Monday, September 29, 2014
Tuesday 26th Week in Ordinary Time
September 30, 2014
Tuesday 26th Week in Ordinary Time
[St. Jerome, priest and doctor]
Jb 3: 1-3, 11-17, 20-23 / Ps 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8 / Lk 9: 51-56
Reading: Jb 3: 1-3, 11-17, 20-23
At length it was Job who spoke, cursing the day of his birth. This is what he said: Cursed be the day I was born, and the night which whispered: A boy has been conceived. Why didn't I die at birth, or come from the womb without breath? Why the knees that received me, why the breasts that suckled me? For then I should have lain down asleep and been at rest with kings and rulers of the earth who built for themselves lonely tombs; or with princes who had gold to spare and houses stuffed with silver. Why was I not stillborn, like others who did not see the light of morn? There the trouble of the wicked ceases, there the weary find repose. Why is light given to the miserable, and life to the embittered? To those who long for death more than for hidden treasure? They rejoice at the sight of their end, they are happy upon reaching the grave. Why give light to a man whose path has vanished, whose ways God blocks at every side?
Gospel: Luke 9: 51-56
As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. He had sent ahead of him some messengers who entered a Samaritan village to prepare a lodging for him. But the people would not receive him because he was on his way to Jerusalem. Seeing this, James and John, his disciples said, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.
For us Filipinos who are known for our hospitality, the gospel narrative about Jesus being refused lodging in a Samaritan village may seem disturbing. But in those times, the hostility between Samaritans and Jews was part of the cultural landscape. For one, Samaritans did not believe that the temple of Jerusalem was the proper site for worship. So, learning that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, the Samaritans would not welcome him. The reaction of James and John - to seek heaven to destroy the village - may seem rash and violent; but they were clearly trying to protect and defend Jesus. Their intent - to pray for the opponent to be punished - may even strike us as normal, human and commonplace. When we are rejected, offended or unjustly treated, we want to strike back at these people. We ask and expect God to take our side, defend our cause and destroy our opponents.
But Jesus reacts to the Samaritan rejection differently from his disciples. In fact, Jesus rebukes them for their vindictive attitude. Faced with opposition and resistance, Jesus' way is not to hit back and destroy those who reject him, those who differ from him. He accepts and respects the freedom of his opponents. Furthermore, Jesus is practical and single-minded. He does not allow this rejection to distract him from his destination - Jerusalem.
The gospel invites us to examine our attitudes towards those who differ from us. Are we tolerant of those who do not share our beliefs? Do we respect their freedom? How do we react in front of obstacles to our good intentions and projects on behalf of the Lord? Can we find the practical wisdom like Jesus, to be tolerant, patient and calm in front of opposition and conflict and still keep our sights and mind set on our mission?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for blessing - Lea, MJ & Gab, and family
... for wisdom, perseverance and clarity of mind as they prepare and take their exams:
* Dennis Puno who takes the Mechanical Engineering Board Exams on October 3 - 4, 2014
* Karen Tuala who takes the bar exams on the coming four (4) consecutive weekends
... For Alfredo Garcia, Jr. - May perpetual light shine upon him.
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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