READINGS for 2007-10-05
“For we did not heed the voice of the Lord, our God…” – Baruch 1:21
For our reflection today, I would like to borrow from the compilation of meditations of our dear Mother Teresa from the book Jesus: The Word to be Spoken by Bro. Angelo Davananda.
It is difficult to pray if you don’t know how to pray, but we must help ourselves to pray. The first means to use is silence. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. We cannot put ourselves directly in the presence of God if we do not practice internal and external silence.... Silence gives us a new outlook on everything. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say but what God says to us and through us. Jesus is always waiting for us in silence. In that silence, he will listen to us, there he will speak to our soul, and there we will hear his voice.
What has the Lord been speaking to you about lately? Expanding your ministry? Struggles? Recurring sins? Give more generously? Take the bold leap of faith? Listen closely. Lallaine G.
How is my silent time with the Lord? Am I listening?
Lord, teach me to find solace in Your quiet loving presence. May it be my home. Speak to my soul and let me hear Your voice.
We cannot go past the virtue of integrity in terms of something that is necessary for the Christian life. Baruch celebrates God’s integrity towards His promises and laments the inability of Israel to remain faithful to her commitment to God. This is what integrity is all about – remaining faithful to our promises and seeing to it that what we proclaim with our lips is the same as the way we live. Jesus is a perfect example of this. We should seek to follow Him and the path He lays out for us.
15 Justice is with the LORD, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, 16 that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our fathers, 17 have sinned in the LORD’s sight 18 and disobeyed him. We have neither heeded the voice of the LORD, our God, nor followed the precepts which the LORD set before us. 19 From the time the LORD led our fathers out of the land of Egypt until the present day, we have been disobedient to the LORD, our God, and only too ready to disregard his voice. 20 And the evils and the curse which the LORD enjoined upon Moses, his servant, at the time he led our fathers forth from the land of Egypt to give us the land flowing with milk and honey, cling to us even today. 21 For we did not heed the voice of the LORD, our God, in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us, 22 but each one of us went off after the devices of our own wicked hearts, served other gods, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, our God.
P S A L M
Psalm 79:1-2, 3-5, 8, 9
R: For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple, they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. 2 They have given the corpses of your servants as food to the birds of heaven, the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth. (R) 3 They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury them. 4 We have become the reproach of our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. 5 O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire? (R) 8 Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. (R) 9 Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake. (R)
G O S P E L
The miracles that Jesus works in His ministry are the equal of anything that Israel has seen in the past and as such ought to be signs enough for them to believe in His word. However, many refuse to. Jesus challenges them to rethink their decision in terms of comparing what He has done with what the prophets did in the past. Perhaps then they might see the error of their ways and repent.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld. 16 Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
This is what integrity is all about – remaining faithful to our promises and seeing to it that what we proclaim with our lips is the same as the way we live.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Maccabees 10-13
LET US LISTEN TO HIS VOICE
Have you ever heard the phrase, “How many times have I told you?” Often the phrase can come from the voice of the parent reprimanding the child who hasn’t heeded the request of the parent. The parent is fostering obedience in the child. The child heard the parent’s request but the child doesn’t comprehend, that is it, goes in one ear and out the other! Time and time again the child is told this but still fails to understand. However, note that the parent only discusses this and brings it to the attention of the child because the parent knows what is best for the child; it is a service of love The Jewish people, who are being addressed by Baruch, in the first reading today, are people who have not heeded the voice of the Lord. They are like the children who have heard the request of the parent but have not carried it out. Now in retrospect, they (the Jewish people) are filled with shame as they come to the realization that God has been constant in proclaiming his percepts, primarily through His servants, the prophets. “We have been disobedient to the Lord, our God, and only too ready to disregard His voice.”
They repent of their wickedness before their God “each of us went off after the devices of his own wicked heart, served other gods and did evil in the sight of God.” The fourth Eucharistic prayer uses similar language. The priest prays on behalf of the people. He prays: Even when we disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon man.... Again and again you offered a covenant to man, and through the prophets taught him to hope for salvation. How often have we refused the friendship of God in the sense that we think we know what is best? Praise God who is forever patient. We are impatient. Praise to our God who is forever faithful; we are constant in unfaithfulness towards God. We give praise to God who wins us to Himself with love The trouble with the people that Baruch addresses is that they didn’t obey the voice of the Lord. Obedience comes from the Latin word ob-audiere- meaning to listen. God is in constant dialogue with us - but do we listen? Do we attune ourselves to His voice? As the psalmist states, “if today you hear His voice harden not your hearts”. We have sinned – each of us going our own way. Yet we have the opportunity to repent and seek the mercy of God. Let us repent and turn from the wickedness that lies hidden in our hearts and listen again to the voice of the Lord. Fr. Brian Steele
REFLECTION QUESTION: How can I hear and listen to the voice of the Lord in my daily life. How does God speak to me?
Lord, touch my heart and mind that I might hear You. Help me to be attentive to the sound of Your voice, Amen.
St. Flora, virgin, pray for us.
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