READINGS for 2007-02-11

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



 If for this life only we have hope in Christ, we are the most pitiable... ? 1 Corinthians 15:19

A friend of mine had just gotten to her office when she received a call from her sister to come home quickly. They couldn?t seem to wake their father up.
      By the time my friend got to the hospital, her father had passed away. For a full week the family was inconsolable. You see, not six months had passed since their mother and father had reconciled. The family was experiencing unity for the first time in many many years? and then? this. For a while I thought that they would take it against the Lord to have given them so much and then taken away so soon.
      I was wrong.
      When the day came for the burial, everyone had accepted the loss and had quietly embraced with joy the goodness the Lord had shown them. First of all, their dad had turned away from his past life and had repented. He had gone to marriage counseling with his wife and was ready to try again. Secondly, the Lord had given them six whole months of renewed family togetherness. And all this happened before the dad had moved on to some place better.
      I am happy that my friend and her family are far from pitiable. Victoria L.

Where do your hope and treasure lie?

May I be thankful always for what I have on earth now, and be always conscious of what I have to come in Your Home.



Jeremiah 17:5-8

Where do we look for an analysis of what is true about the human condition? If we fail to look for God?s understanding of this vital question we will be led into error. The secular humanistic analysis of the problems in the modern world, namely the population time bomb and the need for condoms in the fight against AIDS, are two immediate examples that spring to mind. They fail to respect the fundamental human dignity of each person. Neither of these secular analyses does justice the dignity of the human person. Both tend to treat the human individual as another ?commodity? to be acted upon whereas true humanism, the humanism of Church teaching, tells us that we must first and foremost respect the dignity of the individual by treating them as an acting subject in themselves.
5 Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream. It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.


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

R: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

1 Blessed is 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)


1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20

Jesus redeemed each person through His death and resurrection. Each person in this world has exactly the same level of dignity attached to his or her being. This means that in order to know how to act as moral beings we must recognize our responsibility toward each other and act accordingly. Our dignity rests in the fact that unlike the rest of creation humanity was created in the image of God. We have a dignity, a soul that no other part of creation has. In that God is truth, our nature is such that to act in accordance with the truth and dignity of our being is the only way to true fulfillment. Pleasure is passing away. Truth will endure forever.

12 But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 16 For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.


Luke 6:17, 20-26

Only human beings understand the life of beatitude and holiness. All other living animals act only according to instinct. Yes, they feel pain and react to it. Yes, in a certain sense they react to the stimulus of pleasure. However, they do not and cannot suffer as human beings can and do. The difference between suffering and pain is that the former requires self-consciousness and this is unique to human beings. Similarly, the joy that we get from doing good is unique to human beings. Animals have no consciousness of the reality of self-sacrifice freely chosen in love for another. Yes we may find objective acts of self-sacrifice in the animal world but this is a result of instinct, not free choice.

17 And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon. 20 And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: ?Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. 21 Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. 22 Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. 24 But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. 26 Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.

my reflections
Each person in this world has exactly the same level of dignity attached to his or her being.



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Most important word God told me this week






Today?s Gospel presents us with the Lucan version of the beatitudes. They differ quite dramatically from those of Matthew, not least in number but also in that they present us with the other side of the equation as well! Luke makes it very clear that the way we choose to live has clear consequences for our eternal being. We will do well to reflect carefully upon what this means for the way we respond to the graces God offers us through life.
      Too often today people seem to be doing their best to take as little responsibility as they can for their actions. This lack of desire to take responsibility for one?s action does not bode well for the state of the society in which we live. More and more we will find that we have a society that is focused upon the individual and his or her desires with less and less attention given to the common good of all. Such a society will eventually collapse as the rampant individualism it ultimately promotes is inconsistent with one of the fundamental truths of our humanity ? namely the call to love one another as God has first loved us. Love without a care for the welfare of others is not love at all!
      As Christians in the twenty-first century, we have a duty to one of our most pressing responsibilities ? to try and reawaken in the world the sense of the common good. Yes, each of us must have a certain focus upon our own wellbeing and future; however, this can never be to the total expense of the common good. Love demands that we care for those around us. In fact the Gospel and the witness of the life of Jesus and the saints clearly indicate that we need to give a special concern to the poor and marginalized. It is this care that is properly identified as coming under the idea of the common good. To neglect it is to place ourselves outside the ambit of true Gospel living, something I am sure that we all desire not to do! Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: How faithful am I to my responsibility to protect the common good of society? Do I look for ways in which I can contribute to helping others better their lives as well as my own?

Lord, help me to grow in love for my fellow brothers and sisters so that I will have a special care to look for opportunities to serve them, particularly if they are needy in any way.

St. Lucius, bishop, martyr, pray for us.

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