READINGS for 2006-07-22

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

Feast of Mary Magdalene, disciple of the Lord  

MAGDALENA

??Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?? ? John 20:15

Sometimes, when I contemplate the depth His love for me, I am so filled with feelings of unworthiness that I want to hide from His presence.
      I am so insignificant, so unimportant. I can?t even imagine a single person willing to give up their life for me. And yet God, with His infinite greatness, chose to become human to suffer and die for my sins. How can I ever repay that? Whatever have I done to earn that kind of sacrifice? I feel utterly selfish and ashamed.
      Then the story of Mary Magdalene comes unbidden into my mind. Like me, she was lost in spiritual darkness. She lived in lonely anguish, being ostracized and reviled. Yet she found the courage to accept Christ?s unconditional love and immediately understood that she has been forgiven and healed from her past.
      With profound gratitude, she made a new life, one with Christ as her center. And her unwavering devotion during his ministry, passion, and death is so compelling that Christ rewarded her by choosing to reveal the glory of His resurrection to her.
      Asking St. Mary Magdalene to act as my intercessor, I buried my shame, my fears, and my doubts. I let go of the darkness that bound me and instead, basked in the light of His love. Cez L.

REFLECTION:
Do you feel unloved or distant from God? Then maybe you can learn from Mary Magdalene, too.

Heal me with your unconditional love, O Lord.

COMPANION

1st READING

 

Song 3:1-4 or 2 Corinthians 5:14-17

The Book of the Song of Songs is a wonderful canticle to the nature of love. God created love and so it must be good and something to be pursued. Let us pray for the grace that, in our pursuit of love, we will never lose sight of its true nature as self-giving and never get caught up in the way such a pursuit can become selfish and self-absorbing.

1 On my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves ? I sought him but I did not find him. 2 I will rise then and go about the city; in the streets and crossings I will seek him whom my heart loves. I sought him but I did not find him. 3 The watchmen came upon me as they made their rounds of the city. Have you seen him whom my heart loves? 4 I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves. I took hold of him and would not let him go till I should bring him to the home of my mother, to the room of my parent.

P S A L M

Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R: My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

1 [2] O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. (R) 2 [3] Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory, 3 [4] for your kindness is a greater good than life; my lips shall glorify you. (R) 4 [5] Thus will I bless you while I live; lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name. 5 [6] As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. (R) 7 [8] You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. 8 [9] My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me. (R)

G O S P E L

John 20:1-2.11-18

Mary Magdalene is the first human being to be confronted with the reality of the resurrection in John?s Gospel. What a tremendous privilege this is for her. Jesus tells her to tell His disciples that He has risen and will meet them in Galilee. We can see here the nature of the Gospel as something to be shared with others. Mary?s proclamation of the Gospel, the resurrection of Jesus, is the beginning of a new era in the history of the world.

1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, ?They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don?t know where they put him.? 11 But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. 13 And they said to her, ?Woman, why are you weeping?? She said to them, ?They have taken my Lord, and I don?t know where they laid him.? 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, ?Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?? She thought it was the gardener and said to him, ?Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.? 16 Jesus said to her, ?Mary!? She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ?Rabbouni,? which means Teacher. 17 Jesus said to her, ?Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ?I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.?? 18 Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, ?I have seen the Lord,? and what he told her.

my reflections
think
: Let us pray for the grace that, in our pursuit of love, we will never lose sight of its true nature as self-giving and never get caught up in the way such a pursuit can become selfish and self-absorbing.

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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 Isaiah 29-30

SABBATH

IT SEEMS SO NATURAL

One of the most striking aspects of the resurrection account in John?s Gospel is its seeming naturalness. That is, John seems to assume that all that he is reporting is what we all expected to be the case anyway! Perhaps this is an indication of the depth of John?s faith and the shallowness of my own; whatever the case, it is clear that in John?s mind the resurrection of Jesus was to be expected.
      It is important that we grasp this truth as it is the foundation of a greater truth that lies at the basis of our lives. What I am referring to here is the principle that tells us that the grace of God builds on nature. This means that any work that God does in our lives is rooted first in who we are as His creation. The foundation for a life of faith is already there within us and all we have to do is open it up to the grace of the holy Spirit and allow God to do what He wants to do in our lives. This openness to the Holy Spirit does not come without effort on our part ? effort directed to blocking out the lies of the sin, flesh and the devil and opening ourselves to the truths that God reveals to us.
      All of this means that as we reflect upon the resurrection and how it is at the heart of our faith, we should also recognize that perhaps it is not something that is as foreign to our character as we might initially think it is in reality. Sometimes our experience of life in the world is not as helpful to us as we may like. In order to be true to our faith calling, we sometimes have to realize that we need to look at our experiences with eyes of faith and not just eyes of the world. In other words, it could be said that our faith gives an added dimension to our lives that helps us to see the fuller truth that comes with the revelation God offers us. The challenge that remains is to not just recognize that this is true but to act upon it when we reflect upon the meaning of life and are making decisions in this regard.
      Let us all pray that we will be able to meet the resurrected Jesus in the midst of our busy lives and draw strength and hope from this experience. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
Do I really believe that God wants to reveal himself to me in order that I will grow in faith and knowledge of Him?

Holy Spirit, your work is not yet finished in my life, in fact it could be said that it has only just begun! Grant me the grace and privilege of knowing the power of the Risen Jesus in my faith and love for Him will increase.

St. Mary Magdalene, penitent, pray for us.




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