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Tag Archives: disobedience

3rd APRIL, RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 105)

R. O Lord, remember me
out of the love you have for your people.

1. They fashioned a calf at Horeb
and worshipped an image of metal,
exchanging the God who was their glory
for the image of a bull that eats grass. (R.)

2. They forgot the God who was their saviour,
who had done such great things in Egypt,
such portents in the land of Ham,
such marvels at the Red Sea. (R.)

3. For this he said he would destroy them,
but Moses, the man he had chosen,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn back his anger from destruction. (R.)

ACCLAMATION

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life.

 

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3rd APRIL, BIBLE READING (EXODUS 32:7-14)

DO NOT BRING THIS DISASTER ON YOUR PEOPLE.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostasised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made a themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. ‘Here is your God, Israel,’ they have cried, ‘who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” The Lord said to Moses, “I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me, now, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.”

But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your wrath blaze against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Ah, it was in treachery that he brought them out, to do them to death in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth’? Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self you swore and made this promise: I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.” So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had
threatened.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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9th MARCH, BIBLE READING II (ROMANS 5:12, 17-19)

CHRIST, BY HIS SUPREME ACT OF LOVING OBEDIENCE, TURNED BACK THE COURSE OF HUMAN DESTINY.

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.

It is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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9th MARCH, BIBLE READING I (GENESIS 2:7-9, 3:1-7)

THE GARDEN OF EDEN

The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned.

The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.

The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, “Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit in the tree in the middle of the garden God said, ‘You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death’.” Then the serpent said to the woman, “No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.”

The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-clothes.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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HUMANITY WAS FREED FROM SIN AND DEATH

A FRESH START

“Our lord came to his own (his own creation, which is supported by him, supporting him, and made a fresh start from the disobedience in the affair of one tree by the obedience manifested on the other.

ORIGINAL SIN: DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD

The seduction of Eve, who was destined for a husband, was counterbalanced by the angelic announcement to the Virgin Mary, who was betrothed to a husband.

MARY’S OBEDIENCE TO GOD MEANS LIFE

For as the former was seduced by the word of an angel to disregard God’s word and fly from Him, the good news was given to the latter by angel’s word that she should carry God and obey His Word.

And if one disobeyed God, the other was persuaded to obey God; so that the Virgin Mary became an advocate of the Virgin Eve. And as by a virgin our human race was bound to death, so by a virgin it is freed, virginal obedience balancing virginal disobedience in the scales.”
– A reading from the Book of St Irenaeus against heresies

 
 

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20th JANUARY, BIBLE READING (1 SAMUEL 15:16-23)

OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE. THE LORD HAS REJECTED YOU AS A KING.

Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul said, “Tell me.” Samuel continued, “Small as you may be in your own eyes, are you not head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king over Israel. The Lord sent you on a mission and said to you, ‘Go, put these sinners, the Amalekites, under the ban and make war on them until they are exterminated.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you fall on the booty and do what is displeasing to the Lord?” Saul replied to Samuel, “But I did obey the voice of the Lord. I went on the mission which the Lord gave me; I brought back Agag king of the Amalekites; I put the Amalekites under the ban. From the booty the people took the best sheep and oxen of what was under the ban to sacrifice them to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied:

“Is the pleasure of the Lord in holocausts and sacrifices
or in obedience to the voice of the Lord?
Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice,
submissiveness better than the fat of rams.
Rebellion is a sin of sorcery,
presumption a crime of teraphim.
“Since you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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JESUS DOES NOT PREFER YOUR OPINION TO ANYONE ELSE’S – INSTEAD HE WANTS US TO BE OBEDIENT AS HE WAS OBEDIENT ON EARTH

THE HEART OF JESUS – SYMBOL OF HIS INFINITE LOVE

“…Jesus came into our world and said, ‘I am come to do the will of my Father and His law is written on my Heart.’… He said, ‘I came not to be served but to serve.’ And though He was the Lord of Lords, He was happy to be the servant of servants. But why was He so obedient? To rebuild the glory of God, diminished by our first parents [Adam and Eve, who were disobedient to God], to give us the best example of submission and to raise and conserve in His person any merit there is in our obedience. Think therefore, O Christian, how dear you should hold this virtue that is so close to the Heart of your Jesus. Obedience! …

O, what a most obedient Heart! Consider who and what He was obeying? God, who sustains the heavens and the whole universe and who does He obey? Simple creatures, the work of His own hands, and how does He obey? With love and joy, with the same promptness that angels show in obeying Him in Heaven, and in what does He obey? In everything, even the most humiliating things… and how long did He obey for? Not just for a day, a month, a year, or just during His childhood, but continuously, all through His life. Until when was He obedient? Until death, death on a cross. O, how incredible! His miracles were not marvellous because He was almighty God, His obedience was the miracle of miracles.

So, learn from the Sacred Heart of Jesus how to obey. You must learn, seeing that you are often slow even obeying those you are obliged to obey, you are always searching for an excuse not to obey, you do not obey, or you do so with disrespect and irritation, you must, or you may lose all reward in the sight of God. Learn, you who rarely obey without some form of repugnance, whether through judgement or unwillingness.

Learn, you who even obey for your own good and your own self-satisfaction. The submission of the divine Heart of Jesus is a reprove to your pride and your love of independence… Obedience is worth more than sacrifice. He does not prefer your judgements to anyone else’s, do not think yourself more illumined or prudent than others, and recognise in the will of others the will of God.

O, how meritorious it is to sacrifice our own will for someone else! How many treasures of virtue and graces [these are ‘treasures in heaven, rather than earthly treasures which rust and woodworm corrupts’, mentioned by Jesus Christ in the Gospel] you can amass, even by living a life that seems ordinary, if you are really obedient! O, in how little time you will cover much ground towards sainthood by simply obeying!

By doing so, the loving Heart of Jesus will incline towards you, and teach you to listen to His commands in all things. In adhering to His designs, every obstacle blocking your path to perfection will be removed, you will experience a profound peace, and you will see the numberless advantages of being His, on earth and in heaven. Work then, towards perfect obedience, accept the loving invitations of His grace, for God has said that the obedient man will have the victory.
PRAYER: Jesus, for your glory I wish to be submissive and docile so You may extinguish all my pride.”
– Mons Nicola Tafuri

 

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FOUR VIRTUES CARRY THE PARALYSED SOUL TO JESUS

BY ST ANTHONY OF PADUA

ON THE FOUR WHO CARRY THE PARALYSED MAN, AND THEIR MEANING, AND ON THE FOURFOLD ROOF: ‘AND BEHOLD THEY BROUGHT HIM’.

‘And they came to him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was carried by four. And, when they could not offer him for the multitude, they uncovered the roof, where he was: and opening it they let down the bed whereon the man sick of the palsy lay’ [Mk 2:3-4].

Humility and poverty, patience and obedience, are the four who bring the soul to Jesus, as it lies helpless in carnal pleasure. And because they cannot bring it because of the crowd of pressing desires of the flesh, they strip the roof and open it, and let down the bed with the palsied man in front of Jesus.

The roof is a fourfold one: of pride, avarice, stubbornness and anger, the leaky roof spoken of by Ecclesiasticus [cf. Proverbs 19:13], blinding the eye of reason. Isaiah says:

‘What aileth thee also, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?’ [Is 22:1];

and David:

‘Let them be as grass upon the tops of houses’, etc. [Ps 128:6].

This roof, covering and obscuring the face of the soul so that it cannot see the light of justice, the four virtues mentioned strip by contrition of heart, and open in oral confession; thus they let down before Jesus, trusting in Jesus’ mercy, both soul and body in the satisfaction of penance. No-one can come to Jesus, unless he is carried by these four virtues. As the Gloss says, ‘He is carried by four, who is lifted to God by four virtues, with a trusting mind. The Book of Wisdom says:

‘She teaches sobriety and wisdom and justice and virtue’ [cf. Wisd. 8:7], (which others call prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice).

ON FAITH: JESUS SEEING HIS FAITH.

‘And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son. Thy sins are forgiven thee.’ The Gloss says: ‘His own faith is strengthened by God, where only that of others had been strong; so that being healed within and without, the man arose, and his errors were forgiven him by the merits of others. What wonderful humility! Despised by men, helpless in all his limbs, he is called ‘son’, at any rate, he is certainly such because his sins are forgiven.’

Note these three points: seeing their faith, ‘Be of good heart, son’, and ‘Thy sins are forgiven’. Faith without love is empty; a Christian’s faith is with love. Take note: it is one thing to ‘believe God’, another to ‘believe that’ there is a God, and another to ‘believe in’ God. To ‘believe God’ is to believe that what he says is true, which bad people may do; and we may believe a man, without believing in him. To ‘believe’ in the second sense is to believe in his existence, that he is God; and the devils do this. To ‘believe in’ God is by believing to love him, to go to him, to adhere to him and be incorporated into his members. By this faith, the wicked man is justified. Where there is this sort of faith, there is trust in God’s mercy and remission of sin.

‘And, behold, some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth’ [Mt 9:3]. Because they do not believe Jesus to be true God, they say he blasphemes by forgiving sins. ‘And Jesus, seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts?’ [Mt 9:4]. The word is ‘cogitating’, a deliberate recalling to mind. Jesus sees their thoughts; as Hebrews says:

‘All things are naked and open to his eyes’ [Heb 4:13];

and Ecclesiasticus:

‘The eyes of the Lord are far brighter than the sun,
beholding round about all the ways of men,
and the bottom of the deep,
and looking into the hearts,
into the most hidden parts.
For all things were known to the Lord God
before they were created:
so also after they were perfected he beholdeth all things’ [Ecclus 23:28-29].

So, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’ The prophet Micah called down woe on those who pondered evil in their beds, and performed it at morning light [cf. Mic 2:1]. When we dwell with mental pleasure, and consent to evil, in our ‘beds’ (our hearts), we perform that evil in the morning light, before the Lord’s eyes, even if we do not in fact carry it out. He who looks on a woman to lust after her (that is, who looks on her in such a way that he lusts for her) has already committed adultery with her in his heart [cf. Mt 5:28]. The scribes could have known that he was God, from the very fact that he saw their thoughts.

‘Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk?’ [Mt 9:5]. The Gloss says, ‘Because you would not believe this spiritual truth, it is proved by a visible sign of no less power; that you might know the hidden power and majesty in the Son of man, in as much as he can forgive sins like God.’

The second part of the Epistle is concordant to this second clause:

‘Putting away lying, speak ye the truth, every man with his neighbour; for we are members one of another. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Give not place to the devil’ [Eph 4:25-27].

We said just now that there are four virtues that carry the paralysed soul to Jesus, humility, poverty, patience and obedience; by which we put away the four things spoken of by the Apostle. By humility, we put away the lying of pride or vainglory, which lies by claiming to be something, whereas it is nothing. Lying is deceiving another’s mind. ‘Speak ye the truth’, by love of poverty. Why is it that nowadays almost everyone speaks falsely to his neighbour, if not from avarice? This is what divides from one another those who should be members of Christ. ‘Be angry’ with yourselves, by repentance, ‘and sin not’. The angry man thinks evil, and so the devil gets into him, to perform evil deeds. Patience is necessary, to drive out anger. Alternatively, ‘Be angry’ means, show such vehement indignation towards yourselves that you desist from sin. Let not the sun which is Christ set, by deserting your mind. He is obscured from us by anger, as by a mountain standing in the way. Here, then, is why the Apostle invites us to have patience. He also invites us to obedience, saying ‘Give not place to the devil’. When the first man fell into disobedience, he gave place to the devil. You must obey, because obedience shuts out the devil, and he cannot get into the soul.

We ask you, then, Lord Jesus Christ, to put away the lying of our pride; to drive out our avarice by poverty; to break our anger with patience; and to crush our disobedience by the obedience of your Passion. By this, may we be presented to you, and receive the forgiveness of our sins; and be made fit to rejoice with you for ever. Grant this, you who are blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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