Wednesday, January 11, 2006



JANUARY 12, 2006

1 SAMUEL 4:1-11
The Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel. Israel went out to
engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines
camped at Aphek. The Philistines then drew up in battle formation
against Israel. After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the
Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield.
When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why
has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines?
Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh that it may go into
battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies." So the
people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the LORD of
hosts, who is enthroned upon the cherubim. The two sons of Eli,
Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of God. When the ark of the
LORD arrived in the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the
earth resounded. The Philistines, hearing the noise of shouting,
asked, "What can this loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews
mean?" On learning that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,
the Philistines were frightened. They said, "Gods have come to their
camp." They said also, "Woe to us! This has never happened before.
Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods?
These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with various plagues
and with pestilence. Take courage and be manly, Philistines;
otherwise you will become slaves to the Hebrews, as they were your
slaves. So fight manfully!" The Philistines fought and Israel was
defeated; every man fled to his own tent. It was a disastrous
defeat, in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark
of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were
among the dead.

MARK 1:40-45
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you
wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his
hand, touched the leper, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made
clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to
him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to
the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that
will be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize
the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was
impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in
deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

In the time of Jesus, leprosy was seen as a punishment form God for
the sins of the leper or for those of his ancestors. Any contact
with a leper was considered to be contrary to God's will. Those who
witnessed Jesus as he touched and healed the man suffering from
leprosy were likely divided into opposite camps. Some were probably
scandalized that Jesus would violate ritual purity by touching a
leper while others marveled at the wonders he worked.

The lepers of today are all those whom we or our community consider
unworthy of our love. Lepers are symbolic of those from whom basic
dignity and respect are withheld. Today we are more subtle in the
ways we prevent people from being part of the community. We erect
barriers that allow to be separated from them, all the while
maintaining an illusion of moral superiority. Modern "lepers" are
the elderly whom some societies declare to be obsolete and useless.
We reject those who have had abortions. We must defend life and the
unborn but we must do so with love. We shun prostitutes but Jesus
always loved sinners with the hope that they would repent. The
examples are numerous.

As Christians, we must see Jesus in the poor, the sick, and the
outcasts of society. We must be willing to step out in faith and
recognize the physical and mental pains in those around us. Through
parish or diocesan ministries, the true disciple can easily identify
and reach out to today's untouchables in the name of Jesus. When we
do so, our ministry to those in need must be motivated by genuine
charity, a real love for those in need, for the unlikable and the
unlovable among us. There is no clearer example of what is required
of us than the story of Jesus healing the leper in today's Gospel

Lord, inflame my heart with your love and make me clean. May I never
cease to tell others of your love and mercy."

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Leticia Gonzales. Eternal
rest grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she
rest in peace.
- Thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the personal intentions of James.
- for the speedy recovery of Arby Serrano.
- for the repose of the souls of Tomas and Lolita Molina.
- for our 17 yr old grandaughter, Jami, who will be undergoing the 1st
of 2 ear surgeries this coming Thursday.
- for the soul of Lolita F. Molina.
- for the eternal repose of the souls of Teresita Bautista, Remegio
Sariola Jr., Florentina Sariola and Remegio Sariola Sr.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Tomas Nanquil, Jr. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Francisco Tong
- Wedding Anniversary: Juanita & Tomas Tangsoc
- for world peace and reconciliation.

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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