READINGS for 2007-11-11
THE PROBLEM WITH THE LAW
“If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.” – Luke 20:28
If 1 = 5
And 2 = 25
And 3 = 625
And 4 = 1005
Then 5 = what?
(Answer first before you look.)
The answer is 1, of course.
Sometimes we complicate life too much, don’t we?
Like the Sadducees, for example. In order to prove the point that believing in the rising of the dead was ridiculous, they tried to set a trap using a Jewish Law. In their quest to prove their superiority, they completely lost the spirit in which the Law was made– it was to ensure that widows would always be cared for: first through a husband and later through a child.
Do you sometimes complicate your life in like manner? Stop. Take a deep breath and slowly release it. 1 = 5. The sun rises in the East. God loves you. It’s that simple. Victoria L.
Why do I sometimes need to complicate life?
When I lose myself in thoughts that are way above me, help me remember that You care.
2 Maccabees 7:1-2.9-14
These men believed in the resurrection and it gave them strength far above the natural level to combat the evil done to them. They realized that if there is a resurrection from the dead then the shortness of this mortal life is nothing in comparison to what they were gaining. This belief takes tremendous faith to act upon but act upon it they did with the encouragement and support of their mother! As we reflect upon their heroic choices, surely this gives us strength to make a similar decision to follow Jesus ourselves given that we are unlikely to have to face the torture and suffering that they did. Let us pray for the grace to lay down our lives in witness to the love of God.
1 It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law. 2 One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: “What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.” 9 At the point of death he said: “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying.” 10 After him the third suffered their cruel sport. He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands, 11 as he spoke these noble words: “It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.” 12 Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing. 13 After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. 14 When he was near death, he said, “It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”
P S A L M
Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
R: Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
1 Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. (R) 5 My steps have been steadfast in your paths, my feet have not faltered. 6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. (R) 8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. 15 But I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence. (R)
2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5
We will probably always face some sort of resistance in our desire to be faithful to the Gospel calling. If this happens, it is not a matter of becoming defiant in the face of the resistance but firm and steadfast as regards our beliefs. It is not for us to enter into some sort of verbal or physical fight but to stand firm according to our faith and to act in love towards our errant brothers and sisters. This is what Jesus did and if it was good enough for Him, it ought to be good enough for us.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. 3: 1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4 We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you [both] are doing and will continue to do. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.
G O S P E L
The focus of our lives should not be nitpicking at the incidental details of the truths that govern our faith. If we do not want to believe, then we should be honest enough to simply say so! Otherwise, let us choose to get down and live out the truths that we proclaim and stop wavering to and fro about making the decision in question. In heaven what matters is that we are with God face to face! I do not think that it is going to be all that important as to who else will be there with us. Yes we will be in relationship with others, but the all-governing relationship and focus will be with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
27 Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to him, 28 saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ 29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. 30 Then the second 31 and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” 34 Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; 35 but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. 37 That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; 38 and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
think: Let us pray for the grace to lay down our lives in witness to the love of God.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR John 4-5
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
MARRIAGE IS A TEMPORARY COMPANIONSHIP!
My friend has a great companion: a basset hound. For all its big head and equally big floppy ears, and for all its imposing looks, the basset hound is a “cry dog.” It is uncomfortable being left alone. It could cry through the night when kept alone in its cage. Soon, my friend had to buy another dog – a mongrel – to be kept with the basset hound in its cage. The cage may be small for both of them, but the basset hound loves it. He now has a companion… whenever my friend is not around.
One basic thing that God realized when He created man is also this: it is not good for man to be alone (cf. Gen. 2:18). So, God made for man companions, such as various animals in the garden. However, it was when God made woman that man had a suitable partner. In fact, the Bible says, man exclaimed when he finally saw the first woman: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” And it came to pass that man clings to his wife, and the two become one.
In our Gospel, we are made to realize however that God is a greater hound of heaven ! When He possesses us… and we allow Him to possess us… all other human friendships and relationships then turn to nothing.
Jesus proclaims Him as “the God of the living” and in Him all find life and meaning. Therefore, in heaven, all human marriages cease, since God and His love will fill us up totally and eternally. Fr. Domie, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTION: SOMETHING TO DO — It is said that a great source of strength and inspiration for St. Francis was his prolonged prayer before Jesus. He would spend the night saying and praying nothing but this phrase: “MY LORD AND MY GOD.” Try praying and meditating only this phrase in your prayer time today. Experience Jesus filling you up totally… despite whatever preoccupations you have.
Lord, may you be my constant companion as I journey through life. Amen.
St. Menuas, martyr, pray for us.
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