Monday, August 21, 2006
Feast, Queenship of Mary
August 22, 2006
Feast, Queenship of Mary - B
The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre:
Thus says the Lord God: Because you are haughty of heart, you say, "A
god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!"- And yet
you are a man, and not a god, however you may think yourself like a
god. Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel, there is no secret that is
beyond you. By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made riches
for yourself; You have put gold and silver into your treasuries. By
your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your
riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches- therefore thus
says the Lord God: Because you have thought yourself to have the mind
of a god, Therefore I will bring against you foreigners, the most
barbarous of nations. They shall draw their swords against your
beauteous wisdom, they shall run them through your splendid apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die a bloodied corpse,
in the heart of the sea. Will you then say, "I am a god!" when you face
your murderers? No, you are man, not a god, handed over to those who
will slay you. You shall die the death of the uncircumcised at the
hands of foreigners, for I have spoken, says the Lord God.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for
one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it
is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one
who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God." When the disciples heard
this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "For men this is impossible, but for God
all things are possible." Then Peter said to him in reply, "We have
given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?" Jesus
said to them, "Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the
new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will
yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father
or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a
hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are
first will be last, and the last will be first."
Today's Gospel reading invites us to make a reflection very similar to
yesterday's reflection. Jesus says in today's Gospel, "It's easier for
a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the
Kingdom of Heaven." Our tendency when we hear this statement is to
rationalize it out of existence: it's just Jesus making use of
hyperbole or exaggeration, the sort of thing the Jews of his day loved
to use and hear. Or: the apostles were so startled by what Jesus said,
that they asked, "Then who can be saved?" To ease the Apostles' anxiety
Jesus immediately softened his words: "With God all things are
possible." In other words, it'll take a miracle to save a rich man, but
God can work miracles.
As in yesterday's reflection, that's not always true; there are
limitations on God's miracle-making power. Remember the time Jesus went
back to his hometown?
According to St. Mark, "Jesus was unable to perform miracles there,
aside from curing a few sick people. He was amazed at lack of faith [of
the people of Nazareth]."
More to the point, in yesterday's Gospel Jesus was unable to work a
miracle in the heart of the rich man who wanted to become his disciple.
The miracle Jesus tried to perform, separating him from his wealth,
failed. God was powerless to work a miracle in the rich man's heart.
There's the trouble with riches. We pass so easily from the possession
of riches to being possessed by them and then not even God can free us
of our slavery.
The rich man in yesterday's Gospel was a perfect example. The rich are
those who have steady work, secure jobs, assured incomes, comfortable
homes, healthy food. In a country in which the vast majority of the
people live below the poverty line, we are the rich, and therefore we
are at risk in Jesus' eyes.
Can we detach ourselves, not from what we need for our daily living,
but from our surplus, detach ourselves from it and offer it to God, to
Jesus, for the poor? If we cannot, we're no different than the rich man
in yesterday's Gospel. Against our will, God cannot work miracles in
our hearts. Perhaps we are no longer servants of God but slaves of
wealth. There are some really hard questions we have to ask ourselves.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the birthday of Francisco T. Cagulada 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.
- for the eternal repose of the souls of Zenon Cagulada, Petra
Madrona and Raymundo Madera. Eternal rest grant unto them and may
perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the souls of the
dearly departed rest in peace.
- In thanksgiving for Ludirose Cagulada, Emirito Sullera and Eleazar
- for the personal intentions of Alice C.
- Birthday: Mrs. Encarnacion S. Burayag.
- for the personal intentions and safekeeping of Tommy Abellar.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Fr. Johnny Go, S.J.
- Birthday: Justin Peter Lim
- Birthday: Bryan Lim
- In Memoriam (+): Carmen Tan Ngo
- In Memoriam (+): Sabino Padilla Y. Bibby
- 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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