READINGS for 2009-10-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” ¬– Luke 14:5
My two nephews, aged 11 and 7, were circumcised recently. I had scheduled a meeting at the same time as their surgery. But my brother asked his eldest son, Dave, if he wanted me to be there for them during the operation. Trying to act like a big boy while being betrayed by his trembling lips, Dave said yes. I postponed my meeting.
The days afterward were difficult for the boys. During early mornings and throughout the day, one of them would cry out in pain, “Ouch, ouch, ouch.” Or when the pain got worse, they’d cry out “Daddy! Daddy! Where’s my daddy?!”
One night when my brother was out, I was left to comfort them, pitying their difficult state. I realized how our Heavenly Father must feel when we cry out in pain. If I felt moved by the plight of my little nephews, how much more must He feel when He seesus in pain and suffering? And If I wanted to do all in my power to help them, how much more must He feel towards us?
When we want to rage against heaven for our circumstances, let’s remind ourselves that God shares our pain. He even came down to be with us. Joy Sosoban
Do I blame the Lord when life becomes difficult?
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times that I have been angry with You for my circumstances. Enable me to see Your love for me even in those circumstances.


Paul is worried about the salvation of the Jews and obviously still has great affection for the people of his formative years. But, he is powerless to give them faith. He can share the truth with them; he can preach the Gospel to them; but ultimately it is up to each individual what response he or she will make to the Gospel and the offer of salvation.
Romans 9:1-5
1 Brothers and sisters: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness 2 that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5 theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.
Psalm 147:12-13. 14-15. 19-20
R: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
12 Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. (R) 14 He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. 15 He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word! (R) 19 He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. 20 He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. (R)
Once again, Jesus heals someone on the Sabbath. He is totally unconcerned with the law against work on the Sabbath as He knows that what He is doing is not breaking that law. The interpretation of the law that the Pharisees say He has broken is incorrect as it is not founded on love or mercy. Let us seek to build our lives on our experience of God’s love and mercy and so share these graces with others.
Luke 14:1-6
1 On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. 2 In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. 3 Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. 5 Then he said to them, “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 But they were unable to answer his question.
my reflections
think: Ultimately it is up to each individual what response he or she will make to the Gospel and the offer of salvation.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


the spiRit Of the lAW
Until now the Sabbath is, for Jews, the most important day of the week. By keeping this day holy and by observing its laws and rules, the Jews express their love for God and for His Law. It was the grand test of fidelity.
Why then was Jesus “violating” the Sabbath so many times by doing what was not allowed? Wasn’t Jesus showing disrespect for God’s Law?
Jesus never ever would do something that would show disrespect for His Father whom He loved so much, whose will He had come to do — even until the bitter end: His death on the Cross. Why, then, did He provoke His pious hosts during that Sabbath dinner and at other occasions?
Jesus had nothing against the Sabbath. To keep this day holy after all was one of the Ten Commandments God had given. But many Jews observed this day in a legalistic way. They thought that if they observe even the smallest rule they would please God. And here Jesus had to correct them. When rules become more important than love of neighbor, there is something wrong. After all,love of God and love of neighbour are the two most important laws. By loving one’s neighbor we express our love for God.
Even we Christians can easily fall into this trap of legalism. We might think that we are good Christians when we obey the Ten Commandments and the commandments of the Church. That’s basic, of course. It is, for example, very good to attend faithfully Mass every Sunday. But what would Jesus ask of you when there is an emergency, when somebody at home or in the neighborhood would need immediate help? Mass or help? Today’s Gospel passage gives the answer: helping a person in need would be more important than going to Mass on this particular day. Jesus once said that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. That means, He honors and respects the Law but wants us to live the spirit of the Law. And the spirit of the Law is love of God and love of neighbor. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Reflection Question:
Do I have the tendency to cover up my lack of love for others by being faithful to rules?
Lord, it is so easy to be a hypocrite. I can easily convince myself to be good because I don’t violate any major commandment. But I realize that there is something more important You ask of me: love my fellowmen, even my enemies. Lord, help me to do  this in future.
St. Dorothy of Montau, pray for us.

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