READINGS for 2009-01-16
IN FRONT OF THE ElECTRIC CHaIR
“Your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5
It was my very first assignment for a weekly magazine: to go with one of the magazine’s veteran writers to the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa and assist him in covering the execution of the convicted rapists of a popular actress.
It was sensational news so the place was crowded with media people. I wanted to impress my boss, so I was determined not to bungle in this job. Thus, I doggedly obeyed everything the veteran writer told me to do. “Go to the front, go to the front,” he barked at me, so I squeezed through the thick line of media people to get right in front— just a couple of meters away from the electric chair where the convicts would be executed.
My heart was thumping, my knees were shaking but I stayed put, even if I could hardly bear to look at the gory details of the execution.
If I could do that just to impress my boss, today I ask myself, would I be so determined to get to Jesus for His forgiveness, just like the sick man in today’s Gospel? My heart says, “Yes!”Cynthia Santiago
When was the last time you came to Jesus for His forgiveness?
Lord, grant me the grace to come to You, especially when I have sinned and need Your forgiveness.
The truest and most satisfying rest is the rest of the just. This is the rest of the just person who knows that he has done all that he has been asked to do. This is the rest of the person who can honestly stand before God and say, “I have done all that you have asked me to do. It is accomplished!” Why is Jesus content to go to the cross? Because He knows that this is His Father’s will and that therefore this is not the end but the beginning of something new that His Father is doing.
Hebrews 4:1-5. 11
1 Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. 2 For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened. 3 For we who believed enter into [that] rest, just as he has said: “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest,’ ” and yet his works were accomplished at the foundation of the world. 4 For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works”; 5 and again, in the previously mentioned place, “They shall not enter into my rest.” 11 Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.
P S A L M
Psalm 78:3 and 4bc. 6c-7. 8
r: Do not forget the works of the lord!
3 What we have heard and know, and what our fathers have declared to us, 4 we will not hide from their sons; we will declare to the generation to come the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength. (R) 6 That they too may rise and declare to their sons 7 that they should put their hope in God, and not forget the deeds of God but keep his commands. (R) 8 And not be like their fathers, a generation wayward and rebellious, a generation that kept not its heart steadfast nor its spirit faithful toward God. (R)
G O S P E L
And so we have another personal encounter with Jesus and miraculous healing. However, here we see recorded the great pains and efforts these men went through to get their friend into the presence of Jesus. How hard have we worked to share the Gospel we know so well with our family and friends? One of the greatest sins of our age is the sin of apathy. It is often tied in with complacency and laziness. Let us seek to be sure that we are not guilty of it.
1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. 2 Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, 7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” 8 Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” — 11 he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” 12 He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
think:How hard have we worked to share the Gospel we know so well with our family and friends?
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 Luke 9-12
Home for The diSciPle: no PermanenT addreSS
In the Gospel of Luke (9:58ff), Jesus the Master frankly tells a would-be follower who was eager to follow Him wherever He goes: “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Today’s Gospel narrates how, during the course of His Galilean Ministry, Jesus left the comforts of His nurturing home in Nazareth — the place of His hidden life for around 30 years — and He now spends His days moving around as an itinerant preacher and healer whose known “home” is Peter’s house in Capernaum. Later, when He goes to Jerusalem, He would lodge in Martha’s and Mary’s house in Bethany whenever He goes to the south. Jesus lived a restless life as He went about fulfilling the work of the Father.
The enthusiastic and committed follower of Jesus should be willing to have this experience, too.
I am particularly reminded about a number of foreign missionaries belonging to the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM) whom I came to know when I was studying and growing up in Paco, Manila. These tireless missionaries — many of them Belgian — nurtured what are now the Parish of San Fernando de Dilao and Paco Catholic School. They generously gave of their time and treasures to develop the parish and the school. Most known among them was Fr. Godo, the founder of the school. Many of the CICM missionaries considered the Philippines as their country and the parishes that they served as their home. They easily learned Tagalog and the dialects of places they were assigned to. Fr. Godo, for instance, was well-loved by my maternal grandmother because he could hear her confession in Ilocano.
A good number of these CICM fathers died and are buried here. By the side of the old church in Pasig, they have their graves. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
How open are you to go to new places, to assume new assignments, to meet new people, to learn a new language and to adjust to a new way of life? Do you have the tendency to be attached to persons, places and things?
Lord Jesus, grant me a missionary heart so I may freely go to wherever You want to send me.
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