1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30; Mark 7:1-13
….“you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole heart.”
This statement seems to be the essence of our readings for today. The readings speak to our need to be truthful, honest and sincere in our relationship with God. In the Gospel reading it is quite clear that the message to us is to act out of sincere love for God, for the laws of God, out of our appreciation for all that God has done and will continue to do for us.
What struck me in this gospel reading was the last sentence of the reading. St. Mark says: "and as many as touched it were healed." The fame of Jesus in Galilee, even early in his public life, was such that when people heard he was coming they hurried to gather together their sick in hopes for a cure. On this day Jesus was recognized as soon as he came ashore at Gennesaret. And the townspeople rushed in a great frenzy to gather together their sick. They placed them on mats in the marketplace where they hoped to touch the cloak of Jesus as he passed by. When Jesus arrived he was not in a great hurry. He probably moved slowly through the town so as to give as many as possible the opportunity to reach up and touch him. There must have been great crowds in each town that Jesus passed through. And so there were probably a great many healings that day.
The Assembly elected the new General Coordination Council:
– The Ex-officio Members: Fr. Jacob Nampudakam SAC, Sr. Ivete Garlet, CSAC and Sr. Izabela Świerad, SAC.
– The Elected Members: Miss Donatella Acerbi – Italy, Sr. Bożena Olszewska, SAC – Poland, Fr. Jeremiah Murphy, SAC – Ireland, Miss Cheryl Sullivan – Australia, Fr. Gilberto Orsolin, SAC – Brazil, Mrs. Sonia Saldana – India, Sr. Beniamina Tropiano, CSAC – Italy, Fr. Florent Eloundou, SAC – Cameroon, Mr. Michał Grzeca – Poland, Miss Linda Barikmo – United States. Substitutes: Mrs. Rosa Colucci – Italy, Fr. Alexander Pietrzyk SAC, France, Fr. Norbert Sequeira SAC, India.
The new president will be elected during the first meeting of the new General Coordination Council.
Job 7:1-4, 6-7; 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39
Job, in our First Reading, has had a hard time of it. He is downer and outer than anybody else in Scriptures. He is experiencing the crucible of fidelity. The Devil kind of makes a bet with God that if Job is squeezed enough he will cry out in some way of disbelief. The devil says that Job is a man of faith, because he has everything in hand and within his control. What we hear is a most natural response to the questions which suffering can create. Job asks the usual questions about the meaning of life. We hear two such questions and then his tormentful musings about the meaning of his personal life and that of all humankind.
Christ I want to recognize and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship with his suffering. His death is to shape me. Philippians 3
Alpstein, Appenzellerland, Switzerland Photo: Sr. Maria Dörig
A young Jew came to a rabbi and said: “I would like to be your student.” The rabbi answered: “Well, you can, but I have a condition. I need you to answer a question. Do you love God?” The student became sad and thoughtful. Then he said: “Actually love, I can’t say that…”
Presentation of the Lord
2 February 2018
Today, 2nd February, when we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life, I think of each one of you with gratitude and present you to the Lord. On this occasion I wish to share my reflection on today's Word of God. The Church in the richness of her Liturgy invites us to see the beauty of religious consecration and its many aspects.
Malachi 3:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the end of our Christmas liturgies, in which the Gospel of Luke describes how the parents of Jesus bring Him to be presented in the temple. We are told that they are following the Jewish practice according to which ‘every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord’ (Luke 2:23). This act of presentation happens at the beginning of life because at this point the child is an open book to be filled with God’s law, to be dedicated to God. The child’s life now belongs to the Lord. At first sight this would seem to be the ultimate denial of the child’s freedom, the closing off of the possibility for the child to decide for himself how he wishes to live his life. Yet the reality is that this is the ultimate act of freeing. The child’s life is not to be measured according to success or failure in achieving a set of human goals, but in faithfulness to God’s life giving promises. We are freed from the burden of self-fulfilment for God Himself becomes our fulfilment.
By Sr. Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis celebrates the liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica on Friday with thousands of religious and members of Societies of Apostolic life. The announcement for this event contained the following reflection from the Holy Father: “A vocation is a gift we have received from the Lord, who fixed his gaze on us and called us, calling us to follow him in the consecrated life.”
Origins and Meaning of the World Day of Consecrated Life
This celebration coincides with the liturgical feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In 1997, it was Pope Saint John Paul II who instituted this feast as a universal day of prayer for consecrated men and women. For pastoral purposes, the celebration in local churches is often moved to the following Sunday.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR 52nd WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY
24 January 2018
“The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32).
Fake news and journalism for peace
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Communication is part of God’s plan for us and an essential way to experience fellowship. Made in the image and likeness of our Creator, we are able to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. We are able to describe our own experiences and the world around us, and thus to create historical memory and the understanding of events. But when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate. This can be seen from the earliest times, in the biblical stories of Cain and Abel and the Tower of Babel (cf. Gen 4:4-16; 11:1-9). The capacity to twist the truth is symptomatic of our condition, both as individuals and communities. On the other hand, when we are faithful to God’s plan, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit of goodness.