Saturday, October 25, 2014

 

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 26, 2014
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ex 22: 20-26 / Ps 18: 2-3, 3-4, 47, 51 (2) / 1 Thes 1: 5c-10 / Mt 22: 34-40 

First Reading: Ex 22: 20-26
You shall not wrong or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not harm the widow or the orphan.  If you do harm them and they cry out to me, I will hear them and my anger will blaze and I will kill you with the sword, and your own wives will be widows and your own children orphans. If you lend money to any of my people who are poor, do not act like a moneylender and do not charge him interest. If ever you take a person's cloak as a pledge, you must give it back to him by sunset, for it is all the covering he has for his body. In what else will he sleep? And when he cries to me I will hear him, for I am full of pity.

Second Reading: 1 Thes 1: 5c-10
You also know how we dealt with you for your sake. In return, you became followers of us and of the Lord when, on receiving the word, you experienced the joy of the Holy Spirit in the midst of great opposition. And you became a model for the faithful of Macedonia and Achaia, since from you the word of the Lord spread to Macedonia and Achaia, and still farther. The faith you have in God has become news in so many places that we need say no more about it. Others tell of how you welcome us and turned from idols to the Lord. For you serve the living and true God, and you wait for his Son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who frees.

Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard how Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together.  One of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to test him with this question, "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law?" Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the most important of the commandments. But after this there is another one very similar to it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole Law and the Prophets are founded on these two commandments."

Reflection:
     Jesus puts down God's commandments for us in a nut-shell: Love God and love people. If we get these right, most things will fall into place. But if we get these wrong, most other things will go wrong as well. He loves us but we never love Him back the way He deserves to be loved. Our Father deserves far more than we give Him? He deserves more love than we show Him. 
     Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind." It means putting our all into our worship, surrender, and service. We are to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, anywhere, any time, in church, at home, while driving, while working, while playing, etc. If we love our heavenly Father, we must show at all times and in all ways how much we love Him. Our love for God must overflow into love for people. We must love both God and people. We will never properly love people until we learn to love God. People do love other people, but not as much as when they first love God. Why? Because God is the author of true love. We have to be in touch with God to be in touch with people.
     Love is humble toward others. Love is patient toward others. Love is not self-centered. Love does not seek to control others or police others. Love does not require perfection in others. Sometimes loving those closest to us is the hardest thing to do. We can give money to feed starving people on the other side of the world, but to deal kindly with someone at work or our next door neighbor may be a different matter entirely, and yet, more often than not, we meet God in such an encounter. To profess that we love God while remaining indifferent to the plight of others is a contradiction. God has always involved Himself in the affairs of people because God loves His creation and He loves people most of all. And we, too, are to love people most of all. We can never love God and people too much. And the more we love Him, the more we will love people. The two go hand-in-hand. Life is not just about us. It is not just about what we do in life or what we accomplish in life. Life is about ministering to others. When we really love, when we open our hearts and lives to others, we are drawn to them. Real love cannot sit back and observe. It calls for action. 
     If we don't demonstrate and help others in our world find real love, if we don't help them develop hearts that are open to God's grace and God's peace and God's voice, then the cycles of despair and violence and hate and empty living we see around us will never end. There will be no end to the greed and hate that leads to violence and war, except in the love of Jesus. There will be no end to the irresponsibility and immorality that leads to shattered lives, except in the love of Jesus. There will be no end to the selfishness and self-indulgence that leads to crime, except in the love of Jesus. Real love--Christ's love--is the answer.
     To love people as God has commanded, we need to follow the Golden Rule: treat others as we want to be treated. We need also to follow the Jesus Rule: treat everyone as if they are Jesus, because they are Jesus. Living this way is not easy, but with God's help we can do it we can do it because God wants us to do it. This Gospel passage is not an ideal to be admired but a way of life to be lived if we are to walk humbly with our God. There is an old saying that the night is over and the day has begun when we recognize other people as our brothers and sisters.

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 wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:
     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October
     * Elmer and Liza who will take their exams on October 25, 26, 28

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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Friday, October 24, 2014

 

Saturday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

October 25, 2014
Saturday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Eph 4: 7-16/ Ps 122: 1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5 / Lk 13: 1-9 

Reading: Eph 4: 7-16
But to each of us divine grace is given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said: When he ascended to the heights, he brought captives and gave his gifts to people. He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended to the lower parts of the world? He himself who went down, then ascended far above all the heavens to fill all things. As for his gifts, to some he gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. So he prepared those who belong to him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity and sharing the fullness of Christ. Then no longer shall we be like children tossed about by any wave or wind of doctrine, and deceived by the cunning of people who drag them along into error. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we shall grow in every way towards him who is the head, Christ. From him comes the growth of the whole body to which a network of joints gives order and cohesion, taking into account and making use of the function of each one. So the body builds itself in love.

Gospel: Luke 13: 1-9 
One day some persons told Jesus what had occurred in the Temple: Pilate had Galileans killed and their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus replied, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this? I tell you: no. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish as they did. And those eighteen persons in Siloah who were crushed when the tower fell, do you think they were more guilty than all the others in Jerusalem? I tell you: no. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish as they did." And Jesus continued with this story, "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none. Then he said to the gardener: 'Look here, for three years now I have been looking for figs on this tree and I have found none. Cut it down, why should it use up the ground?' The gardener replied: 'Leave it one more year, so that I may dig around it and add some fertilizer; and perhaps it will bear fruit from now on. But if it doesn't, you can cut it down."

Reflection:
     The barren fig tree can be likened to sinful individuals who do not bear fruits of the
Spirit.  Their lives are not aligned with God; therefore they do not exhibit righteousness, holiness or the grace that comes from following Him.  
     Today's parable depicts God's mercy and patience, since the fig tree was spared, but it also comes with a warning that we are living on borrowed time.  While God gives us sufficient time to turn away from our sinful habits and relationships, we will all eventually be judged and purified.  There is no better time than now, to get right with Him.  Throughout the gospels we are reminded that we should always be ready, because we know not the hour of the Master's return.
     May the Holy Spirit fill you with the desire to repent and reconcile yourself to Jesus.  You may not feel strong enough to break the chains of whatever sin may be binding you, but through daily prayer and the sacraments, your soul will be nourished and strengthen against sin and temptation.

     Soul of Christ, sanctify me
     Body of Christ, save me
     Water from the side of Christ, wash me 
     Passion of Christ, give me strength
     Hear me Jesus
     Hide me in thy wounds, that I may never leave thy side
     From all the evil that surrounds me, defend me 
     And when the call of death arrives, bid me come to thee
     That I may praise thee with thy saints forever
                         Anima Christi, Bukas Palad

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 wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:
     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October
     * Elmer and Liza who will take their exams on October 25, 26, 28

... for the repose of the soul of Jess Aragon

... for Lawrence - courage and guidance to overcome the trials of his life

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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Thursday, October 23, 2014

 

Friday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

October 24, 2014

Friday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

[St. Anthony Mary Claret]

 

Eph 4: 1-6 / Ps 24: 1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6 / Lk 12: 54-59 

 

Reading: Eph 4: 1-6

Therefore I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient, and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you the unity of Spirit through bonds of peace. Let there be one body and one spirit, for God, in calling you, gave the same Spirit to all. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God, the Father of all, who is above all and works through all and is in all.

 

Gospel: Luke 12: 54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, 'A shower is coming'; and so it happens.   And when the wind blows from the south, you say, 'It will be hot'; and so it is. You superficial people! You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you don't understand the present times.  And why do you not judge for yourselves what is fit? When you go with your accuser before the court, try to settle the case on the way, lest he drag you before the judge, and the judge deliver you to the jailer, and the jailer throw you into prison.  I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny."

 

Reflection:

     The theme of today's first reading is to live the vocation we have received. By Baptism, our vocation is to love others. This also continues from the earlier verses of our Gospel from Luke 12:35-53, where Jesus talks about the need to remain vigilant and faithful followers, and that there might come a time, when our faith will be tested as Jesus might become a cause of division as Jesus in verse 51 declares that He will bring division, even in families.  

     Thus, the first part of our Gospel today talks about being able to see the "signs of the times." According to Jesus, we are able to predict the rain and the weather, and yet not see nor appreciate the arrival/presence of the Son of God. The signs that Jesus refers to are His miracles, His Truth and His Preaching. How, indeed, can we not see these special and very visible "signs of the times." 

     The second part of today's Gospel talks about being able to go beyond the requirements of the law. Under normal circumstances, we would take our grievances before a judge or magistrate to settle a dispute. However, under the law of "deeper" love, Jesus recommends making an effort to reach out to settle the dispute before going to the formal justice system.

The law of love for neighbor as ourselves is indeed the vocation that we have received.  The Lord asks even for deeper love as a true sign of our Faith in him.  

 

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

     * especially Santiago Nicholas Singson

 

... for world peace and reconciliation

 

... for wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:

     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October

     * Elmer and Liza who will take their exams on October 25, 26, 28

 

... for the eternal repose of the soul of Jess Aragon

 

... that the Lord may bless Lawrence with courage, guidance and discernment to see and pursue the right path, with faithfulness in overcoming his trials

 

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 29th Week in Ordinary Time

October 23, 2014
Thursday 29th Week in Ordinary Time
[St. John of Capistrano]

Eph 3: 14-21 / Ps 33: 1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 / Lk 12: 49-53 

Reading: Eph 3: 14-21
And now I kneel in the presence of the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth has received its name. May he strengthen in you the inner self through his Spirit, according to the riches of his glory; may Christ dwell in your hearts through faith; may you be rooted and founded in love. All of this so that you may understand with all the holy ones the width, the length, the height and the depth-in a word, that you may know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled and reach the fullness of God. Glory to God who shows his power in us and can do much more than we could ask or imagine; glory to him in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: Luke 12: 49-53 
Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled; but I have a baptism to undergo and what anguish I feel until it is over! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.  From now on, in one house five will be divided; three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

Reflection:
     Today's Gospel reading is regarded by many as being harsh.  "I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division."  
     What does this mean? The Gospel seems to contradict  what we believe about Jesus. We believe he is the Prince of Peace, Lord of Love who came to make all things new, bright, beautiful, and virtuous.  Yet  here in the Gospel, he comes to bring division. Jesus is telling us that the challenge of his Gospel must purify us and separate us before it unites us and brings the peace and happiness that we are seeking.  Jesus makes it very clear by these words that there can be no indifference or neutrality  to his words. You are either for him or against him. There is no in-between. 
     In the early Church, when a Jew became a Christian, he was excommunicated from the
synagogue and disowned by the family. He was considered dead. So here Jesus asks us to make the choice.  Are we for him or against him?  Do we seek to be purified by the fire of the Gospel, or do we reject this idea of being cleansed and raised from our human inclinations? Are we for Jesus or against Jesus? This is the choice we have to make many times in our life.

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 wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:
     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October
     * Elmer and Liza who will take their exams on October 25, 26, 28

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: 

  +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
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   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

 

Wednesday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

October 22, 2014

Wednesday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

 

Eph 3:2-12 / Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6 / LK 12: 39-48

 

Reading: Eph 3:2-12

You may have heard of the graces God bestowed on me for your sake. By a revelation he gave me the knowledge of his mysterious design, as I have explained in a few words. On reading them you will have some idea of how I understand the mystery of Christ. This mystery was not made known to past generations but only now, through revelations given to holy apostles and prophets. Now the non-Jewish people share the Inheritance; in Christ Jesus the non-Jews are incorporated and are to enjoy the Promise. This is the Good News of which I have become minister by a gift of God, a grace he gave me, when his power worked in me. This grace was given to me, the least among all the holy ones: to announce to the pagan nations the immeasurable riches of Christ and to make clear to all how the mystery, hidden from the beginning in God, the Creator of all things, is to be fulfilled. Even the heavenly forces and powers will now discover through the Church the wisdom of God in its manifold expression, as the plan is being fulfilled which God designed from the beginning in Christ Jesus, our Lord. In him we receive boldness and confidence to approach God.

 

Gospel: Luke 12: 39-48

Pay attention to this: If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect." Peter said, "Lord, did you tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?" And the Lord replied, "Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward whom the master sets over his other servants to give them food rations at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property. But it may be that the steward thinks: 'My Lord delays in coming,' and he begins to abuse the menservants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he doesn't know. He will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful. The servant who knew his master's will, but did not prepare to do what his master wanted, will be punished with sound blows; but the one who did what deserved a punishment without knowing it shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one entrusted with more. 

 

Reflection:

     "When a man has been given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded of him."

George is a boy who is intelligent and industrious. He doesn't do things half heartedly or in a hurry. He always likes things done well therefore never waits until the last minute before doing what is asked or expected of him. Because of this, his teachers always demand more from him than from any other student. George complains that he does more work than others, but this is because he can be depended on to deliver what is necessary.

     Being Christians, we also have this responsibility. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have received a lot in terms of listening to God's word, going to mass, receiving Holy Communion, attending talks and catechism. Therefore it is our duty to give more than the others who don't know about the love of God, or about His commandments.  When others commit sin out of ignorance the gravity of the sin is less than for those who know that what they are doing is wrong and still do it. 

     Let us try to be like the worthy servant who is responsible and takes his duty seriously knowing that if we do what God has intended us to do, then we will truly be worthy of our heavenly price.

 

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 wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:

     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October

     * Elmer and Liza who will take their exams on October 25, 26, 28

 

... for the safe trip of Patrick K and for the personal intentions of Cherie Torres

 

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: 

 

  +================================================+

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

   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish

   |            http://www.marythequeen.org

   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  

  +================================================+

 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

 

Tuesday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

October 21, 2014
Tuesday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Eph 2: 12-22 / Ps 85:9ab-10, 11-12, 13-14 / Lk 12: 35-38    
     
Reading: Eph 2: 12-22   
At that time you were without Christ, you did not belong to the community of Israel; the covenants of God and his promises were not for you; you had no hope and were without God in this world. But now, in Christ Jesus and by his blood, you who were once far off have come near. For Christ is our peace, he who has made the two peoples one, destroying in his own flesh the wall - the hatred - which separated us. He abolished the Law with its commands and precepts. He made peace in uniting the two peoples in him, creating out of the two one New Man. He destroyed hatred and reconciled us both to God through the cross, making the two one body. He came to proclaim peace; peace to you who were far off, peace to the Jews who were near. Through him we - the two peoples - approach the Father in one Spirit. Now you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the holy people: you are of the household of God. You are the house whose foundations are the apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus. In him the whole structure is joined together and rises to be a holy temple in the Lord. In him you too are being built to become the spiritual sanctuary of God.
         
Gospel: Luke 12: 35-38
Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit,  like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron and have them sit at table and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!
Reflection:
     As children, it was a tradition in the family to wake up very early to find out what gifts Santa Claus had brought us on Christmas Eve. We would rush to the window where we hung our bags and socks, full of joy and excitement. The gospel brings back this memory of our Christmas tradition because, on the eve of Christmas we are really awake in anticipation of something exciting that is about to happen. In the same spirit, the gospel invites Christians to be vigilant, to keep awake and be ready to meet the master when he returns.  
     What is the meaning of this passage in our daily lives? The coming of the Lord is made manifest in many forms and in different circumstances. Being ready and awake means that we recognize Christ in these different forms and circumstances, even when they are far from being pleasant and desirable. Do we recognize Christ in our spouse who prefers to spend his time watching television instead of sharing his day's experiences? Do we see Christ in our co-employee who has nothing better to do than to notice how untidy our desk is? Do we recognize Christ in our employer who makes unreasonable and oppressive demands on us?
     Keeping awake also means that our life is animated and directed by our baptism - that Christ and his Spirit that dwells in us, gives meaning and direction to our life. If we have this genuine relationship with Christ, we will experience that He waits on us when we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. He waits on us when we receive the forgiveness of our sins in the sacrament of penance. Christ waits for us when we reach out and forgive our employer who oppresses us, our co-employee who irritates us and our spouse who ignores us.  Christ does all these for us and in us.       

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 the healing of Rita Cuerva
... for world peace and reconciliation

... for wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:
     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October
     * Elmer and Liza who will take their exams on October 25, 26, 28

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: 

  +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  
  +================================================+

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

 

Monday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

October 20, 2014

Monday 29th Week in Ordinary Time

 

Eph 2: 1-10 / Ps 100: 1b-2, 3, 4ab, 4c-5 / Lk 12: 13-21 

 

Reading: Eph 2: 1-10

You were dead through the faults and sins. Once you lived through them according to this world and followed the Sovereign Ruler who reigns between heaven and earth and who goes on working in those who resist the faith. All of us belonged to them at one time and we followed human greed; we obeyed the urges of our human nature and consented to its desires. By ourselves, we went straight to the judgment like the rest of humankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, revealed his immense love. As we were dead through our sins, he gave us life with Christ. By grace you have been saved! And he raised us to life with Christ, giving us a place with him in heaven. In showing us such kindness in Christ Jesus, God willed to reveal and unfold in the coming ages the extraordinary riches of his grace. By the grace of God you have been saved through faith. This has not come from you: it is God's gift. This was not the result of your works, so you are not to feel proud. What we are is God's work. He has created us in Christ Jesus for the good works he has prepared that we should devote ourselves to them.

 

Gospel: Luke 12: 13-21

Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, "Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance." He replied, "My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?" Then Jesus said to the people, "Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life." And Jesus continued with this story, "There was a rich man and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought: 'What shall I do? For I am short of room to store my harvest.' So this is what he planned: 'I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I may say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.' But God said to him: 'You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you; tell me who shall get all you have put aside?' This is the lot of the one who stores up riches instead of amassing for God." 

 

Reflection:

     One time, I went to the airport to meet a friend who was coming for a visit. He came out with just two small bags, one of which he handed me immediately. This was a gift that was given to him and which he was passing on to me. I asked if he had other luggage. He told me then that he usually travels light as he had only three sets of clothes, few toiletries, his Bible and his prayer book. That struck me! He was living on what is essential for his life and not for what he wants.

     In this Gospel passage, Jesus told his listeners, "Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life." How would Jesus talk to us today about our attitude, of greediness that is affecting our world today?  Many put their security in having more and so make themselves slaves to money, material things and power. The riches of our country is in the hands of a few while millions are living in poverty.  And yet, many rich and powerful people still seek to have more.  Is this what gives us life? 

     Jesus is inviting us to let go of material things and live simple lives. But he also invites us to go further-to attend to others especially those who have nothing and who are suffering.  He wants us to share so others will also enjoy the goods of the earth.  He wants us to enjoy what gives life to us and to all.  So let us live on what will lead us to eternal life.

 

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 wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:

     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October

 

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: 

 

  +================================================+

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

   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish

   |            http://www.marythequeen.org

   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  

  +================================================+

 

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

 

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 19, 2014

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Is 45: 1, 4-6/ Ps 96: 1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 (7b) / 1 Thes 1: 1-5b / Mt 22: 15-21 

 

First Reading: Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6 

Thus says Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus: "I have taken you by the right hand to subdue nations before you and strip kings of their armor, to open the gateways before you so that they will be closed no more. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen one, I have called you by your name and given you your mission although you do not know me. I am Yahweh, and there is no other; there is no God besides me. I armed you when you did not know me, so that, from the rising to the setting of the sun, all may know that there is no one besides me; I am Yahweh, and there is no other.

 

Second Reading: 1 Thes 1: 1-5b

From Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of Thessalonica which is in God the Father and in Christ Jesus, the Lord.  May the peace and grace of God be with you. We give thanks to God at all times for you and remember you in our prayers. We constantly recall before God our Father the work of your faith, the labors of your love and your endurance in waiting for Christ Jesus our Lord. We remember, brothers and sisters, the circumstances of your being called. The gospel we brought you was such not only in words. Miracles, Holy Spirit and plenty of everything were given to you. 

 

Gospel: Matthew 22:15-21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel on how they could trap Jesus with his own words. They then sent their disciples with the members of Herod's party for this purpose.

They said to Jesus, "Master, we know that you are an honest man and truly teach God's way; you are not influenced by others nor are you afraid of anyone. Tell us, then, what you think: is it against the Law to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" But Jesus understood their evil intent, and said to them, "Hypocrites! Why are you testing me? Show me the coin with which you pay the taxes." They showed him a denarius, and Jesus said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose name?" They answered, "Caesar's." Then Jesus replied, "Therefore, return to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

 

Reflection:

     Jesus says, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's," but he also adds, in the same breath: "and to God what is God's." The coin bore Caesar's image, so give it back to him. But whose image do we bear? If we bear God's image, does this not also mean: "Give yourself back to God?" In Genesis 1:27 we are told: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Quite literally, we have all been created in the image of God, and we are to give back to God what is rightfully God's. Have we done this? Are we doing this? For all of us who have been born of God-through the Cross of Christ, God stamps His inscription on us. Whose portrait, whose inscription do we have stamped on us?

     It is to be the likeness and image of God, for He made us and as Christians, Christ has purchased us with His blood. Are we willing to allow God to have what is already rightfully His? Our lives, our allegiance?

     This does not mean that we do not pay taxes to Caesar, or to whoever the governing authority is. Christians are to be good citizens. We are to be good witnesses for Christ because our ultimate and everlasting citizenship is not of this world. Dust is not the final word for our lives, our citizenship is in heaven.

     And this is what we, the Church of Jesus Christ, are even while we still live in this dying world. We are citizens of another, of a much greater country. We are not to be of this world. And while we are in this world, we are to be about God's business. Should we render unto Caesar what is Caesar's? Sure thing.

     But, that is just a coin. What we are to render unto God is our whole selves. Are we doing this? Or do we still live as "Almost Christians" who have half an interest set in the kingdom of darkness, and another half in the kingdom of heaven?

     Jesus told us that we cannot have it both ways because the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God are like oil and water. They are opposites. They don't mix. Are we living with the Philippine flag on our right side, a political affiliation on the left, and a symbol of Jesus somewhere in-between? If so, then our witness and our image of God imprinted on us is going to be blurred. Other people should be able to see Christ's image and Christ's inscription on us. We are to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, not part of the dust. We are God's coins. We are to bear the image of God. There is to be no competition between God and Caesar. Our allegiance must be to Christ and Christ alone.

     Sure, we are to pay a tax to Caesar, but God's due is our complete devotion. Is He getting it? Let this be our true and complete aim while we await our eternal home, to give our all to God. We are to let that image and inscription shine before all peoples so that they too may come to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and  join us in waiting for His joyful return from heaven. 

     The applicability of Jesus words in today's gospel comes down to this: to what degree, in what ways are we giving to God what is his? More particularly, to what degree, and in what ways is the image of Christ evident in us? 

     May God our Father guide, direct, and empower us to be for him all that he has created us to be. And, may Jesus, whose image we bear, find at the Judgment that we have rendered to him what is worthy for him to receive from us: our thanksgiving, our praise, and our service. 

 

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 wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind for those who prepare and take their exams:

     * Karen Tuala and Lisette Mandocdoc who will take the bar exams on the four (4) consecutive weekends of October

 

... for the birthday intentions of Menchie de Castro

 

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: 

 

  +================================================+

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

   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish

   |            http://www.marythequeen.org

   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  

  +================================================+

 

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