READINGS for 2009-02-18

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Jesus again placed his hands on the man’s eyes. This time... he saw everything clearly. – Mark 8:24-25
The November 30, 2007 holiday fell on a Friday. I was looking forward to the long weekend to spend more time with my family.
But sometimes things don’t happen as we plan. I woke up at 2 a.m. that Friday and saw my five-year-old son, Jac, vomiting at the toilet sink. My wife said that it was already Jac’s second time to vomit. Jac was also complaining of severe stomach pains. We decided to take him to the ER two hours later when the medicine we gave him didn’t help.
The doctor told us that it might be due to something Jac ate. He recommended that we stay in the hospital for at least a day since Jac couldn’t take in any solid food. He would even vomit after taking in a small amount of water. My wife, our daughter and I stayed with Jac throughout his confinement. By Sunday mid-afternoon, he was discharged.
I realized on our way home that despite what happened, we still got what we wanted. We were able to spend a lot of time together. It was not in the manner that we had originally planned but it was a great time for us to bond as a family.Alvin Fabella
Sometimes, events in our life don’t turn out as we want them to. But when you look deeper, things turn out better than what we expected.
Lord, thank You for being with us all the time and for allowing us to grow when trials happen in our lives. Amen.


It takes many days for the waters of the flood to subside. Similarly, it takes a long time for the effects of sin to be overcome. This is part of the tragedy of sin in that once it gets in it seems to take hold and gain a life of its own. The best way to avoid this is to refuse to allow sin into our lives in the first place. It is important that we take sin seriously so that we do not allow it into our lives at all. This is what holiness is all about — persevering in the fight against temptation.
Genesis 8:6-13, 20-22
6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch he had made in the ark, 7 and he sent out a raven, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. 9 But the dove could find no place to alight and perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water all over the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark. 10 He waited seven days more and again sent the dove out from the ark. 11 In the evening the dove came back to him, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! So Noah knew that the waters had lessened on the earth. 12 He waited still another seven days and then released the dove once more; and this time it did not come back. 13 In the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water began to dry up on the earth. Noah then removed the covering of the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was drying up. 20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered holocausts on the altar. 21 When the LORD smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself: “Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done. 22As long as the earth lasts, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
Psalm 116:12-13. 14-15. 18-19
R: To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
12 How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? 13 The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. (R) 14 My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. (R) 18 My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. (R)
Sometimes we have to come back for a second dose of God’s grace, just as we sometimes have to complete a full regimen of antibiotics in order to clear out the bacteria that is making us sick. We can be sure God will always make available the necessary grace to heal us, so the only question is whether or not we will persevere. This is the situation that so often arises in our spiritual lives. The question is, “How much do we want God to heal us … empower us … redeem us?”
Mark 8:22-26
22 When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” 25 Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. 26 Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”
my reflections
think:It is important that we take sin seriously so that we do not allow it into our lives at all.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Corinthians 9-13
2 Corinthians 9-13


The Blind will See
The people bring the blind man to Jesus. They beg that Jesus would touch the man. See the faith of the people. The blind man meets Jesus, not able to see, and leaves the presence of Jesus seeing clearly. Interestingly, Jesus leads the blind man away from the village. The healing is done privately so as not to make a commotion and reveal the messianic secret, at least not yet. Another interesting point that Mark tells us is that healing of blindness is gradual. It is a process. Jesus had to place His hands on the man twice for the healing to happen.
When we come to meet Jesus, conversion does not usually happen overnight. Of course, some have the “Damascus Road” experience like St. Paul. But for most of us, our conversion develops gradually. Our faith needs to mature so we can “see” Jesus.
There are many stories in the Gospel of the blind being able to see. This is a manifestation of the Messiah. Remember when Jesus opened the scroll in the temple and read those inspired words of the prophet? “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…the blind will see…” (Luke 4.18-19/Isaiah 61.1-2). By placing our faith in Jesus, believing that He is the Son of God, we begin to see again.
Blindness is a metaphor for sin. Sin distorts our seeing Jesus. Often we cannot see because we are blind — not physically but spiritually, which is the worst blindness anyone can have. What blinds us are our selfishness, our lack of love and understanding, our unforgiveness, anger and unhealthy attitude towards each other. This blindness is epidemic in our society. We need to have the courage to admit this sin, to repent and seek healing. Sometimes we need others to support us and lead us to the One who alone can heal and set us free. The people who brought the man to Jesus are to be commended for their faith and love by bringing their friend to Jesus. Sometimes we are the blind who need healing; sometimes we are like the people who must bring our brothers and sisters to Jesus. In whatever circumstance we find ourselves, let us come to Jesus, for He will heal us indeed and the blind will see. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
What are the areas of “blindness” in my life?
Lord, heal me and touch me. Remove the blindness from me that I might see again. Amen.
St. Flavian, Bishop, pray for us.

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