READINGS for 2009-01-19

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness. – Hebrews 5:2
I love going to confession, especially if it is with a priest like Fr. Arthur. Not only do I receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation but I am also inspired and encouraged by the confessor. Fr. Arthur is one of those priests who not only hear the long list of sins and give penance and absolution, but he also shares his own flaws as he gives counsel to people.
The best counselor is the one who can empathize, having gone through painful circumstances and has won over them. We all have defects and weaknesses; after all, we are God’s work in progress. We may have been damaged but it should not be a reason to be discouraged.
There is always a choice in times of afflictions. We can either choose to be buried in depression or we can use the situation to become a better person and be a good example.Jane Gonzales
No one is without a blemish and it is not something to be ashamed of. It’s a reminder of a wounded past that can be used to heal others.
Lord, help me to overcome my weakness and use it to uplift others. Amen.


Jesus’ offering of Himself to the Father is the perfect offering capable of taking away sin because Jesus is sinless. All other priests before and after Him are sinners. This is why those before Him had to offer new sacrifices each time in order to pay for the forgiveness of their sins and the sins of the people. It is why priests today only offer the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as it is the only efficacious sacrifice! At Mass we offer the once-for-all-time sacrifice of Jesus to the Father — we make it present in a sacramental way to the People of God.
Hebrews 5:1-10
1 Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness 3 and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. 4 No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you”; 6 just as he says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” 7 In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 9 and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Psalm 110:1. 2. 3. 4
R: You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
1 The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.” (R) 2 The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion The Lord says, “Rule in the midst of your enemies.” (R) 3 “Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor; before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.” (R) 4 The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” (R)
Jesus makes it clear that He is not really interested in the incidental ‘rules of law’ the Pharisees have developed as a way of life. Jesus is interested in the response from within to His proclamation of the Good News of salvation. Jesus will not be drawn into arguments about this and that minutiae of the Law, and will, throughout His ministry, turn the argument around to one that is reflective of the state of faith of a person instead.
Mark 2:18-22
18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. 22 Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
my reflections
think: jesus is interested in the response from within to His proclamation of the Good news of salvation.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


PerSonS are mulTi-media
I think I have enough of so-called spiritual renewal speakers and priests who, in an effort to make their audience laugh, paint caricatures of simple people’s acts of religiosity. One priest makes fun of an old woman bent with osteoporosis who would approach the image of St. Roque after her daily Mass. She would reach out with her handkerchief, but succeed only in devoutly wiping the feet of the saint and his dog. Then in a very audible tone she would ask the saint’s help for her aching legs. I heard someone make fun of how a person lights a candle in Baclaran and then prays with moving lips and closed eyes while tinkling her rosary beads… while all the time, Mass was going on.
The point that Jesus raises in the Gospel today is simple. Fasting, prayers, almsgiving and all forms of religious acts are not meant to be carried out in precise, technical and mechanical ways. The Roman Missal, the big red book with ribbons that the priests and bishops use to guide them in the Eucharist prayers, has cues when and how the ordained minister ought to make his gestures. These cues on how the ordained minister must conduct himself are called rubrics. Now let me say this: God, for sure, is more interested in what goes on inside the human hearts than in the rubrics. Hence, fasting should not be a mere exercise of deprivation from food. It should focus more on the heart’s longing for something more than the physical food… and that is the presence of the groom: Jesus.
It is not our business to judge people’s expressions of faith and religiosity. For all we know, their acts, no matter how simplistic, really express what is deep within them. As such, their rather naïve ways of praying may mean more than our studied, theologized and liturgically-sound rituals and ceremonies. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
Reflection Question:
What are your usual expressions of prayer and religiosity? What makes you do these “expressions?” What rites and traditions does your church have that prove to be a challenge or  an obstacle even to your deeper understanding of God and true faith? Why?
Yes, Lord, I sometimes join the so-called “pious” ones and judge and condemn others. That is not what You want me to do. Help me to become a more compassionate healer than be a harsh, hypocritical judge.
St. Canute, King and Martyr, pray for us.

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