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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 01-22-13, Day of Prayer/Legal Protection of Unborn ^ | 01-22-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 01/21/2013 9:58:47 PM PST by Salvation

January 22, 2013

  Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time  —   Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children


Reading 1 Heb 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm ps 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10c

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 01/21/2013 9:59:00 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 01/21/2013 10:02:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Hebrews 6:10-20

The Danger of Apostasy and the Need for Perseverance (Continuation)

[10] For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you
showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. [11] And we desire
each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance
of hope until the end, [12] so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of
those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Promises Made to Abraham, Confirmed by Oath, Cannot Be Broken

[13] For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater
by whom to swear, he swore by himself, [14] saying, “Surely I will bless you
and multiply you.” [15] And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained
the promise. [16] Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all
their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. [17] So when God desired to
show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character
of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, [18] so that through two unchangea-
ble things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have
fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
[19] We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters
into the inner shrine behind the curtain, [20] where Jesus has gone as a forerun-
ner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchi-


9-12. The letter now changes to a tone of encouragement. “After speaking harshly
about the position of the faithful, to prevent their falling into despair he now reveals
why he has written what he has: he wants to lead them well away from danger.
And so, in the first place, he tells them what confidence he has in them, and then
gives the reason why they should feel confident themselves—because God is not
unjust” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb.”, 4,3).

The readers are called “beloved”; this was how St Paul normally addressed those
who embraced the faith through his preaching (cf. 1 Thess 2:8; 1 Cor 10:14; 15:
58; 2 Cor 7:1; 12:19; Rom 1:7; Phil 2:12; 4:1; etc.). The writer wants to see the
situation improve, perhaps to see the trials pass or become easier; certainly he
wants his readers to use their tribulation to help them to achieve salvation. He is
moved when he recalls the charity they have shown one another: theirs has been
an active fraternity, shown in deeds of service to the “saints”, which was the way
St Paul often referred to the brethren (cf. Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1; Eph 1:1;
Phil 1:1; Col 1:2; etc.); their charity is practised “for his sake”, for God. In their
present circumstances, in the persecution they are experiencing, God will not
abandon them (cf. Heb 10:33-34), for they have been generous in the almsgiving
and hospitality that is so proper to Christians (cf. Rom 15:25, 31; 1 Cor 16:15;
Eph 1:15; 2 Cor 8:4; 9:1, 12). “Now that we hear this—I beg you—let us serve the
saints!, for every member of the faithful is a saint by the mere fact of belonging
to the faithful [...]. Let us not be charitable only towards monks who live in the
mountains. It is true that their faith and their lives make them saints, but many
of those who live here are also saints: all are saints by virtue of their faith, and
many are saints by virtue of their lives too. So, if you see someone suffering, do
not doubt it for one moment: his very suffering gives him the right to be helped”
(St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on Heb.”, 10). It is not enough, however, to have
a history of doing good: it is necessary to persevere in doing good, as if to say:
By seeing through to the end what you have started you shall obtain everything
you hope for. They must do good right “to the end”, for he who endures to the
end will be saved (cf. Mt 10:22; 24:13; “Commentary on Heb.”, 4, 3). “Eternal life
should be set before those who persevere in good works ‘to the end’ (cf. Mt 10:
22) and who hope in God; it should be set before them as being the grace that
God, through Jesus Christ, has mercifully promised his sons and ‘as the reward
which, according to God’s personal undertaking, most assuredly will be given
them for their good works and merits (cf. St Augustine, “De Natura Et Gratia”,
VIII, 20)” (Council of Trent, “De Iustificatione”, Chap. 16).

However, there is always the danger of slowing down: lazy people often excuse
their inaction by pointing to the suffering and difficulties that doing good involves.
The strength of one’s resolutions is shown by the way one copes with difficulties:
“You will convince me that you sincerely want to achieve your goals when I see
you go forward unwaveringly. Do good [...]; practise the virtue of justice, right
where you are, in your normal surroundings, even if you end up exhausted. Fos-
ter happiness among those around you by cheerfully serving the people you work
with and by striving to carry out your job as perfectly as you can, showing under-
standing, smiling, having a Christian approach to life. And do everything for God,
thinking of his glory, with your sights set high and longing for the definitive home-
land, because there is no other goal worthwhile” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”,

13-15. Abraham is an example, for every generation, of faith that is full of hope
and patience; he is a man with great strength of character (cf. Rom 5:3-5). Al-
ready in the Epistle to the Romans Abraham is cited as an example of faith and
hope (cf. Rom 4:18-22). There St Paul highlights Abraham’s faith in the Lord’s
promise that he would have innumerable descendants in spite of the fact that he
was already an old man and unlikely to father children (cf. Gen 15:5; 17:1, 17).
The Apostle may also have been alluding to the episode (cf. Gen 22), when God
asked the patriarch to sacrifice Isaac, the son he had so yearned for: at that
point Abraham did indeed “believe against hope” (cf. Rom 4:18; Gen 22:15-17).
Here, on the other hand, of all the various promises made to Abraham of bles-
sings and numerous offspring (cf. Gen 12:2-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:5-7; 13:16; 17:4-8,
19), what is explicitly mentioned is the promise made after God prevented him
from sacrificing his son. That was the first occasion the Lord “swore by himself”
to a man. This divine promise, supported by an oath and seen as the most so-
lemn “word of Yahweh”, was the foundation of Israel’s hope for thousands of
years. Abraham himself recalled it when he was dying (cf. Gen 24:7); it was the
support of Moses in all his great endeavors (cf. Ex 13:5,11; 32:13); David, too,
gave thanks to God for it(1 Chron 16:16; Ps 105:9); and at the dawn of the Re-
demption Zechariah rejoiced over it (Lk 1:73): it was “the oath which God swore
to our Father Abraham” and it was fulfilled in Christ and in the Church (cf. Gal

Abraham “obtained the promise” in the sense that he was enabled to see with
his own eyes his promised son, Isaac, who was born to Sarah despite her old
age. Not alone that: the New Testament tells us (cf. Jn 8:56; Gal 3:8) that he
was given some sort of prophetic vision which allowed him to see the day of
Christ and rejoice at it.

16. Secular writers of antiquity used to define an oath as something attached to
a statement which cannot be proved, to provide a divine guarantee (cf. Pseudo-
Aristotle, “Speech to Alexander”). This meant that they regarded an oath as a
proof at law, to be put alongside the text of the law, the evidence of witnesses,
agreement between the parties, and a confession of guilt. The Jews regarded
an oath as something so awesome, so solemn, that they never dared swear an
oath by God directly; instead they would swear by angels or by the life of men,
such as the Messiah, Moses, Solomon, or by the gates of the temple, etc. (cf.
Mt 5:34-36; 23:16-22). Philo of Alexandria, an heir to Jewish tradition and Greco-
Roman thought, says that “by means of oaths, matters subject to doubt before
the courts are resolved; what was not clear is made clear; and what was regar-
ded as unreliable is rendered reliable” (”De Sacrificio Abel&