Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 498

1st Reading – 2 MC 6:18-31

Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes,
a man of advanced age and noble appearance,
was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork.
But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement,
he spat out the meat,
and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture,
as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food
which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life.
Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately,
because of their long acquaintance with him,
and urged him to bring meat of his own providing,
such as he could legitimately eat,
and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice
prescribed by the king;
in this way he would escape the death penalty,
and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him.
But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner,
worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age,
the merited distinction of his gray hair,
and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood;
and so he declared that above all
he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.

He told them to send him at once
to the abode of the dead, explaining:
“At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense;
many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar
had gone over to an alien religion.
Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life,
they would be led astray by me,
while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age.
Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men,
I shall never, whether alive or dead,
escape the hands of the Almighty.
Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now,
I will prove myself worthy of my old age,
and I will leave to the young a noble example
of how to die willingly and generously
for the revered and holy laws.”

Eleazar spoke thus,
and went immediately to the instrument of torture.
Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed,
now became hostile toward him because what he had said
seemed to them utter madness.
When he was about to die under the blows,
he groaned and said:
“The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that,
although I could have escaped death,
I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging,
but also suffering it with joy in my soul
because of my devotion to him.”
This is how he died,
leaving in his death a model of courage
and an unforgettable example of virtue
not only for the young but for the whole nation.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (6b) The Lord upholds me.
O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
R. The Lord upholds me.
But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!
When I call out to the LORD,
he answers me from his holy mountain.
R. The Lord upholds me.
When I lie down in sleep,
I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
I fear not the myriads of people
arrayed against me on every side.
R. The Lord upholds me.

Alleluia – 1 JN 4:10B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God loved us, and sent his Son
as expiation for our sins.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Love for the Sinner

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Memorial

“Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” Luke 19:5b

What joy Zacchaeus had at receiving this invitation from our Lord. There are three things to note in this encounter.

First, Zacchaeus was seen by many as a sinner. He was a tax collector and, therefore, was not respected by the people. There is little doubt that this would have affected Zacchaeus and been a temptation for him to see himself as unworthy of Jesus’ compassion. But Jesus came precisely for the sinner. Therefore, truth be told, Zacchaeus was the perfect “candidate” for the mercy and compassion of Jesus.

Second, when Zacchaeus witnessed that Jesus came to him and selected him out of everyone present to be the one to spend time with, he was overjoyed! The same must be true with us. Jesus does pick us and He does want to be with us. If we allow ourselves to see this, the natural result will be joy. Do you have joy at this knowledge?

Third, as a result of Jesus’ compassion, Zacchaeus changed his life. He committed to giving half his possessions to the poor and to repay four times over anyone he had previously cheated. This is a sign that Zacchaeus began to discover true riches. He began to immediately repay to others the kindness and compassion shown to him by Jesus.

Reflect, today, upon Zacchaeus and see yourself in his person. You, too, are a sinner. But God’s compassion is far more powerful than any sin. Let His loving forgiveness and acceptance of you overshadow any guilt you may feel. And allow the gift of His mercy to produce mercy and compassion in your own life for others.

Lord, I turn to You in my sin and beg for Your mercy and compassion. Thank You in advance for showering Your mercy upon me. May I receive that mercy with great joy and, in turn, may I shower Your mercy upon others. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB and the Daily Reflections are adapted from My Catholic Life

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About Laban Thua 1019 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.