READINGS for 2007-06-02

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

REJECTING TRUTH

“We do not know.” – Mark 11:33

You are driving along a dark lonely stretch of highway. A car honks repeatedly at you and the driver signals for you to stop because you have a flat tire, what would you do?
  a. Pull over.
  b. Speed up.
  c. Slow down.
        Honestly, I don’t know what the right answer is. None of the options sound right to me. Because if I pull over, I might be falling into a trap. If I speed up and my tire is really flat, I’d probably go into a tailspin. If I slow down, I’d give the second driver a better chance of harming me if he has evil intentions.
       I can see at least one similarity between my thinking process and that of the teachers of the law. Both they and I obey the natural instinct of self-preservation. Each of us has that urge to stay alive and survive. Sometimes, we go to the extreme and live in denial of the truth in order to spare ourselves the pain, for example.
      Defense mechanisms such as these are normal. However, when we act solely out of selfpreservation, we rob ourselves of the beauty of honesty. When we are dishonest, we reject Jesus who is Truth. When we reject Truth, we harm ourselves more than we harm others because we fail to grow into the people we were created to be. Victoria L.

REFLECTION:
Do you want to grow?

Lord, help to gain a healthy perspective on how to preserve myself and yet at the same time be a blessing to others.

COMPANION

1st READING

Sirach 51:12-20

Wisdom is a much vilified or just simply ignored quality in today’s world. The culture of individualism in which we live seems to demand that we assert our right to determine truth for ourselves and thus we seem to be reluctant to learn from the wisdom of others. It is as though it takes something away from our own dignity or selfimage. Such an attitude is about as contrary to the Scriptures as it is possible to get. The Scriptures encourage us to honor our elders and to draw from their wisdom at every possible opportunity.
  
12 I thank the LORD and I praise him; I bless the name of the LORD. 13 When I was young and innocent, I sought Wisdom. 14 She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her. 15 As the blossoms yielded to ripening grapes, the heart’s joy, my feet kept to the level path because from earliest youth I was familiar with her. 16 In the short time I paid heed, I met with great instruction. 17 Since in this way I have profited, I will give my teacher grateful praise. 18 I became resolutely devoted to her — the good I persistently strove for. 19 I burned with desire for her, never turning back. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets. 20 For her I purified my hands; in cleanness I attained to her. At first acquaintance with her, I gained understanding such that I will never forsake her.

P S A L M

Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R: The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


7 [8] The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. (R) 8 [9] The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. (R) 9 [10] the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (R) 10 [11] They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb. (R)

G O S P E L

Mark 11:27-33

Jesus knew that the chief priests were only being contrary and looking for controversy as an excuse to arrest him and charge him with misdemeanor or heresy. Jesus turns the tables on them by asking them such a question that no matter what they want to answer it rebounds on them. This only serves to further infuriate them and thus they continue to look for ways to trap Jesus. The challenge we face today is to be able to ask the right questions of the world and thus force it to look for better answers and responses to the problems it faces.
  
26 27 They returned once more to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him 28 and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” — they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. 33 So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

my reflections
think:
The challenge we face today is to be able to ask the right questions of the world and thus force it to look for better answers and responses to the problems it faces.


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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 Psalm 78-81

SABBATH

TRAPPED IN THEIR OWN SNARE

Jesus is courageous. He does not cower in fear even when threatened by death on account of His relationship with God. He stands firm and does not shudder, much less, run away when questioned by those who attack Him for His radical teachings about God. He perseveres in doing what is good even when the very good He does is used against Him.
       Jesus is wise. He knows what His mission is all about. He understands the consequences of His radical teachings that clash with the lifestyle and paradigm of the chief priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders of the people. He is sure about the authority with which He proclaims it. The courage and wisdom of Jesus are clearly shining through the Gospel today. Courage and wisdom – we need both to follow Jesus.
       Courage without wisdom is dangerous. It may lead us to an untimely death, to a useless death, to a senseless death. It is not dead people that Jesus needs to do the work of the Kingdom. Jesus needs people who are alive and kicking. Wisdom is required to tame us in our courage lest we unnecessarily expose ourselves to danger and die just when we are needed alive.
       Wisdom without courage is useless. It may save us from a senseless death, but may condemn us to a senseless life. People whose lives are without meaning are detrimental to the meaning of the Gospel of Christ. Jesus needs people who can give meaning to the lives of others. Formal education may give knowledge, but it does not always guarantee wisdom. Using common sense is the manifestation of wisdom. While courage sets us on fire lest we are cold just when we are needed hot, wisdom tells us just when that need presents itself.
       “John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man?” Jesus asks the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders who tried to trap Him by His own words. “We do not know,” they reply. They answer this way because they have neither courage nor wisdom, or both. With courage and wisdom, Jesus ends their discussion, exposing the trap they laid for Him. The predator became the prey. Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I have courage but no wisdom or no courage but have wisdom or neither of both?

Lord Jesus, You are the Way, lead us. Lord Jesus, You are the Truth, teach us. Lord Jesus, You are the Life, save us. Amen.

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs, pray for us.



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