June 3, 2015 WEDNESDAY, 9TH Week in Ordinary Time
Sts. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Tb 3:1 - 11a, 16 – 17a / Mk 12:18 – 27
[St. Charles Lwanga (d. 1886), master of the pages, and fourteen other pages (d. 1886 - 1887) were martyred by King Mwanga of Uganda for their opposition to his homosexual and corrupt court.]
Reading: Tb 3:1 - 11a, 16 – 17a
Distressed, I wept and prayed and expressing my sorrow, I said, "You are just, O Lord; all your actions and all your ways are merciful and just; your judgments are always true and just. Remember me, Lord, and look on me. Do not punish me for my sins nor for the wrongs I have committed through ignorance. Pardon the sins which my fathers have committed in your sight, for they disobeyed your commandments. You have allowed us to suffer pillage, captivity and death. You have allowed us to be mocked by all the pagan nations among whom we have been dispersed. Ah well! All your judgments are just when you choose to punish me for my sins and those of my fathers, because we have not accomplished your will, nor have we sincerely obeyed your commands. We have not walked before you in truth.
Do with me as you will. Order my life taken from me, and turn me into dust, because I prefer death to life. In this way free me and let me return to dust. It is better for me to die than to live, because these unjust reproaches have caused me great distress. Command that I be now released from trials, and let me enter my eternal dwelling place. Do not turn your face away from me."
That same day, at Ecbatana in Media, Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, was insulted in a similar way by her father's young maidservants. Sara had had seven husbands, but the demon Asmodeus had killed each one of them before the marriage had been consummated. The maidservants said, "It was you who killed your husbands. You have had seven husbands and you have not enjoyed marital relationship with any of them. Why do you punish us? Since they are dead, go and join them. May we never see a son or daughter of yours!"
That same day Sara was so distressed in mind that she went to the upper room in her father's house. She wished to hang herself. But she thought better of it and said: "If people ever reproached my father and said to him: 'You had an only daughter whom you cherished and she hanged herself because she was unhappy,' I would cause my father in his old age to die of grief. It is better for me not to hang myself but to ask the Lord that I may die and not live to hear any more insults."
At that moment she stretched forth her hands towards the window and prayed, saying, "You are blessed, O Lord my God, and blessed is your holy and glorious Name throughout the ages.
The Lord in his glory heard the prayer of Tobit and of Sara and he sent Raphael to heal them both – to give back his sight to Tobit and to give Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, to Tobit's son Tobias, as his wife.
Gospel: Mk 12:18 – 27
The Sadducees also came to Jesus. Since they claim there is no resurrection, they questioned him in this way, "Master, in the Scriptures Moses gave us this law: 'If anyone dies and leaves a wife with no children, his brother must take the wife and give her a child who will be considered the child of his deceased brother.' Now, there were seven brothers. The first married a wife, but he died without leaving any children. The second took the wife and he, too, died leaving no children. The same thing happened to the third. Finally the seven died leaving no children. Last of all, the woman died. Now, in the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife? For the seven had her as wife."
Jesus replied, "You could be wrong in this regard because you understand neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. When they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry but are like angels in heaven.
"Now, about the resurrection of the dead, have you never reflected on the chapter of the burning bush in the book of Moses? God said to him: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now, he is the God not of the dead but of the living."
Today's Gospel reading recalls the story of Tobias and Sara in the Book of Tobit where each one of Sara's seven husbands died on the night of their wedding. Through the help of Raphael the wedding of Sara to Tobias did not end as tragically as Sara's previous seven weddings.
Ragouel, Sara's father, was grateful and blessed the Lord, "May you be blessed, O Lord, with all pure and holy blessings. May the saints and all your creatures bless you. May all the angels and the elect bless you forever. . . . What I feared has not happened, but you have treated us with great kindness and have had mercy on these two who are only children. Have mercy on them, Lord, and give them your grace and protection so that they may be blessed with good health and great joy all their lives." (Tb 9: 15 – 17)
Ragouel's beautiful prayer is a prayer for all of us when we see the many graces and blessings God has given each one of us.
Jesus affirms the resurrection of the dead and declares that marriage is not a concern in the after-life: "When they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry but are like angels in heaven."
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
JOSE & ANALYN PUA
IN MEMORIAM (+)
RAMONA CHUA HWAN (NOV 2, 1955 – JUN 3, 2005)
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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