READINGS for 2006-03-25

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

TRUE BLESSING

 ?Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.? ? Luke 1:28

When I have a child of my own, I want it to be a girl. I want her to have my eyes and my husband?s eyebrows, my nose and his mouth, my skin and his bone structure. I want her to have my compassion and his dedication, my intelligence and his intuition. I wonder if Mary ever pondered what she wanted her child to be like. Did she wish that he becomes tall, or have a commanding presence, or be handsome, or have a humble heart like hers? Was she afraid of her child being born ?different?, or odd, because of his supernatural Father? I?m guessing none of the above, because from all indications, Mary received her child with nothing but humility and joy. I think that?s what comes from having complete faith with God. You don?t have to worry about things like appearances, or other people?s perception, because you already know that God?s will is always best. So if my child turns out to have my husband?s chinky eyes and large nose, with my gigantic lop ears and bad teeth, and amount to nothing but a humble servant of God, well, I hope I mimic Mary?s trusting heart and realize how greatly blessed I am. Cez L.

REFLECTION:
What are the things in your life that you should simply accept and be grateful for?

Thank you Father, for bringing to forth those that I need.

COMPANION

1st READING

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10

Isaiah prophesies the end of the siege of Jerusalem within a period of nine months, the time it takes from conception to the birth of a child. Christians have always seen this prophecy as one associated with the birth of the Messiah as Matthew records in the first chapter of his Gospel. It is important for us to understand that the Scriptures, like most forms of writing, can have many levels of meanings. Let us pray that the Lord will illuminate our minds and hearts according to the meanings that He wants us to discover.

10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: 11 ?Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!? 12 But Ahaz answered, ?I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!? 13 Then he said: ?Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. 8: 10 which means ?God is with us!?

P S A L M

Psalm 40:7-8, 8-9, 10, 11

R: Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.


6 [7] Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; 7 [8] then said I, ?Behold I come. (R) In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, 8 [9] to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!? (R) 9 [10] I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. (R) 10 [11] Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly. (R)

2nd READING

Hebrews 10:4-10

The cry of the Psalmist, probably King David, that if we hear the voice of the Lord then we should not harden our hearts for it is central to the Christian call to holiness. It is the word of the Lord, His voice, which will lead and guide us through the Holy Spirit on this path. Without it, our minds and hearts will be captive to the secular powers at work in the world. Let us pray for the grace to listen to God and not the world.

4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. 5 For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: ?Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. 7 Then I said, ?As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God.?? 8 First he says, ?Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in.? These are offered according to the law. 9 Then he says, ?Behold, I come to do your will.? He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this ?will,? we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

G O S P E L

Luke 1:26-38

Mary was not a person who would let something pass her by without seeking to understand it. I am sure that she would have thought hard and prayed long about what the angel said to her just as she pondered in her heart the prophecies of Simeon and Anna. How seriously do we reflect upon the events of our lives? Do we draw full value and meaning from them in terms of what God is trying to say to us? If not, we are losing a vital point of connection with God?s will.

26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin?s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, he said, ?Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.? 29 But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 Then the angel said to her, ?Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.? 34 But Mary said to the angel, ?How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?? 35 And the angel said to her in reply, ?The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37 for nothing will be impossible for God.? 38 Mary said, ?Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.? Then the angel departed from her.

my reflections
think:
How seriously do we reflect upon the events of our lives?

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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 1Kings 4-6

 

SABBATH

GOD BECOMES A MAN

 In the history of theology, there has been much discussion around the question of whether or not God planned the Incarnation (the Son of God becoming man). Is the Incarnation a result of our sin and need of redemption or would it have happened anyway even if we had not sinned in the first place? I am inclined to believe that the Incarnation is a part of the whole overall plan of salvation. St. Thomas Aquinas, on the other hand, tends towards the opposite.
     To try to draw some understanding, I think we can see the depth of God?s commitment to the human project in the way He created us in His image and likeness. His willingness to send His Son, Jesus, to redeem us is a sign of His unequivocal dedication to us and also an indication of the hope that He still has in our relationship with Him. God is not willing to abandon us to our ?fate,? so to speak, but is going to do everything possible, short of taking away our freewill to provide a way for us to be reunited with Him.
     The Incarnation demonstrates for us a level of commitment that is unheard of in other religions. Without the Incarnation, it would not be possible for Jesus to say that He ?is the way, the truth and the life? (John 14:6). It is only by way of the fact that He is one with us in our human state that this declaration is possible. Christianity, of all the major religions in the world, is the only one to claim to have a God-Incarnate person. It is the Incarnation that assures us of God?s ability to identify with our human plight and ?know? what it means to be a human being.
     Furthermore, and not the least of all our considerations, it is only through the Incarnation that God can experience the meaning of death ? the experience of alienation from this worldly existence ? and at the same time, a necessary precondition for our full reconciliation and reunion with the Father. The Incarnation makes it possible for Jesus to redeem both the living and the dead. In dying, He first takes on the experience of human death before overcoming it with His resurrection. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Do I often reflect upon the meaning of the Incarnation? Perhaps it will help me come to a better understanding of the depth of God?s commitment to my welfare and being.

Jesus, thank You for Your willingness to take on human form in order to redeem us. Help me to fully understand the depth of Your love for me so that I will more easily move in obedience to Your will out of love for You. Lord Jesus Christ, pray for us .




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