Saturday, February 25, 2006


8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 26, 2006
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B

HOSEA 2:16B, 17B, 21-22
Thus says the LORD: I will lead her into the desert and speak to her
heart. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she
came up from the land of Egypt. I will espouse you to me forever: I
will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will
espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD.

Brothers and sisters: Do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation
to you or from you? You are our letter, written on our hearts, known
and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ ministered by us,
written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets
of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh. Such confidence we
have through Christ toward God. Not that of ourselves we are qualified
to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our
qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers
of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings
death, but the Spirit gives life.

MARK 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to him and objected, "Why do the disciples of John and the
disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus
answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is
with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot
fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from
them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of
unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours
new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured
into fresh wineskins."

Among the reasons some couples have a lasting marriage is the practice
of praying together each day. Fr. Mark Link, S.J., cites the example of
Vic and Rita Galier, who have been happily married for 30 years. Vic
said that one of the big things that had helped their marriage endure
is the fact that they've been praying together all of their married
life. This daily prayer, he said, did far more than draw them closer
together. It literally held them together, especially during their
first seven years, when they went through some really difficult times.

The normal marriage, according to marriage counselors, often goes
through a four-phase process:

First, consider the "Attraction" or "Falling in love" phase. This phase
begins with two people being drawn to each other. The attraction
normally passes through the physical, emotional, intellectual, and
spiritual stages and, flowers into marriage.

Second comes the "Integration" or "Setting Down" phase. Once married,
the couple begins the process of integrating their love with the
ordinariness of daily life. They have to settle into daily routine and
responsibility, and the adjustment to each one's peculiarities. A big
challenge of this phase is to keep the ordinary from becoming boring. A
big danger of this phase is that of taking the relationship for granted
and subordinating it to other activities.

The third phase is the "Crisis" or "Bottoming out" phase. It is
sometimes called the stage of disillusionment, or more positively, the
stage of "Taking Roots." It begins when one or both parties fail to
meet the challenge of the second phase. They begin to take their
marriage for granted and subordinating it to other things. There is
frustrated expectations and disillusionment.

A big danger of this phase is that of allowing conflict to continue to
the point where communication decreases and resentment increases. Only
by dealing with differences can the relationship survive.

A big challenge of this phase is to steer potential conflict into
constructive directions. Perhaps the couple should discuss their mutual
expectations, fully accept. Or, to put it more positively - to learn
how to fall in love again in their journeying together through life.

This brings us to the final phase: the "Maturing" or "Starting again"
phase, or the stage of Deepening" and "Intimacy." This is the most
beautiful and most rewarding phase. Commenting on it, Andrew Greely
quoting another author wrote: "One scholar I know refers to intense
human intimacy as having a 'rubber band dimension.' The two lovers
drift apart, indeed are often driven apart by one another; but the
residual power of their affection is often, indeed usually,
sufficiently to impel them back to one another. Awkwardly, clumsily,
blunderingly, they stumble into one another's arms, forgive each other,
and begin again in a new burst of romantic love." Some people say that
a happy marriage is when one falls in love over and over again with the
same person.

It's interesting to note that Scripture compares the love relationship
of husband and wife to our love relationship with God. It is even more
interesting to note that our relationship with God frequently follows
the same four-phase process as that of a relationship between husband
and wife. It begins with a "falling in love" phase, which flowers into
a commitment to God. A person may experience a "spiritual high" from a
seminar or retreat, and want to dedicate his whole life to God. But
after joining a religious movement for some time, he may get
disillusioned with other people in the organization, or with the slow
pace. He may get bored by what is going on. Now, he experiences the
"settling down" phase, which involves integrating the love of God with
daily life. A person may quit at this point, or he may grow deeper and
more stable because of this experience.

The "settling down" phase infrequently moves to a kind of "bottoming
out" phase. This can happen when the integration process breaks down
and, instead of dealing with it, we cease dealing with God as loving
partner and begin dealing with God as a demanding adversary. Finally
comes the "starting again" phase. It takes place when we stumble back
into God's arms, ask God's forgiveness, and are drawn to God with new
burst of love.

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Pablo Dulay Sr., 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.
- healings for Fr Steve D, BB, Carol, Joann, & Cindy.
- for all cancer victims. May the Blessed Mother give them strength
and hope.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Peter Siam Lim III
- Birthday: Cathie & Careen Jao
- Wedding Anniversary: Peter & Glory Roxas
- In Memoriam (+): Joseph Cham Say
- 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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� 2006 Daily-Homily

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