Sunday, July 10, 2005



JULY 11, 2005

EXODUS 1:8-14, 22
A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt. He
said to his subjects, "Look how numerous and powerful the people of
the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves! Come,
let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase; otherwise, in
time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and
so leave our country." Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the
children of Israel to oppress them with forced labor. Thus they had
to build for Pharaoh the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses. Yet
the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel and reduced them
to cruel slavery, making life bitter for them with hard work in
mortar and brick and all kinds of field work-the whole cruel fate of
slaves. Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects, "Throw into the
river every boy that is born to the Hebrews, but you may let all the
girls live."

MATTHEW 10:34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: "Do not think that I have come to bring
peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against
her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and
one's enemies will be those of his household. "Whoever loves father
or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or
daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take
up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds
his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will
find it. "Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me
receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he
is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a
righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man's
reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these
little ones to drink because he is a disciple- amen, I say to you,
he will surely not lose his reward." When Jesus finished giving
these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place
to teach and to preach in their towns.

Jesus' words: "I have come to bring not peace, but the sword" can
catch us off guard. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, came to
establish peace and union among all individuals and all peoples. But
we tend to think that the path that leads to that peace will be
quiet and uneventful. There is nothing further from the truth. Our
Lord's own life manifests this. When he came into the world, men
sought to kill him and forced his family into exile. He began his
ministry with a battle against the devil in the desert, and
throughout his ministry, he is constantly opposed, accused and
rejected. In the end, he dies on a cross. Such is the path that
leads to true peace. Our own path to peace will often be marked by
moments of struggle.

Our own personal decision to follow Jesus will bring us face-to-face
with struggles from within and without, and both will challenge that
decision. Sometimes, even our nearest and dearest ones will not
understand, and may even reject us. Even then, our determination to
follow Jesus must remain intact. There is no middle road to Jesus.
Jesus forces us to make some fundamental and basic options in life.
No one can be indifferent to Jesus. We are either for him, or
against him. Jesus is the rock against which generations of men and
women have clashed, and continue to clash. Whoever does not love
Jesus, winds up hating him. Jesus is such a challenge to our pride
and love of comfort, that we either love him and hate our
selfishness, or we cling to our selfishness and wind up becoming
indifferent and opposed to him. This is the biggest cross: our own
self-denial, loving Jesus above all things, including our very self.

As soon as Jesus finished instructing his disciples, he immediately
continued his task of teaching and preaching from town to town. He
is resolved to accomplish his mission, and do what he was sent to
do. His resolve did not move away from the difficulty of the tasks,
nor shrink in the face of opposition. Rather, the more difficult the
resistance he encountered, the more his resolve grew. The apostles
learned this attitude from watching Jesus, and it would become the
hallmark of their own style of life. Only with resolve and tenacity
can we accomplish the goals that God sets for us. Difficulties and
opposition are not a sign that we are on the wrong path. They are
the means to deepen our decision and strive even harder.

"Lord, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has conceived the
things you have prepared for those who love you. Set us ablaze with
the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may love you in and above all
things and so receive the rewards you have promised us through
Christ our Lord." (from A Christian's Prayer Book)

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the personal intentions of JP.
- for the personal intentions of Lydia and family.
- for good health and special intentions of Elsa and Paolo.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Marciana Chong Muñoz
- In Memoriam: John Morrissey (1934-2004)
- 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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