Daily Readings Reflection for 9/08/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 9/08/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Dear Friends,  Sept. 8th is the Feast of the Blessed Mother’s birthday.  It
is also the Feast of the Patroness of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity.  I am
including both the Feast and the ordinary reading from the continuous
readings today.   First, the reading from ordinary time; then the Feast of
Mary’s birthday.

Scripture: Lectionary  438, Tues. of 23 week. Colossians 2:6-15. Psalm
145:1-2,8-9.10-11. Luke 6:12-19.

Jesus prays before choosing his twelve apostles. In Luke, we have the most
about prayer and we may say that he is the Evangelist of prayer seen both
in the Gospel and in his second work called the Acts of the Apostles. We
have a complete listing of the twelve whom Luke at once is calling
“apostles.”  At the end of the listing we hear about the power that Jesus
had in curing all and casting out demons.  The people who experience this
lead others to want to seek out Jesus and to touch him for power does go
forth from him and they are healed.

The apostles had many opportunities to touch Jesus but became so used to it
that it was ordinary for them.  We do not have the same experience as they
had but we do touch Jesus through the gift of our faith which we receive as
a gift and which is also given through our Baptism.  Yet, we, too, become
too familiar with this way of reaching out and touching Jesus through the
sacraments and through the Scriptures.  Nevertheless, we need to renew our
faith each day and to make it deeper and more from the heart than it was
yesterday.  Then like Jesus we can bring the comfort of that faith to
others by reaching out to them. The power of Jesus can also work through us
and heal those whom we touch in some way.

Paul exhorts us  to “continue to live in Christ Jesus the Lord. He reminds
us that our Baptism is a dying and rising with Christ that gives us the
power to be healed and to be healers of others through our acts of kindness
and love.  The sacraments and Scripture are the source for touching Jesus
and receiving his healing power.  They are the life giving signs which are
given power through the words and gestures that are contained within the
use of the sacrament.  All seven of them touch our senses and help us to be
united with Jesus who has the power for healing all sorts of wounds of
mind, heart, and body.  We are buried with Christ in order to rise with
him. We believe that Jesus has the power to let us touch him in this
way–even each day. Amen.

Scripture:  Feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our Lady
of Charity (Cuba). Lectionary # 636. Micah 5:1-4 or Romans 8:28-30. Psalm
13: 6 (Resp. Isaiah 61:9). Matthew 1:1-16,18-23. or Matthew 1:18-25.

Often celebrants and Eucharistic ministers remark how they can see the
likeness of the father and the mother in their children who approach the
altar for Communion.  Even some of the gestures are easily recognized in
the members of the family in their gait, their hands, etc. We are familiar
with the saying “like mother like son” or the same could be said for the
father of the children.  There is something similar in what the reading
from Matthew does for the “birth record” of Jesus Christ or his genealogy
which could be read today.  Mary has a necessary role in the unfolding of
the genealogy or birth record for the Messiah, Jesus, who was born of Mary.
The text definitely speaks about his birthday directly but we could also
say that it speaks of the woman who alone gave birth to this son in an
extraordinary way.  Mary is so close to her son that we can always say of
him “Like mother like Son.”  They are not to be separated; the Gospels ever
so meager about details with regards to her nevertheless do not separate
her from Jesus.  This is good marian theology.

It does help us then to reflect on her birtthday in the light of the only
birthrecords we have in Matthew and Luke that speak of his birth. We do not
have a date. In fact, no date was given this as his birthday till late in
the fourth century when Dec. 25th became associated with Jesus.  The same
is even more true for the date assigned to Mary who does not have a
genealogy or birth record in the Gospels.  We come closest to this more
through Matthew’s genealogy than Luke’s, hence, it is used in today’s
liturgy.  Both Jesus and Mary certainly were born in time on a specific day
known only to God.  Here we are relying on the common sense approach of a
Christian tradition which  permits us to choose these two dates for Jesus
and Mary.  As Jesus taught us that we are not to fast when the bride and
bridegroom celebrate their wedding, neither are we to fast on the birthday
of Jesus and Mary.  They both are honored when we celebrate their birthdays
with joy. Amen.

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