READINGS for 2009-07-17
“It is against our Law for your disciples to do this on the Sabbath!” – Matthew 12:2
“Lance, stop that!” I ran to catch up with my two-year-old son who was gleefully driving his tiny car on the rooftop and ramming into everything on sight.
“Don’t hit the clothesline!” I was worried he’d hurt himself, but the more I admonished him, the more determined he became to hit it.
“This is my last warning or else I’m going to take that car away from you!”
The threat fell on deaf ears, and I realized that I was going about it the wrong way.
I kept teaching him through warnings and threats but the lesson was lost because I never taught him the reason for all the rules.
Sometimes, we Catholics dismiss the sacraments and traditions, or else we follow blindly what others say we need to do, without understanding the reason for the actions. What could be meaningful is reduced to a mere ritual or obligation, and the opportunity to get closer to God is lost.
“Lance, please stop because you might get hurt. I love you and I don’t want to see you hurt yourself,” I said in a softer tone.
“OK, Mama. I’ll go down,” he replied with a smile.
I gave a sigh of relief. Cecil lim
Find out the meaning behind the actions and professions connected to our faith. You’ll find that everything brings you closer to Christ.
Lord, help me seek the truth that will lead me to You.
The Passover Feast gets its name from this event in the history of the Jewish people where the Angel of Death literally ‘passes over’ the houses of the Jews (those marked with the blood of the slain lamb or goat) and spares the firstborn male of the family. Paul and the early Christian writers will see in the Passover a prefiguring or rudimentary understanding of what was to happen on Calvary and what we now celebrate in the Holy Mass.
10 Although Moses and Aaron performed these various wonders in Pharaoh’s presence, the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the Israelites leave his land. 12: 1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel: ‘On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. 4 If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. 5 The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. 7 They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. 8 That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole, with its head and shanks and inner organs. 10 None of it must be kept beyond the next morning; whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up. 11 This is how you are to eat it with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD.’” 12 For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first-born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt — I, the LORD! 13 But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you. 14 This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.
P S A L M
Psalm 116:12-13. 15 and 16bc. 17-18
R: I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
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) 15 Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. 16 I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. (R) 17 To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 18 My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. (R)
G O S P E L
Let us never allow the law to dictate to us what it means to have mercy because quite often, if not always, the law is not interested too much in mercy, rather in the absolutes of what is right or wrong. Consider the situation instead of just assessing it according to the Law. We need to learn to exercise justice with mercy and love, or else we will run the danger of becoming like the Pharisees, ready to condemn someone for an infringement of the Law but rarely offering them help to overcome their struggle.
1 Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, 4 how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? 6 I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
think:We need to learn to exercise justice with mercy and love or else we will run the danger of becoming like the Pharisees.
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 1 Chronicles 19-21
Two men were in a contest. The goal: who among them can chop the most number of wood in an hour’s time. There was a mandatory rest of two minutes after every 10 minutes. So they began chopping wood. Carlo and Frank were neck to neck in the contest, almost simultaneous in chopping. Both also took the mandatory two-minute rest. After an hour, the pieces of wood were counted. Carlo cut more pieces of wood than Frank. Puzzled, Frank asked, “How come? We were almost simultaneous in chopping. We both took two-minute rests. What’s your secret?” Carlo replied, “Whenever I rested, I sharpened my ax.”
Whenever we hear the word rest, we think of inactivity, of doing nothing, of pigging out. Today, Jesus in the Gospel ran once more into controversy with the Pharisees over the Sabbath rest. Seen picking grains, the apostles were accused of violating the Sabbath rest. Sabbath is a day of rest for the Jews and holiness dictates that no semblance of work be done on a Sabbath.
The Sabbath took its origin from the Genesis account, “and God rested on the seventh day” (Genesis 2:2). Later on this will be codified in the Mosaic law as the third commandment, “Thou shall keep holy the Sabbath” (Exodus 20:8). But why did God rest on the seventh day? Did He grow tired? NO. Rest symbolized a day of communion between Creator and creature. After God created man and woman on the sixth day, He made hallow the seventh day, not necessarily a day of doing nothing but as a day of communion — of celebrating God’s love for man and man’s inherent connectedness with God. And that is more than simply doing nothing.
Jesus understood Sabbath not as doing nothing. Rather it means doing what needs to be done. He understood it as an intensification of one’s communion with God. Sabbath is not a day of laziness. Sabbath is a day of celebrating the God and man, man and God relationship. Fr. Joel O. Jason
How do you spend your Sunday? Your holy days of obligation? Do you look at Sunday simply as a day of pursuing meaningless and trivial pursuits?
Lord, may I always give You the worship You deserve, for the glory of Your name and for the good of Your people. Amen.
St. Leo IV, Pope, pray for us.
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