on behalf of his people. He was appalled at the great suffering he witnessed and asked God for mercy and forgiveness. 
     There are moments in our lives when we are totally crushed by an event and we have no one else to turn but God. We go down on our knees and beg God for help.  These are humbling experiences but they remind us of our mortality and we realize that only God can save us.  A Christian does not curse God during times of darkness and disasters.  He humbles himself before God and implores his merciful help. 
     This is what Martha and Mary did after the death of Lazarus when Jesus came to see them. They begged for his help and said to him that if he had come earlier, he would have been able to save Lazarus from death. Jesus told them to have faith and declared that he is the resurrection and the life. Martha did not fully understand the words of Jesus though she loved him immensely. Only when Jesus raised up Lazarus from death was she totally astounded. Surely, from that moment on her faith was greatly enhanced. 
     God sometimes answers our prayers with "miracles" to strengthen our faith. But when we are already a bit spiritually mature, he may send us trials which are harder to bear but which require that we firmly believe in His goodness. The martyrs had this faith and they were willing to die for God and for His Son Jesus.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the repose of the soul -
     * Johnny Ong
     * Milagros Llanes Gomez
... for special intentions - Beny Chua

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

 

Monday 17th Week in Ordinary Time

July 28, 2014
Monday 17th Week in Ordinary Time

Jer 13: 1-11 / Dt 32: 18-19, 20, 21 / Mt 13: 31-35

Reading: Jer 13: 1-11
This is what Yahweh said to me: "Go! Buy your-self a linen belt and put it around your waist; do not put it in water." So I bought the belt as Yahweh ordered and put it around my waist. The word of Yahweh came to me a second time, "Take the belt you bought, the one you put around your waist, and go to the torrent Perah; hide it there in a hole in the rock." I went and hid it as Yahweh instructed me. After many days Yahweh said to me, "Go to the torrent Perah and get the belt I ordered you to hide there." I went to the torrent and dug up the belt but it was ruined and good for nothing, and Yahweh said to me, "In this way I will destroy the pride and great glory of Judah, this wicked people who refuse to heed what I say, this stubborn people who go after other gods to serve and worship them. And they shall become like this belt which is now good for nothing. For just as a belt is to be bound around a man's waist so was the people of Israel and Judah bound to me - it is Yahweh who speaks - to be my people, my glory and my honor; but they would not listen.   

Gospel: Matthew 13: 31-35
Jesus put another parable before them, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, that a man took and sowed in his field. It is smaller than all other seeds, but once it has fully grown, it is bigger than any garden plant; like a tree, the birds come and rest in its branches." He told them another parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast that a woman took and buried in three measures of flour until the whole mass of dough began to rise." Jesus taught all this to the crowds by means of parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So what the Prophet had said was fulfilled: I will speak in parables. I will proclaim things kept secret since the beginning of the world.

Reflection:
     From little things come great things. With the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus shows us that the Kingdom of God begins or starts in little steps, but it must be seen, it must be visible and noticed in the world. It must spread, be fruitful like a tree giving shade to the birds and protecting them with its foliage. We believers must show through our love the signs of the kingdom; sign of peace, love and forgiveness. Jesus also said, "Let your light shine" We must not enclose ourselves like ghettoes but spread out our goodness to be useful to the people.
     Every baker sees the usefulness of yeast in baking bread. Yeast is given as an example for the growth of the Kingdom. By living the gospel values, we spread goodness, peace, love. By sharing love with others, we increase goodness and we multiply it. "Yeast transforms human history by infusing into human activity the spirit which gives life to humankind (CCB)........."
     Are we this little mustard seed? Do we make this mustard seed grow in our homes, schools, and work places? "Let your light shine that they may see your good works and give glory to the Father," and others will do the same. Then, they will say-  "There is the Kingdom." Where there is love, there is God.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

 

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 27, 2014
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Kgs 3: 5, 7-12/ Ps 119: 57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130 (97a)/ Rom 8: 28-30/ Mt 13: 44-52 or 13:44-46

First Reading: 1 Kgs 3: 5, 7-12
It was in Gibeon, during the night, that Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, "Ask what you want me to give you." And now, O Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a young boy who does not know how to undertake anything. Meantime, your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen - a people so great that they can neither be numbered nor counted. Give me, therefore, an understanding mind in governing your people that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to govern this multitude of people of yours?" Yahweh was pleased that Solomon had made this request. And he told him, "Because you have requested this rather than long life or wealth or even vengeance on your enemies; indeed, because you have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I shall grant you your request. I now give you a wise and discerning mind such as no one has had before you nor anyone after you shall ever have.

Second Reading: Rom 8: 28-30
We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him, whom he has called according to his plan. Those whom he knew beforehand, he has also predestined to be like his Son, similar to him, so that he may be the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And so, those whom God predestined he called, and those whom he called he makes righteous, and to those whom he makes righteous he will give his Glory.

Gospel: Mt 13: 44-52 or 13:44-46
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it buries it again; and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who is looking for fine pearls. Once he has found a pearl of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a big fishing net let down into the sea, in which every kind of fish has been caught. When the net is full, it is dragged ashore. Then they sit down and gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away. That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth." Jesus asked, "Have you understood all these things?" "Yes," they answered. So he said to them, "You will see that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple of the Kingdom is like a householder who can produce from his store things both new and old."

Reflection:
     All of us want to be remembered and we expect our loved ones to give us something on special occasions. Sometimes a friend would ask, "What do you want for your birthday?" A lot of times we cannot reply right away. This is exactly what happened in the first reading. God appeared to King Solomon and asked what gift he desired. Solomon's response was very surprising. Rather than ask for more wealth, arms, soldiers and power, he asked that he be given wisdom to be able to rule his people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. A very unique way of responding to a question so that he can serve God and his people, be a better person and be a better ruler. It is an important lesson for us, followers of Jesus. Most of the time we want material things. We are blinded sometimes by the deceit of this world. Solomon made the right choice and had a prosperous reign.
     The Gospel reading also tells us to make the right choice. If we have set our eyes and heart on something we have discerned and is sure about it, then go for it. If we have prayed over the matter and we know that it is for the good of the others then go for it. We are people who delay a lot of decisions and sometimes we wait for the right time. But postponing decisions can cause problems. But if we are a people of faith and prayer, we know that the choices we make in our life is the right one because it is with the help of God. Like the man who found the treasures and the merchant who found the fine pearls and sold everything they had and were happy with their choices, we too should be happy with our choices because they are products of our faith in God and consultation with others. We do this for the greater glory of God so that we can establish His kingdom here on earth.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions of
     * Bsp Leopoldo Jaucian
     * Belinda Dee
     * Gigi de la Cruz

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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Friday, July 25, 2014

 

Saturday 16th Week in Ordinary Time

July 26, 2014
Saturday 16th Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, Sts. Joachim and Anne]

Jer 7: 1-11 / Ps 84: 3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11 / Mt 13: 24-30 

Reading: Jer 7: 1-11
These words were spoken by Yahweh, to Jeremiah, "Stand at the gate of Yahweh's house and proclaim this in a loud voice: Listen to what Yahweh says, all you people of Judah (who enter these gates to worship Yahweh). Yahweh the God of Israel says this: Amend your ways and your deeds and I will stay with you in this place. Rely not on empty words such as: 'Look, the Temple of Yahweh! the Temple of Yahweh! This is the Temple of Yahweh!' It is far better for you to amend your ways and act justly with all. Do not abuse the stranger, orphan or widow or shed innocent blood in this place or follow false gods to your own ruin. Then I will stay with you in this place, in the land I gave to your ancestors in times past and forever. But you trust in deceptive and useless words. You steal, kill, take the wife of your neighbor; you swear falsely, worship Baal and follow foreign gods who are not yours. Then, after doing all these horrible things, you come and stand before me in this temple that bears my Name and say, 'Now we are safe.' Is this house on which rests my Name a den of thieves? I have seen this myself - it is Yahweh who speaks.    

Gospel: Matthew 13: 24-30    
Jesus told them another parable, "The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, the weeds also appeared. Then the servants of the owner came to him and said: 'Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?' He answered them: 'This is the work of an enemy.' They asked him: 'Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?' He told them: 'No, when you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let them just grow together until harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the workers: Pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them; then gather the wheat into my barn."

Reflection:
     Why is there evil in the world? Many of us struggle with this question, especially when bad things happen to good people, when cruelty runs unchecked, when people wage wars against each other, or when tragedies strike and we do not know why. We wonder why God allows such things to occur. Could it be that He closes his eyes to everything that is happening, abandoning us in our suffering?
     We've heard of many parables of the kingdom of heaven, each one focusing on a different aspect of it that our Lord wants to highlight. In this one about the sower of wheat, he addresses our difficult questions. Evil is not of his doing, nor does he condone it. But in the field of life, it is difficult to separate the good from the evil because each is a part of the other. Is it not in the midst of darkness that light shines the most? Is it not in our suffering that we see God most clearly? Is it not during difficult times that the goodness in men comes through? 
     But the kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of justice. And when the time comes, the parable assures us, there is no scenario where good does not prevail over evil. 


Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

 

Feast, St. James, Apostle

July 25, 2014
Friday 16th Week in Ordinary Time
[Feast, St. James, Apostle]

Red, 2 Cor 4: 7-15 / Ps 126: 1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6 / Mt 20: 20-28

Reading: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
However, we carry this treasure in vessels of clay, so that this all-surpassing power may not be seen as ours but as God's. Trials of every sort come to us, but we are not discouraged. We are left without answer, but do not despair; persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed. At any moment we carry in our person the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in us. For we, the living, are given up continually to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence. And as death is at work in us, life comes to you. We have received the same spirit of faith referred to in Scripture that says: I believed and so I spoke. We also believe and so we speak. We know that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us, with you, into his presence. Finally, everything is for your good, so that grace will come more abundantly upon you and great will be the thanksgiving for the glory of God.   

Gospel: Matthew 20: 20-28
Then the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down, to ask a favor. Jesus said to her, "What do you want?" And she answered, "Here you have my two sons. Grant that they may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, when you are in your kingdom." Jesus said to the brothers, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They answered, "We can." Jesus replied, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right or at my left is not for me to grant. That will be for those, for whom my Father has prepared it." The other ten heard all this, and were angry with the two brothers. Then Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the nations act as tyrants over them, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you: whoever wants to be more important in your community shall make himself your servant. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life to redeem many."

Reflection:
     In teaching his disciples, our Lord never failed to use real life events to illustrate certain salient points of what he wanted to impart. Like all mothers, the mother of the two ambitious brothers - James the Great also known as the "son of thunder" and John the Evangelist, tried to intercede for her sons to advance their careers. Jesus took this opportunity to teach his disciples the great paradox of life. This time it was about service. He said that the Lord must also be a servant. He demonstrated this to his disciples when he washed their feet during that last Passover meal the night before he died. Ultimately by his Passion, Death and Resurrection, he definitively showed us the only Way, Truth and Life. To be the least is to be great. To die is to live. To lose is to gain. This was what St. Paul wanted to pass on to his church in Corinth when he exhorted them to remember that even if trials come, the life of Jesus must still be manifested in them because they carry in their persons the death of Jesus.
     For us who are beneficiaries of twenty centuries of our Church's reflection on the teachings and life of our Lord Jesus, what are the things that prevent you and me from following him who came not to be served but to serve, and who gave His life to redeem us all?

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

Thursday 16th Week in Ordinary Time

July 24, 2014
Thursday 16th Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Sharbel Makhluf]

Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13 / Ps 36: 6-7ab, 8-9, 10-11/ Mt 13: 10-17

Reading: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
A word of Yahweh came to me, "Go and shout this in the hearing of Jerusalem. This is Yahweh's word: I remember your kindness as a youth, the love of your bridal days, when you followed me in the wilderness, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to Yahweh, the first-fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it had to pay and misfortune fell on them - it is Yahweh who speaks. I brought you to a fertile land to eat of the choicest fruit. As soon as you came you defiled my land and dishonored my heritage! The priests did not ask, 'Where is Yahweh?' The masters of my teaching did not know me; the pastors of my people betrayed me; the prophets followed worthless idols and spoke in the name of Baal. Be aghast at that, O heavens! Shudder, be utterly appalled - it is Yahweh who speaks - for my people have done two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, to dig for themselves leaking cisterns that hold no water!   

Gospel: Mt 13: 10-17
Then his disciples came to him with the question, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" Jesus answered, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. For the one who has will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has. That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look and do not see; they hear, but they do not listen or understand. In them the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled:  Much as you hear, you do not understand; much as you see, you do not perceive. For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear. For I tell you that many prophets and upright people would have longed to see the things you see, but they did not, and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear it.
 
Reflection:
If we are serving the Lord, people may assume that we have already grown spiritually. But actually when we are faced with difficult problems, our faith is challenged and we fail to understand God's plan for us. During these times, we depend on our human strength and ability in coming up with solutions that more often lead us to failure after failure. We fail to put our trust wholly in God and forget that only He has the best solution to our problems. Thus we complain and worry. But despite our unfaithfulness, God has always been a faithful God and this can only be seen through the eyes of faith and with His grace. At times He does this by sending people to us at the right time and when we need them most. In our case, God sent us relief through the payment of a debt that was long overdue. It also came in the form of spiritual guidance from people who helped form us and bring us back to God.  How blessed are we because God enabled us to experience His goodness. 

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
    * for speedy recovery of Joy Rodriguez
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for birthday intentions of Jaime Federico Gonzales, Atty. Romy Macalintal

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

 

Wednesday 16th Week in Ordinary Time

July 23, 2014
Wednesday 16th Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Bridget of Sweden]

Jer 1: 1, 4-10 / Ps 71: 1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15 and 17/ Mt 13: 1-9

Reading: Jer 1: 1, 4-10
These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. A word of Yahweh came to me, "Even before I formed you in the womb I have known you; even before you were born I had set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations!" I said, "Ah, Lord Yahweh! I do not know how to speak; I am still young!" But Yahweh replied, "Do not say; 'I am still young', for now you will go whatever be the mission I am entrusting to you, and you will speak of whatever I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you - it is Yahweh who speaks!" Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now I have put my words in your mouth. See! Today I give you authority over nations and over kingdoms to uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."

Gospel: Matthew 13: 1-9
That same day Jesus left the house and sat down by the lakeside. As many people gathered around him, he got in a boat. There he sat while the whole crowd stood on the shore, and he spoke to them in parables about many things. Jesus said, "The sower went out to sow and, as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where there was little soil, and the seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was not deep. But as soon the sun rose the plants were scorched and withered because they had no roots. Again other seeds fell among thistles; and the thistles grew and choked the plants. Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop; some produced a hundredfold, others sixty and others thirty. If you have ears, then hear!"

Reflection:
A seed is intended to be planted and is expected to produce. Small, yet it has a tremendous internal life. If it is tended well, its yield is abundant. Christ compares the Word of God to a seed. When it is welcomed its fruit is the works of Christ because the Word is Christ Himself. Although this seed is powerful, it is also precarious. If neglected it may wither or die. The soil, which refers to us, can welcome or reject the Word of God. Some of us may welcome it but the trials and difficulties of life make us incredulous of God's love, thus doubt swallows the hope and life of this seed. Some may also welcome it but the concerns of life, the search for security, money and comfort stifles the Word of God. This chase becomes our main preoccupation. The real treasure offered to us is stifled and forgotten. The Lord promises a huge harvest to those who welcome his Word and believe in it. Certainly there will be struggles, difficulties and temptation, but the Lord invites us to have our ears open because the Word of God can sustain, strengthen, encourage and enlighten.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for birthday intentions - Badette Gancayco

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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| The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
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