READINGS for 2006-02-07

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

A BORING LIFE?

?Lord, you keep your covenant of kindness with your servants who are faithful? ?1 Kings 8:23

I sat in a village clubhouse which was nestled along the slope of Mt. Makiling eating lunch. It was another slow Saturday afternoon with nothing much to do. I thought I should enjoy my golf membership privileges and while away the afternoons in the golf greens. I had no night life because I did not drink nor smoke nor womanized. I had chosen to keep my weekends and night life relatively free sothat when the call to serve the Lord came I was available.Sound boring? But listen again.Before I sat down for lunch, I had wanted to take a swim; but the noon day heat deterred me from doing this. I prayed and wished on the Lord that I could. In a few minutes, the sky became overcast and allowed me to take the  swimming exercise in ?infinity? pool designed with a panoramic view overlooking Laguna Lake. These exercise routines and vice-free habits have kept me fit. Above all, I was here in this village because we were building a four-level dream retreat house. The funds for this retreat house were so generously provided by the Lord. We were full of exciting activities because a Life with Jesus is so much more fulfilling. This is The life. Rolly E.

REFLECTION:
What kind of life do you aspire for?

Make my life, a foretaste of the life You want for us.

COMPANION

1st READING

1 Kings 8:22-23,27-30

Solomon gives praise and thanks to God for the gift and blessing of His presence in the Temple in the midst of His people. Let us always remember to  do the same no matter how close or far we may feel from God at any particular moment of our lives. The truth is simple: God is with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week! It may not always feel like this but this is His promise to us and we can be absolutely certain that He always keeps His promises.

22 Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of the whole community of Israel, and stretching forth his hands toward heaven, 23 he said, ?LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth   below; you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole heart. 27 ?Can it indeed be that God dwells among men on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple which I have built! 28 Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day. 29 May your eyes watch night and day over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place. 30 Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.

P S A L M

Psalm 84:3, 4, 5, 10, 11

R: How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

2 [3] My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (R) 3 [4] Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young  ? your altars, O LORD of hosts, my king and my God! (R) 4 [5] Blessed they who dwell in your house! continually they praise you. 9 [10] O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed. (R) 10 [11] I had rather one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

G O S P E L

Mark 7:1-13

Love is the supreme rule of law and, without it, our actions come to nothing.  It is all very well to be able to keep to the letter of the law, but if it is  without love there is an essential ingredient missing in the recipe of our life. If you forget the yeast from the loaf of bread, all you will get is a rock, like piece of bread  as a result. Let us pray that we season or leaven our lives regularly with the love and mercy that we have first received from God.

1 Now when the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem   gathered around him, 2 they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. 3 (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition   of the elders. 4 And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles [and beds].) 5 So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, ?Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead   eat a meal with unclean hands?? 6 He responded, ?Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ?This people honors me  with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 7 In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.? 8 You disregard God?s commandment but cling to human tradition.? 9 He went on to say, ?How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ?Honor your father and your mother,? and ?Whoever curses father or mother shall die.? 11 Yet you say, ?If a person 
says to father or mother, ?Any support you might have had from me is qorban?  (meaning, dedicated to God), 12 you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. 13 You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.?

my reflections
think:
Let us pray that we season or leaven our lives regularly with love and mercy.

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God?s special verse/thought for me today_______________________________

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T O D A Y ? S BLESSING LIST

Thank You Lord for: __________________________________________________

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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Numbers 20-22
  

SABBATH

SACRED SPACE IS IMPORTANT FOR PRAYER

One of the first tasks of King Solomon was the building of the Temple where the ritual sacrifices of the Jewish nation were to take place. For us Catholics, the Church has replaced the Temple as the sacred space where we offer sacrifice and worship to God. The Church is important to our faith as it marks out a ?space? that we hold sacred or holy (literally, ?set apart?) for particular purposes. It is the reason why the Church as such may or may not be a suitable place for a concert depending on the type and form the music and singing will take. It is also why malls are not appropriate for the celebration of Mass,  as they do not allow for the creation of the sense of a ?sacred space.? This is literally impossible with the hustle and bustle of people in the malls in the spaces where the Masses are usually celebrated.

Solomon cries out to God that He will hear the prayers that the people are going to offer him, both in petition and sacrifice. It is a cry that continues to this day as people pray and offer thanksgiving, sacrifice and petitions in Churches all around the world. Of course, churches are not the only place where we can pray. However, they do provide a model for determining whether or not a place is suitable for prayer. I recognize that in the busyness of a household,  quiet and privacy can be difficult to find. That is okay as long as we remember that it is important we do find times when we can have them.

Prayer is the heartbeat of our relationship with God and we should never allow ourselves to be tempted to dispense with it. It must always be in our priority such that we are willing to make sacrifices in order to ensure that we are praying regularly. I am hesitant to put a time length on prayer simply because each of our situations is different. Thus we have to discern what is appropriate to our particular situation in life. Be that as it may, suffice it to say that we pray daily to the extent that we are maintaining a healthy and life-giving 
dialogue with our Lord and Creator. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:

How well am I creating moments of sacred space in my life in order to pray better?

Holy Spirit, help me to order my life well so that I will be able to pray well and thus maintain a healthy focus on my life of faith. Grant me the grace to make the sacrifices necessary in order to make this happen.

St. Juliana Falconieri, virgin, pray for us.




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