EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF MERCY

Monday 26th October – Monday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Luke 13:10-19

EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF MERCY

The word “untie” was used by Jews to express that someone’s sin or penalty was cancelled. It also meant freeing an animal from its yoke. Jesus freed the woman in the synagogue in today’s gospel reading and invites us to follow His example. The synagogue official was indignant because Jesus performed a miracle on the day of Sabbath (rest) but Jesus made him realize that no single day was exempt from the task of showing mercy; of bringing freedom and succour to God’s children.

God does not rest from providing for his creatures on the Sabbath as St. John Chrysostom said: How does the Father work, who ceased on the seventh day from all His works? Let Him learn the manner in which He works, what is it? He cares for, He holds together all that hath been made. When thou behold the sun rising, the moon running in her path, the lakes, the fountains, the rivers, the rains, the course of nature in seeds, and in our bodies and those of irrational beings, and all the rest, by means of which the universe is made up, then learn the ceaseless working of the Father. 

Dear friends, we profess our Christian faith, not just by going to Church or praying, but in the way we treat our brethren. If we fail to show mercy and love to our brethren, because of one observance or the other then our observance becomes void. Christ calls us to untie and lift the yoke off each other’s back first, all other things then follow. Let each single day of your life find you extending God’s love and mercy to others.

PRAYER: Lord, teach me to show love and engage in works of mercy irrespective of the person or circumstance involved. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 365How do Christians make Sunday “the Lord’s day”?

A Catholic Christian attends Holy Mass on Sunday or on the vigil of Sunday. On that day, he refrains from all work that would prevent him from worshipping God or disturb the festive, joyful, restful, and restorative character of the day.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What I want is mercy, not sacrifice” Matthew 9:13 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 8:12-17; Psalm 68: 2-7, 20-21; Luke 13: 10-17

THE SON OF MAN IS LORD OF THE SABBATH

Saturday 5th September- Saturday of week 22 of the year

THE SON OF MAN IS LORD OF THE SABBATH

Luke 6:1-5

What does the commandment “keep holy the Sabbath” require of us? Or better yet, what is the primary intention behind this command? The religious leaders confronted Jesus on this issue. The “Sabbath rest” was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of his work, both in creation and redemption. It was a day set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on our behalf. It was intended to bring the week’s work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. Jesus’ disciples were scolded by the scribes and Pharisees, not for plucking and eating corn from the fields, but for doing so on the Sabbath. 

In defending his disciples, Jesus argues from the scriptures that human need has precedence over ritual custom: In their hunger, David and his men ate of the holy bread offered in the Temple.  Jesus also quoted of the Sabbath work involved in worship in the Temple. This kind of work was usually double the work of worship on weekdays. Do you honor the Lord in the way you treat your neighbor and celebrate the Lord’s Day? Let us then always keep this day holy not by attending Mass only but also by been holy just like Jesus who is the Lord of sabbath is.

PRAYER: Lord, may I honor you in my work and in my rest and treat my neighbor with respect and kindness.  Keep me free from a critical and intolerant spirit that I may seek the good of my neighbor in all situations. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2173– The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the Sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day. He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing. “The Sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honour God…”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy” Exodus 20:8 GNB

Today’s Readings: Col 1:21-23; Ps 54:3-4.6.8; Lk 6:1-5

HALLOWING THE LORD’S DAY

Friday 17th July – Friday of week 15 of the year

HALLOWING THE LORD’S DAY

Matthew 12: 1-8

The third of the Ten Commandments forbids the Israelites from working on the Sabbath day; it should be kept as an obligatory day of rest and worship in honour of the Lord (Exodus 20: 8-10). Our Lord Jesus Christ healed the sick on the Sabbath and at different times, was accused by the Pharisees of violation the Sabbath (Mark 3: 1-6; Luke 13:10-17; Luke 14: 1-8; John 5: 1-18). Today’s Gospel reading presents one of such instances. Our Blessed Saviour made it clear that He did not come to abolish the law and the Prophets but to fulfil them (Matthew 5: 7). The laws and the covenant of the Old Testament actually prefigure the new covenant in Christ Jesus (John 5: 39-40). Jesus gives the law it authentic and authoritative interpretation.

The Church recognizes The Lord’s day (Sunday) and not Sabbath (Saturday) as the obligatory day of rest and worship because it was on Sunday ( i.e. First day of the week) that the Lord resurrected from the dead ( John 20:20-23). The Sabbath which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ (CCC 2190). This is not a third century introduction by the Catholic church as some have alleged, there are scriptural evidences (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Col. 2: 16-17) and documentations by the  early church fathers (Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Tertullian etc.) attesting to this.

Beloved in Christ, having seen the basis of Sunday being celebrated as the Lord’s Day, may we ask ourselves if we truly hollow the Lord’s Day? Do we set it aside as a special day of worship and rest or we allow the servitude of work, the love of money and pleasures of life to prevent us from observing this obligatory responsibility. The Church urges us to give special attention to the corporal works of mercy and the care of our families and relatives on this day (CCC 2185, 2186). For those on essential duty (eg nurses), let us make it an avenue of special service that brings honour to God and blesses our fellow men (Col. 3:23).

PRAYER: Please help me to live for your honour oh Lord! Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2181– The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason…Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruit of your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will be bursting with wine” Proverbs 3:9 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Exodus11:10-12:14; Psalm 116: 12-13, 15-18; Matthew 12: 1-8

THE NEED TO WORK HARD

Tuesday 10th February – Memorial of St Scholastica, Virgin

Reflection: Genesis 1:20-2:4

THE NEED TO WORK HARD

“On the seventh day, God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day, sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
Hard work can be described as the effort put into duties that have to be accomplished. Its rewards include success, fulfilment and of course, rest of mind and body. God worked hard at creation for six days and at the end he was fulfilled as He looked at the beauty of the work of his hands. As creatures made in His image and likeness, we are obliged to be like God thus we must work hard if we desire fulfilment but be careful not abuse our bodies in the process. There should be adequate time to rest our minds and bodies. More than merely resting, God sanctified the seventh day. Thus, we are expected to keep it holy.

As young people, we often neglect our duties, believing that our parents should bear the responsibilities while we enjoy life to its fullest. We want success and rest without hard-work. Just like it was at creation, so it is with our everyday lives – success and rest only come after hard work, not before it. “If you are lazy, you will never get what you are after, but if you work hard, you will get a fortune” (Prov 12:27). “When someone is too lazy to repair his roof, it will leak, and the house will fall in” (Ecclesiastes 10:18).

Hard-work is the key to success. Rest well earned is the key to a relaxed mind. Make a decision to work hard at home, school, work etc and you will find yourself much happier.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please strengthen me to perform my duties diligently and bless the work of my hand with success.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 46 – Why does the Book of Genesis depict creation as “the work of six days”?
The symbol of the work week, which is crowned by a day of rest (Gen 1:1-2:3), is an expression of how good, beautiful, and wisely ordered creation is.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If anyone would not work, let him not eat” 1 Thessalonians 3:10 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Genesis 1: 20-2:4; Psalm 8: 4-9; Mark 7:1-13