READINGS for 2008-11-21
Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer.’” – Luke 19:46
“Pakialamera talaga!” one member of our group complained when she learned that someone had reported us to our parish priest for talking inside the church.
Every day, we pray the Lauds together after the 6:30 a.m. Mass at the left side of the church where the tabernacle is. A woman noticed the chatting that takes place before and after we pray. The truth is, we talk because we discuss about what we will pray. Is today in ordinary times? Is it a memorial? Who is the saint we are honoring? And so on. Sometimes we make comments about what happens during the prayer. And once in a while, we do talk about something else.
At our cell group, we admitted to ourselves that we were guilty of the complaint. We resolved to be more conscious about chatting in front of the tabernacle. “Only if necessary!” we agreed. A week later, the woman who complained told me that she noticed the improvement.
Many times, we are not aware of our decorum in church. And sometimes, we do need these corrections to put us in the right. Cristy Galang
Do I observe proper decorum in the church? Am I attired properly? How’s my behavior?
Forgive me, Lord, for the times I behaved badly in church. With Your grace, I resolve to give You the honor and respect due to You anywhere but especially in Your own house. Amen.
Today we celebrate the consecration of Mary to the Lord, an event that probably happened when she was about three years old. We see here the Church expressing its understanding of the totality of Mary’s gift of herself to God’s will, an offering that is repeated again and again in the example of the lives of religious women throughout the world. The witness of these women, particularly those given to intercession for the world, is inspiring for us as we remember the call to imitate Mary who gave her life in the service of God’s will.
Zechariah 2:14-17 (or Revelation 10:8-11)
14 Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD. 15 Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 16 The LORD will possess Judah as his portion of the holy land, and he will again choose
Jerusalem. 17 Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD! for he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.
P S A L M
Luke 1:46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55 (or Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131)
R: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
46 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (R) 48 “For he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: 49 the Mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” (R) 50 “He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. 51 He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scaterred the proud in their conceit.” (R) 52 “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” (R) 54 “He has come to the helped of his servant Israel, for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 55 the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and to his children forever.” (R)
G O S P E L
The measure of a disciple of Jesus is his or her obedience to God’s will. This is the path to holiness. There is no such thing as a privileged way, or a short cut to holiness. If the path of obedience is good enough for Jesus, then it ought to be good enough for us as well! Obedience to God requires the constant commitment both to listening to God’s Word and then deciding to follow it. Let us encourage and support one another in this difficult journey of life.
Matthew 12:46-50 (or Luke 19:45-48)
46 While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” 48 But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
think:There is no such thing as a privileged way, or a short cut to holiness.
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 Jeremiah 50-52
A PRESENTED PRESENT
The details about the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary come from the second century apocryphal writing of St. James, the Protoevangelium. The date of its feast, however, comes from the year 543 – the dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary in Jerusalem. In 1585, this Marian feast was extended to the Universal Church.
According to pious tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary was brought to the Temple at the age of three and lived there for the next 12 years. She learned the Jewish scripture and prayers from the temple priests whom she served while she grew up in the Temple. When she left the Temple, she was a lady perfectly beautiful in body and soul. Without anyone knowing it, she was ready for God’s election to be the mother of His Son. We do not know if the details about the Blessed Virgin Mary’s presentation are historical or, at least, accurate. We know, however, that when the angel Gabriel visited her to announce to her that she would become the mother of God’s Son, Mary was perfectly ready for the divine choice. She willingly submitted herself to God’s will and placed herself entirely at His complete disposal. She who was presented at the Temple as a child was then a present to Him who dwelt in the Temple. She who dwelt in God’s Temple then became the human temple of God. From being presented, she became a present.
When I was baptized on April 30, 1967, my parents offered me to God. As a remembrance, they had a picture of me taken. I was dressed in my baptismal garment and was lying on the altar in front of the tabernacle of our parish church. My parents presented me to God. When I became a priest, I became God’s present not only to my parents but also to His entire People.
It is likewise our vocation to be God’s presents to others. We may view our baptism as our presentation to God. How we live out our baptismal consecration is our present to God and God’s present to others. Through it, we affirm our being members of God’s family. Fr. Bobby Titco
To be a present means to be present.
I humbly present myself to You, O God. I am my present to You. Make me Your present to others. Through my love, let others know that You truly are in their midst. Amen.
St. Gelasius, pope, pray for us.
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