Monday, 18 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

I wonder how a man of this age would have answered if God told him that he would lose his dearly beloved wife but is not supposed to mourn her openly? That the losing of his wife is part of a message from God to so-and-so? I bet his reaction would be extremely non-religious :) Anyway, I think the reading from Ezekiel speaks for itself- the day would come (and did) when the people of Israel would lose everything and everyone they loved and not have time to mourn their loss.

Moving on to the gospel reading, the question that the young rich man asked Jesus was interesting : what good thing must I do to gain eternal life? As in: how can I earn the right to enter Heaven? He should have known that no one earns the right to enter Heaven. God wants us in Heaven, i.e. be with Him for all eternity. That doesn't mean He allows sinful people in Heaven just because He loves them. And sin comes easily when we put something as more important than God. Even if that something is good like family and love. However if we put God first we don't break His laws and if we do we quickly come back to Him.

Memorial of Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga

So who is this saint? Wikipedia says:

- he was born Luis Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga on January 22, 1901 in ViƱa del Mar, Chile
- studied at the all-boys Jesuit school of St. Ignacio, Santiago from 1909 to 1917
- entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1923 and ordained as priest on August 24th, 1933
- his ministry expanded to the pastoring of the Chilean poor, especially disadvantaged children, teenagers and young adults- had his mind and heart set on tackling social issues and problems
- founded an organization similar to the present-day Girls and Boys Club in the United States
- his shelters, called Hogar de Cristo [Christ's Home], took in all children in need of food and shelter, abandoned or not
- monitored the streets at night in an old green van to help those in need that he could find
- founded the Chilean Trade Union Association, meant to train leaders and instill Christian values in the labor unions of his country
- diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - died in Santiago on August 18, 1952
- beatified on October 16, 1994 by Pope John Paul II & canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 23, 2005

Today's Bible Readings (Memorial of Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga)

Below are the readings for today Mon 18 Aug:

Ezekiel 24: 15-23
The word of Lord came to me: “Son of man, realize that I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you with a jolt, but you must not mourn or weep or shed tears. Groan in silence for the dead, but do not perform mourning rites. Bind on your turban and put your sandals on your feet. Do not cover your lip and do not eat food brought by others.”
So I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening. In the morning I acted just as I was commanded. Then the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things you are doing mean for us?”
So I said to them: “The word of the Lord came to me: Say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Realize I am about to desecrate my sanctuary – the source of your confident pride, the object in which your eyes delight, and your life’s passion. Your very own sons and daughters whom you have left behind will die by the sword. Then you will do as I have done: You will not cover your lip or eat food brought by others. Your turbans will be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you will not mourn or weep, but you will rot for your iniquities and groan among yourselves.”

Matthew 19: 16-22
Now someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.