READINGS for 2007-02-09

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



The woman answered the serpent: ?We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ?You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.? ? Genesis 3:2-3

After studying in a coed school almost all my life, I decided to choose an exclusive school for girls in college for a change. The result? I was in culture shock! I had never seen girls with so much curiosity. It was the way they related to the opposite sex that bothered me. I mean, some of these girls might have had brothers and men as relatives but you could
tell that they were not ready to deal with boygirl relationships. By the end of junior year, would you believe that almost one third of our class had gotten themselves pregnant?
      Tempted? Yes! Curious? Definitely! They wanted to be above others; they thought having a sexual experience would make a difference in their lives. Truly, for some of them, it did! Sadly, others even had to go through abortion. What a pity because some of them were even scholars from their provinces... the pride of their respective alma maters.
      As for me, a lesson I learned from my colleagues was that curiosity can be very  harmful. Marissa E.

You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. I pray for the grace to stay focused on these three.

Where does your curiosity lead you?



Genesis 3:1-8

The biggest mistake that the woman makes here is to enter into dialogue with the devil. No good can ever come of such a thing so it is far better and more prudent to walk away from the devil and leave him alone. If we do not listen to him, he will not have a chance to convince us of his lies. This sounds like a simple proposition but reality and experience seem to evidence the fact that it is not so simple to do. Perhaps we should seek to be more alert to the lies of the devil around us so that we are better able to choose which conversations to enter into and which ones to leave alone.

1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, ?Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?? 2 The woman answered the serpent: ?We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ?You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.?? 4 But the serpent said to the woman: ?You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.? 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. 8 When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

P S A L M 

Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R: Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.

1 Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. (R) 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, ?I confess my faults to the LORD,? and you took away the guilt of my sin. (R) 6 For this shall every faithful man pray to you in time of stress. Though deep waters overflow, they shall not reach him. (R) 7 You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round. (R)


Mark 7:31-37

The ministry of Jesus took place in a very small area of the earth?s surface yet Christianity has spread to the ends of the earth. This just goes to show the power of the Gospel. It also serves to emphasize the responsibility we have to be the ones who bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. It is the truth of the Gospel that causes people to seek Jesus out. The same is true today but we must also be committed to presenting the Gospel to others so that both the witness of our lives and our words will convince them of the truth.

31 Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. 32 And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man?s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, ?Ephphatha!? (that is, ?Be opened!?) 35 And [immediately] the man?s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. 36 He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. 37 They were exceedingly astonished and they said, ?He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and [the] mute speak.?

my reflections
We must be committed to presenting the Gospel to others so that both the witness of our lives and our words will convince them of the truth.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





There is an old saying, ?Discretion is the better part of valor.? Today?s First Reading is a perfect illustration of this in that Eve would have been much better off ignoring the serpent and walking away. There is no doubt that sin and the devil do not play fairly. The Church recommends that we NEVER enter into dialogue with the devil as he is capable of almost anything. About the only thing we are sure that is beyond his powers is to act with humility.
      Eve?s choice to dialogue with the serpent only leaves her open to falling prey to his lies and deceit which is exactly what happened. The devil did not seduce her with an outright lie, just a slight exaggeration of the truth ? namely he adds that God forbade them to even touch the fruit, making the command sound unreasonable. All God said was that they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden. The wise person on hearing this would refrain from touching it lest he/she be led into further temptation. The even wiser person would accept the truth and validity of God?s command and leave it at that. What is the point of discussing the matter further?
      I am not advocating a non-intellectual approach to our faith. I am merely suggesting that there are some things that God has revealed to us that we can seek to understand further but this does not mean that we have to question them. We can grow in understanding of the truth without having to put the issue in doubt.
      The description of Adam and Eve hiding from God in the Garden indicates to us the fundamental nature of the change that has occurred in the relationship between God and humanity because of sin. We are no longer fully open or fully comfortable in God?s presence because we KNOW without doubt that we have done something to harm our relationship with God. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How effective am I in deciding to walk away from temptation when it comes to me? Do I tend to dialogue with sin and thus the devil or do I have the presence of mind to see through the devil?s lies and walk away from him?

Lord Jesus, help me to live in the victory You give us all over sin and the devil. Grant me the humility to live under Your grace and protection and stop thinking I have to endure temptation in my own strength.

St. Ammon, martyr, pray for us.

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