READINGS for 2008-09-23
A “HARD” TEACHING?
“Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” – Luke 8:20
The Gospel today is one that some people use to prove that Mary didn’t remain a virgin. If Jesus had brothers then Mary and Joseph had other children, right?
But we have to understand that the Jews, with their large extended families, have the same word for “blood sibling” and “cousin.” To some, it seems like an argument that only Aramaic language scholars can prove. But try answering this question I posed to a group of Catholic Apologetics students: What’s a single Filipino word for “pebble”? What’s a single Filipino word for “rock”? What ’s a s ingle Filipino word for “boulder”?
Even the Filipino language has one word for rocks and boulders. Just like Jews have only one word for cousin or brothers or sisters. Jomar Hilario
Do we know our faith enough? Investigate what you believe!
Lord, help me to grow deeper in my faith and knowledge of You.
It is very clear that one of the Gospel principles is that we cannot expect to be treated in any other way than the way we treat others. The Golden Rule, as it is sometimes known, is a very good principle to put in place in our lives. It makes a lot of sense to believe that it is stupid to expect others to treat you well if you are not willing to treat them well. How can we expect God to hear our cry if we do not reach out to help the poor and the needy around us?
Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
1 Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD; wherever it pleases him, he directs it. 2 All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD who proves hearts. 3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. 4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart — the tillage of the wicked is sin. 5 The plans of the diligent are sure of profit, but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty. 6 He who makes a fortune by a lying tongue is chasing a bubble over deadly snares. 10 The soul of the wicked man desires evil; his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes. 11 When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser; when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. 12 The just man appraises the house of the wicked. There is one who brings down the wicked to ruin. 13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.
P S A L M
Psalm 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
R: Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
1 Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. (R) 27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. (R) 30 The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me. (R) 34 Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart. (R) 35 Lead me in the path of your commands, for in it I delight. (R) 44 And I will keep your law continually, forever and ever. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus does not mean to give any disrespect to His relatives, only to demonstrate that kinship according to the principles of the Gospel is governed by actions and not bloodlines. The Gospel demands loyalty from its adherents and so it should. It is not possible to build a community of faith unless each member can be sure that the other will be committed to the goal of building a faith community and establishing the Gospel as the rule of life.
19 The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. 20 He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” 21 He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
think:Kinship according to the principles of the Gospel is governed by actions and not bloodlines.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Proverbs 13-16
WElCOME tO thE FaMily (OF GOd)
Perhaps it’s really a good thing that Jesus didn’t marry and raise a family. Imagine if He did so! It saves a lot of people the trouble of trying to trace their ancestry back to Him. Think of all the lengthy genealogies and the millions of costly DNA tests, perhaps.
Well, this quite capricious thought is not just a flight of fancy. One point which today’s Gospel episode particularly makes is that the most important relationship with Jesus is certainly not a physical one. Rather, it is something spiritual. And this is possible for us — that is, we now are also able to enter into this special, spiritual relationship with Jesus — by listening to His word and obeying it. Incidentally, today’s well-known saint, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, is certainly a true “relative” of Jesus in this sense. Born in 1887, he joined the Capuchin Friars at the age of 16 and was ordained a priest seven years later. For 50 years at the monastery of San Stefano Rotundo, he was a much sought-after spiritual advisor, confessor and intercessor. His life was very much devoted to the Eucharist and to prayer.
All the saints for that matter give us an example of what it is to be “spiritually related” to Jesus Christ. In that sense, they are also models for us now to emulate. Moreover, the great diversity in them (in terms especially of nationalities and walks of life) is proof that in God’s family, there’s lots of room for everyone. As long as we meet the test of obedience to God’s Word.
Back when we were elementary school kids, we used to sing a Mass hymn which goes, “In Christ there is no east or west. In him no south or north. But one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.” How true! What a great privilege it is indeed to be part of God’s family. Fr. Martin Macasaet
Do you see yourself as being part of the family of God? How do you think You can serve God’s family?
Show me opportunities to serve You and Your family, Lord.
Blessed William Way, martyr of England, pray for us.
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