READINGS for 2008-01-22

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27-28
It’s impossible for me to survive five days of work without taking a break for at least one day. That’s usually during Sunday. But sometimes, there are pressing matters that require me to give up that much-needed rest day. Like that Sunday Irma and I needed to bring our friend Marian and her dad to the doctor.
        Why on a Sunday? Why get up early instead of just staying in bed? Why the need to go with Marian and her dad? Because Marian has a rare disease that severely affects her mobility. That’s why Irma volunteered to drive for us. Because Marian’s dad is in his late 70s and the long endless queues at PGH would be too taxing for him, I begged my cousin Anthony for a consultation at his home. As an intern, Sunday was his only free day.
          Irma, Anthony and I believe Jesus would have done the same thing — give up His day of rest to serve those most in need. Dina Pecaña
As Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus continued to heal, preach and serve the poor and needy. More than rest, His compassion and love for others came first.
During the times I need to give up my Sunday in order to serve You and others, remind me, Lord, that I’ll find true rest in You.


Even Samuel has his bad days and gets rebuked by the Lord for dwelling too much on the rejection of Saul. Any good leader cannot afford to dwell too long on his mistakes. He has to get on with the job of leading. Samuel also needs to move on in his life and anoint the next king under the guidance of the Lord. When we face  disappointment, let us believe that things can only get better.
1 Samuel 16: 1-13
1 The LORD said to Samuel “How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.” 2 But Samuel replied “How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me.” To this the LORD answered “Take a heifer along and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.” 4 Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, “Is your visit peaceful, O seer?” 5 He replied “Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet.” He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.” 7 But the LORD said to Samuel “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, “The Lord has not chosen him.” 9 Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 10 In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any one of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.” 12 Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, “There-anoint him, for this is he!” 13 Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.
Psalm 89: 20,21-22, 27- 28
R: I have found David, my servant.
19 [20] Once you spoke in a vision, and to your faithful ones you said “On a champion I have placed a crown; over the people I have set a youth. (R) 20 [21] “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, 21 [22] that my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong.” (R) 26 [27] “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior.’ 27 [28] And I will make him the first-born, highest of the kings of the earth.” (R)
David is a man who is sensible enough to recognize that feeding a hungry army takes precedence over a law that forbids work, in this case, in the form of harvesting on the Sabbath. How we honor the Sabbath by keeping it free from work so we can devote more time to God is up to us. The busiest day of the week for a priest is Sunday. The law is there to ensure that we have time to grow in our relationship with the Lord.
Mark 2: 23-28
23 As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. 24 At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” 25 He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? 26 How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” 27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. 28 That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
my reflections
think:  When we face disappointment, let us believe that things can only get better.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
Saint John dE RibERa
Saint John de Ribera, born on March 20, 1532 at Seville, Spain, was the son of Peter de Ribera, a devout Christian, a viceroy of Naples in Italy and the Duke of Alcala in Spain.
He was educated at the University of Salamanca where he later served as a professor of Theology. In 1557, John was ordained priest.
John was highly regarded by Pope Pius V and King Philip II of Spain. For over 40 years, he reluctantly served as bishop of Badajoz (1562) then as archbishop of Valencia (1568). Years after, King Philip III appointed him viceroy of the province where he established the College of Corpus Christi.
John de Ribera died from an illness on January 6, 1611 in Valencia, Spain. He was beatified on September 18, 1796 and was canonized by Pope John XXIII on June 12, 1960.
Saint Raymond of PEnnafoRt
Saint Raymond, patron saint of lawyers, barristers, canonists and medical record librarians, was born in Pennafort,Catalonia, Spain in 1175. He was of Aragonian nobility, educated at a cathedral school in Barcelona then in   Bologna, Italy where he received doctorates in civil and canon law.
In 1218, Bishop Berengarius of Barcelona made priest Raymond archdeacon. This led him to join the Dominicans.
Raymond played an important role in preaching the Spanish crusade, which eventually led to the freedom of Spanish slaves. He co-founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, a lay order whose mission was to raise money to ransom the Christian slaves, with St. Peter Nolasco in 1223.
The archdeacon became the spiritual confessor of Pope Gregory IX in 1230. His assignment of collecting and codifying papal decrees became the cornerstone for the canon law. Along with this, Raymond was appointed papal penitentiary, a position that led him to write the Summa Cassuam.
After being consecrated Archbishop of Tarragona, a title he did not desire, Raymond fell ill. He requested the Holy Father to withdraw his appointment as bishop so he could continue with his preaching duties. Three years later, he was named Master General of the Dominican Order. He wrote a revision of the Dominican constitution.
At the age of 65, Raymond resigned from his position but he continued preaching for 35 more years. Raymond died on January 6, 1275 at the age of 99. He was canonized by Pope Clement VIII on April 29, 1601.


aBout reliGious praCtiCes and our sundays
Like the Sabbath of the Jews, our Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, a day spent in the presence of God, a day of thanksgiving and joy. We are invited to celebrate with Christians all over the world the foundation of our faith: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are invited to participate in the Holy Eucharist where Christ comes into our very being to accompany us through another week of work and worry.
        What have we done with this beautiful day? A confrere who works as a missionary in Africa told me recently that the Sunday Mass there lasts for at least three hours. If it is shorter, the people complain. The homily has to last for at least half an hour otherwise the people are not satisfied and think the priest is not prepared. They express their faith by singing and dancing. Every Mass is a joyful celebration. But here if the homily is longer than 10 minutes or if the Mass lasts more than an hour, people complain. Many Catholics don’t go to Mass on Sunday at all while others come late; still others do their own private prayers and rush out of the church as soon as the priest has blessed the community.
        Jesus teaches in today’s gospel that Sunday observance is important because it is the day we celebrate the foundation of our faith. It should never be regarded as an obligation, a routine or a burden. The Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ time stressed the observation of countless rules for the Sabbath that it hindered people from doing the most important thing before God — extend love and compassion to fellowmen in need. Jesus teaches us how religious observances can become ends in themselves, and so cease to be means of communication with God. We can become slaves of practices.
        May our Sundays always be days we are free for Him who is always there for us! Fr. Rudy Horst
Reflection Question:
Do I pray or go to Church because it is a rule? Has it become a routine? How can I make my Sundays as “Days of the Lord”?
Lord, I have to admit that the routine of everyday life has affected my religious practices, especially my Sundays. Your liberating Word helps me to go beyond rules and  regulations. You want me to be wholeheartedly with You as with a friend. Thank You for this important reminder.
St. Vincent of Pallotti, priest, pray for us. 

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