READINGS for 2006-02-10
... The man?s ears were opened... ? Mark 7:35
?I need to watch Barney!? For the past 15 minutes, my 2-year-old nephew had been hysterically begging me to let him watch another episode. Apart from the fact that the purple dinosaur was extremely nauseating, particularly after two straight discs, it was also time for the boy?s nap and I had to put my foot down. ?Listen: I will not play the disc. You can watch after you rest, OK?? The little angel looked at me with a heartwrenching frown and what I thought was a sliver of understanding in his eyes. Then the shouts began again: ?Pleeeeease! I don?t need to rest, I need to watch Barney!? And the pattern of boy-shouting-aunt-explaining-boy-shouting repeated itself for what seemed to be forever. After I saw that he was growing tired (and dehydrated from crying), I took him in my arms and hugged him to let him know that I was on his side. My nephew fell asleep in my embrace. That afternoon, he had a full 2-hour nap and I had a full-blown migraine. I do that to God a lot: ask Him for favors that I know aren?t exactly right for me. Sadly, I have let God?s Word fall on deaf ears. However, in spite of a possibly cosmic headache, He still manages to keep showing me the Way. Anna dG
Forgive me for not listening to You. Help me seek Your Word.
1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:19
One of the forms of prophecy that we find in the Scriptures is symbolic prophecy. Here is an example: the cloak of Ahijah is torn into 12 strips ?ten for Jeroboam, Solomon?s son. Thus Israel is divided in two with ten of the tribes going with Jeroboam and the other two with Rehoboam. The ripping of the new cloak to symbolize this is a powerful way to demonstrate the realityof such a split. It is not possible to stick the strips back together without seams or scarring. The cloak is no good as such as it is now only strips of material.
29 At that time Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met him on the road. The two were alone in the area, and the prophet was wearing a new cloak. 30 Ahijah took off his new cloak, tore it into twelve pieces, 31 and said to Jeroboam ?Take ten pieces for yourself; the LORD, the God of Israel, says ?I will tear away the kingdom from Solomon?s grasp and will give you ten of the tribes. 32 One tribe shall remain to him for the sake of David my servant, and of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.?? 12:  and Israel went into rebellion against David?s house to this day.
P S A L M
Psalm 81: 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
R: I am the Lord, your God: hear my voice.
9  There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. 10  I, the LORD, am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt. (R) 11  ?My people heard not my voice, and Israel obeyed me not; 12  so I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts; they walked according to their own counsels.? (R) 13  If only my people would hear me, and Israel walk in my ways, 14  quickly would I humble their enemies; against their foes I would turn my hand. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus never seeks to draw attention to Himself when He works a miracle. He wants the people to focus on their faith in God and not the miracle itself. He is not a magic worker who has come to put on sort of a spectacular display. He has come to call people back to faith and trust in God. He has come to tell people of the great love that God has for each of them. He wants to reconcile people with God and one another. These are the real miracles that He works daily in our lives. Let us never forget this!
31 Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. 32 And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man?s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, ?Ephphatha!? (that is, ?Be opened!?) 35 And [immediately] the man?s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. 36 He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. 37 They were exceedingly astonished and they said, ?He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and [the] mute speak.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today____________________________
T O D A Y ? S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________________
FULFILLING THE PROPHECIES
Today?s Gospel ends with a rather interesting statement: ?He hasdone all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.? It seems that the people are comparing the actions of Jesus with some sort of external measure that they have. The measure they are using is derived from the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah. This seems to indicate that there must have been quite an active and open debate as to whether or not Jesus was the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting for so long. Ultimately, the majority of the leaders of the Jews must have decided that he was not and so they are still waiting today!
On the other hand, the statement also indicates that there were at least a few who were inclined to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Obviously, Jesus? disciples would have belonged to the latter crowd but it would have been important for the early propagation of the Gospel that there be others who held influential positions in Judaism who believed in Jesus. Just as it was probably through the diaspora of Jewish communities that the Gospel first took hold outside Israel, so it was within Israel that influential Jewish leaders who believed in Jesus would have played a major role in the early success of evangelization. Further evidence of this is found in that after the Romans destroyed the Temple in about 70 A.D., the Christians were all expelled from the synagogues and had to find their own places to gather and worship according to the practices of their infant faith.
It is not only today that we have conflicting claims about religion arising from both within and outside our Christian faith. All through human history there have been claims and counter claims.What we must do is choose where and to whom we will give our allegiance of faith and then follow through with this decision. If we really believe that Jesus is the Messiah and Redeemer of the world, then our lifestyle ought to witness to this fact! Faith has costs involved with it; there is no way around this. The question is, ?Are you and I willing to pay the price of standing up for our faith?? Fr. Steve T.
Holy Spirit, I need Your help in order to give good witness to the Gospel. Help me to root out all the compromises I have made in my life so that my witness to the Gospel will be true and pure.
St. Scholastica, virgin, pray for us.
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