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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

MONDAY OF THE 33RD WEEK YEAR I: A WORD ON THE READINGS


First Reading
1 Mc 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
[From the descendants of Alexander's officers] there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome. He became king in the year one hundred and thirty seven of the kingdom of the Greeks.

In those days there appeared in Israel men who were breakers of the law,
and they seduced many people, saying: "Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us; since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us." The proposal was agreeable; some from among the people promptly went to the king, and he authorized them to introduce the way of living of the Gentiles.
Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the Gentile custom. They covered over the mark of their circumcision and abandoned the holy covenant; they allied themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing.

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each      abandoning his particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many children of Israel were in favour of his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath

On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five,
the king erected the horrible abomination upon the altar of burnt offerings and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars. They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt. Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant,
and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree. But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Terrible affliction was upon Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158
R. (see 88) Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Indignation seizes me because of the wicked
who forsake your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Though the snares of the wicked are twined about me,
your law I have not forgotten.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may keep your precepts.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I am attacked by malicious persecutors
who are far from your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Far from sinners is salvation,
because they seek not your statutes.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I beheld the apostates with loathing,
because they kept not to your promise.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.

Gospel
Lk 18:35-43
As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him,
"Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!"
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He replied, "Lord, please let me see." Jesus told him, "Have sight; your faith has saved you." He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

A WORD ON THE READINGS


There is something very striking about the two readings of today. This striking point is the connection between them. In the first reading, some Israelites were very firm in their faith commitment. They refused to eat the food sacrificed to the idols in order not to defile themselves. This was a great temptation for them but they refused to fall. They were resistant to all the persuasions and perseverant in their sufferings. It resulted in their death, but in their death was their life.

In the gospel reading, we see another resistance and perseverance from the blind Bartimaeus. He needed the healing touch of Jesus, but was discouraged from calling out for it. Re resisted this temptation to keep quiet when he was in need and persevered in his call until Jesus intervened.

What is that force that is pushing you too quit when the road becomes difficult, or that is discouraging you? Are you facing a strong temptation at the moment? Do not quit, do not be silent, shout for Jesus and he will come to deliver you from the problem, he will restore your sight that you might be escape from it. Be perseverant for your endurance will win your life. Do not quit for your best days are ahead. When that happens all who were against you will turn to be for you.

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