READINGS for 2007-04-02

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

HOLY MONDAY

  WOE IS MARTHA

…and Martha served… – John 12:2

I pity those girls named Martha. It’s not only Martha Stewart that has given them a bad name (no pun intended), but even the Gospel of today has given them the reputation of not being prayerful, of being petty, of being envious! Not to mention having chosen the lesser portion.
      Well, I am a Martha. And happy to be one, I might add. I’m the type you’ll see more on her feet than on her knees. I’ll most likely be carving the turkey (or chopping the lechon, to be more Filipino about it) rather than being the hostess with the listening ear.
      It doesn’t mean that I don’t pray. I find that the service that I do is my love language. And what is prayer if not a dialogue of love? However, I do know that being a Martha has its downside… just as being a Mary does, too. As a Martha I have to accept that my strength is in execution and that one of my weaknesses is being resentful of those who reap the glory of being in the limelight. More and more, though, I’ve begun to realize that if being in the background suits me more, then what have I to be envious for? Ever since, I’ve just been happy to have been created Martha. Victoria L.

REFLECTION:
Martha, Martha, Martha. Stop. Know who you really are and accept that person. Let Mary be Mary.

When the Martha in me screams for attention, Lord, calm me with a whispered reminder to stop… even just for a moment… to recall that I am happy to be doing what I do. That little rest is enough Mary for me.

COMPANION

1st READING

Isaiah 42:1-7

One of the most admirable qualities in any person, if they have it, is mercy. Isaiah speaks about ‘someone’ who ‘does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the wavering flame.’ He refers to the person, struggling in their life and faith, and tells us that the ‘servant of God’ will minister to this person respecting their fragility and ensuring that nothing is done to damage them further. This is the way that God ministers His love to us. It does not mean that He will not challenge us if necessary but that all He does will be for our ultimate benefit.

1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon  whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, 2 not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, 4 until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. 5 Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it. 6 I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

P S A L M

Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14

R: The Lord is my light and my salvation.


1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 2 When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies themselves stumble and fall. (R) 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust. (R) 13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. (R)

G O S P E L

John 12:1-11

There is never a time when we can legitimately say that we do not have an opportunity to put our faith into action. Jesus tells us that the poor are always with us. This clearly places before us the challenge to see that we exercise our faith in such a way that we recognize their cry for help. Faith without action is dead. Faith with action proclaims the truth of God’s love unequivocally to an unbelieving world.
  
1 Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 3 Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 5 “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” 6 He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 [The] large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, 11 because many of the Jews were turning away and  believing in Jesus because of him.

my reflections
think:
Faith with action proclaims the truth of God’s love unequivocally to an unbelieving world.

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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 2 Kings 4-6

SABBATH

EXAMINING OUR REACTIONS TO EVENTS

Sometimes the truest reaction we have to a situation, the one that reflects our attitudes and feelings the best, is the initial one. This initial reaction is often unreflected and indicative of our present state of heart. As such it can provide insight into where our heart is as regards our relationships with God and others. In today’s Gospel we see in Judas’ reaction (to the anointing of Jesus with a very costly ointment) an indication that his heart is far from where it should be as a disciple of Jesus.
      Elsewhere in the Gospel Jesus tells us that where our hearts are, there we will follow, indicating the need to be attentive to the state of heart as it can easily lead us astray. Jeremiah the prophet confirms this when he informs the Israelites that our hearts are deceitful above all other things. We often hear in the common wisdom of many cultures of the fickle nature of the human heart.
      We have begun our walk with Jesus in the final days of His life. It is important that we examine the state of our hearts in case they need purification through repentance and conversion in order that we may more worthily celebrate His resurrection from the dead on Easter Day. Holy Week should be a time of deep and honest reflection on the state of our relationship with Jesus and whether or not there are aspects of it that we need to change. Jesus Himself calls us all to a deeper conversion and commitment to the Gospel so that the grace of salvation He offers us will be let loose in our lives more fully to bring about deeper conversion and transformation. This process is at the heart of the Gospel and a necessary aspect of our lives. If we are not moving forward in our relationship with God, then we are neglecting the responsibilities of our faith. Let us choose to open our hearts more fully to God at this time and to surrender more deeply to Him our hearts, our dreams and our desires. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: What area of my life do I need to surrender more deeply to Jesus?

Father, You sent Jesus to redeem me from my sins. Help me to turn away from sin and back to You this Easter.

St. Mary of Egypt, hermitess, pray for us.




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