Saturday, August 23, 2014

 

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 24, 2014
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 22: 19-23 / Ps 138: 1-2, 2-3, 6, 8 (8bc) / Rom 11: 33-36 / Mt 16: 13-20

First Reading: Isaiah 22: 19-23
You will be deposed, strongman. I will hurl you down from where you are. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe, I will strengthen him with your girdle, I will give him your authority, and he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. Upon his shoulder I will place the key of the House of David: what he opens, no one shall shut; what he shuts, no one shall open. I will fasten him like a peg in a sure spot, and he will be a seat of honor in the house of his father.

Second Reading: Romans 11: 33-36
How deep are the riches, the wisdom and knowledge of God! His decisions cannot be explained, nor his ways understood! Who has ever known God's thoughts? Who has ever been his adviser? Who has given him something first, so that God had to repay him? For everything comes from him, has been made by him and has to return to him. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.

Gospel: Matthew. 16:13-20
After that Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of man is?" They said, "For some of them you are John the Baptist, for others Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets." Jesus asked them, "But you, who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. And now I say to you: You are Peter (or Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven." Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Reflection:
     In the First Reading, God gave the key of authority over the House of David to Eliakim. "He will have the keys of the office. What he opens, no one will shut and what he shuts, no one will open." Similarly in the Gospel, Jesus said to Peter, "I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; what you loose on earth will be loose in heaven."
     Both Eliakim and Peter were given the keys of authority. But why was Peter given the big responsibility of leadership in the Church? Peter, as we know, was impulsive, changeable and weak-minded. What did Jesus Christ see in him? Wasn't he the one who started to sink when he got distracted by the storm?  Wasn't he the one whom Jesus called Satan for stopping him from going to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission? Wasn't he the one who denied Jesus three times during his passion?  However, there was one thing that Peter did which caught Jesus' attention positively. When Jesus asked the apostles the question what they thought about him, it was Peter who declared without hesitation, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!"  Probably Jesus saw in Peter the quality of one who can be faithful to him, one who can be trusted. And true enough, after Jesus gave him the key to the kingdom of heaven, Peter was faithful to the task assigned to him even unto death. He gave his life to defend the resurrected Christ.
     "Who do people say that I am?" The same question is being asked of us today.  Who is Jesus Christ for us? Can we give an answer right away? How much do we know Jesus? How faithful are we to him? The answers of course will vary. It will depend on how much we know him and how faithful we are to him. We know many things about Jesus. We know that he is the Son of Mary and Joseph. We know that he is the Son of God. We know that he suffered, died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. We know about his teachings because we read the scriptures. However, do we know him on a very personal basis? Do we communicate with him in prayer?  Do we put into action his teachings? Can we give our life for him like what the saints did? If we can say yes to these questions, then probably we know him but not yet completely. So let us continue spending more time with him in prayer to listen to him and know his will. Let us make our relationship with him stronger by following his examples of love and compassion to others. Like Peter, let us be faithful to him until death. 

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

... for Almabelle Abapo, Lisa Claire Branzuela and Dale Robert's Basilla who will take the Physician Licensure Exams (Aug 23,24, 30, 31) - the grace of wisdom, understanding and clarity of mind during their preparations and exam proper.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

 

Saturday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time

August 23, 2014
Saturday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Rose of Lima]

Ez 43: 1-7ab / Ps 85: 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14 / Mt 23: 1-12

Reading: Ez 43: 1-7ab
He took me to the gate, facing east. Then I saw the Glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east with a sound like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his Glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when he came for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I threw myself to the ground. The Glory of Yahweh arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court: the Glory of Yahweh was filling the House. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, "Son of man, you have seen the place of my throne, where I will place the soles of my feet, and live among the Israelites forever.   

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people; so they wear very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. They enjoy the first place at feasts and reserved seats in the synagogues, and being greeted in the marketplace and being called 'Master' by the people. But you, do not let yourselves be called Master because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. Nor should you be called leader, because Christ is the only leader for you. Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great."

Reflection:
     Do the words that we say conform to the way we act and the way we live? Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for being hypocrites for they know all the teachings and memorize all the biblical verses, but they don't do what they believe in. Faith without action is dead. These teachers need to walk the talk. Jesus pointed out that knowledge of religion is not the most important thing, but rather it's the act of love. The whole point of being a Christian is to love God and to love others. Without that, we're nothing. We need to reach out to others than just be content in our comfortable positions.     
     Jesus also points out the importance of humility and forgiveness. Even if he was called master by his apostles, he did not want to be served by them. He came to serve as shown when he washed the feet of his apostles during the last supper. He told them to do as he was doing to them.  Then he suffered mockery under Pontius Pilate but remained meek and humble.  He was crucified like a criminal, but he forgave his enemies. He did all this to save from our sinfulness. We should learn from Jesus' servant leadership. "Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great."

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
     * Annika Bacani - healing from atopic dermatitis and trichotollomania
     * Agnes Bacani - healing from cancer
... for world peace and reconciliation

... for Almabelle Abapo, Lisa Claire Branzuela and Dale Robert's Basilla who will take the Physician Licensure Exams (Aug 23,24, 30, 31) - the grace of wisdom, understanding and clarity of mind during their preparations and exam proper.

... for the repose of the soul of Feliciano Buenaventura Jr

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

 

Memorial, Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 22, 2014
Friday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

Ez 37: 1-14 / Ps 107: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 / Mt 22: 34-40 

Reading: Ez 37: 1-14
The hand of Yahweh was upon me. He brought me out and led me in spirit to the middle of the valley which was full of bones. He made me walk to and fro among them and I could see there was a great number of them on the ground all along the valley and that they were very dry. Yahweh said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live again?" I said, "Lord Yahweh, only you know that." He then said, "Speak on my behalf concerning these bones; say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh! Yahweh says: I am going to put spirit in you and make you live. I shall put sinews on you and make flesh grow on you; I shall cover you with skin and give you my spirit, that you may live. And you will know that I am Yahweh." I prophesied as I had been commanded and then there was a noise and commotion; the bones joined together. I looked and saw that they had sinews, that flesh was growing on them and that he was covering them with skin. But there was no spirit in them. So Yahweh said to me, "Speak on my behalf and call on the Spirit, son of man! Say to the Spirit: This is the word of Yahweh: Spirit, come from the four winds. Breathe into these dead bones and let them live!" I prophesied as he had commanded me and breath entered them; they came alive, standing on their feet - a great, immense army! He then said to me, "Son of man, these bones are all Israel. They keep saying: 'Our bones are dry, hope has gone, it is the end of us.' So prophesy! Say to them: This is what Yahweh says: I am going to open your tombs, I shall bring you out of your tombs, my people, and lead you back to the land of Israel. You will know that I am Yahweh, O my people! when I open your graves and bring you out of your graves, when I put my spirit in you and you live. I shall settle you in your land and you will know that I, Yahweh, have done what I said I would do."    

Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-40
When the Pharisees heard how Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. One of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to test him with this question, "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law?" Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the most important of the commandments. But after this there is another one very similar to it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole Law and the Prophets are founded on these two commandments."

Reflection:
     A true disciple is one who genuinely desires to learn. Unlike the Sadducees, Pharisees and teachers of the Law who interpret it according to their limited understanding, Jesus reveals to us the Truth by means of the Wisdom of God. Jesus summarizes the essence of the Law into two: Love God and love one another. These two commandments go hand in hand because they teach the application of what is infinitely unfathomable. 
     Our Mother Mary is an example of a true disciple. She predisposes her heart in order to be receptive to the teachings in Scriptures and to be reflective in seeking to understand the situations she encounters.  We find these words about Mary in Scripture verses like:  "She kept all this in her heart" and "Do whatever he tells you to do."  
     Catholics often pray the "Hail Mary" prayer. This prayer helps us situate ourselves into the calling of Mary in the annunciation. This call is presented to all Christians and demands a similar response as hers. Her special role as Mother of God is not just limited to the historical Jesus but it extends to us as well in an eschatological sense. Whenever we celebrate with the Church the mass or the Eucharistic celebration, in a way we are being transformed into the body of Christ. In a remarkable way it fulfills the prophecy in our first reading when God declared that He will put flesh and sinews and make into living bodies the dried bones that have scattered in the fields. 
     With Mary as Queen Mother and patron of our Church, generations of disciples will be produced to bring the message of the Life of Christ into the world. 

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn. 
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
... for the birthday intentions of Rina Faustino
... for the fiesta intentions of Mary the Queen Parish

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 

Thursday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time

August 21, 2014
Thursday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, St. Pius X]

Ez 36: 23-28 / Ps 51: 12-13, 14-15, 18-19 / Mt 22: 1-14

Reading: Ez 36: 23-28
I will make known the holiness of my great Name, profaned among the nations because of you, and they will know that I am Yahweh when I show them my holiness among you. For I will gather you from all the nations and bring you back to your own land. Then I shall pour pure water over you and you shall be made clean - cleansed from the defilement of all your idols. I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I shall remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put my spirit within you and move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you shall be my people and I will be your God.

Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus went on speaking to them in parables: "This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven. A king celebrated the wedding of his son. He sent his servants to call the invited guests to the wedding feast, but the guests refused to come. Again he sent other servants ordering them to say to the invited guests: 'I have prepared a banquet, slaughtered my fattened calves and other animals, and now everything is ready; come then, to the wedding feast. But they paid no attention and went away, some to their fields, and others to their work. While the rest seized the servants of the king, insulted them and killed them. The king became angry. He sent his troops to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants: 'The wedding banquet is prepared, but the invited guests were not worthy. Go, then, to the crossroads and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.' The servants went out at once into the streets and gathered everyone they found, good and bad alike, so that the hall was filled with guests. The king came in to see those who were at table, and he noticed a man not wearing the festal garment. So he said to him: 'Friend, how did you get in without the wedding garment?' But the man remained silent. So the king said to his servants: 'Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.' Know that many are called, but few are chosen."

Reflection:
For those who love to eat, it's difficult to imagine anyone passing up a good meal, let alone an invitation to a feast fit for royalties. God invites everyone to His heavenly banquet. He excludes no one. But we must behave like invited guests and not as gate crashers. Even if God's invitation does not exclude anyone, we must honor it with our behavior of faith. In today's gospel, Jesus tells us that it is the Father that decides whom He will call, and only the Father chooses who will stay at the feast. As His servants, we have now become his friends because of Jesus. He welcomes all who choose to answer His call. The generosity of our King knows no bounds. God is a gracious King who wants to bless all of us, and bless us abundantly. All that He asks is that we accept His invitation, and that we "dress" for the occasion - by learning to live and to love like Christ. It is our choice. May we learn to hear His call to celebrate, to accept His blessings, to welcome those that the Lord sends our way in order to prepare us with our meeting with our King.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions of
* Mary Jane Billanes
* Linda Tan

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

+================================================+
| The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
| priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
| http://www.marythequeen.org
| Distributed free and for personal use only.
+================================================+

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

 

Wednesday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time

August 20, 2014
Wednesday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Bernard]  

Ez 34: 1-11 / Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5,6 / Mt 20: 1-16

Reading: Ez 34: 1-11
The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, "Son of man, speak on my behalf against the shepherds of Israel! Say to the shepherds on my behalf: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? But you feed on milk and are clothed in wool, and you slaughter the fattest sheep. You have not taken care of the flock, you have not strengthened the weak, cared for the sick or bandaged the injured. You have not gone after the sheep that strayed or searched for the one that was lost. Instead you ruled them harshly and were their oppressors. They have scattered for want of a shepherd and became prey of wild animals. My sheep wander over the mountains and high hills; and when they are scattered throughout the land, no one bothers about them or looks for them. Hear then shepherds, what Yahweh says: As I live - word of Yahweh, - because my sheep have been the prey of wild animals and become their food for want of shepherds, because the shepherds have not cared for my sheep, because you shepherds have not bothered about them but fed yourselves and not the flocks, because of that, hear the word of Yahweh. This is what Yahweh says: I will ask an account of the shepherds and reclaim my sheep from them. No longer shall they tend my flock; nor shall there be shepherds who feed themselves. I shall save the flock from their mouths and no longer shall it be food for them. Indeed Yahweh says this: I myself will care for my sheep and watch over them.   

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven. A landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the workers a salary of a silver coin for the day, and sent them to his vineyard. He went out again at about nine in the morning, and seeing others idle in the square, he said to them: 'You, too, go to my vineyard and I will pay you what is just.' So they went. The owner went out at midday and again at three in the afternoon, and he did the same. Finally he went out at the last working hour - it was the eleventh - and he saw others standing there. So he said to them: 'Why do you stay idle the whole day?' They answered: 'Because no one has hired us.' The master said: 'Go and work in my vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager: 'Call the workers and pay them their wage, beginning with the last and ending with the first.' Those who had come to work at the eleventh hour turned up and were given a denarius each (a silver coin). When it was the turn of the first, they thought they would receive more. But they, too, received a denarius each. So, on receiving it, they began to grumble against the landowner. They said: 'These last hardly worked an hour, yet you have treated them the same as us who have endured the day's burden and heat.' The owner said to one of them: 'Friend, I have not been unjust to you. Did we not agree on a denarius a day? So take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last the same as I give to you. Don't I have the right to do as I please with my money? Why are you envious when I am kind?' So will it be: the last will be first, the first will be last."

Reflection 
     We cannot interpret the gospel according to our human understanding of justice. For us, it is just to receive more compensation for longer hours of labor. Hence the complaint of the first batch of workers is reasonable. However, the gospel confounds us with another form of justice which we are unable to comprehend. Prophet Isaiah says the thinking of God is not similar to that of man. They are as dissimilar as heaven and earth. The gospel does not refer to monetary wage but to the gift of eternal life which does not depend on our merit but on God's generosity. The good thief was granted the kingdom of heaven before he died because Jesus wanted it.  In Eph. 2:8-9, St. Paul tells us: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves.  It is the gift of God, not deserved by us through our works, so that no one can boast." In Romans 9:16 say, " ... grace does not depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy."  
     The workers received the same wage no matter the difference in their working hours. They had no right to complain. It is the landowner's gift.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions of Anj Tan and Saabie L. Dy

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
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Monday, August 18, 2014

 

Tuesday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time

August 19, 2014
Tuesday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time
[St. John Eudes; St. Ezechiel Moreno]     

Ez 28: 1-10  / Dt 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab / Mt 19:23-30   

Reading: Ez 28: 1-10  
The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, "Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: You consider yourself wiser than Daniel; Your wisdom and know-how have earned you a fortune, Clever in trade, you became wealthy But now Yahweh has spoken to you, I am bringing foreigners against you, They will bring you down to the pit Will you be able to say 'I am a god' You will die the death of the uncircumcised and perish at the hands of aliens.    

Gospel: Matthew 19: 23-30
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I say to you: it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, believe me: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven." On hearing this the disciples were astonished and said, "Who, then, can be saved?" Jesus looked steadily at them and answered, "For humans it is impossible, but for God all things are possible." Then Peter spoke up and said, "You see we have given up everything to follow you: what will be our lot?" Jesus answered, "You who have followed me, listen to my words: on the Day of Renewal, when the Son of Man sits on his throne in glory, you, too, will sit on twelve thrones to rule the twelve tribes of Israel. As for those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or property for my Name's sake, they will receive a hundredfold and be given eternal life. Many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.

Reflection:
     Every year God invites us to enter and to experience conversion.  At some point in our life, we desire to convert sinners and friends alike.  But our dilemma is where and how to begin.  St. John Eudes had a great insight on that and he said, "Let us give ourselves to God with a great desire to begin to live, and thus beg Him to destroy in us the life of the world of sin and to establish His life within us."
     In today's readings, God is calling us to live our life with Him. The first reading admonishes us not to consider ourselves equal to God because He is infinitely more powerful. We may not be aware of it, but more often than not we like to play God.  We want to succeed and to have everything because deep inside us we want to be accepted and appreciated.  If we are looking for recognition and appreciation from people, we will never be satisfied. But with God, our longings can be fulfilled. Once we have truly met Him, we will just want to please Him and nobody else. There is no need to prove ourselves to God because He loves us as we are, weak and sinful. Instead of accumulating material things, accolades, praises, medals, etc., we realize that in order to encounter Him again and again, we must give up material things, enjoy less pleasures and give up our self-seeking plans.  God is offering us a treasure that we can enjoy someday and that is eternal life in heaven with Him.  That is something worth investing in with 100% guarantee of return of happiness and peace.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

... for the birthday intentions of Kaye Go
... for the special intentions of Alfonso Marquez III
... for the special intentions and healing of Nick Lucena

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most. 

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following: 

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   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only.  
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

 

Monday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time

August 18, 2014
Monday 20TH Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, St. Albert Hurtado Cruchaga]

Ez 24: 15-23 / Dt 32: 18-19, 20, 21/ Mt 19: 16-22

Reading: Ez 24: 15-23
The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, "Son of man, I am about to suddenly take from you the delight of your eyes, but you are not to lament or weep or let your tears flow. Groan in silence and do not mourn for the dead; wear your turban, put on your sandals, do not cover your beard or eat the customary food of mourners." I spoke to the people in the morning and my wife died that evening. The next morning I did as I had been commanded. Then the people said to me: "Explain to us the meaning of your actions." I said to them, "The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms: 'Say to Israel: I am about to profane my sanctuary, your pride, the delight of your eyes for which you long. The sons and daughters you left behind will also fall by the sword, but you will do as I have done: you will not cover your beard or eat the customary food of mourners; you will keep your turbans on your heads and sandals on your feet. You will not lament or weep. Instead, because of your sin, you will waste away and groan among yourselves.   

Gospel: Matthew 19: 16 - 22
It was then that a young man approached him and asked, "Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?" Jesus answered, "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Only one is Good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments." The young man said, "Which commandments?" Jesus replied, "Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "I have kept all these commandments, what is still lacking?" Jesus answered, "If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you possess and give the money to the poor and you will become the owner of a treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." On hearing this answer, the young man went away sad for he was a man of great wealth.

Reflection:
     The rich young man seems to be a good Christian because he is happy to tell Jesus he obeys the ten commandments. But why is Jesus looking for something more?  In Mt 5:3, Jesus says,  "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven," the first of the eight beatitudes he taught n his sermon on the mount. To be poor in spirit is to have no attachment to our possessions. This is where the rich young man has a problem. One does not have to be financially poor to be poor in spirit. In Isaiah 61:1-3 Jesus said,  "The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to bind broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those languishing in prison; to announce the year of Yahweh's favour, to give comfort to all who grieve." And in Matthew 25: 31-46 Jesus says, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, take your heritage, the Kingdom prepared for you... for I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; I was naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me... I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me." It is clear that it is not enough to obey the ten commandments. We have a responsibility to our neighbor who is our brother or sister in Christ. We are expected to do the seven practices of charity if we are to gain eternal life.
     How do we treat our house help?  The workers in our businesses? Are their lives improving because of us or worsening because of us? What do we do to help victims of natural disasters?  In Caritas Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI writes: "Charity demands justice: recognition and respect for the legitimate rights of the individuals and peoples. Only in charity, illuminated by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value." Let us work together to give what is just to the poor around us.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the birthday intentions of Marlyne Uy

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

  +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
  +================================================+

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