Tuesday, January 31, 2006



FEBRUARY 1, 2006

2 SAMUEL 24:2,9-17
Accordingly the king said to Joab and the leaders of the army who
were with him, "Tour all the tribes in Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba
and register the people, that I may know their number." Joab then
reported to the king the number of people registered: in Israel,
eight hundred thousand men fit for military service; in Judah, five
hundred thousand. Afterward, however, David regretted having
numbered the people, and said to the LORD: "I have sinned grievously
in what I have done. But now, LORD, forgive the guilt of your
servant, for I have been very foolish." When David rose in the
morning, the LORD had spoken to the prophet Gad, David's seer,
saying: "Go and say to David, 'This is what the LORD says: I offer
you three alternatives; choose one of them, and I will inflict it on
you.'" Gad then went to David to inform him. He asked: "Do you want
a three years' famine to come upon your land, or to flee from your
enemy three months while he pursues you, or to have a three days'
pestilence in your land? Now consider and decide what I must reply
to him who sent me." David answered Gad: "I am in very serious
difficulty. Let us fall by the hand of God, for he is most merciful;
but let me not fall by the hand of man." Thus David chose the
pestilence. Now it was the time of the wheat harvest when the plague
broke out among the people. (The LORD then sent a pestilence over
Israel from morning until the time appointed, and seventy thousand
of the people from Dan to Beer-sheba died.) But when the angel
stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD
regretted the calamity and said to the angel causing the destruction
among the people, "Enough now! Stay your hand." The angel of the
LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the
Jebusite. When David saw the angel who was striking the people, he
said to the LORD: "It is I who have sinned; it is I, the shepherd,
who have done wrong. But these are sheep; what have they done?
Punish me and my kindred."

MARK 6:1-6
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his
disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the
synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man
get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been
given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter?
Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and
Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at
him. Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives
and in his own house is a prophet without honor." He could not do
any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and
heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went
around teaching from village to village.

There probably have been times in our lives where we find ourselves
making difficult decisions. Perhaps some of us are executives or
managers who have to decide whether to lay off workers in order that
our business will survive. Some of us may be part of a group of
people who need to determine whether a person committed a crime and
may have to spend most of his life in jail. Many of us could be the
head of the family who may need to decide whether to move to another
country for a career at the expense of uprooting the family.

Both readings today seem to underscore such a theme. David was
presented with a difficult decision of three options by God to
inflict on the people of Israel. He chose pestilence, which
resulted in the death of thousands.

In the Gospel today, Jesus faces a crowd of people whom he knew
since childhood. Unfortunately this crowd doubted him and Jesus
made the decision not to continue his ministry among them. It may
have been a logical decision but we could feel his disappointment
and sadness for coming to that decision.

How we run our lives depends on the decisions we make. Sometimes
these decisions can be difficult and/or have very unpleasant
consequences to the extent we lose friends and offend our closest

God came to David's side after the pestilence and David eventually
built an altar that led to the end of the plague and suffering.
Jesus, after deciding to leave Nazareth, continued with his ministry
to teach and heal among the villages of Galilee.

The Lord is at our side through difficult times. Jesus teaches us
that life goes on especially when we are entrusted with a Mission -
the Mission to spread the Word of God and to practice our love and
concern for our neighbor.

Reflection on the Gospel today, do I have some preconceptions about
people of certain social classes and races that I need to overcome?

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Chris N. Eternal rest grant
unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he and all the
souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for healing of Sister Annie C.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Tomas T. Tan
- In Memoriam (+): Evelyn C. Ong (1946-2005)
- Wedding Anniversary: Mr. & Mrs. Felix Saw
- 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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