THURSDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL, COMMENTARY AND READING. “BE MADE CLEAN” (Mk 1:40–45).
GOSPEL OF THURSDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
The curing of the leper
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
The Gospel of today’s Mass shows us Jesus’ compassion to the sick, the outcast and sinners, represented by the humble leper. “A leper came to Jesus and KNEELING DOWN BEGGED HIM and said, ‘IF YOU WISH, you can make me clean.’ Moved with PITY, he stretched out his hand, TOUCHED HIM, and said to him, ‘I do will it. Be made clean’ (Mk 1: 40-41).” This brief Gospel passage teaches us the following profound ideas:
- Jesus has a soft heart for all who are suffering. As oppossed to a hardened heart (see 1st reading below), Jesus’ heart if full of tenderness and compassion.
- Perhaps we could ask ourselves what “hardens” the heart? Sin and pride. Once we lose our friendship with God through mortal sin and pride, we try to fill the void and emptiness we experience with things or persons which do not provide happiness. And if there is no contrition, our spiritual leprosy gets worse.
- If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts (Responsorial psalm). We too must beseech Our Lord like the leper in the Gospel: Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.
Be made clean. Jesus wants to cure our spiritual leprosy but we must have the contrtion and humility of the leper in the Gospel. May we ask Him for the gift of humility, contrition, holy purity and at the same time, on our part, avoid any occasion of sin to have a pure heart, body and soul.
Stay safe always. A great day ahead and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, o Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done, and gain strength to do what they have seen. Through our Lord.Collect prayer 1st week in Ordinary Time
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON THE 1ST READING
The Holy Spirit says: Oh, that today you would hear his voice, “Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert, where your ancestors tested and tried me and saw my works for forty years. Because of this I was provoked with that generation and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart, and they do not know my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest.’” Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.
TOPIC: DO YOU COMPLAIN A LOT?
In today’s first reading (Hebrews 3:7-14), the author quotes from Psalm 95, which is also today’s Responsorial Psalm. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” He talks about the wandering of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years and their lack of faith in God’s care for them. The event, as told in Exodus 17 and in Numbers 20, took place at Massah and Meribah. ‘Massah’ means a ‘place of testing’ and ‘Meribah’ means a ‘place of quarreling or rebellion.’The Israelites began complaining because the place they were in had no water. In our reflection today, we ask ourselves, do we complain a lot about things, situations and people and yet fail to look at ourselves and our sinfulness?
READING FROM WRITINGS OF SAINTS
The word of the Father gives order, direction and unity to creation
by St. Athanasius
By his own wisdom and Word, who is our Lord and Saviour Christ, the all-holy Father (whose excellence far exceeds that of any creature), like a skilful steersman guides to safety all creation, regulating and keeping it in being, as he judges right. It is right that creation should exist as he has made it and as we see it happening, because this is his will, which no one would deny. For if the movement of the universe were irrational, and the world rolled on in random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say. But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God. He is God, the living and creative God of the universe, the word of the good God, who is God in his own right. The Word is different from all created things: he is the unique Word belonging only to the good Father. This is the Word that created this whole world and enlightens it by his loving wisdom. He who is the good Word of the good Father produced the order in all creation, joining opposites together, and forming from them one harmonious sound. He is God, one and only-begotten, who proceeds in goodness from the Father as from the fountain of goodness, and gives order, direction and unity to creation. By his eternal Word the Father created all things and implanted a nature in his creatures. He did not want to see them tossed about at the mercy of their own natures, and so be reduced to nothingness. But in his goodness he governs and sustains the whole of nature by his Word (who is himself also God), so that under the guidance, providence and ordering of that Word, the whole of nature might remain stable and coherent in his light. Nature was to share in the Father’s Word, whose reality is true, and be helped by him to exist, for without him it would cease to be. For unless the Word, who is the very “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,” kept it in existence it could not exist. For whatever exists, whether visible or invisible, remains in existence through him and in him, and he is also the head of the Church, as we are taught by the ministers of truth in their sacred writings. The almighty and most holy Word of the Father pervades the whole of reality, everywhere unfolding his power and shining on all things visible and invisible. He sustains it all and binds it all together in himself. He leaves nothing devoid of his power but gives life and keeps it in being throughout all of creation and in each individual creature.
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