Friday, 12 September 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

What did Jesus mean when he talked about logs and splinters in eyes? These pieces of wood are faults in our thinking and perception of the world. These faults make people blind to God's message and goodness. Such people are in need of a physician who can give them the kind of vision and clarity for overcoming the blindspots in their lives. Guess who is the physician I'm talking about?
A true disciple of Christ is one who listens to the voice of his/her Master and who submits to the skillful help of the Divine Physician for treating and removing the cancer of sin in his/her life. If we want to be guides and teachers for others, then we need clear vision, both spiritual and moral vision, and a map that shows us the right destination for our life's journey. If our ultimate destination is heaven, then there is only one way to get there and that way is through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the cross of Christ sin is pardoned and the sinner is made whole, darkness and corruption give way to light and truth, death is defeated and new life restored. The cross of Christ frees us from condemnation and guilt and shows us the way of perfect love.

Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we Catholics commemorate the Holy Name of Mary. This feast exemplifies the Roman Catholic focus on Mariology and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mother Mary's parents named her eight days after her birth in accordance with Jewish custom and were inspired to call her Mary. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary therefore follows that of her Birthday, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus follows Christmas. The Hebrew name of Mary (in Latin Domina) means lady or sovereign; this Mary is in virtue of her Son's sovereign authority as Lord of the World.

We call Mary our Lady as we call Jesus our Lord. When we pronounce her name, we affirm her power, implore her aid and place ourselves under her protection.On this day dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary let us repeat that wonderful prayer of Saint Bernard (responding to Pope Benedict XVI 's invitation to "invite everyone to become a trusting child before Mary, even as the Son of God did"): “Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary … in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart … If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination.” [source: Catholic Culture]

Today's Bible Readings (12 Sep, Fri - 23rd Week)

1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-27
Brothers and sisters: for if I preach the gospel, I have no reason for boasting, because I am compelled to do this. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward. But if I do it unwillingly, I am entrusted with a responsibility. What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel I may offer the gospel free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights in the gospel. For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people.
To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some. I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it. Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.

Luke 6: 39-42
Jesus also told them a parable: “Someone who is blind cannot lead another who is blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while you yourself don’t see the beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”