Saturday, October 29, 2011



OCTOBER 30, 2011

Mal 1:14—2:2, 8-10 / Ps 131:1, 2, 3 / 1 Thes 2:7-9, 13 / Mt 23:1-12

MALACHI 1:14-2:2, 8-10
Cursed be the cheater who, af ter promising me a bull from his herd,
sacrifices a stunted animal. For I am a great King and my Name is
respected through all the nations, says Yahweh of hosts. This warning
is also for you, priests. If you do not listen to it or concern
yourself to glorify my Name, says Yahweh of hosts, I will send the
curse on you and curse even your blessings. But you, says Yahweh of
hosts, have strayed from my way, and moreover caused many to stumble
because of your teaching. You have broken my covenant with Levi.
Therefore I let all the people despise you and consider you unworthy,
because you do not follow my ways and you show partiality in your
judgments Do we not all have the same father? Has the same God not
created all of us? Why, then, does each of us betray his brother,
defiling the Covenant of our ancestors?

Brothers and sisters: We were gentle with you, as a nursing mother who
feeds and cuddles her baby. And so great is our concern that we are
ready to give you, as well as the Gospel, even our very lives, for you
have become very dear to us. Remember our labor and toil; when we
preached the Gospel, we worked day and night so as not to be a burden
to you. This is why we never cease giving thanks to God for, on
receiving our message, you accepted it, not as human teaching, but as
the word of God. That is what it really is, and as such it is at work
in you who believe.

MATTHEW 23:1-12
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The teachers of the
Law and the Pharisees have sat down on the chair of Moses. So you
shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, for they
do not do what they say. "They tie up heavy burdens and load them on
the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to
move them. They do everything in order to be seen by people: they wear
very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with
large tassels. They enjoy the first places at feasts and reserved
seats in the synagogues, and they like being greeted in the
marketplace, and being called `Master' by the people. "But you, do not
let yourselves be called Master, because you have only one Master, and
all of you are brothers and sisters. Neither should you call anyone on
ear th Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven.
Nor should you be called Leader, because Christ is the only Leader for
you. "Let the greatest among you be the Servant of all. For whoever
makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself
shall be made great."

The readings for today's liturgy remind us that leadership is
essential. The objects of the comments made by Jesus to the crowds and
to his disciples were the scribes and Pharisees. During Jesus' time,
the scribes were like religious intellectuals, theologians, and
professional lawyers who were adept in applying the Law to everyday
life while the Pharisees were like a fraternity of laymen who joined
together to meticulously observe the law with great precision. In the
gospel, both groups were the object of ridicule by Jesus. He
criticized them because they "do not practice what they preach." His
criticism echoed the age-old teaching of the prophet that if they had
the true spirit of the covenant, they would not interpret what the
covenant required of God's people in a way that made it next to
impossible for the common people to give faithful observance.

Though they should have helped the nation to be one family under their
"one Father in heaven," they interpreted the Law in such a way that
their elaborate observance gave them an elite status — which they
celebrated by wearing the trappings of self-importance and seeing
themselves as deserving the admiration of the common people they
despised. For example, the tassels in Deuteronomy (22:12) were another
sign as established by God to be a reminder of His Word and Law.
Tassels or fringes were to be attached to the hems of the outer
garment in its four corners to remind a Jew of his attachment to the
commandments. Today these tassels or fringes can be found attached to
prayer shawls. Similar to the large phylacteries, these tassels could
be enlarged by the Pharisees in order to attract attention to their
obedience and piety.

Moreover, the seat of honor at any banquet would be on either side of
the person hosting the banquet. In the synagogue the front seats
actually faced the entire congregation much as the chair of the priest
presider does in churches today. These were considered to be seats of
honor which would typically be reserved for the elders. Those
individuals seated here were in clear view of the congregation and
their actions and piety could be plainly observed.

These examples were what angered Jesus, for leaders had the tendency
to call attention to themselves and instead of bringing people to God,
they bring people's attention to themselves. He is condemning these
externals as well as the elitist pretensions currently being
associated with such terms as Rabbi by the scribes and the Pharisees.
Heeding the teaching of Christ, God's people will recognize their
fundamental equality before their common Father. Those called to
positions of leadership among them will make themselves `the last of
all and the servants of all' (Mk 9:35); and all those who claim to be
commit ted followers of the Lord must be on their guard against the
spirit of self-importance that can be so damaging to the life of the
Christian community.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Mrs. Mutoc
- Bishop Michael Driscoll
- Candido
- Susan
… for the personal intentions of Raymund Davis, Cris Davis, Nedda
Marjorie, Allan Correa, Richard Patrick, Edwin Joel, Ronald Arthur,
Kiritharan and Helen Tharmalingam, Aris and Leah
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Dionisio G. Vitan Sr., Maria Rodriguez Vitan, Dionisio R. Vitan Jr.
Benito Mosera, Marie R. Vitan
- Lamberto V. Villacorta Sr.
- Salvador "Badong" F. Bernal
- Paciencia Ferrer
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: Elimar C. Espinosa
- Birthday: Bishop Ruperto "Stude" Santos, DD
… for families who are in need of healing
… 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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