January 25, 2014 Saturday 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
Acts 22: 3-16 or Acts 9: 1-22/ Ps 117: 1bc, 2 / Mk 16: 15-18
[Feast, The Conversion of St. Paul, the apostle]
Reading: Acts 22: 3-16
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up here in this city where I was educated in the school of Gamaliel, according to the strict observance of our Law. And I was dedicated to God's service, as are all of you today. As for this way, I persecuted it to the point of death and arrested its followers, both men and women, throwing them into prison. The High Priest and the whole Council of elders can bear witness to this. From them I received letters for the Jewish brothers in Damascus and I set out to arrest those who were there and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment. But as I was traveling along, nearing Damascus, at about noon a great light from the sky suddenly flashed about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me: 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' I answered: 'Who are you, Lord?' And he said to me: 'I am Jesus the Nazarean whom you persecute.' The men who were with me saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. I asked: 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord replied: 'Get up and go to Damascus; there you will be told all that you are destined to do.' Yet the brightness of that light had blinded me and so I was led by the hand into Damascus by my companions. There a certain Ananias came to me. He was a devout observer of the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews who were living there. As he stood by me, he said: 'Brother Saul, recover your sight.' At that moment I could see and I looked at him. He then said, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear the words from his mouth. From now on you shall be his witness before all the pagan peoples and tell them all that you have seen and heard. And now, why delay? Get up and be baptized and have your sins washed away by calling upon his Name.'
Gospel: Mk 16: 15-18
Then he told them, "Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes, and if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be healed."
This Gospel reading relates to us that Jesus wants us to see miracles as we go on mission. It may seem improbable to perform exorcisms or to be immune to different poisons. It might be a struggle to learn a new language, but that seems like the most feasible task. Perhaps, sharing the Good News becomes a miracle in itself. Everyone needs to hear about how much God loves us that He sent his only Son to be with us. When this type of great news is spread, in some sense, miracles do happen.
Those who feel so depressed or stressed, might feel their spirits lifted by the mighty power of God's love. Those demons that have been tormenting their imagination might suddenly be abated and cast away. The new language taught will be one about love. People hopefully can learn to be kinder, more understanding, more patient, and more caring for one another. That sort of loving interaction is quite radical and exciting.
Of course, there will be detractors. These criticisms might feel like we're picking up snakes and getting poisoned by such harsh words. But, in the quiet reassuring silence of our hearts, as long as we hold on to how much God looks out for our best interests, we can find ourselves shielded and protected from these negative vibes.
People go through the sickness of being ignored or placed in some unseen corner. When we approach them to welcome them warmly into our community, that illness might quickly disappear. Part of being human is contact and communication. When this is lovingly restored, miraculous healings can happen right before our eyes.
Let us pray to be evangelists in our present time. So many need to hear about Jesus and his message of love. When we participate in this mission, be prepared for miracles to occur. God's gift of love in itself is the greatest miracle of all.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing
... for special intentions
* retreat guide and excercitants of Mary the Queen Parish now on retreat
* Mariano Montemayor
... 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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