READINGS for 2009-02-08
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. – Mark 1:31
Our seven-year-old daughter, Iani, would always ask us before sleeping, “Aircon, please.” When she gets a no, tears flow. We do the explaining and let her cry it out. After she has vented her emotions, she would press her shoulder, legs and feet hard onto my side, not saying anything.
Despite her size, the force she uses is hard enough to give me a sore back. But I just embrace and kiss her gently, assuring her that she is still loved, that everything is all right between us.
Touch and physical contact greatly diminishes in many families as children grow old. Many of us, specially the men, shy away from this expression of love for fear of looking soft or because of society’s “no-touch” norms. Yet, touch is one of the greatest forms of affection and assurance of love. By merely taking her hand, Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law.
Make your loved ones feel your affection. Give them a loving touch today. It may be what they need to be healed.Jun Asis
Have I withheld my loving touch from my family members?
Dear Lord, help me become an instrument of Your healing and love to those I touch today.
Job laments the lot of humanity without the hope that comes with faith in God. Everything in life loses its meaning when God is no longer at the heart of it. It becomes drudgery leading to despair as the text implies. The choice is ours as to whether we allow our lives to be determined by the hope and truth of faith or we fall into the despair of unbelief and sin.
Job 7:1-4. 6-7
1 Job spoke, saying: Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of a hireling? 2 He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. 3 So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me. 4 If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?” then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. 6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope. 7 Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.
P S A L M
Psalm 147:1-2. 3-4. 5-6
R: Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
1 Praise the LORD, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; it is fitting to praise him. 2 The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers. (R) 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name. (R) 5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power to his wisdom there is no limit. 6 The LORD sustains the lowly; the wicked he casts to the ground. (R)
Paul speaks here of one of the most profound truths of human existence namely, that true satisfaction in life will be found only in the giving of one’s self in service to others. If we remain focused on what we are going to get from life or whatever it is we are involved in, we will be eternally disappointed. Not only will the temporal fruits of our labors fail to satisfy our selfish longings, we will also endanger our eternal salvation.
1 Corinthians 9:16-19. 22-23
16 Brothers and sisters: If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! 17 If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. 23 All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.
G O S P E L
Jesus gets involved in the lives of all sorts of people, ranging from the most ordinary to the most important men and women in His society. This is the breadth that the Gospel is meant to cover — it is not just ‘for the poor’ or ‘for the rich;’ it is the same message and truth that is to be applied to all people. God does not have favorites. He pours out the blessing and gift of salvation and faith on all peoples.
29 On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. 31 He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. 32 When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. 33 The whole town was gathered at the door. 34 He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. 35 Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and those who were with him pursued him 37 and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” 39 So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
think: God does not have favorites. He pours out the blessing and gift of salvation and faith on all peoples.
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 Romans 1-4
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
Most of our favorite old-time stories begin with the phrase “one day.” In the Gospel of Mark today, we read about one day in the life of Jesus. Mark is a great storyteller. He tells us in today’s Gospel a common scene in the life of Jesus’ daily ministry. Jesus leaves the synagogue after He had taken part in the service, listening and discussing the Word of God. He enters the house of Simon’s mother-in-law for a meal and hears that she is sick with fever. He says a prayer, lays hands on her and she recovers. Then she goes about at once offering hospitality and service.
Next, the whole town gathers at the door, waiting for the touch of Jesus to heal their sicknesses. Then we are told that Jesus rises early in the morning to start again. As Simon tells Jesus that everyone is looking for Him, Jesus heads off to other villages, preaching and healing. This seems to be a common scene in Jesus’ life — preaching, teaching and healing — which was the purpose of Jesus being sent by the Father.
Jesus takes time to pray early in the morning and receives energy and strength to do what is needed for the day. He rests in the arms of the Father to commune with Him and be reassured of His presence throughout the day. There was no way that He was going to survive the demands on Him if He didn’t pray early in the morning.
Usually, morning is the best time of the day to pray. I go through my agenda of activities with the Lord in prayer, asking Him to anoint, guide and protect my plans. Of course, we have our own agenda but unexpected things crop up and so we ask the Lord to bless all that may happen during the day. At night, we give thanks for His presence and the way He has revealed Himself in the activities of the day.
This was Jesus’ secret for being tireless in His ministry: He gave time for prayer. Perhaps you already have set aside some time for daily prayer; if not, today is the day to begin. Once you do, you will notice the difference — you will have more energy, joy and peace. We have to pray to make it today. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Do I set aside time each day to pray? Do I surrender to God all that is to come throughout the day?
Lord, teach me to pray. Amen.
St. Jerome Emiliani, Doctor, pray for us.
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