READINGS for 2007-09-05
WHAT CONSUMES YOU?
“…because for this purpose I have been sent.” – Luke 4:43
My most favorite author of all time is Thomas Merton. He was a Trappist monk born in France, who lived a quiet life in America and died in Thailand. He chose a life of prayer and contemplation. Each of his many books, essays and articles speaks of detachment, a deep love for God and humility. (I surmise he wouldn’t want me writing about him!) The lives of people who know what they came to earth to do always leave an imprint on you. These are people consumed by passion for a cause they have discovered for themselves. They know exactly what it is they would contribute to the world. And they don’t tire working for it. They know their corner of the sky.
As I write, many more people come to mind. A priest-friend who left his “safe” place in a congregation to be a diocesan priest serving in a far-away island. A good friend who’s coming back to the Philippines, leaving her secure life in America, to work in their family business to save the jobs of their longtime employees. Our neighbor whose passion it is to segregate waste and preserve the environment.
They’re inspirations in a seemingly hopeless world. Lallaine G.
Think of the people who inspire you to do what you have to do.
Lord, every day, may my passions be focused more on You!
St. Paul reminds us that we should constantly be praying for one another. I believe that we constantly underestimate the power of intercessory prayer today. We do this at our own risk and at the risk of falling into the sin of presumption in God’s goodness to us. The Church has an unbroken history of men and women giving their lives in quiet intercession and penance for the sake of the Gospel in the contemplative orders of the Church. Let us thank God for the gift of the nameless men and women who lay down their lives in the service of intercession.
1 Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae: grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the holy ones 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. Of this you have already heard through the word of truth, the gospel, 6 that has come to you. Just as in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing, so also among you, from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth, 7 as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave, who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
P S A L M
Psalm 52:10, 11
R: I trust in the mercy of God for ever.
8  I, like a green olive tree in the house of God, trust in the kindness of God forever and ever. (R) 9  I will thank you always for what you have done, and proclaim the goodness of your name before your faithful ones. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus knows what His mission is and He will not allow anything to distract Him from it! Jesus is not interested in the acclaim of others or the comfortable and easy life. He is interested in obeying His Father’s will and proclaiming the Good News of salvation to as many people as possible. Let us all pray for the same zeal and single-mindedness of heart as Jesus and then I am sure the work of evangelization will be completed quickly.
38 After he left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. 39 He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. 40 At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. 41 And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Messiah. 42 At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. 43 But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
think: Jesus is not interested in the acclaim of others or the comfortable and easy life.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Daniel 1-2
I am nursing a fever as I write this reflection. I know how Simon’s mother-inlaw felt before Jesus healed her. When you are sick, you cannot do your routine. It can be irritating. When you are sick you cannot do what you want to do. It can be disappointing. When you are sick, the best thing to do is to listen to your body’s protest and just rest. The more you delay doing this, the more you get sick. The more you get sick, the more you get irritated and disappointed. Healing begins when you submit yourself and let nature heal itself. I confess, quite often I am hardheaded and continue working even as I nurse a fever. Jesus standing over Simon’s mother-in-law is a rather dramatic symbol of her submitting herself to Jesus. Jesus, who is not only the Healer but the very Healing Himself, has power over everything that afflicts our human nature. When He stands over us, we lie at His feet. Lying at the feet of Jesus is surrendering our selves to Jesus. This is the beginning of healing. The Gospel today says that Jesus healed not only by standing over the sick. He touched them. He laid His hands on them and cured them. No one can be healed without being touched. Doctors have to check on their patients. Patients must allow their doctors to touch them if they want to get healed. It is unthinkable that the first thing a sick man tells his doctor is “Do not touch me.” While cancer cells do sometimes metastasize when touched, healing does not also happen without the miracle of human touch. The touch of Jesus is a miracle in itself.
To surrender our selves to Jesus means to allow Jesus to touch us. Submitting our selves to Him should give Him the freedom to do whatever He wishes to accomplish in us. But beware! Jesus may touch us where it hurts most. Will we be willing to be touched by Him no matter the pain? Do we really want to get healed by His touch no matter the hurt?
While fever of the body is an easy illness to cure, fever of the soul may be more difficult to nurse. But both can be healed. We really know how. But are we truly willing? Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Every Mass is a Healing Mass because the Mass is the Eucharist and the Eucharist is Jesus who is our Healer and our Healing Himself.
I surrender my self completely to Your healing touch, O Jesus. You are my Healer and Healing Himself. May I always receive You in the Holy Eucharist worthily and share with others the healing of every Holy Mass. Amen.
St. Lawrence Justinian, bishop, pray for us.
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