READINGS for 2007-02-06

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. In vain do they worship Me...? ? Mark 7:6-7

Cell phones. Their efficiency is determined by three factors, among others: That its batteries are charged, it has load or credits, and it has signal. If you have the most hightech cell phone but it?s ?low (or empty) batt,? then it?s near useless. It?s the same if your cell is fully charged but has no more load or you?re in a dead spot and have no signal.
        Our souls are like cell phones. We connect with God through worship. And through this, we recharge, reload and refocuse our spirits. When we worship, we?re recharged by His refreshing presence and glory; we?re reloaded with His strengthening grace; and we?re refocused towards His guidance and will.
        How then do you know when you made authentic worship? More than lip service, true worship transforms you into a passionately loving person. Then you can?t help but spread His fire of love to many. St. Vincent de Paul said it profoundly, ?Love itself is fire... we are called to bear the love of God, this Divine Fire everywhere.? Tina M.

Am I fully-charged with His love or on low batt?

Come Holy Spirit, rekindle in us the fire of Your love...



Genesis 1:20-2:4

The second half of this first account of creation affirms that we are created in the image and likeness of God. This truth should astound us every time that we read it, as it is the basis of true humanism. That is, it forms the basis for our understanding of the dignity of the human person as an absolute good that should NEVER be violated. If we truly understood this text in its deepest reality we would discover in it God?s command to respect human life from conception to the grave. He is the one who gives and takes life ? to God alone belongs that power.

20 Then God said,?Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.? And so it happened: 21 God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw how good it was, 22 and God blessed them, saying, ?Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.? 23 Evening came, and morning followed ? the fifth day. 24 Then God said, ?Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.? And so it happened: 25 God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said: ?Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.? 27 God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: ?Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.? 29 God also said: ?See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 30 and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.? And so it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed ? the sixth day. 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. 2 Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation. 4 Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R: O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

3 [4] When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place ? 4 [5] what is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? (R) 5 [6] You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 [7] You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet. (R) 7 [8] All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, 8 [9] the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. (R)


Mark 7:1-13

There are times when it is important for us to ask ourselves why we do the things that we do. There was probably a time, in a less hygienic era of their existence, that it was not important for people to wash well before eating. However, this does not mean that the practice must continue forever. There are things that will change with the times and then there are things that will endure. It is important for us to know this and evaluate our traditions from time to time. Perhaps this is the time to change some of them. Then again, perhaps it is not!

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 honor 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
There are times when it is important for us to ask ourselves why we do the things that we do.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________




Saint Paul Miki

Paul Miki, one of the martyrs of Nagasaki, was born in 1562 at Tsunokuni, Japan. He belonged to a wealthy family, a son of the military leader Miki Handayu. At a young age, he received a call to religious service; thus, he entered the Jesuit College at Azuchi and Takatsuki in 1580.

When politics became hostile to Christians in Japan, the priest decided to continue with his ministry. This paved for his later arrest. On his way to martyrdom, together with 25 other Catholics, Paul Miki was asked to march 600 miles in order for them to be abused and for the event to be a lesson to their countrymen.

Paul Miki was crucified on February 5, 1597 at Nagasaki, Japan. He was beatified on September 14, 1627 by Pope Urban VIII and canonized on June 8, 1862 by Pope Pius IX.

Saint Theodore Stratelates

Theodore was a general or a stratelates commanding an army of the Emperor Licinius and governor of Pontus. He was a man of great political influence, thus, governing part of the emperor s territory.

Other soldiers learned about the general s devotion to Christianity when the latter refused to join them in their pagan worship. As a result, they tortured Theodore. He expressed his scorn towards his men by putting the temple dedicated to the goddess Cybele on fire. The authorities immediately brought him back to prison and tortured him. While in prison,  Saint Theodore was comforted by a vision of heaven.

Theodore Stratelates died in the year 319 and his remains were buried at Euchaita. The Eastern Church recognized him as a great soldier-saint.



Hypocrisy is something that no one likes and is ultimately one of the most destructive forces at work against the witness of the Gospel life. When a person claims to be Christian and then obviously fails to live a Christian way of life without any remorse or attempt to change, the Church is faced with a difficult situation. It cannot afford for the situation to continue as such and thus must, out of faithfulness to God?s will for it, seek to challenge the person who is failing in their Christian responsibility to repent and undergo conversion. However, what follows is often a tirade against the Church along the lines that it is not allowing proper freedom of expression to the individual.
        The Church is a community that lives according to a certain creed and rules. The Church reserves the right, and correctly so, to regulate itself according to these rules. As such it has the power to both include and exclude persons according to their willingness to submit their lives to the lifestyle professed by the Church. This is the right of any organization and group as long as it applies its rules fairly and without bias. Therefore if we want to belong to the Church we make a choice to set aside a certain amount of our own freewill insofar as we commit ourselves to abide by the rules. This submission of our lives to the Church and, ultimately the will of God, is necessary if we are going to take on a life of Christian discipleship.
        It is completely meaningless to call oneself a Christian and then refuse to live according to Christian beliefs! The teachings of the Catholic Church have nothing to do with limiting the freedom of an individual and everything to do with outlining what it means to call oneself a Catholic. The choice to be Catholic is the choice to submit oneself to all the Catholic Church teaches and believes. We cannot take on the name and not the teachings. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How can I grow in my understanding of the teachings of the Church so that I can live them more fully in my life?

Lord, grant me the grace I need to understand Your will for my life and help me to follow it every day.

St. Paul Miki and Companions, pray for us.

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