January 17, 2017 – Tuesday in the 2nd week of the Church Year


Saint for the day: Anthony of Egypt (251 – 356)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Hebrews 6:10-20    –    Psalm 111    –    Mark 2:23-28

 “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just. Great at the works of the Lord, exquisite in all their delights.”

The Scripture readings that we are given – day in and day out – in our liturgies have a common thread: to remind us to fan into faith the gifts that we have been given. We are constantly reminded to renew our baptismal promises and to know what it means to follow Jesus.

In many ways we are just like the people whom Jesus encountered as he made his way throughout the countryside. The S & Ps, who were the backbone of Jewish tradition, had forgotten the essence of what God was all about. They had slipped into a kind of legalism that made God like some kind of heavenly bookkeeper who kept a ledger sheet on each person, counting the number of steps that they took on a given Sabbath Day or who and what they spoke about. In the end of today’s Gospel Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

What we have to be careful about when we read that passage is the fact that it’s too easy for us to say, “well, we’re certainly not like those Jews in the time of Jesus” but there are still ways in which we have failed to keep holy the Sabbath Day.

 In my growing up years, as a young boy, I remember that it was hard to find a store that was opened for business on a Sunday. Nowadays shopping centers and malls are the most crowded on Sundays and for many people there is no difference between Sundays and other days of the week.

All of us need to find ways to re-kindle a rhythm to our days so that we can give fit honor to God who, Himself , rested on the seventh day. We can do this and we just have to be careful not to become fanatical about it. We’ll have to buck the system and go against the grain but it is so necessary for us to be sure that we have not left God out of the cycle of our lives. Try to think of ways in which you can keep holy the Sabbath day by making that day special for the Lord. Amen!

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