Monday, February 20, 2006



FEBRUARY 21, 2006

JAMES 4:1-10
Beloved: Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come
from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your
members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you
cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because
you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly,
to spend it on your passions. Adulterers! Do you not know that to be
a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants
to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you
suppose that the Scripture speaks without meaning when it says, The
spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy? But
he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: God resists the
proud, but gives grace to the humble. So submit yourselves to God.
Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and
he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and
purify your hearts, you of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to
weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into
dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

MARK 9:30-37
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through
Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was
teaching his disciples and telling them, "The Son of Man is to be
handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his
death the Son of Man will rise." But they did not understand the
saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to
Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, "What
were you arguing about on the way?" But they remained silent. For
they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the
greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to
them, "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and
the servant of all." Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them, "Whoever receives
one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives
me, receives not me but the One who sent me."

In today Gospel reading, we see the apostles arguing among
themselves as to who among them is the greatest. There seems to be
something within all of us that is of a competitive nature.
Everybody wants to be better than the next guy. The common view of
greatness does not include the characteristic of servanthood.
Prevalent in our society is an attitude that to make it to the top,
one must be willing to aggressively challenge and defeat all comers,
that one must almost arrogantly be self-assertive; and if anyone
gets in the way, they should be used as a stepping stone.

Drastically different is the picture of greatness that Jesus gives
us. To be great as far as Jesus was concerned is to be a servant. To
have other attitudes in opposition to this is to fail in authentic
Christian living. To adopt a worldly view of greatness and success
means that we will never be truly great in the eyes of God. Those
who would be legends in their own time are never very important in
God's thinking.

In the gospel reading, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach his
apostles something about true spiritual greatness, at least by
Kingdom standards. In doing so, He reveals to them that the
attitudes of pride and exclusivity have no place in the Christian.
The path to greatness is not paved at the expense of others. In our
society, and in Jewish culture as well, greatness was measured in
how many served you, how many obeyed your command, how many catered
to your needs. But Jesus said that if someone wants to be first,
that person must become servant of all. What a revolutionary idea.
It ran counter-culture, counter-natural to all their thinking. What
a powerful paradox.

Notice that Jesus does not discourage ambition. Ambition in itself
is not a negative thing. The desire to be first was not rebuked by
Jesus, just defined. Ambition to be great is OK as long as it is not
selfish ambition. If our ambition is for self-glory and self-
gratification, then our ambition is outside of the will of God. But
on the other hand, if we are seeking to be the best God can make us,
if we are seeking first His Kingdom and righteousness, if we are
seeking to be great in our service to Him, then we are seeking a
worthy thing.

The paradox is that in order to be great, the first must willingly
be last. True greatness is manifested in servanthood. It is not how
many serve us, but how many we serve. To illustrate this, Jesus uses
a child to drive home His point. Children, in this context,
represent the poor, the needy, the downtrodden, the ordinary, just
plain human beings. We are not to play favorites, but to receive
everyone, the supposed great and the small, the rich man and the
poor man, without playing favorites. Whether we are rich or poor is
no consequence with God, and it should not be with us.

Furthermore, we should not play favorites based on what people can
do for us. Some people cater to other people because they seek a
favor. We should never do so. Rather, we should receive people
because they are valuable to God, and every soul is valuable to God.
Humble servanthood is an attitude that is essential to effective
Christian living.

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life,sespecially for the
- for the healing, courage and strength of Theresa.
- for the physical and spiritual healing and strength of Teresita De
Leon Luz.
- for those that are sick and abandoned. May the Blessed Mother
give them strength.
- for the special intentions of Mike Torres.
- for the personal intentions of Charles & Cheryl C.
- for the personal intentions of Cha.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Yu Lim Yok Chang
- Birthday: Ato Sim
- Prayer Intention: Teddy & Jo-Ann Siapno
- Wedding Anniversary: Anita & Godfrey Lim Pek Chuan
- Wedding Anniversary: Henry Den Tee & Maria Roscelli P. 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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� 2006 Daily-Homily

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