Monday, August 22, 2005



AUGUST 23, 2005

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our reception among you
was not without effect. Rather, after we had suffered and been
insolently treated, as you know, in Philippi, we drew courage through
our God to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle. Our
exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives, nor did it work
through deception. But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted
with the Gospel, that is how we speak, not as trying to please men, but
rather God, who judges our hearts. Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with
flattering speech, as you know, or with a pretext for greed-God is
witness- nor did we seek praise from men, either from you or from
others, although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of
Christ. Rather, we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for
her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share
with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so
dearly beloved had you become to us.

MATTHEW 23:23-26
Jesus said: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay
tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier
things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you
should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who
strain out the gnat and swallow the camel! "Woe to you, scribes and
Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but
inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee,
cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be

Jesus throughout the Gospels never held back his feelings towards the
Pharisees and the so-called experts of the Law. Today's readings show
no exception as He calls the Pharisees hypocrites for their plastic
appearances and empty actions.

If Jesus were here among us today, maybe we would think He would first
aim his harsh words at the politicians and corrupt government
officials. We may be surprised or shocked if instead, He turned on
priests, parishioners, and perhaps many of us who call ourselves devout
Catholics, lashing at us, calling us hypocrites and other mean words.
Why would He insult us who have been at the front lines of His ministry
and not those who turn our country upside down?

St. Paul did not spend much time at Thessalonica. Jewish leaders there
incited the mob against Paul and he was forced to leave. There were
some who were converted but because of Paul's brief stay in that city,
many of them misunderstood Paul's teachings and some of them became
under threat for listening to the Good News.

If St. Paul were present in our city or community today, how would we
react to his presence and his teachings? Perhaps we would expect him
to praise us for our devotion and our generous donations. But perhaps
we would be just as shocked and surprised if Paul would teach and tell
us directly that we have to change our corrupt and immoral lifestyles
and that we should do more to preach the Good News to others. After
all, aren't we devout Christians who already work hard to follow God
and help the needy?

Many of us believe we are far different from the Pharisees who
practiced the Law without living the heart and spirit of it. Many of
us also feel we are living lives that meet and exceed the standards of
St. Paul's. We create a pedestal of our own because we feel we have
done more than others, especially those who are corrupt and have
destabilized society.

Today's readings suggest we get off the pedestal, which many of us
stand on, and practice humility, fidelity, and mercy. When we do so,
we will find the path to Christ and become devout Christians.

"Lord, fill me with your love and inflame my heart with zeal for your
kingdom. May I act with mercy, kindness and justice in all my relations
and in all that I do".

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the speedy recovery and safekeeping of Martin Allen Kunz.
- for the personal intentions of Jane Figuerres-Guillermo.
- for the safe travel of Lydia and JP
- for the personal intentions of the Pe Family
- for the personal intentions of Mary Catherine Co Librando.
- for the safe travel of Veny Yap.
- for the speedy recovery of Ann Maloney.
- for the personal intentions of Julie.
- for the personal intentions of E. Woods.
- for the speedy recovery of Alice Tan.
- for God's healing and special intention of Donna V.
- for the special intentions of Evangelyn.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- for world peace and reconciliation.
- for the reconciliation of Joel and Lani
- for the grant of the personal intention of Demette Guevarra
- for a stable job and special intentions of Richie & Joain Magallanes
- for personal intentions of Fr. Frederick

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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