Thursday, 30 Jun – Are You Ready?

30 Jun – Memorial for the First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church

These holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome”. They were accused of burning Rome by Nero, who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, and others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death”.

– http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3385
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Genesis 22:1-19

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’

Rising early next morning Abraham saddled his ass and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He chopped wood for the burnt offering and started on his journey to the place God had pointed out to him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Then Abraham said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you.’

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife. Then the two of them set out together. Isaac spoke to his father Abraham, ‘Father’ he said. ‘Yes, my son’ he replied. ‘Look,’ he said ‘here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘My son, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.’ Then the two of them went on together.

When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son. Abraham called this place ‘The Lord Provides’, and hence the saying today: On the mountain the Lord provides.

The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Abraham went back to his servants, and together they set out for Beersheba, and he settled in Beersheba.
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Matthew 9:1-8

Jesus got in the boat, crossed the water and came to his own town. Then some people appeared, bringing him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, my child, your sins are forgiven.’ And at this some scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’ Knowing what was in their minds Jesus said, ‘Why do you have such wicked thoughts in your hearts? Now, which of these is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralytic – ‘get up, and pick up your bed and go off home.’ And the man got up and went home. A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for giving such power to men.
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I am here

The call to the candidates for ordination to the different orders in the Sacrament of Holy Orders requires them to respond to the call to the rector who will present the candidate to the bishop. The candidate’s response of “I am here” is simple but in my opinion, a very powerful answer.

God calls us to carry out our Christians duties to love our enemies and do good to those who hurt us and yet sometimes we neglect to carry out these duties to the best of our abilities. In fact, sometimes we “cherry-pick” the tasks that God has asked us to do. This is certainly not something that we should follow but instead should also realize that it is all and everything that we need to accept in the Christian life .

We need to be ready to accept the instructions of God and follow His will. Being on “stand-by” and “idle” mode is unbecoming of a Christian; we need to have the courage and faith to accept the task that God has given to us to follow in our lives today.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
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Prayer: Lord, we pray for those whom you have called to answer the vocation call to priesthood.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all seminarians

Upcoming Readings:
Fri, 01 Jul – Deuteronomy 7:6-11; 1 John 4:7-16; Mathew 11:25-30; Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Sat, 02 Jul – Isaiah 61:9-11; Luke 2:41-51; Memorial for the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sun, 03 Jul – Zechariah 9:9-10; Romans 8:9.11-13; Matthew 11:25-30; Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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