Chủ Nhật, 4 tháng 6, 2017

JUNE 05, 2017 : MEMORIAL OF SAINT BONIFACE, BISHOP AND MARTYR

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 353

Reading 1TB 1:3; 2:1A-8
I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life
on the paths of truth and righteousness.
I performed many charitable works for my kinsmen and my people
who had been deported with me to Nineveh, in Assyria.

On our festival of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks, 
a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat.
The table was set for me,
and when many different dishes were placed before me,
I said to my son Tobiah: "My son,
go out and try to find a poor man
from among our kinsmen exiled here in Nineveh.
If he is a sincere worshiper of God, bring him back with you,
so that he can share this meal with me.
Indeed, son, I shall wait for you to come back."

Tobiah went out to look for some poor kinsman of ours.
When he returned he exclaimed, "Father!"
I said to him, "What is it, son?"
He answered, "Father, one of our people has been murdered!
His body lies in the market place where he was just strangled!"
I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched;
and I carried the dead man from the street
and put him in one of the rooms,
so that I might bury him after sunset.
Returning to my own quarters, I washed myself
and ate my food in sorrow.
I was reminded of the oracle
pronounced by the prophet Amos against Bethel:

"All your festivals shall be turned into mourning,
and all your songs into lamentation."

And I wept.
Then at sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.

The neighbors mocked me, saying to one another:
"He is still not afraid!
Once before he was hunted down for execution 
because of this very thing;
yet now that he has scarcely escaped,
here he is again burying the dead!"

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1B-2, 3B-4, 5-6
R. (1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just. 
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just man shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE RV 1:5AB
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead;
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
"A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?"

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.


Meditation: "They will respect my beloved Son"

What does Jesus' parable about an absentee landlord and his tenants say to us? The hills of Galilee were lined with numerous vineyards, and it was quite normal for the owners to let out their estates to tenants. Many did it for the sole purpose of collecting rent. Why did Jesus' story about wicked tenants cause offense to the scribes and Pharisees? It contained both a prophetic message and a warning. Isaiah had spoken of the house of Israel as "the vineyard of the Lord" (Isaiah 5:7). Jesus' listeners would likely understand this parable as referring to God's dealing with a stubborn and rebellious people.
Jesus faithfully does his Father's will even in the face of severe opposition
This parable speaks to us today as well. It richly conveys some important truths about God and the way he deals with his people. First, it tells us of God's generosity and trust. The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need. The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants. God, likewise trusts us enough to give us freedom to run life as we choose. This parable also tells us of God's patience and justice. Not once, but many times he forgives the tenants their debts. But while the tenants take advantage of the owner's patience, his judgment and justice prevail in the end. Jesus foretold both his death and his ultimate triumph. He knew he would be rejected and be killed, but he also knew that would not be the end. After rejection would come glory - the glory of resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. 
If we trust in the Lord our labor is not in vain
How do we share in this glory? By submitting to Jesus' kingly rule in our lives. Jesus promises that we will bear much fruit (certainly the fruit of peace, righteousness, and joy, and much more besides) if we abide in him (see John 15:1-11). The Lord also entrusts his gifts to each of us and he gives us work to do in his vineyard - the body of Christ. He promises that our labor will not be in vain if we persevere with faith to the end (see 1 Corinthians 15:58). We can expect trials and even persecution. But in the end we will see triumph. Do you labor for the Lord with joyful hope and with confidence in his triumph?
"Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us; for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us. O most merciful redeemer, friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, for your own sake!" (Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester, 13th century)
Daily Quote from the early church fathersChrist's wounds bring healing and life, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.

"The vineyard prefigures us, because the people of God, founded on the root of the eternal Vine, appear above the earth, bordering the lowly ground. They now grow ripe with budding flowers. They now are clothed with dense greenery and take on a gentle yoke
 [see Matthew 11:30] when they worship with mature branches as if with the twigs of the vine. The Father Almighty truly is the Vinedresser, and Christ is the Vine. We, not vine sprouts, are pruned by the sickle of the eternal cultivator if we do not bear fruit in Christ. [see John 15:1-2] The people of Christ then is correctly named a vineyard, either because the sign of the cross is woven on its forehead [see Ezekiel 9:4,6] or its fruit is gathered in the last season of the year. It may also be called a vineyard because there is equal measurement in the church of God for rich and poor, humble and powerful, servants and masters. There is no difference in the church, as in all the rows of the vineyard.[see Colossians 3:25] As the vine clings to trees, so the body is joined to the soul and the soul to the body. When the vine clings, it is raised up. When it is pruned, it is not diminished, but it increases. The people of God is stripped when it is bound, uplifted when it is humbled, crowned when it is cut back. The tender shoot cut from an old tree is grafted onto the progeny of another root. When the scars of the old shoot are cut away, the people of God likewise grow into the wood of the cross. It is as if they are cherished in the arms of a pious parent. The Holy Spirit comes as if cast down into the deep ditches of the earth and poured into this prison of the body. With the flow of saving water, the Holy Spirit washes away whatever is filthy and raises the posture of our members to heavenly discipline. (excerpt from EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 9.30.21)

ORDINARY TIME

Ordinary Time is called "ordinary" because the weeks are numbered. The Latin word ordinalis, which refers to numbers in a series, stems from the Latin word ordo, from which we get the English word order. Thus, Ordinary Time is in fact the ordered life of the Church—the period in which we live our lives neither in feasting (as in the Christmas and Easter seasons) or in penance (as in Advent and Lent), but in watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ There are two times of Ordinary Time. There are 28 weeks of Ordinary Time after Easter and 5 weeks of Ordinary Time after Christmas. However, this varies depending upon when Easter falls in a particular year. The actual number of weeks of Ordinary Time in any given year can total 33 or 34. Green is the color of Ordinary Time.
MONDAY, JUNE 5, MARK 12:1-12
Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

(Tobit 1:3, 2:1b-8; Psalm 112)

KEY VERSE: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone" (v 10).
TO KNOW: Generally, parables should not be treated as allegories, and their meaning should not be sought in every detail. The parable of the Tenants is an exception. In this parable, Jesus allegorized Israel's failed religious leadership. These leaders would have recognized the connection with Isaiah's Vineyard Song (Is 5:1-7). In Jesus' parable, the owner (God) of the vineyard (Israel) sent his servants (the prophets) to the tenants (the religious leaders). But the tenants rejected the servants' messages and murdered them. Then the vineyard owner sent his "beloved son" (v 6) to them thinking they would respect him as the rightful heir, but they murdered him, too. Jesus said that since God's Son was rejected, the rights and privileges due to Israel would be transferred to a new people of God who would hear and accept the Son. The parable closes with a quotation about the stone which was rejected and had become the cornerstone (Ps 118). The rejected stone was Jesus, who was regarded as having little importance, but was fulfilled in his death and resurrection and the establishment of the Church through Peter (the Rock) and his successors.
TO LOVE: Lord Jesus, raise up righteous leaders in your Church today.
TO SERVE: Do I fail to listen to God's messengers?
Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr

Boniface was educated at the Benedictine monastery at Exeter, England. He was a missionary to Germany from 719, assisted by Saint Albinus. Boniface destroyed idols and pagan temples, and then built churches on the sites. In Saxony, Boniface encountered a tribe worshiping a Norse deity in the form of a huge oak tree. Boniface walked up to the tree, removed his shirt, took up an axe, and without a word he hacked down the six foot wide wooden god. Boniface stood on the trunk, and asked, "How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he." The crowd's reaction was mixed, but some conversions were begun. As Archbishop of Mainz he reformed churches, built religious houses in Germany, and founded or restored the dioceses of Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. Boniface evangelized in Holland, but was set upon by a troop of pagans, and he and 52 of his new flock were martyred.



Monday 5 June 2017

St Boniface.
Tobit 1:3, 2:1-8. Psalms 111(112):1-6. Mark 12:1-12.
Happy are those who fear the Lord — Psalms 111(112):1-6.
‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’
The reading from Tobit introduces us to a man who, as an observant Jew, follows God’s law and demonstrates his love for God by showing kindness to his neighbour, even at some personal risk to himself. The managers of the vineyard in today’s gospel, however, behave quite differently. They ill-treat the messengers sent by the owner, finally killing his beloved son.
The story is interpreted by the listeners as referring to their rejection of Jesus, and they go away determined to destroy him by any means available. The refusal of these people to recognise Jesus weighed heavily on the minds of the early Christians who could not understand why they could not accept that he was the longed-for Messiah.
I wonder if we would recognise him if he came into the world today!

ST. BONIFACE

St. Boniface was very bold in his faith, and was well known for being very good at using the local customs and culture of the day to bring people to Christ. He was born in Devonshire, England, in the seventh century. He was educated at a Benedictine monastery and became a monk, and was sent as a missionary to Germany in 719.
There, he destroyed idols and pagan temples, and built churches on the sites. He was eventually made archbishop of Mainz, where he reformed churches and built religious houses on those sites.
He was martyred on June 5, 754 while on mission in Holland, where a troop of pagans attacked and killed him and his 52 companions.
One story about St. Boniface tells about when he met a tribe in Saxony that was worshipping a Norse deity in the form of a huge oak tree. Boniface walked up to the tree, removed his shirt, took an ax, and without a word, chopped it down. Then he stood on the trunk, and asked: "How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he.”

LECTIO DIVINA: MARK 12,1-12
Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, June 5, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
Father,
your love never fails.
Hear our call.
Keep us from danger
and provide for all our needs.
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 12,1-12
Jesus went on to speak to the priests, the scribes and the elders in parables, 'A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.
When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty handed. Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest.
He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, "They will respect my son." But those tenants said to each other, "This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours."
So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing, and we marvel at it?'
And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.

3) Reflection
• Jesus is in Jerusalem. It is the last week of his life. He has returned to the portico of the Temple (Mk 11, 27), where he now begins the direct confrontation with the authority. Chapters 11 and 12 describe the diverse aspects of this confrontation: (a) with the men buying and selling in the Temple (Mk 12,11-26), (b) with the priests, elders and the Scribes (Mk 11,27 and 12,12), (c) with the Pharisees and the Herodians (Mk 12,13-17), (d) with the Sadducees (Mk 12,18-27), and (e) once again with the Scribes (Mk 12,28-40). Finally at the end the confrontation with all of them, Jesus comments on the widow’s mite (Mk 12, 41-44). Today’s Gospel describes part of the conflict with the priests, elders and the Scribes (Mk 12,1-12). All these confrontations make the disciples and us understand more clearly which is Jesus’ project and which is the intention of those who have power.
• Mark 12, 1-9: The parable of the vineyard: the direct response of Jesus to men of power. The parable of the vineyard is a summary of the history of Israel. A beautiful summary taken from the Prophet Isaiah (Is 5,1-7). Through this story, Jesus gives an indirect response to the priests, Scribes and elders who had asked him: What authority have you for acting like this? Who gave you authority to act like this?" (Mk 11,28). In this parable Jesus (a) reveals the origin of his authority: he is the Son, the heir (Mk 12,6); (b) he denounces the abuse of the authority of the tenants, that is, of the priests and of the elders who were not concerned about the people of God (Mk 12,3-8); (c) He defends the authority of the prophets, sent by God, but massacred by the tenants of the vineyard! (Mk 12, 2-5); (d) He unmasks the authority which manipulates religion and kills the son, because they do not want to lose the source of income which they have succeeded to accumulate for themselves, throughout the centuries (Mk 12, 7).
• Mark 12, 10-12: The decision of men of power confirms the denunciation made by God. The priests, the Scribes and the elders understood very well the meaning of the parable, but they were not converted. Rather, they maintained their own project to arrest Jesus (Mk 12, 12). They rejected “the corner stone” (Mk 12, 10), but they do not have the courage to do it openly, because they fear the people. Thus, the disciples have to know what awaits them if they follow Jesus!
• The men of power at the time of Jesus: In chapters 11 and 12 of the Gospel of Mark we see that there are some men today: priests, elders and Scribes (Mk 11, 27); not of tomorrow: Pharisees and Herodians (Mk 12, 13); not of day after tomorrow: Sadducees (Mk 12, 18).
-PriestsThey were the ones in charge of the worship in the Temple, where the tenth part of the income was collected. The High priest occupied a central place in the life of the people, especially after the exile. He was chosen among the families who had more power and who were richer.
-Elders or Chiefs of the people: They were the local chiefs, in the villages and in the cities. Their origin was the heads of the ancient tribes.
-Scribes or Doctors of the Law: they were those in charge of teaching. They dedicated their life to the study of the Law of God and taught the people how to observe the Law of God in all things. Not all the Scribes followed the same line. Some of them were with the Pharisees, others with the Sadducees.
Pharisees: Pharisee means: separated. They fought in order that by means of the perfect observance of the Law of purity, people would succeed to be pure, separated, and holy as the Law and Tradition demanded! By means of the exemplary witness of their life within the norms of the time, they governed in almost all the villages of Galilee.
-Herodians: this was a group bound to Herod Antipas of Galilee who governed from 4 BC until 39 AD. The Herodians formed part of an elite class who did not expect the Kingdom of God in the future, but who considered it already present in Herod’s kingdom.
Sadducees: They were an elite aristocratic class of rich merchants or owners of large estates. They were conservative. They did not accept the changes defended by the Pharisees, for example, faith in the Resurrection and the existence of the angels.
Synedrium: This was the Supreme Tribunal of the Jews with 71 members among high priests, elders, Pharisees and Scribes. It had the role of great power before the people and represented the nation before the Roman authority.

4) Personal questions
• Some times, as it happened to Jesus, have you felt controlled by the authority of your country, at home, in your family, in your work or in the Church? Which was your reaction then?
• What does this parable teach us concerning the way of exercising authority? And you, how do you exercise your authority in the family, in the community and in your work?

5) Concluding Prayer
Integrity and generosity are marks of Yahweh
for he brings sinners back to the path.
Judiciously he guides the humble,
instructing the poor in his way. (Ps 25,8-9)