Daily Archives: June 23, 2008

Monday, 23 June – Where on Earth are you going?

23 June – Solemnity of St John the Baptist (Vigil)

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Jeremiah 1:4-10

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1 Peter 8-12

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Luke 1:5-17

 

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Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.

Have you ever wondered what you’re doing on Earth? Have you ever wondered where your life is heading? You could have just reached your mid-twenties, or are in your forties, or even in your sixties and above, and you could be feeling lost. Perhaps you have felt this way before, or perhaps not. You might be asking yourself the question that almost everyone has asked or will one day ask: What’s the purpose of life?

It might help to know that as the Lord told Jeremiah, the Lord is also saying to you today: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” This is a comforting message because it tells us that we are not accidentally made. Even if our parents did not want to have us, even if it was an accident for our parents, you are not an accident with God. Our Lord created each of us purposefully and lovingly. Even before we were born, our Lord already had a plan for us. In fact, He made us with that plan in mind, and He wants us to fulfil a specific purpose in His master plan for all humanity.

How do we discover what God’s plan for us is then? It will be revealed to us through prayer. Rest assured that God will not reveal the whole plan to us at one go. That would not be fun at all, and part of life is certainly about fun. God will reveal the plan to us bit by bit as we go through life. Sometimes we might think we know what God is going to reveal to us and we charge on ahead only to find ourselves meeting dead ends. It is alright to make mistakes, and it is alright to reach dead ends, but we need to pray daily if we are to find out what God is revealing to us.

Some years ago, I was very sure that I was called to the priesthood. I prepared myself spiritually and materially to join the seminary, but as things turned out, that was not God’s plan for me. Though I did take a rather long time to come to terms with it, as I look back now I can see how God was slowly revealing His plan for me through the years, and how it all fell into place where I am now. But I know that this is not the end of my story, that God is everyday revealing something new to me, and He will continue to do so till the end of my life. I am sure He is doing the same for you.

(Today’s reflection by Daniel Tay)
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Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for the clarity of mind and the awareness of Your presence and activity in our daily lives, so that we may be able to see bit by bit the plan that You are revealing to us. Amen.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for creating us with a purpose in mind.

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Upcoming readings:
24 June, Tue – Isaiah 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66. 80 – Solemnity of John the Baptist
25 June, Wed – 2 Kings 22:8-13. 23:1-3; Matthew 7:15-20
26 June, Thu – 2 Kings 24:8-17; Matthew 7:21-29
27 June, Fri – 2 Kings 25:1-12; Matthew 8:1-4
28 June, Sat – Lamentations 2:2. 10-14; Matthew 8:5-17 – Memorial of St Irenaeus
Vigil of Sts Peter and Paul – Acts 3:1-10; Galatians 1:11-20; John 21:15-19
29 June, Sun – Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8. 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19 – Soleminty of Peter and Paul, Apostles
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Monday, 23 June – Opening our Eyes

22 June – Monday in the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

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2 Kings 17:5-8. 13-15a. 18

The king of Assyria invaded the whole country and, coming to Samaria, laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah on the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

This happened because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshipped other gods, they followed the practices of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed for them.

And yet through all the prophets and all the seers, the Lord had given Israel and Judah this warning, ‘Turn from your wicked ways and keep my commandments and my laws in accordance with the entire Law I laid down for your fathers and delivered to them through my servants the prophets.’ But they would not listen, they were more stubborn than their ancestors had been who had no faith in the Lord their God. They despised his laws and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the warnings he had given them. They pursued emptiness, and themselves became empty through copying the nations round them although the Lord had ordered them not to act as they did. For this, the Lord was enraged with Israel and thrust them away from him. There was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

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Matthew 7:1-5

Jesus said, ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye”, when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’

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Take the plank out of your own eye first.

Singapore is arguably best known in the tourism sector for a couple of things. One of these is food. A staple of newspapers and periodicals is the food review column. People travel from across the island and queue for up to an hour for good food. And we can also be very exacting consumers with regards to our opinions on a certain dish. Here’s some food for thought. How many of us think about the people who prepare the food when we eat it? Those who have tried our hand at cooking will know that there is more to just eating. There is preparation, cooking and finally washing up. Things are much harder on those who cook than on those who eat. Again, how many of us are really aware of this? 

Today’s Gospel passage has Christ warning the disciples against hypocritical tendencies. In their ministry it was important that they did not practise double standards. They had to put themselves at the same level as those they were preaching to. Everyone has their own problems to contend with and those circumstances might not be the same as the disciples’. Nonetheless, it was important that the disciples not be blind to the fact that they were just like these people – sinful humans in need of the saving grace of God.

It is easy to pass unfavourable judgements on those people or things that we do not understand or have no to little experience with. Are these assessments of ours fair? Have we made any attempts at comprehension? My sisters and brothers, what fuels our judgements? Is it the whim of crowd like the majority or Israel? Or are we like the tribe of Judah, guided in our world view by the wisdom of God?

 (Today’s reflection by Aloysius Ting)
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Prayer: We pray for a deeper understanding of things that are new to us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for unveiling Himself to us each day.

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Upcoming readings:
23 June, Mon – Vigil of John the Baptist – Jeremiah 1:4-10; 1 Peter 8-12; Luke 1:5-17
24 June, Tue – Isaiah 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66. 80 – Soleminity of John the Baptist
25 June, Wed – 2 Kings 22:8-13. 23:1-3; Matthew 7:15-20
26 June, Thu – 2 Kings 24:8-17; Matthew 7:21-29
27 June, Fri – 2 Kings 25:1-12; Matthew 8:1-4
28 June, Sat – Lamentations 2:2. 10-14; Matthew 8:5-17 – Memorial of St Irenaeus
Vigil of Sts Peter and Paul – Acts 3:1-10; Galatians 1:11-20; John 21:15-19
29 June, Sun – Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8. 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19 – Soleminty of Peter and Paul, Apostles
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