Thứ Ba, 10 tháng 1, 2017

WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 307

Reading 1HEB 2:14-18
Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, 
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations-- 
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac. 
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord.
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 1:29-39
On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, 
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you."
He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come."
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons 
throughout the whole of Galilee.


Meditation: Jesus healed many who were sick
Who do you take your troubles to? Jesus' disciples freely brought their troubles to him because they found him ready and able to deal with any difficulty, affliction, or sickness which they encountered. When Simon brought Jesus to his home, his mother-in-law was instantly healed because Jesus heard Simon's prayer. Jerome, an early church bible scholar and translator (c. 347-420), reflects on this passage:
"Can you imagine Jesus standing before your bed and you continue sleeping? It is absurd that you would remain in bed in his presence. Where is Jesus? He is already here offering himself to us. 'In the middle,' he says, 'among you he stands, whom you do not recognize' (Cf. John 1:26) 'The kingdom of God is in your midst' (Mark 1:15). Faith beholds Jesus among us. If we are unable to seize his hand, let us prostrate ourselves at his feet. If we are unable to reach his head, let us wash his feet with our tears. Our repentance is the perfume of the Savior. See how costly is the compassion of the Savior."
Do you allow Jesus to be the Lord and healer in your personal life, family, and community? Approach the Lord with expectant faith. God's healing power restores us not only to health but to active service and care of others. There is no trouble he does not want to help us with and there is no bondage he can't set us free from. Do you take your troubles to him with expectant faith that he will help you?
"Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver from harm. There is no trouble nor bondage you cannot overcome. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe habit of prayer, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
"Jesus prayed and did not pray in vain, since he received what he asked for in prayer when he might have done so without prayer. If so, who among us would neglect to pray? Mark says that 'in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed' (Mark 1:35). And Luke says, 'He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray,"' (Luke 11:1) and elsewhere, 'And all night he continued in prayer to God' (Luke 6:12). And John records his prayer, saying, 'When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you"' (John 17:1). The same Evangelist writes that the Lord said that he knew 'you hear me always' (John 11:42). All this shows that the one who prays always is always heard." (excerpt from ON PRAYER 13.1)


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, MARK 1:29-39
Weekday
(Hebrews 2:14-18; Psalm 105)

KEY VERSE: "He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons" (v 34).
TO KNOW: After the Sabbath service in Capernaum, Jesus went with his four disciples, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, to Simon Peter’s home. When Simon informed Jesus that his mother-in-law was gravely ill, Jesus simply took her by the hand and helped her to get up. The woman was immediately healed by his touch, and in gratitude, she waited on all in the house. When the Sabbath ended at sundown, the people were free to bring their sick to Jesus. The whole town gathered at Jesus' door and he cured many of their illnesses. The miracles that Jesus worked, combined with his authoritative teaching, were signs pointing to the coming of God's reign, which he announced at the beginning of his ministry (Mk 1:15). Rising early the next morning, Jesus went to a deserted place for prayer, but even there his disciples sought him, pressing him to return to Capernaum. Jesus told them that he must take his message to other villages throughout Galilee to reveal God's kingdom of compassion and mercy.
TO LOVE: Do I run after signs and wonders or do I seek Jesus?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, teach me so that I might better serve others.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Wed 11th.Hebrews 2:14-18. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever—Ps 104(105):1-4, 6-9. Mark 1:29-39.
'Jesus healed many who were suffering from diseases.'
Having preached in the synagogue at Capernaum to the admiration of those present, Jesus proceeded to Simon's house where he cured his disciple's mother-in-law. Beset by crowds of hope‑filled people he continued his mission of physical and spiritual healing even after sunset. Before dawn broke he 'got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there'. In a world where, like Martha, we are busy about many things, we need to 'let the same mind be in [us] that was in Christ Jesus' (Phil 2:5). If we claim to be too busy to pray, we are busier than God would have us be. We may be committed to doing good works for others, but they can never be a substitute for intimate conversation with God in prayer.

ST. THEODOSIUS ABBOT

Born to a pious family, Theodosius began his studies at an early age, and became a lector while still an adolescent. The example of Abraham led him to leave home in order to properly follow God. He met Saint Simeon Stylites in Antioch, and Simeon recognized him as a holy man and leader, and invited Theodosius onto his pillar for prayer, blessing, and advice. He then traveled to Jerusalem where legend says he worked with Saint Longinus, who would have been nearly 500 years old at the time. After a time, he was given charge of a small church near Bethlehem, however his time there did not last long.
Dreading the vanity that comes from the esteem of men, he retired to a cave in the desert of Judah where he led a hermit's life. Word of his holiness began to attract disciples, and Theodosius built a monastery at Cathismus to house them. So many came that there had to be sections built for Greeks, for Armenians, for Persions, etc., but they all happily worked and prayed together. Next to the monastery he built a hospital for the sick, a hospice for the aged, and a mental hospital. He became a friend of and co-worker with Saint Sabbas, and was later appointed visitor to all cenobitical communities of Palestine, the patriarch of Jerusalem.
He opposed heresies, including Eutychianism and Monophysitism. Emperor Anastatius, a supporter of Eutychianism, once sent Theodosius a large bribe, hoping to sway the influential monk to his thinking, however Theodosius distributed the money to the poor, and continued to preach against heresy. Because of his orthodox views, Anastatius removed him from his position in 513, but he soon resumed his duties under emperor Justinian.
In poor health in his old age, he was stricken with a condition that made his skin dry as stone. However, he continued to work until his health gave out, and spent the rest of his time praying for his community. He died at the age of 105.

LECTIO DIVINA: MARK 1,29-39
Lectio Divina: 
 Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Ordinary Time


1) Opening prayer
Father of love, hear our prayers.
Help us to know your will
and to do it with courage and faith.
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 1,29-39
And at once on leaving the synagogue, he went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed and feverish, and at once they told him about her. He went in to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to serve them.
That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were sick with diseases of one kind or another; he also drove out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.
Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, 'Everybody is looking for you.' He answered, 'Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can proclaim the message there too, because that is why I came.'
And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out devils.

3) Reflection
• Jesus restores life for the service. After having participated in the celebration of Saturday in the Synagogue, Jesus went to Peter’s house and cured his mother-in-law. Once healed, she gets up and, with her health restored and having recovered her dignity, she begins to serve the persons. Jesus does not only heal the person, but he does it in such a way that she begins to serve life.
• Jesus accepts the marginalized. When it begins to get dark, in the afternoon, at the end of Saturday when the first star shines in the sky, Jesus accepts and cures the sick and those possessed whom people had brought to him. The sick and those possessed were the most marginalized persons of that time. They had nobody to whom to have recourse. They depended on public charity. Besides this, religion considered them impure. They could not participate in the community, it was as if God rejected and excluded them. Therefore, it can very clearly be seen in what the Good News of God consists and that which he wants to do in the life of people: to accept the marginalized and the excluded, and to insert them again to live together in the community.
• To remain united to the Father, in prayer. Jesus is presented to us while he prays. He makes a great effort to have the time and the adequate environment to pray. He rises before the others and goes to a deserted place, to be able to be alone with God. Many times the Gospels speak to us about the prayer of Jesus, in silence (Mt 14, 22-23); Mk 1, 35; Lk 5, 15-16; 3, 21-22). Through prayer he maintains alive the awareness of his mission.
• To maintain alive the awareness of the mission and not to close oneself up in the results already obtained. Jesus is known. Everybody follows him. This publicity pleases the disciples. They go to look for Jesus to take him back to the people who were seeking for him, and they tell him: All are looking for you. They thought that Jesus would go to the banquet. They were disillusioned! Jesus does not pay attention and tells them: Let us go elsewhere. It is precisely for this that I have come! Surely, they must have been surprised! Jesus was not like what they had imagined him to be. Jesus had a very clear conscience of the mission and wants to transmit this to the disciples. He does not want them to close up themselves in the results already obtained. They should not look back. But, like Jesus, they should maintain alive the conscience of their mission. It is the mission received from the Father, which has to orientate their decisions.
• It is precisely for this that I have come! This was the first misunderstanding between Jesus and his disciples. At present, it is only a question of a small divergence. Later on, in the Gospel of Mark, this misunderstanding, in spite of the many advertences of Jesus, will grow and will practically become almost a break between Jesus and the disciples (cf. Mk 8, 14-21. 32-33; 9, 32; 14, 27). Today also, there are some misunderstandings on the way of the proclamation of the Good News. Mark helps one to be attentive to the divergences so as not to allow them to grow until they produce a break.

4) Personal questions
• Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. Peter’s mother-in-law began to serve. And I, do I act in such a way that my life is a service to God and to my brothers and sisters?
• Jesus is conscious, aware of his mission through prayer. And my prayer?

5) Concluding prayer
Sing to Yahweh, bless his name!
Proclaim his salvation day after day,
declare his glory among the nations,
his marvels to every people! (Ps 96,2-3)