READINGS for 2009-01-27

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“(For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” – Mark 3:35
In times past, my life revolved around my family. When we were small, rarely did we play with neighbors. Usually, it was just us, seven sisters, playing around the house. Oh, I remember those times with fondness. Life was simple. Now that we are grownups and all my sisters have their own families, we still stay  close to one another. We live a stone’s throw away from each other. Ah, thank God for family.
But God has expanded my territory. He didn’t want me to stay within just my family circle. An encounter with Him opened my life to let other people in.
In the last 12 years, I’ve been a part of three lay communities and been involved in a lot of endeavors, in and out of our parish. In every stop of my journey, I gained many new friends — brothers and sisters who helped me keep walking the “narrow path.” They are the rainbows in my life. In Jesus’ time, He enjoyed the company of friends, too. He went out of Nazareth and embraced people outside His family circle. His life was never the same again — in fact, He gave it for you and me. Tess Atienza
Are you still closeted in your own little world? Why are you afraid to come out?
Grant me the courage, Lord, to trust that the world outside isn’t all that bad.



Our author is very insistent point that the blood of bulls and goats is insufficient to take away sin. He wants to emphasize, and leave no doubt in our minds, of our dependence upon Jesus in this matter. It is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that is all-sufficient for our salvation. Let us never forget this as to forget it is to leave ourselves open to the lies of the devil and sin. I am sure none of us want that!
Hebrews 10:1-10
1 Brother and sisters: Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. 2 Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins, 4 for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. 5 For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. 7 Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God.’ ” 8 First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in.” These are offered according to the law. 9 Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this “will,” we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Psalm 40:2 and 4ab. 7-8a. 10. 11
R: Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
1 [2] I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me. 3 [4] And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. (R) 6 [7] Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt-offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; 7 [8] then said I, “Behold I come.” (R) 9 [10] I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. (R) 10 [11] Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly. (R)
Jesus is constantly working to remove from the minds of the people any sense that faith is somehow inherited or earned. Here He affirms that true spiritual kinship is dependent upon the person’s response to the will of God and not to their genes! It is a message we need to hear again and again so that we will not be tempted to fall into complacency as we come, for example, from a religious family or that my brother is a priest so I will be okay with God. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is up to each of us to forge our own personal relationship with Jesus. This is what we will stand upon on Judgment Day.
Mark 3:31-35
31 The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. 32 A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers [and your sisters] are outside asking for you.” 33 But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and [my] brothers?” 34 And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 35 [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
my reflections
think:It is up to each of us to forge our own personal relationship with Jesus. This is what we will stand upon on judgment Day.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


The STrong Bond of faiTh
We have many times heard the saying that “blood is thicker than water.” These words of wisdom tell us that there is nothing that could rival natural family affinity in binding persons. It is to the family that we go back to so that we may find our life’s bearing amidst life’s ups and downs. Our family is always our haven, our refuge, our reference point.
Going through life, though, we learn that not all family members and close blood relatives are reliable allies. Many times we have also heard how siblings go against each other in scandalous court cases. Serious political differences and ambitions brought bloodbath to persons who are supposedly of the same ancestry and lineage. In contrast, we hear how non-related couples who just met in Marriage Encounter weekends refer to one another as “Tito,” “Tita,” “Brother” or “Sister.” We witness how Christians who meet in renewal groups, such as the charismatic movement, greet each other with sincere embraces of fraternal love and concern. Members of these Christian groups claim that their relationship with one another have made them even closer to each other compared to their not-so-casual relationships with their blood relations.
Indeed, our spiritual ties of faith in Jesus do not only make us come close to God in prayer. Necessarily, true faith builds up our friendships into deeper ties conditioned not by any financial or material considerations. Faith makes us more open to sincerely share our experiences, our trials and triumphs. Faith makes us more generous to give and receive, even beyond the guarantees of material resources. Faith makes it more possible for us to forgive and to ask forgiveness in the face of human frailties. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
Reflection Question:
Count the persons who have become family to you, not by blood or marriage, but through faith in Jesus. Even with persons who are related with you by blood, how has the gift of  a common faith renewed in Jesus helped deepen your relations?
Lord Jesus, may my faith be strong enough to enable me to embrace sincerely my fraternal relationship with the rest of humanity.
St. Angela Merici, Virgin, pray for us.

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