Monday, March 25, 2019

God comes to us. We should embrace His will (readings for March 26, 2019 annotated)

Key
What these scriptures tell us about God
What these scriptures tell us to do
Commentary
Hyperlink to additional resources

God comes to us, reaches out to us, in spite of His perfection and our deep imperfection. Great, inconceivable, goodness results when we respond to Him by embracing His always perfect will.  

Other scriptures addressing those dynamics are collected in Wisdom Principles—God Loves and Calls Us to Him, In Spite of our Sin and Wisdom Principles—True Piety.

Additional meditations on the annunciation can be accessed at What We Can Learn From Jesus' Nativity: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) 

Reading 1  Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!

But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"

Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us!" 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 40:7-11
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but 
ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come."
R. 
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me
, to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!"
R. 
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. 
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulnessand your salvation I have spoken of;  I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2  Hebrews 10:4-10
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight. Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll, behold, I come to do your will, O God.'"

First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in." These are offered according to the law. Then he says, "
Behold, I come to do your will." He takes away the first to establish the second. By this "will," we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Verse Before the Gospel  John 1:14
The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us; and we saw his glory.

Gospel  Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be greatand will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of Davidhis father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" 

And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. 

What these scriptures tell us about God
God is with us! 
Your justice
your faithfulness
your salvation
your kindness
your truth
Christ came into the world
we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us
we saw his glory
was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth
He will be great
Son of the Most High
God will give him the throne of David
he will rule over the house of Jacob forever
of his Kingdom there will be no end
the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God
nothing will be impossible for God

What these scriptures tell us to do
come to do your will
ears open to obedience 
come to do your will
to do your will, O my God, is my delight
come to do your will
announced your justice 
come to do your will
Your justice I kept not hid
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assemblycome to do your will
I come to do your will, O God
I come to do your will
May it be done to me according to your word

Sunday, March 24, 2019

God reaches out in spite of grumbling, sin, & incomprehension; blessing follows if we get past those things (Readings for March 24, 2019 annotated)

Key:
What these scriptures tell us about God
What these scriptures tell us to do
What the scriptures tell us not to do
Commentary
Hyperlink to additional resources

Today’s readings reflect several aspects of God’s abundant patience and grace towards us.  Other aspects of that patience are explored in Fear does not equal Failure and Doubt does not equal Disqualification. His grace is a well described in Paragraph 1 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

So how do we respond to that wonderful patience and grace? See below in green.  

Reading 1  Exodus 17:3-7
In those days, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?"

So Moses cried out to the LORD, "What shall I do with this people? a little more and they will stone me!"

The LORD answered Moses, "Go over there in front of the people, along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink."

This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled there and tested the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD in our midst or not?"

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
R. (8) If today you hear his voiceharden not your hearts.
Come, let us 
sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voiceharden not your hearts.
Come, let us 
bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you 
hear his voiceharden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would 
hear his voice: "Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you 
hear his voiceharden not your hearts.

Reading 2  Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Since we have been justified by faith,  we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith  to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And 
hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to usFor Christ, while we were still helpless,  died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Verse Before the Gospel Cf John 4:42, 15
Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world; give me living water, that I may never thirst again.

Gospel John 4:5-42
Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.

Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink, ' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

The woman said to him,  "Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;  where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?"

Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirstthe water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back."

The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband."

Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.' For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true."

The woman said to him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."

Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when 
true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship himGod is Spirit, andthose who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth."

The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when he comes, he will tell us everything."

Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one speaking with you."

At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, "What are you looking for?" or "Why are you talking with her?"

The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, "Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?" They went out of the town and came to him.

Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Could someone have brought him something to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here'? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. The reaper is already receiving payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work."

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me everything I have done." When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, "We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that truly the savior of the world."

What these scriptures tell us about God
The LORD answered Moses
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it 
the LORD in our midst
the LORD who made us.
he is our God
he shepherds
he guides.
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly
God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
truly the Savior of the world
Jesus, tired from his journey
"If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink, ' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water
whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst
the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
the Father seeks such people to worship him
God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.
I am he
the Christ
I have food to eat of which you do not know.
My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work
the sower and reaper can rejoice together
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for
truly the savior of the world.

What these scriptures tell us to do
cried out to the LORD
hear his voice
sing joyfully to the LORD
acclaim the Rock of our salvation.come into his presence with thanksgiving
joyfully sing psalms to him.
hear his voice
bow down in worship
hear his voice
hear his voice
hear his voice
justified by faith
gained access by faith
hope of the glory of God.hope does not disappoint
worship the Father in Spirit and truth
those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth

What these scriptures tell us to do
grumbled
harden not your hearts
harden not your hearts
harden not your hearts
Harden not your hearts 
harden not your hearts

Saturday, March 23, 2019

God loves us in spite of our sin, come to Him (Readings for March 23, 2019 annotated)

Key
What these scriptures tell us about God
What these scriptures tell us to do
Commentary
Hyperlink to additional resources 

Today’s readings reflect God’s deep love for us. That reality is also reflected in the scriptures reflected in Wisdom Principles—God Loves and Calls Us to Him, In Spite of our Sin 

Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, that dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old; as in the days when you came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on ustreading underfoot our guiltYou will cast into the depths of the sea all our sinsYou will show faithfulnessto Jacob, and grace to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name.Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquitieshe heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destructionhe crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He will not always chidenor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with usnor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Verse Before the Gospel Luke 15:18
I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."So to them Jesus addressed this parable.

"A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."' So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.'

But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.

He said to his father in reply,' Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'

He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"

What these scriptures tell us about God
the God who removes guilt and pardons sin
who does not persist in anger forever
delights rather in clemency
again have compassion on us
treading underfoot our guilt
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins
You will show faithfulness
The Lord is kind and merciful.
The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord is kind and merciful.
He will not always chide
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.
The Lord is kind and merciful.
welcomes sinners and eats with them.
While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him
was filled with compassion
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him
celebrate with a feast
everything I have is yours.
we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.

What these scriptures tell us to do
Bless the LORD
all my being, bless his holy name.Bless the LORD
forget not all his benefits
go to my father 
say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you