Happy, happy Birthday!
On this same day some years ago, God brought into the world a wonderful child destined to love and be loved and do great things. Never forget your destiny. Never forget who you are!
This Wednesday, may you hear His voice in your heart!
OUT OF SERVICE?
“Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” – Mark 10:38
Oftentimes, we are like the two disciples in today’s Gospel who seem to be walking and talking with Jesus but are actually not listening to Him at all. They want the places of honor but are not willing to pay the price.
During prayer meetings, we sing that we want to give Him our hearts and souls but when the love offering basket is passed around, we can’t even give the Lord more than our smallest bill. We only want to give our heart and soul but not our money. Or, maybe while we are deeply worshiping and praying, we tell the Lord to have His way with us. We pray, “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.” The Lord responds by whispering to our heart to give up a relationship that is not pleasing to Him. Suddenly, our heart becomes “deaf.”
When we enter into a relationship with God, we cannot choose what part we want to give or what part we want to take. We cannot love God without serving Him and we cannot choose how we want to serve Him. Definitely we can choose how we want to serve but that is not real love. Out of His great love for us, God gave us His very best… His only Son. Don’t you think it’s time we also give our very best to Him?Ronna Ledesma (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If God will call us now, will He hear, “The number you are calling is not yet in service”?
Lord, only by Your grace will we be able to follow You.
All of us must undergo a process of purification from all sin and be sanctified for union with Christ. This is a lifetime work, one that is ongoing at all times. It will only be fully accomplished when we “pass through” purgatory. Let us pray for the grace to cooperate with the Holy Spirit so that we can better prepare for the time of judgment at the end of our lives.
1 Peter 1:18-25
18 Beloved: Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold 19 but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. 20 He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, 21 who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. 23 You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God, 24 for: “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts; 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
P S A L M
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. (R) 14 He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. 15 He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word! (R) 19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. (R)
G O S P E L
Today is the Feast day of St. Philip Neri, a very holy priest of Rome from a few centuries ago. He gave his life in the service of preaching the Gospel of God’s loving mercy and forgiveness. As we reflect upon the prediction of Jesus’ Passion today, let us open our hearts and embrace God’s forgiveness for our sins. Let us allow His grace to change our lives so that we will become more like Him.
32 The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. 33 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles 34 who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise.” 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” 37 They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 42 Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 43 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; 44 whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
think: All of us must undergo a lifetime process of purification from all sin and be sanctified for union with Christ.
DEFINING GREATNESS THE WAY JESUS DOES
Here’s a typical mother: Mrs. Zebedee, the mother of James and John, very close friends of Jesus. She dares to ask Jesus that her two sons be made to sit beside Him in His heavenly throne. Notice the absence of any formalities or a polite tone in her request. It sounds more like a demand, not a request, and a claim rather than an appeal.
None of us have ill feelings against Mrs. Zebedee, I guess. If we do, then I suppose we should change the definition of motherhood.
My mother is my first fanatic. She believes in me even when I fail to believe in myself. I am her hero. And if she has the chance, she might also make the same request Mrs. Zebedee makes to Jesus today.
But there are only two seats beside the throne of Jesus. And Jesus cannot give those to James and John. The world is too small. It is even smaller for 12 men who may be interested in sitting on the same seats.
The other 10, however, according to Matthew (who is, by the way, one of them and therefore his word is reliable), are indignant with James and John because of their mother’s request that is complemented by their audacious claim that they can drink the cup that Jesus is going to drink. Should not Jesus be the One offended? But why the 10?
The 10 are indignant because they, too, have their eyes on those seats but only the two have the heart to claim it them for themselves. The world may praise James and John for their courage to own, express and pursue their dream, but Jesus has a different idea about it.
Jesus dreams greatness for all of them. But greatness to Him is directly contrary to that of the world’s: the higher one wants to reach, the lower he should bend. The greatest among Jesus’ disciples is the one who serves. He must also give His life for many. Only a life-giving service can make one the greatest.
We do not know if James and John sit on the left and right of Jesus in heaven today. It does not really matter for us to know, does it? If it does, then we have yet to learn defining greatness the way Jesus does.Fr. Bobby Titco
Does it really matter who sits on the immediate sides of Jesus? Why?
Son of God, You are God’s humble Servant, too. Help me to become like You. May I always find my joy in serving others as I would serve You. Correct my wrong views on greatness. Let me be great only in Your eyes. Amen.
Blessed Eva of Liege, pray for us.