23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Our Lady of Sorrows
Psalter: Week 3 / (White)
Ps 116:12-13, 17-18
To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
1st Reading: 1 Cor 10:14-22
Therefore, dear friends, shun the cult of idols.
I address you as intelligent persons; judge what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a communion with the blood of Christ? And the bread that we break, is it not a communion with the body of Christ? The bread is one, and so we, though many, form one body, sharing the one bread.
Consider the Israelites. For them, to eat of the victim is to come into communion with its altar.
What does all that mean? That the meat is really consecrated to the idol, or that the idol is a being. However, when the pagans offer a sacrifice, the sacrifice goes to the demons, not to God. I do not want you to come into fellowship with demons. You cannot drink, at the same time, from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons. You cannot share in the table of the Lord and in the table of the demons. Do we want, perhaps, to provoke the jealousy of the Lord? Could we be stronger than he?
Gospel: Jn 19:25-27 (or Lk 2:33-35)
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom he loved, he said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home
The cross brings us face to face with Jesus' suffering and death. He was alone. All his disciples had deserted him except for his mother and three women along with John, the beloved disciple. The apostles had fled in fear. But Mary, the mother of Jesus and three other women who loved him were present at the cross. They demonstrate a different presence - love and care overcoming fear and desolation.
At the beginning of Jesus' birth, when he was presented in the temple, Simeon had predicted that Mary would suffer greatly - a sword will pierce through your own soul (see Luke 2:33-35). What was said earlier to Mary and later became a painful reality in her life did not make a desperate and bitter woman in her sorrow and loss but a woman of faith and hope sustained by her faith in a Merciful God and the love she had for her Son. Saint Paul says that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:3). We can find no greater proof of God‘s love for us than the fidelity of the Lord Jesus Christ to live the consequences of bearing the truth on the cross. His proclamation of the Reign of God – a Reign of justice and peace – is a call to a different social order and to a new social and personal behavior. The powers that be threatened by Jesus’ proclamation decided to put him to death and to silence the subversive call to social transformation. His death is a powerful testimony to the rejection of God’s love and the beginning of a new community inspired by God’s affirmation of the new humanity lived by Jesus.
Daily Reflection 2018
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
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