Sunday, August 26, 2007


Monday 21st Week in Ordinary Time

August 27, 2007
Memorial, St. Monica, married woman
Monday 21st Week in Ordinary Time - Year I

1 THESSALONIANS 1:1-5, 8B-10
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God
the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace. We give
thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers,
unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and
endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father,
knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For
our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in
the Holy Spirit and with much conviction. You know what sort of people
we were among you for your sake. In every place your faith in God has
gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they
themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among
you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true
God and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead,
Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.

MATTHEW 23:13-22
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "Woe to you, scribes
and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before
men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those
trying to enter. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens
you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. "Woe to
you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means
nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is
obligated.' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple
that made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If one swears by the altar,
it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is
obligated.' You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar
that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it
and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and
by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne
of God and by him who is seated on it."

Jesus came to heal and restore not only individuals but also the good
name of religion. Unlike the Pharisees, who made religion complicated
and a burden, Jesus is one who delivers us from the wrath to come.

In today's Gospel, perhaps Jesus' words hit too close to us to allow
us to feel comfortable. There is a little if not much of the scribe
and the Pharisee living within our own hearts. While many of us give
an impression of being angels in church, when we leave we also leave
behind our angelic looks and behavior. Perhaps we swear and curse,
drink and gamble, are dishonest in our dealings with fellowmen and
indulge in a variety of sinful pleasures. By what we say and do in the
home or in the office, we often shut the door of the kingdom of God to
ourselves and to others.

We must allow Jesus to forgive and change the scribe and the Pharisee
within our own hearts. We must look to the weightier matters of the
law, justice, mercy and good faith, knowing that all the commandments
of true religion are fulfilled in Jesus' royal law of love. Once we
return to this simple Gospel of love, we will find that we have
fulfilled all the rest. We must allow our hearts to be wounded towards
the poor and the afflicted; then perhaps we will start to learn to
love others.

We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Danilo Casumpang
- Dodo
- Ely
... for the personal intentions of:
- Pauline
- Argenine
- Matet Rey
... for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Donato, Maria, Candido, Alipio, Isidora, Alfonso, Alfonsa, Jovita,
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Edwin C. Inocentes
... 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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