9th Week, Saturday, Jun 6th

2 Timothy 4:1-8 / Mark 12:38-44
I have finished the race: I await God’s reward.

In his book Light from the Ancient Past, Jack Finegan cites a 4,000-year-old Egyptian writing. Called the “Prayer of Ani,” it is addressed to the 42 gods who must decide Ani’s fate after death. Excerpts from Ani’s prayer read: “I have not stolen. . . .I have not played the hypocrite. . . .I have not told falsehoods. . . .I gave bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothed the naked. . . .Enter no complaint against me.”
Like Paul, Ani too awaited his final reward. Do we think of death as someone coming to snatch us away, or as Christ coming to embrace us and lead us into the eternal love of the Father? “As the voice of death whispers ‘You must go from earth,’ let us hear the voice of Christ saying ‘You are coming to me!’ ” Norman McLeod

Being curious and adventurous is part of our human nature.With monotonous routine, boredom will surely set in and we will begin to look for some excitement in our lives. So in whatever we do, or even in whatever we eat, we would like to have a variety, and we would like to try out new things. But when it comes to our religious beliefs, then we must also be aware that the essentials truths have been revealed to us by Jesus.

In a way, we can say that when it comes to Christianity, there is nothing new that has not been revealed; maybe just a deeper understanding of the mystery of faith.

The 1st reading warns us that the time will come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty according to their tastes, and instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. That was why St. Paul urged Timothy to preach the Good News, welcomed or un-welcomed, and to insist on it.

To believe in the truth demands that we be faithful to the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. So day in, and day out, we have to stay faithful to the truth we have been taught and to stay on the right course. Jesus Christ is our only Saviour. Anything or anyone else is just another temptation.
Saturday June 6

Saturday of 9th Week of Ordinary Time

Paul, or the author using Paul’s name, beseeches Timothy to keep preaching the word of God, in season and out of season, to be a good minister of the Lord and to give himself, as Paul had done.
Jesus, who lived in the hands of the Father, points out to his disciples how much a poor widow was living in the hands of God, so much so, that she put in the treasury for the worship in the temple coins she even needed for her own living. What a trust and generosity!

Opening Prayer
God with the heart of a father and a mother,
you care for the poor,
give justice to the oppressed
and food for the hungry.
In your Son Jesus, you have shown us
not to give only from our surplus but ourselves.
Confound our calculations
and change our self-interest
into generous sharing,
that our way of giving may be like yours,
by not counting the cost.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

The Letter to Timothy concludes with a strong exhortation to persevere. As the author has previously stated, the gospel of God is not chained. It will not be thwarted, but it requires evangelizers to make its message known. This will not be an easy task. In the midst of countless difficulties, its bearers will be tempted to withdraw and to lose patience. It is a saving message, but it is not always welcome. Teachers will appear with a message enticing enough to lead astray even the believers. Fables rather than the truth will prove attractive. For his part, the apostle is self-confident. He has cherished the faith, fought the good fight, and finished the race. There remains now only the fulfillment of the promise; the merited crown awaits him.
It is a great grace to finish life with the assurance that the interests of the faith have been served. One leaves behind no financial inheritance of great worth, no perishable crown. But God’s cause has been at the center of one’s life. One stands confident before the Jesus Christ who comes in judgment. As the Gospel tells us today, even the widow’s small contribution made an important difference. We have received the faith as a gift, have passed it on, and tried to live the ideals that it proposes. We confidently hope to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Points to Ponder
The gospel for life
Perseverance and fidelity
The final reward.

Lord, we pray you for your Church. Preserve it from the temptation of riches and power, we pray:
Lord, we pray you for widows and orphans. Keep them from despair and make us attentive to their need of compassion and loving help, we pray:
Lord, we pray you for this community. Make us generous enough to share not only from our abundance, but also at times from our poverty, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Loving, generous God,
in these signs of bread and wine,
we celebrate how Jesus, your Son,
gave himself once and for all
that we might live and love and be free.
May we learn from him
to ask not how much we can afford
without hurting ourselves
but to let him be our strength
to give the best of ourselves
and to answer his voice
crying out in everyone in need.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Generous and loving God,
your Son came to fill with your gifts
the poor aware of their emptiness
and he called them blessed.
Help us to discover how poor we really are –
poor in faith, in trust, in generous love.
Be near to us in your Son,
that we may become available to all
and share the best that is in us
without any outward display
but in quiet deeds of love and service,
as Jesus did, your Son,
who lives with you and with us for ever.

Jesus gave all that he had and was – his whole self, to bring others life and happiness. Like him, let us not count the cost of our gifts. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.