READINGS for 2009-02-13

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

DIDACHE

 

TO BElIEvE OR TO dOUBT?
 
He ordered them not to tell anyone. – Mark 7:36
 
Pasig, Philsports Arena. Five sick people on wheel chairs, one priest, lots of Nikons and Canons, thousands of people surrounding a stage. One by one, the priest led the sick folk to walk from stage left to stage right. Some did so with pain but all of them quietly walked.
I was among the photographers in front with my phone camera videoing the miracle. My mind was saying, “Is this real?” In the Bible, miracles seemed to be a dime a dozen, just like the exorcism of the mute in today’s Gospel. I bet some people in the crowd echoed my sentiments — the conflicting need to believe and still doubt. Maybe that’s why Jesus always told His “patients” not to tell anyone about the miracle that they had received.
I realize now that maybe miracles aren’t for spectators. Maybe they’re really for the person who was given the gift — and the people who love that person. Jomar Hilario
 
REFLECTION:
When you witness a miracle, do you believe or do you doubt? Why?
 
Lord, banish all my doubts and help me to believe.
 
COMPANION

 

1st READING
 
The biggest mistake the woman makes here is to enter into dialogue with the serpent, Satan. When we are tempted to sin, the most sensible response is to run as far away from the temptation as we can, and as quickly as we can! If we enter into dialogue with temptation and the Devil, we are being foolish as there is no possible good that can result from such a dialogue that outweighs the good of rejecting the
temptation from the start!
 
Genesis 3:1-8
1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” 2 The woman answered the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, “ ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! 5 No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” 6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. 8 When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
 
P S A L M
 
Psalm 32:1-2. 5. 6. 7
R: Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
1 Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. (R) 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,” and you took away the guilt of my sin. (R) 6 For this shall every faithful man pray to you in time of stress. Though deep waters overflow, they shall not reach him. (R) 7 You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round. (R)
 
G O S P E L
 
Many of the healings and miracles Jesus worked caused the people to reflect upon the text in Isaiah 61:1-2 where it is prophesied that the promised Messiah would do such things. Perhaps this is why the people respond to this miracle by saying, “He does all things well, He even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.” There is no doubt in my mind that the claim that Jesus is the Messiah was defensible based on
the life and ministry of Jesus from the Jewish point of view.
 
Mark 7:31-37
31 Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. 32 And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) 35 And [immediately] the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. 36 He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. 37 They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
 
my reflections
think:When we are tempted to sin, the most sensible response is to run as far away from temptation as we can, as quickly as we can.
1 Corinthians 5-8
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God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
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T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Corinthians 5-8
 
SABBATH

 

Be oPened
 
Can you keep a secret? This is what we see developing in the Gospel of Mark — the Messianic secret. Many times in the Gospel, we hear Jesus ordering someone whom He has healed not to tell anyone about it. However, as Mark tells us, the more  He orders them not to, the more they proclaim it. We do that, too, right? When secrets are entrusted to us, we can’t wait to tell someone about  it even if we made a promise not to, right?
One can read amazing stories of healing without getting too excited about them. But I think we should. Jesus comes to bring the Good News — the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear — this is exciting indeed. The Jewish nation understood that the Messiah would come and bring liberation — physical and spiritual. Jesus is the Messiah who came to set the captives free.
The deaf man in the Gospel today went away from Jesus a changed man. He could now hear and speak properly. Imagine his life up to this point. He could see but not hear. He could not hear the sound of people’s voices, the chirping of the birds, the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves, the rain falling on the rooftops. Imagine how often he would try to talk and others could not understand. Everything changed when he met Jesus. Isn’t it exciting?
The words Jesus spoke, “ephphatha,” were Aramaic for “be opened.” They are the same words the priest or deacon prays over the baptized child — that they would be open to the Word of God in their lives. We, too, need to have these words addressed to us every now and then. Often our hearts and minds are closed to God’s voice of healing and freedom. Perhaps we are afraid of hearing Him. We allow ourselves to be opened to the voices of others and forget that it is the Lord who brings life and freedom into our lives. As we open our hearts to the Lord, we receive the grace and help that we need to live a life worthy of His calling. As we open ourselves to this grace, we are called to share with others what God has done to us. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
 
Reflection Question:
Where do I need to have Jesus say the words “be opened” in my life? What areas of my life do I need to open before the Lord?
 
Lord, open my heart to Your love. Let me hear Your voice that brings freedom and peace. Amen.
 
St. Amand, Bishop, pray for us.
 



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