Sunday, July 03, 2005



JULY 4, 2005

GENESIS 28:10-22A
Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran. When he
came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set, he stopped
there for the night. Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put
it under his head and lay down to sleep at that spot. Then he had a
dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the
heavens; and God's messengers were going up and down on it. And there
was the Lord standing beside him and saying: "I, the Lord, am the God
of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which
you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be
as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall
spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your
descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know
that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you
back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I
promised you." When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he
exclaimed, "Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know
it!" In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine! This
is nothing else but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to
heaven!" Early the next morning Jacob took the stone that he had put
under his head, set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top
of it. He called the site Bethel, whereas the former name of the town
had been Luz. Jacob then made this vow: "If God remains with me, to
protect me on this journey I am making and to give me enough bread to
eat and clothing to wear, and I come back safe to my father's house,
the LORD shall be my God. This stone that I have set up as a memorial
stone shall be God's abode."

MATTHEW 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before
him, and said, "My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on
her, and she will live." Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his
disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up
behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to
herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured." Jesus
turned around and saw her, and said, "Courage, daughter! Your faith
has saved you." And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus
arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the
crowd who were making a commotion, he said, "Go away! The girl is not
dead but sleeping." And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put
out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And
news of this spread throughout all that land.

In today's gospel reading, Matthew presents to us two testimonies of
faith. First, the official who comes to Jesus in the midst of his
preaching. Notice the faith that leads him not to hesitate to come to
Jesus, to ask, even at the risk of interrupting Jesus. Notice the
response that Jesus gives. Matthew says that Jesus rose and followed
the Roman official. Jesus did not hesitate. It seems almost
instantaneous. That is how Jesus always responds to our expressions
of faith.

Second, there is the woman who touches Jesus' cloak. Once again, we
see a faith that does not hesitate to approach Jesus. She touches
Jesus exteriorly, but through the assent of faith she unites herself
to him. These miracles are manifestations, tangible expressions of
the real substance of faith. Jesus' miracles are not merely physical
healing but more importantly manifestations of the eternal healing
and salvation that faith produces.

In contrast to the deep faith of the Roman official and the woman
seeking healing, we see the lack of faith of the mourners. They were
leading the crowd into sadness and perhaps despair while the father
of the girl was seeking Jesus' help. That is what faith generates, a
peaceful stability. The mourners could not see this possibility and
their activity distracted others by the noise they were making. Even
with the arrival of the solution in Christ and the example of the
official's faith, the mourners caused further harm when they
ridiculed Jesus. A lack of faith often leads to complaining,
ridiculing, sarcasm and negative attitudes. It is really a life of
foolishness. Life without faith in Jesus has no meaning whatsoever.
It can only lead to this sort of commotion and ridicule. Life is
insipid for anyone who does not possess Jesus.

Faith and our experience of the world should not be disconnected. The
world today is our training ground for the exercise of faith. Today
some people join the category of the mourners by giving in to the
culture of death in our world. Some, although dismayed by the
presence of evil mingling among us, choose to do nothing. There is
nothing new about this. Jesus told us that the weeds would grow up
with the wheat. Jesus experienced betrayal among his very disciples
and among those whom he taught and fed. Jesus' own people turned him
over to be crucified. Faith is the only response that stands a chance
against the commotion of our world. Faith allows us to stand
steadfast against the trials of this life and prepares us to enjoy
everlasting life in the world to come.

"Lord, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal
love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to
fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service
to others."

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the personal intentions of Ma. Theresa Guevarra.
- for the personal intentions of Mary Anne.
- for the personal intentions of JP.
- for the personal intentions of Lydia and family.
- for the personal intentions of those who are sick, especially Rich
M, Edith & Von from FL.
- for the prayer intentions of Julie.
- for the prayer intentions on the occasion of their Wedding
anniversary: Julie and Joseph Dyhengco. May they continue to put God
in the center of their lives and may God continue to bless them and
their children.
- for the speedy recovery of Ernesto Hernandez.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Pasencia Siy
- Wedding Anniversary: Arsenio & Maria Chua
- 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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