Chủ Nhật, 15 tháng 1, 2017


Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 311

Reading 1HEB5:1-10
Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my Son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place,
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Responsorial PsalmPS 110:1, 2, 3, 4
R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
"Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
"Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, 
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them,
"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."

Meditation: "Fasting or feasting?"
Which comes first, fasting or feasting? The disciples of John the Baptist were upset with Jesus' disciples because they did not fast. Fasting was one of the three most important religious duties, along with prayer and almsgiving. Jesus gave a simple explanation. There's a time for fasting and a time for feasting (or celebrating). To walk as a disciple with Jesus is to experience a whole new joy of relationship akin to the joy of the wedding party in celebrating with the groom and bride their wedding bliss. But there also comes a time when the Lord's disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification. For the disciple there is both a time for rejoicing in the Lord's presence and celebrating his goodness and a time for seeking the Lord with humility and fasting and for mourning over sin. Do you take joy in the Lord's presence with you and do you express sorrow and contrition for your sins?
Jesus goes on to warn his disciples about the problem of the "closed mind" that refuses to learn new things. Jesus used an image familiar to his audience - new and old wine skins. In Jesus' times, wine was stored in wine skins, not bottles. New wine poured into skins was still fermenting. The gases exerted gave pressure. New wine skins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wine skins easily burst because they were hard. What did Jesus mean by this comparison? Are we to reject the old in place of the new? Just as there is a right place and a right time for fasting and for feasting, so there is a right place for the old as well as the new. 
Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old (Matthew 13:52). How impoverished we would be if we only had the Old Testament or the New Testament, rather than both. The Lord gives us wisdom so we can make the best use of both the old and the new. He doesn't want us to hold rigidly to the past and to be resistant to the new work of his Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants our minds and hearts to be like new wine skins - open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit. Are you eager to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God's word and plan for your life?
"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth. Help me to seek you earnestly in prayer and fasting that I may turn away from sin and wilfulness and conform my life more fully to your will. May I always find joy in knowing, loving, and serving you."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe presence of the Bridegroom, by Bede the Venerable, 672-735 A.D.
"From the time that the incarnation of our Savior was first promised to the patriarchs, it was always awaited by many upright souls with tears and mourning - until he came. From that time when, after his resurrection, he ascended to heaven, all the hope of the saints hangs upon his return. It was at the time when he was keeping company with humanity that his presence was to be celebrated. Then it would have been unfitting to weep and mourn. For like the bride, she had him with her bodily whom she loved spiritually. Therefore the bridegroom is Christ, the bride is the church, and the friends of the bridegroom (Matthew 9:15, Luke 5:34) and of the marriage are each and every one of his faithful companions. The time of his marriage is that time when, through the mystery of the incarnation, he is joining the holy church to himself (Revelation 19:7). Thus it was not by chance, but for the sake of a certain mystical meaning that he came to a marriage ceremony on earth in the customary fleshly way (John 2:1-12), since he descended from heaven to earth in order to wed the church to himself in spiritual love. His nuptial chamber was the womb of his virgin mother. There God was conjoined with human nature. From there he came forth like a bridegroom to join the church to himself." (excerpt from HOMILIES ON THE GOSPELS 1.14) 


(Hebrews 5:1-10; Psalm 110)

KEY VERSE: "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" (v 19).
TO KNOW: The people demanded to know why Jesus' disciples did not fast as was the custom of the Pharisees and the disciples of John. Jesus described his relationship with his followers using the biblical metaphor of marriage (Is 54: 5-7). At a wedding feast, guests were relieved of all obligations that might diminish their joy, including fasting. Jesus was the long-awaited bridegroom whose arrival inaugurated a new era. While Jesus was in their midst, his followers must not mourn; they must celebrate. Jesus said it was impossible to mix the new ways with the old. It was as futile as trying to patch an old garment with new fabric, or putting fresh wine into old worn-out flasks. The time of patchwork faith was over. Just as new fermenting wine could not be contained in aged and unyielding wineskins, the old order could not hold the new life that Jesus brought.

TO LOVE: Do I resist the changes God wants of me?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, I long to celebrate with you at the eternal wedding banquet.​

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, Atlanta, Georgia. He entered the Christian ministry and was ordained in 1948 at the age of nineteen. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he was co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Vice President of the national Sunday School and Baptist Teaching Union Congress of the National Baptist Convention. He was a member of several learned societies including the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. King was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. He was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was arrested thirty times for his participation in civil rights activities. Dr. King was shot to death while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday 16 January 2017

Mon 16th. Hebrews 5:1-10. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek—Ps 109(110):1-4. Mark 2:18-22.
Becoming a new creation.
What does this new person, whom we are to become, look like? The old wineskins burst with this new wine. In Christ, the new wine shows a new thing to the world. The author of Hebrews says: 'Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, you are my Son; today I have become your Father.' In our obedience to our new life, not our slavery to the old, we take on Christ's likeness. Our bodies, our memories, our minds can, through Christ's example, be offered by us as gifts to each other and to God, our own blood co-mingled with the sacrifices we make.
In this we imitate Christ as priest, who was both offering and offered.


Nothing of Marcellus' life before his papacy has survived the centuries. He became Pope at the end of the persecutions of Diocletian in aound 308-309. The persecutions had disrupted the Church so much that there had been a gap of over a year with no Pope. Once he was elected, he faced several challenges, including reconsituting the clergy, which had been decimated and whose remnant had practiced their vocation only covertly and with the expectation of martyrdom. He worked hard to recover and welcome back all who had denied the faith in order to keep from being murdered.
When a group of the apostacized, known as the Lapsi, refused to do penance, Marcellus refused to allow their return to the Church. The Lapsi had a bit of political pull, and some members caused such civil disruption that emperor Maxentius exiled the Pope in order to settle the matter. Legend says that Marcellus was forced to work as a stable slave as punishment, but this appears to be fiction, however we do know that he died of the terrible conditions he suffered in exile, and is considered a martyr because of that.
He was initially buried in the cemetery of Saint Priscilla in Rome, but his relics were later transferred to beneath the altar of San Marcello al Corso Church in Rome where they remain today.

Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, January 16, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
Father of heaven and earth,
hear our prayers,
and show us the way to your peace in the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Mark 2,18-22
John's disciples and the Pharisees were keeping a fast, when some people came to him and said to him, 'Why is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?'
Jesus replied, 'Surely the bridegroom's attendants cannot fast while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine into fresh skins!'
3) Reflection
• The five conflicts between Jesus and the Religious authority. In Mark 2, 1-12 we have seen the first conflict. It was about the forgiveness of sins. In Mark 2, 13-17, the second conflict is on communion around the same table, with sinners. Today’s Gospel presents the third conflict concerning fasting. Tomorrow we have the fourth conflict, concerning the observance of the Sabbath (Mk 2, 13-28). Day after tomorrow, the last conflict concerning the cure on the Sabbath (Mk 3, 1-6). The conflict concerning fasting has a central place. For this reason, the words on sewing a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak and the new wine into fresh skins (Mk 2, 21-22) should be understood in the light which radiates clearly also on the other conflicts, two before and two after.
• Jesus does not insist on the practice of fasting. Fasting is a very ancient practice, practiced by practically all religions. Jesus himself practiced it during forty days (Mt 4, 2). But he does not insist with his disciples so that they do the same thing. He leaves them free. This is why the disciples of John the Baptist and those of the Pharisees, who were obliged to fast, want to know why Jesus does not insist on fasting.
• When the bridegroom is with them they do not have to fast. Jesus responds with a comparison. When the bridegroom is with the friends of the bridegroom, that is, during the wedding feast, they do not need to fast. Jesus considers himself as the bridegroom. The disciples are the friends of the bridegroom During the time in which Jesus is with the disciples, there is the wedding feast. A day will come in which the bridegroom will be absent and then, if they wish they can fast. Jesus refers to his death. He knows and feels that if he wishes to continue on this path of freedom, the religious authority will want to kill him.
• To sew a new piece of cloth on an old cloak, new wine in new skins. These two affirmations of Jesus, which Mark places here, clarify the critical attitude of Jesus before religious authority. One does not sew a piece of new cloth on an old cloak. When the cloak is washed, the new piece of cloth tears the cloak and the tear becomes bigger. Nobody puts new wine in old skins, because the fermentation of the new wine will tear the old skins. New wine in new skins! The religion defended by the authority was like an old cloak, like an old skin. It is not necessary to want to change what is new and brought by Jesus, for old customs. The novelty brought by Jesus cannot be reduced to fit the measure of Judaism. Either one or the other! The wine which Jesus brings tears the old skins. It is necessary to know how to separate things. Jesus is not against what is “old”. What he wants to avoid is that the old imposes itself on the new and, thus he begins to manifest it. It would be the same as reducing the message of the Vatican Council II to the catechism of the time before the Council, as some are wanting to do.
4) Personal questions
• Beginning with the profound experience of God which encouraged him interiorly, Jesus had great freedom concerning the relation ship to the norms and religious practices. And today, do we have this same liberty or do we lack the freedom of the mystics?
• A new piece of cloth on an old cloak, new wine in old skins. Does this exist in my life?
5) Concluding prayer
We have recognised for ourselves,
and put our faith in, the love God has for us. (1Jn 4,16)