Posted by: RAM | October 11, 2016

Wednesday (October 12): “You load burdens hard to bear”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Holy Rosary
Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 469

74 Days Before Christmas

First Reading: Galatians 5:18-25
Psalms 1:1-4, 6: Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Gospel: Luke 11:42-46
The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101216.cfm

Reflection:  Why does Jesus single out the religious teachers and lawyers for some rather strong words of rebuke? The word woe can also be translated as alas. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity as it is of anger. Why did Jesus lament and issue such a stern rebuke? Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God’s word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of God.

God’s commandments are rooted in his love and care for us
The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of Moses and regarded themselves as legal experts in it. They divided the ten commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were so exacting in their interpretations and in trying to live them out, that they had little time for anything else. By the time they finished compiling their interpretations it took no less than fifty volumes to contain them! In their misguided zeal, they required unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and love of neighbor. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.

Do not lay heavy burdens on others
Jesus used the example of tithing to show how far they had missed the mark. God had commanded a tithe of the first fruits of one’s labor as an expression of thanksgiving and honor for his providential care for his people (Deuteronomy 14:22; Leviticus 27:30). The scribes, however, went to extreme lengths to tithe on insignificant things (such as tiny plants) with great mathematical accuracy. They were very attentive to minute matters of little importance, but they neglected to care for the needy and the weak. Jesus admonished them because their hearts were not right. They were filled with pride and contempt for others. They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity, especially to the weak and the poor. They meticulously went through the correct motions of conventional religion while forgetting the realities.

Why does Jesus also compare them with “unmarked graves”? According to Numbers 19:16 contact with a grave made a person ritually unclean for seven days. Jesus turns the table on the Pharisees by declaring that those who come into contact with them and listen to their self-made instruction are likewise defiled by their false doctrine. They infect others with wrong ideas of God and of his intentions. Since the Pharisees are “unmarked”, other people do not recognize the decay within and do not realize the danger of spiritual contamination. The Pharisees must have taken Jesus’ accusation as a double insult: They are not only spiritually unclean themselves because they reject the word of God, but they also contaminate others with their dangerous “leaven” as well (see Luke 12:1).

Love lifts the burdens of others
What was the point of Jesus’ lesson? The essence of God’s commandments is love – love of the supreme good – God himself and love of our neighbor who is made in the image and likeness of God. God is love (1 John 4:8) and everything he does flows from his love for us. God’s love is unconditional and is wholly directed towards the good of others. True love both embraces and lifts the burdens of others. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us” (Romans 5:5). Do you help your neighbors carry their burdens? God gives each of us sufficient grace for each day to love as he loves and to lift the burdens of others that they, too, may experience the grace and love of Jesus Christ.

“Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most – love of you, my Lord and my God, and love of my fellow neighbor whom you have made in your own image and likeness. Free my heart from selfish desires that I may only have room for kindness, mercy, and goodness toward every person I know and meet.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/oct11.htm  www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Wilfrid (633-710)
Born in Northumberland in 634, St. Wilfrid was educated at Lindesfarne and then spent some time in Lyons and Rome. Returning to England, he was elected abbot of Ripon in 658 and introduced the Roman rules and practices in opposition to the celtic ways of northern England. In 664, he was the architect of the definitive victory of the Roman party at the Conference of Whitby. He was appointed Bishop of York and after some difficulty finally took possession of his See in 669. He labored zealously and founded many monasteries of the Benedictine Order, but he was obliged to appeal to Rome in order to prevent the subdivision of his diocese by St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. While waiting for the case to be decided, he was forced to go into exile, and worked hard and long to evangelize the heathen south Saxons until his recall in 686. In 691, he had to retire again to the Midlands until Rome once again vindicated him. In 703, he resigned his post and retired to his monastery at Ripon where he spent his remaining time in prayer and penitential practices, until his death in 709. St. Wilfrid was an outstanding personage of his day, extremely capable and possessed of unbounded courage, remaining firm in his convictions despite running afoul of civil and ecclesiastical authorities. He helped bring the discipline of the English Church into line with that of Rome. He was also a dedicated pastor and a zealous and skilled missionary; his brief time spent in Friesland in 678-679 was the starting point for the great English mission to the Germanic peoples of continental Europe. His feast day is October 12th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=593

More Saints of the Day
St. Amicus
Bl. Camillus Constanzi
St. Cosmas of Maiuma
St. Domnina of Anazarbus
St. Edistius
St. Edwin of Northumbria
St. Edwin of Northumbria
St. Eustace
St. Evagrius
St. Felix and Cyprian
St. Fiace
St. Heribert of Cologne
Bl. Maria Teresa Fasce
St. Maximilian of Lorch
St. Monas
St. Pantalus
St. Salvinus
St. Seraphinus
St. Wilfrid

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

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