Thursday, August 22, 2019

Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot

Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 313

1st Reading – 1 SM 17:32-33, 37, 40-51

David spoke to Saul:
“Let your majesty not lose courage.
I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”
But Saul answered David,
“You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

David continued:
“The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”
Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.”

Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag.
With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield bearer marching before him,
the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
When he had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt.
The Philistine said to David,
“Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?”
Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
and said to him, “Come here to me,
and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field.”
David answered him:
“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
I will strike you down and cut off your head.
This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field;
thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
All this multitude, too,
shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.”

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
while David ran quickly toward the battle line
in the direction of the Philistine.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling,
and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone embedded itself in his brow,
and he fell prostrate on the ground.
Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
Then David ran and stood over him;
with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 144:1B, 2, 9-10

R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My refuge and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia – SEE MT 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Freedom From the Confusion of Sin

Saint Anthony of Egypt, Abbot – Memorial

They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. Mark 3:2

It didn’t take long for the Pharisees to allow envy to cloud their thinking about Jesus. The Pharisees wanted all the attention. They wanted to be looked up to and honored as the authentic teachers of the law. So when Jesus showed up, and many were astounded by the authority with which He taught, the Pharisees immediately began to criticize Him.

The sad reality we witness in their actions is that they appear to be blind to their own malice. The envy that fills them keeps them from realizing that they are actually acting with extreme irrationality. This is an important and very difficult lesson to learn.

Sin confuses us, especially spiritual sin such as pride, envy and anger. Therefore, when someone becomes consumed with one of these sins, that person most likely does not even realize how irrational he becomes. Take the example of the Pharisees.

Jesus is put in a situation where He chooses to heal someone on the Sabbath. This is an act of mercy. It is done out of love for this man to relieve him of his suffering. Though this is an incredible miracle, the disturbed minds of the Pharisees look only for a way to twist this act of mercy into something sinful. What an appalling scene.

Though this may not at first be that inspiring of a thought upon which to reflect, it’s necessary to reflect on it. Why? Because we all struggle, to one extent or another, with sins like this. We all struggle with letting envy and anger sneak in and distort the way we relate to others. Then, too often we justify our actions just as the Pharisees did.

Reflect, today, upon this most unfortunate scene. But reflect upon it with the hope that the poor example of the Pharisees will help you to identify any of the same tendencies in your own heart. Seeing these tendencies they struggle with should help free you from falling into the irrational thinking that comes as a result of sin.

Lord Jesus, please do forgive me for all my sins. I am sorry and I pray that I will be able to see all that clouds my thinking and acting. Free me and help me to love You and others with the pure love I am called to have. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.