Thứ Sáu, 7 tháng 7, 2017

JULY 08, 2017 : SATURDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 382

When Isaac was so old that his eyesight had failed him,
he called his older son Esau and said to him, "Son!"
"Yes father!" he replied.
Isaac then said, "As you can see, I am so old
that I may now die at any time.
Take your gear, therefore–your quiver and bow–
and go out into the country to hunt some game for me.
With your catch prepare an appetizing dish for me, such as I like,
and bring it to me to eat,
so that I may give you my special blessing before I die."

Rebekah had been listening
while Isaac was speaking to his son Esau.
So, when Esau went out into the country
to hunt some game for his father,
Rebekah [then] took the best clothes of her older son Esau
that she had in the house,
and gave them to her younger son Jacob to wear;
and with the skins of the kids she covered up his hands
and the hairless parts of his neck.
Then she handed her son Jacob the appetizing dish
and the bread she had prepared.

Bringing them to his father, Jacob said, "Father!"
"Yes?" replied Isaac. "Which of my sons are you?"
Jacob answered his father: "I am Esau, your first-born.
I did as you told me.
Please sit up and eat some of my game,
so that you may give me your special blessing."
But Isaac asked, "How did you succeed so quickly, son?"
He answered,
"The LORD, your God, let things turn out well with me."
Isaac then said to Jacob,
"Come closer, son, that I may feel you,
to learn whether you really are my son Esau or not."
So Jacob moved up closer to his father.
When Isaac felt him, he said,
"Although the voice is Jacob's, the hands are Esau's."
(He failed to identify him because his hands were hairy,
like those of his brother Esau;
so in the end he gave him his blessing.)
Again he asked Jacob, "Are you really my son Esau?" 
"Certainly," Jacob replied.
Then Isaac said, "Serve me your game, son, that I may eat of it
and then give you my blessing."
Jacob served it to him, and Isaac ate;
he brought him wine, and he drank.
Finally his father Isaac said to Jacob,
"Come closer, son, and kiss me."
As Jacob went up and kissed him,
Isaac smelled the fragrance of his clothes.
With that, he blessed him saying,

"Ah, the fragrance of my son
is like the fragrance of a field
that the LORD has blessed!

"May God give to you
of the dew of the heavens
And of the fertility of the earth
abundance of grain and wine.

"Let peoples serve you,
and nations pay you homage;
Be master of your brothers,
and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
Cursed be those who curse you,
and blessed be those who bless you."

Responsorial PsalmPS 135:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. (3a) Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD;
Praise, you servants of the LORD
Who stand in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God.
R. Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
sing praise to his name, which we love;
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel for his own possession.
R. Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.
For I know that the LORD is great;
our LORD is greater than all gods.
All that the LORD wills he does
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and in all the deeps. 
R. Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
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.

GospelMT 9:14-17
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."


Meditation: "The day will come when they will fast"
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.
A time to rejoice and a time to mourn
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?
The closed mind that refuses to learn
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 wineskins. In Jesus' times, wine was stored in wineskins, 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 had become hard and had lost their ability to expand and stretch. What did Jesus mean by this comparison? Are we to reject the old in place of the new?
Treasuring the old and new wine of the Holy Spirit
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 books of the Bible, 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 willfulness 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 fathersNo need to fast in the presence of the Bridegroom, by Hilary of Poitiers (315-367 AD)
"The Pharisees and John's disciples were fasting, and the apostles were not. But Jesus answered them in a spiritual way and indicated to John's disciples that he was a bridegroom. John taught that all hope in life lay in Christ. While he was still preaching, however, his disciples could not be received by the Lord. Up until the time of John, the law and the prophets prevailed, and unless the law came to an end, none of them would subscribe to faith in the gospel. The fact that he said there was no need for his disciples to fast as long as the bridegroom is with them illustrates the joy of his presence and the sacrament of the holy food, which no one need be without while he is present, that is, bearing Christ in the light of the mind. But once he is gone, Jesus says that they will fast, for all those who do not believe that Christ has risen will not have the food of life. By faith in the resurrection, the sacrament of the heavenly bread is received. Whoever is without Christ will be forsaken, fasting from the food of life." (excerpt from the commentary ON MATTHEW 9.3)

SATURDAY, JULY 8, MATTHEW 9:14-17
Weekday

(Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29; Psalm 135)

KEY VERSE: "People do not put new wine into old wine skins" (v 17).
TO KNOW:  The followers of John the Baptist were curious to know why the disciples of Jesus did not fast as they and the Pharisees did. Jesus compared his presence among the people to a marriage feast, a sign that anticipated the Messianic banquet in which he would be united with his bride, the Church (Rv 19:7). Fasting and mourning were inappropriate at a wedding banquet; this was a time for rejoicing. When the "bridegroom was taken away" (v 15), then the people would fast. Jesus said that the old ways were incompatible with the new. Just as a worn-out garment could not be patched and must be discarded, an old wine skin (symbolizing the old religion) was not flexible enough to contain the new and fermenting wine, and would burst. Likewise, the new ideas that Jesus came to offer required fresh and elastic minds.
TO LOVE: Lord Jesus, help me to thirst for you.
TO SERVE: How can I help others open their minds and hearts to Jesus?​

OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Chapter V of the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, issued by the Holy See in December 2001, describes the Church's traditional dedication of Saturday to the Virgin Mary. "Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (218). The chapter also describes the importance of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in Catholic devotional life, in the Liturgy, and reflections on popular devotions to Mary, her feast days, and the Rosary. 



Saturday 8 July 2017

Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29. Psalm 134(135):1-6. Matthew 9:14-17.
Praise the Lord for he is good — Psalm 134(135):1-6.
‘New wine for new wineskins’
The tension between the old and the new is a challenge for all Christians. Some of us like to cling to the security of the old ways, but that makes it unlikely that we shall be a relevant Christian force in a changing world. Others of us can get so enthusiastic about new and different ways to express our faith that we lose sight of the values of the old.
Lord Jesus, it is not easy to be an effective Christian in our rapidly changing world. Help us to be open minded and open hearted that we may be led by your Holy Spirit through the many concerns and issues and decisions we face each day.
Send forth your Spirit, Lord, and renew the face of the earth.

STS. AQUILA AND PRISCILLA

Saints Aquila and Priscilla were a Jewish couple from Rome who had been exiled to Corinth, and were friends of St. Paul in the first century. They hosted St. Paul on his visit to that city and were probably converted by him. They are mentioned a few times in the New Testament in glowing terms by their friend Paul, who calls them "my helpers in Christ, who have for my life laid down their own necks" (Romans 16:3-4).
They were tentmakers, thus sharing the same profession as Paul, and because of this it is thought that Paul may have worked with them. Acts 18: 18-19 tells us that they accompanied Paul to Ephesus and stayed there with him for three years.
In the era of house churches - when Mass was always celebrated in the house of one of the Christian community - their's was an important one.
According to tradition they were martyred in Rome on their return, probably around the same time as St. Paul.


LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 9,14-17
Lectio Divina: 
 Saturday, July 8, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
Father,
you call your children
to walk in the light of Christ.
Free us from darkness
and keep us in the radiance of your truth.
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 - Matthew 9,14-17
Then John's disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?'
Jesus replied, 'Surely the bridegroom's attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
No one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth onto an old cloak, because the patch pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No; they put new wine in fresh skins and both are preserved.'
3) Reflection
• Matthew 9, 14: The question of the disciples of John concerning the practice of fasting. Fasting is quite an ancient use, practiced by almost all religions.  Jesus himself practiced it during forty days (Mt 4, 2). But he does not insist with the disciples so that they do the same thing. He leaves them free. Because of this, the disciples of John the Baptist and of the Pharisees, who were obliged to fast, want to know why Jesus does not insist on fasting “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”
• Matthew 9, 15: The answer of Jesus.  Jesus answers with a comparison in the form of a question: “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them?”  Jesus associates fasting to mourning, and he considers himself the bridegroom.  When the bridegroom is with his friends, that is, during the wedding feast, they have no need to fast.  When Jesus is with them, with his disciples, it is a feast, the wedding feast. Therefore, they should not fast. But one day the bridegroom will go away.  It will be a day of mourning. Then, if they want they can fast. Jesus refers to his death. He knows and feels that if he continues on this way of liberty, the authority will want to kill him.
• Matthew 9, 16-17: New wine in new skins! In these two verses, the Gospel of Matthew gives two separate phrases of Jesus on the patch of new cloth on an old cloak and of the new wine in new skins. These words throw light on the discussions and the conflicts of Jesus with religious authority of the time.  A patch of new cloth is not put on an old cloak; because when washing it, the new piece of cloth shrinks and pulls on the old cloak and tears it and the tear becomes bigger.  Nobody puts new wine in old skins, because when the new wine ferments, it tears the old skins. New wine in new skins! The religion defended by the religious authority was like a piece of old cloth, like an old skin. Both the disciples of John and the Pharisees, tried to renew the religion.  In reality, they hardly put some patches and because of this, they ran the risk of compromising and harming both the novelty as well as the old uses.  It is not necessary to want to change the novelty which Jesus brings to us for the old uses. Either one or the other! The new wine which Jesus brings to us tears the old skins.  It is necessary to know how to separate things. Most probably, Matthew presents these words of Jesus to orientate the communities of the years 80’s. There was a group of Jew-Christians who wanted to reduce the novelty of Jesus to the Judaism of the time before the coming of Jesus.  Jesus is not against what is “old”.  He does not want that what is old be imposed on that which is new and, that it prevents it from manifesting itself.  Vatican II cannot be reread with the mentality before the Council, like some try to do today. 
4)  Personal questions
• Which are the conflicts around the religious practices which today make many persons suffer and are a reason for heated discussions and polemics? Which is the image of God which is behind all these preconceptions, these norms and these prohibitions?
• How is this phrase of Jesus to be understood: “Nobody puts a piece of new cloth on an old cloak?   Which is the message which we can draw from all this for your community today?
5) Concluding Prayer
I am listening. What is God's message?
Yahweh's message is peace for his people,
for his faithful, if only they renounce their folly. (Ps 85,8)