Sunday, April 5, 2020

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children – Year C

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children – Year C

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 312

1st Reading – HEB 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 AND 10C

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – SEE EPH 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

The Lord’s Day is For You!

Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr

“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” Mark 2:27

This statement spoken by Jesus was said in response to some of the Pharisees who were criticizing Jesus’ disciples for picking heads of grain on the Sabbath as they walked by the fields. They were hungry and did what was natural to them. However, the Pharisees used it as an opportunity to be irrational and critical. They made the claim that by picking the heads of grain, the disciples were breaking the Sabbath law.

First of all, from the point of basic common sense, this is silly. Would our loving and all-merciful God really be offended because the disciples picked heads of grain to eat as they walked by the field? Perhaps a scrupulous mind may think so, but every bit of natural common sense should tell us God is not offended by such an action.

Jesus’ final statement about this sets the record straight. “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” In other words, the whole point of the Sabbath Day was not to impose a scrupulous burden upon us; rather, it was to free us to rest and worship. The Sabbath is a gift from God to us.

This takes on practical implications when we look at the way we celebrate the Sabbath today. Sunday is the new Sabbath and it’s a day of rest and worship. Sometimes we can look at these requirements as burdens. They are not given to us as an invitation to follow the commands in a scrupulous and legalistic way. They are given to us as an invitation to the life of grace.

Does this mean that we do not need to always attend Mass and rest on Sundays? Certainly not. These precepts of the Church are clearly the will of God. The real question has to do with the way we look at these commands. Rather than falling into the trap of seeing them as legalistic requirements, we must strive to live these commands as invitations to grace, given to us for our own well-being. The commands are for us. They are required because we need the Sabbath. We need Sunday Mass and we need a day to rest each week.

Reflect, today, upon the way you celebrate the Lord’s Day. Do you see the call to worship and rest as an invitation from God to be renewed and refreshed by His grace? Or do you see it only as a duty that has to be fulfilled. Try to take on the right attitude, this day, and the Lord’s Day will take on a whole new meaning for you.

Lord, I thank You for establishing the New Sabbath as a day to rest and worship You. Help me to live every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation in the way You desire. Help me to see these days as a gift from You to worship and to be renewed. Jesus, I trust in You.

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