Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Today's readings and reflection

FIRST READING (Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9)
Moses spoke to the people, saying: “And now, O Israel, give heed to the statutes and the ordinances which I teach you, and do them; that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, gives you.

“Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them; for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, `Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day?

“Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.”

GOSPEL (Matthew 5:17-19)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

“Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The transforming work of the Holy Spirit - Servants of the Word

Jesus and Law & Order Fr Carmen Mele, O.P.

God's Word permeating our lives - St John's Cathedral Milwauke 

You must be very careful not to forget the things you have seen God do for you. Keep reminding yourselves, and tell your children and grandchildren as well. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Our God is a faithful and loving God. A God whose covenant “I will be your God and you will be my people” remains intact, even when Israel didn’t remain all that faithful.

As a parent, I have unconditional love for my children. God Is love, agape (1 John 4:8), pure self gift. Self gift in giving His Son Jesus to be crucified and die on a cross for my redemption and yours. How could I not want to know, love and serve God!

Staying in this intimate relationship, not rupturing it requires obedience. Jesus says in Mt. 5: 17-19 he has not come to “remove (the Law), but to fulfill them”. He invites me to go deeper into their meaning, He challenges me to transformation, to find freedom and peace, through loving obedience and discipleship.
- Mary Bruesch

“The man who fears to be alone will never be anything but lonely, no matter how much he may surround himself with people. But the man who learns, in solitude and recollection, to be at peace with his own loneliness, and to prefer its reality to the illusion of merely natural companionship, comes to know the invinsible companionship of God.”
- Thomas Merton

PRAYER (Attributed to Pope Clement XI (1670-1676)
Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith. 
I trust in you: strengthen my trust. 
I love you: let me love you more and more. 
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning. 
I long for you as my last end. 
I praise you as my constant helper, 
and call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom, 
correct me with your justice, 
comfort me with your mercy, 
protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: 
to be fixed on you; my words: 
to have you for their theme; 
my actions: to reflect my love for you; 
my sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me: 
in the way that you ask, 
for as long as you ask, 
because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding, 
strengthen my will, 
purify my heart, 
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins, 
and to resist temptation in the future. 
Help me to rise above my human weakness 
and to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God, 
and see myself as I really am: 
a pilgrim in this world, 
a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch, 
those in authority over me 
or those under my authority, 
my friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger by gentleness, 
greed by generosity, 
apathy by fervor. 
Help me to forget myself and reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning, 
courageous in taking risks. 
Make me patient in suffering, 
unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive in prayer, 
temperate in food and drink, 
diligent in my work, 
firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear, 
my conduct without fault, 
my speech blameless, 
my life well-ordered.

Put me on guard against my human weaknesses. 
Let me cherish your love for me, 
keep your law, 
and come at last to your salvation. 

Teach me to realize that this world is passing, 
that my true future is the happiness of heaven, 
that life on earth is short, 
and the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death 
with a proper fear of judgment, 
but a greater trust in your goodness. 
Lead me safely through death 
to the endless joy of heaven. 
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


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