Thursday, July 13, 2006
Friday 14th Week in Ordinary Time
July 14, 2006
Friday 14th Week in Ordinary Time - Yr II
Thus says the LORD: Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have
collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the
LORD; Say to him, "Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that
we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls. Assyria will
not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount; We shall say no more,
'Our god,' to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds
compassion." I will heal their defection, says the LORD, I will love
them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the
dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root
like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be
like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. Again
they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like
the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim! What
more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper
him. "I am like a verdant cypress tree"- because of me you bear fruit!
Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent
know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.
Jesus said to his Apostles: "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the
midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But
beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in
their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my
sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You
will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be
you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You
will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end
will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the
Son of Man comes."
The words of Jesus in today's Gospel are words of warning accompanied
by words of promise. He tells his apostles that they are being sent out
"as sheep among wolves" and therefore they (we) must be "cunning as
serpents and yet as harmless as doves."
Jesus then goes on to describe coming persecutions when his disciples
will suffer, but he also promises that the Holy Spirit will be there to
provide whatever is needed for the apostles' ministry.
Most Christians find it easy to understand being like sheep among
wolves or being as harmless as doves. This is often interpreted to mean
that we should be meek and humble. What we often overlook is that Jesus
also asks us to be as "cunning as serpents." What could this mean?
Maybe there is still a place for being "cunning" in a Christian's life,
and perhaps it has to do with discerning the needs of every time and
place. We are asked not only to be meek and humble followers or
servants (sheep and doves), but also to be cunning-to understand the
ways of the world and to do what is necessary to proclaim the Gospel,
even if it involves suffering and persecution.
We must be cunning as serpents and harmless as doves.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the continued recovery of Aida.
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the special intentions of Josefina Maguigad, Mike and Joy
Maguigad, and Cesare' Garcia.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Jesus Masanque. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
and all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the speedy recovery of Mariya Ryza Tigno.
- for the speedy recovery of Chiqui Lara.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Clement Gan (1945 - 1994)
- 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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