READINGS for 2007-02-08

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



" ... even the dogs...? ? Mark 7:28

When ?bad? things happen, we ask ?Why me, Lord?? But, when cash, cars, healing, safe trips, simple lunches, and other beautiful things happen, we never hear the same question.
      I know. Deep within, we think we deserve the ?good? things more than the ?bad.? After all, we?re not ?that bad.? Others can be worse. Who said that? Not God, and surely not His written Word. God?s ?choosing? of us is purely grace. We could never merit His favor. Our richest of riches and the best of our works are stinky rags compared to His ownership of the universe (and beyond!) and the Absolute Holiness of his nature.
      It?s only when we begin to know who we really are, that we are not ?big shots,? no more than just ?dogs under the table,? that God lifts us up, fills us with underserved mercy, and clothes us with the gift of sonship.
      Unlike the proud Jews who boasted of being children of Abraham and therefore automatic beneficiaries of heaven?s insurance policies, the Greek woman knew that all her hope is in God?s heart of love.
      Such is the spirit that God?s miracle cannot resist.
      Are you irresistible? Jon E.

Are you irresistible?

My heart make humble, O God.



Genesis 2:18-25

The joy and exultation of the man as he finally finds someone who can recognize as his equal is very difficult to put into words. The text we have here does a reasonable job of it, but I think it might help if we try to put ourselves in the man?s place and ask ourselves what this experience would really be like. For me, this recognition of a fellow human being is the recognition of an equal and co-heir with him to the life of grace. Their existence, their mutual self-giving and understanding was perfect as is indicated by the lack of shame at their nakedness. The wonder of this state of being is only surpassed by the fact that after the redemption we become even more blessed.

18 The LORD God said: ?It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.? 19 So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. 21 So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 The  LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, 23 the man said: ?This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ?woman,? for out of ?her man? this one has been taken.? 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

P S A L M 

Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R: Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

1 Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! 2 For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. (R) 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table. (R) 4 Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. (R)


Mark 7:24-30

There is desperation present in the answer of the woman to Jesus? question. She is obviously at the end of her tether and this is the last resort to save the life of her child. She approaches someone who is not of the same nationality or faith! Jesus tests her belief, not so much to see how strong it is, I think that her faith is obviously very strong, but as a means by which to emphasize to His disciples the extent to which their faith should deepen and grow. The woman is desperate ? so too should our faith be desperate in the way that we seek to place Jesus at the center of our lives.
24 From that place he went off to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. 25 Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, ?Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.? 28 She replied and said to him, ?LORD, even the dogs under the table eat the children?s scraps.? 29 Then he said to her, ?For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.? 30 When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

my reflections
The woman is desperate ? so too should our faith be desperate in the way that we seek to place Jesus at the center of our lives.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





These last words of today?s reading reflect a wonderful understanding of the beauty inherent in the sexuality of men and women. Man and woman were naked before each other and had no shame. This original innocence is in sharp contrast to the shame at their nakedness that they experience after disobeying God?s command not to eat of the tree in the center of the garden. What does it tell us about human sexuality?
      God created humanity male and female ? therefore there are two ways of being uman?? one with a male body, the other with a female body. These two ways of being human complement one another. In one sense there is something lacking in the individual that is only made complete with the addition of the other. It is this complementarity that forms the basis of the relationship of husband and wife, who together can fully image the creative love of God through the act of sexual intercourse, which then gives rise to the possibility of the creation of new life. Nakedness without shame expresses a certain unity of the two that is broken when sin enters into the world. One of the first consequences of sin is that the relationship between man and woman turns to one of distrust ? Adam blames Eve for the sin and refuses to take responsibility for his own action.
      In the punishments of Genesis 3 we see reflected the experience of humanity whereby man tends to dominate the woman. The relationship of unity and trust is gone forever and only the Sacrament of Marriage remains as a remnant of the original innocence and unity. The beauty and freedom of human sexuality gives way to an experience of domination and lust that damages both the individual and the couple and even wider society. The fundamental health of a society is directly related to the health of family life. If family life is not protected, then it will not be long before there are big problems in the wider society. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: The first three chapters of Genesis have much to commend to us in the way of material for reflection. How can I better come to understand the truths that God is presenting to me through these chapters and apply them to my life?

Holy Spirit, incline my mind to the truth and my heart to the Father?s love so that I will be both formed by God?s Word and immersed into His love and truth.

St. Jerome Emiliani, pray for us.

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