READINGS for 2006-10-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

RIGID

?But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the Sabbath ?? ? Luke 13:14

Being an auditor for many years, I am used to structures. In my work, I followed a set of systems and procedures. I abided by the company rules and policies. I had with very little room for flexibility.
      I have been in the renewal for 11 years. My leaders could vouch how I have been a very obedient community member. I would be almost present in all community gatherings and activities, serve in several ministries, attend meetings and seminars/workshops. Doing this had helped me a lot in my spiritual growth and maturity. But too much rigidity later robbed me of the joy in serving.
      June 18, 2004, Friday. I had a scheduled Caring Group (CG) at 7pm. Two days before that, my dad had an x-ray and the results, though I couldn?t understand, seemed bad. That Friday, my dad was too weak to walk so I drove him and my mom to the hospital near our village. I dropped them off and went to our CG meeting. I was having second thoughts about attending the meeting. I wanted to drive back to the hospital and be with my dad. But my legalistic attitude made me prioritize my ?requirement?.
      9pm. I received a text message from my sister: ?Umuwi ka na. Naka-confine na si Daddy.? Eleven days after, he died. Judith C.

REFLECTION:
Are you rigorous about following the love of LOVE?

It is often difficult for me to be flexible, Lord. Help me see when I must let go and when I must hold on to rules.

COMPANION

1st READING

Ephesians 4:32-5:8


Paul exhorts the people of Ephesus to live holy lives. One of the areas that he raises with them is that of their speech. He encourages them to ensure that they avoid all types of speech that do not give glory to God. It is important for us to remember this too, as the world in which we live often gives little thought or care in this regard. Too often, people fall into blasphemy and the use of crude or salacious jokes. They may be funny at one level but they do not bear witness to the Gospel and so should be eliminated from our lives. Let us pray for the grace to clean up our speech if we need to do so.

32 [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. 5: 1 So be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. 3 Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, 4 no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. 7 So do not be associated with them. 8 For you were once
darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

P S A L M

Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6

R: Behave like God as his very dear children.


1 Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, 2 but delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. (R)  3 He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. (R) 4 Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. (R)

G O S P E L

Luke 13:10-17


There is a time to rest from work and a time to put this aside when the call of love is greater. Our hospitals would cease to function if all the doctors, nurses and other helpers ceased to work on Sunday. This would cause terrible suffering to those who are sick. Obviously, God does not want this to happen. At the same time, people in such work situations should seek to find a substitute time to give over to the Sabbath rest. It is important that we regularly put aside time to reflect upon the direction our lives are taking and, in particular, our journeys of faith.

10 He was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. 11 And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, ?Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.? 13 He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. 14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, ?There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.? 15 The Lord said to him in reply, ?Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? 16 This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?? 17 When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

my reflections
think
: There is a time to rest from work and a time to put this aside when the call of love is greater.

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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 Luke 2-3

SABBATH

CAUTION: PREJUDICIAL PERSPECTIVES

The evangelist Luke (with his skill and attention for medical details) gives a specific description to the woman in today?s Gospel. ?She was badly stooped ? quite incapable of standing erect.? It sounds like an overkill. But maybe there is a point behind such a special emphasis on the poor condition of the nameless woman. In some sense, she is indeed doubly bent. She not only suffered (for 18 years, imagine) from an infirmity; she also suffered from the crippling, prejudicial views of her surrounding social context.
      Jesus for his part saw more, far beyond the external and the legalistic. ?He refused to accept the way the woman is, bent over and locked up in the mentality and judgment of her time? (Joseph Donders). He frees her before her oppressors? very eyes, restoring to her again her true identity as a ?daughter of Abraham.? This simply means that she is truly a person ? and not a pawn to be used for advancing narrow-minded interests versus Jesus, as the chief of the synagogue would have wanted to have it. In her, the powers and promises of God are mightily at work.
      Note the divided reaction serving as the conclusion of the passage: Jesus? opponents ?were covered with confusion?; and everyone else instead ?rejoiced at the marvels Jesus was accomplishing.? Perhaps it indeed depends on the preceding perspectives. May we always look at our brothers and sisters for what they truly are: our brethren in Jesus Christ, under God our Father. In that way, we do not add more to their burdens and sufferings.  In fact, we will lessen them hopefully, as we share in them. Fr. Martin M.

REFLECTION QUESTION:
In what areas do I need Jesus? freeing touch?

May I be totally free to choose what you choose, Lord.

St. Gerard Majella, confessor, pray for us.




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