Thursday, August 24, 2006


Friday 20th Week in Ordinary Time

August 25, 2006
Friday 20th Week in Ordinary Time - Yr II

EZEKIEL 37:1-14
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and led me out in the Spirit of the
Lord and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with
bones. He made me walk among the bones in every direction so that I saw
how many they were on the surface of the plain. How dry they were! He
asked me: Son of man, can these bones come to life? I answered, "Lord
God, you alone know that." Then he said to me: Prophesy over these
bones, and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says
the Lord God to these bones: See! I will bring spirit into you, that
you may come to life. I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over
you, cover you with skin, and put spirit in you so that you may come to
life and know that I am the Lord. I prophesied as I had been told, and
even as I was prophesying I heard a noise; it was a rattling as the
bones came together, bone joining bone. I saw the sinews and the flesh
come upon them, and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in
them. Then the Lord said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son
of man, and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord God: From the four
winds come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come
to life. I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army. Then he said to me: Son
of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They have been
saying, "Our bones are dried up, our hope is lost, and we are cut off."
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: O my
people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring
you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I
will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon
your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and
I will do it, says the Lord.

MATTHEW 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they
gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by
asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He
said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and
the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these
two commandments."

The Pharisees counted over three hundred commandments of the law. These
three hundred commandments were the source of constant discussion. As a
result, the Jews literally enunciated thousands of regulations and
rules that were to govern the behavior of pious people.

Another topic of debate was which of all these laws and rules and
regulations was the greatest, the most important, the most binding. A
lawyer in today's Gospel wants to get Jesus into this sort of a
discussion, hoping that he'll look foolish in the eyes of the
listeners. So he asks Jesus, "Which is the greatest of the law's

With admirable ease, Jesus introduces utter simplicity into the laws
and regulations that cluttered up Jewish theology. He reduces all the
law to two commandments, "Love God" and "Love the neighbor." Jesus
makes the two commandments one. The one most basic commandment that
sums up all the rest is expressed in the word "love." Clearly Jesus did
not want Christianity to become a heartless, loveless matter of
conformity to a series of laws.

"Love" is at the core of Christianity. "Love" does not address rules
and commandments. "Love" bursts into life in the presence of, and as a
response to, persons. The motivation of Christian behavior was not to
be a law feared, but a person loved, the person of God, the person of
the neighbor.

It was his love for the Father and his love for men and women that
moved the Son of God to enter into our world and upon the work of
salvation. Hopefully it will be our love of the Father and of the
neighbor that will motivate all our thoughts and actions, forming them
into expressions of Christian striving.

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the personal intentions and discernment of Trinna
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Prayer Intention: Linda Panutat
- 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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