Tuesday, November 20, 2007



NOVEMBER 21, 2007

2 MACCABEES 7:1, 20-31
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and
tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat
pork in violation of God's law. Most admirable and worthy of
everlasting remembrance was the mother, who saw her seven sons perish
in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the
Lord. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with
manly courage, she exhorted each of them in the language of their
ancestors with these words: "I do not know how you came into
existence in my womb; it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order the elements of which each of you is
composed. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who
shapes each man's beginning, as he brings about the origin of
everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and
life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law."
Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words, thought he was being
ridiculed. As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed
to him, not with mere words, but with promises on oath, to make him
rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs: he would
make him his Friend and entrust him with high office. When the youth
paid no attention to him at all, the king appealed to the mother,
urging her to advise her boy to save his life. After he had urged her
for a long time, she went through the motions of persuading her son.
In derision of the cruel tyrant, she leaned over close to her son and
said in their native language: "Son, have pity on me, who carried you
in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought you
up, educated and supported you to your present age. I beg you, child,
to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them;
then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
and in the same way the human race came into existence. Do not be
afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept
death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with
them." She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said: "What
are you waiting for? I will not obey the king's command. I obey the
command of the law given to our fathers through Moses. But you, who
have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews, will not
escape the hands of God."

LUKE 19:11-28
While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a
parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the
Kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, "A
nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for
himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave
them ten gold coins and told them, `Engage in trade with these until
I return.' His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a
delegation after him to announce, `We do not want this man to be our
king.' But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the
servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they
had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, `Sir, your
gold coin has earned ten additional ones.' He replied, `Well done,
good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take
charge of ten cities.' Then the second came and reported, `Your gold
coin, sir, has earned five more.' And to this servant too he
said, `You, take charge of five cities.' Then the other servant came
and said, `Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a
handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding
man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you
did not plant.' He said to him, `With your own words I shall condemn
you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up
what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did
you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have
collected it with interest.' And to those standing by he said, `Take
the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.' But
they said to him, `Sir, he has ten gold coins.' He replied, `I tell
you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who
has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those
enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here
and slay them before me.'" After he had said this, he proceeded on
his journey up to Jerusalem.

The Torah, Israel's Law, prescribed that after the birth of a male
child, the mother should remain in seclusion for forty days. On the
fortieth day the boy was to be presented to the Lord in the Temple
and the mother was to undergo ritual purification. After the birth
of a girl, the mother was to undergo purification on the eightieth
day. There is no mention in the Bible however that the girl was to
be presented to the Lord in the Temple. It's possible that over the
years parents gradually developed the practice of presenting the girl
to the Lord when the mother went to the Temple for the purification

Over the years a tradition grew among Christians that Mary's parents
presented her to the Lord in the Temple. This is the feast we
celebrate today. Perhaps we should look to the Gospel of today's
liturgy rather than to the history of this feast in order to find its
meaning and significance for us.

Jesus' mother and his brothers have come to talk with him. They send
word to him. Then he pays his mother one of the greatest compliments
possible. He points out that the new family he is establishing is a
family whose bond is not the blood of parents shared, but total
dedication to God's will.

Who among those present in the house have been more deeply committed
than his mother to accomplishing the life what God wills? "Yes," she
said to the angel Gabriel, though the future was hidden from
her; "Yes" to Simeon though he promised her sorrow; "Yes" to her Son
when he was 12 years old, though she was pained by and could not
understand his behavior; "Yes" to God as she would stand beneath the
cross and later when Jesus' limp, torn body would be laid in her

Fr. James McKarns concludes his reflection on this feast, "Her entire
life was a total presentation to God and her heart always beat to the
tune of his divine inspiration."

We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of Damaso Guevara,
Eligia Fernando, Sr. Belen Latorre, DC
... for the personal intentions of Pe Family
... Good health: Guevarra Family
... In Thanksgiving: Jennette
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Alex Z. Reyes
- Birthday: Cecilia C. Escobar
- Birthday: Christine Braganza
- Birthday: Nica Enrile
- Wedding Anniversary: Philip & Lucy Sy (25th wedding anniversary)
- In Memoriam (+): Marcelino Tiu (First death ananiversary)
- In Memoriam (+): Ong Tee
... 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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