Daily Readings Reflection for 2/28/11

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Scripture: Lectionary 347. Feb.28, 2011.  Sirach 17:19-27. Psalm
32:1-2.5.6.7.  Mark10:17-27

Today’s Readings

Our scripture today reminds us of reconciliation and as Catholics we think
of the Sacrament of Reconciliation formerly called Confession or Penance.
The readings are helpful in preparing us for such a sacramental experience
as we are heading toward the end of Ordinary Time and approaching Lent.
The Scriptures can easily be seen as preparatory prayers. Moreover, they
are from the greatest source for the inspired words of God given to God’s
prophets, servants,psalmists, and gospel writers.  Both testaments are in
front of us. In fact, we have the Psalms from the Hebrew Testament, the
Gospel from the New Testament, and Sirach from our Deutero-canonical
inspired readings.

In the Gospel one of the highpoints is the statement of Jesus looking on
the young man who had observed the commandments.  This is easily applied to
us after we celebrate the Reconciliation offered to us.  The text reads,
“Jesus looked at him with love.”

Sirach gives us the message and background that prompts us to “return” to
the Lord–a term both in Hebrew and in the Greek of Sirach which means to
turn around and face God after having failed God or sinned. This roundabout
in our minds and hearts leads us to the friendship that we have enjoyed in
the covenant with God that is ours.  The Gospel speaks of this as a
metanoia or change of mind, whereas in Hebrew the thought is more down to
earth in the turning around and facing God again to be loved by Him as
Jesus loved the young man who observed the commandments–those that dealt
with his neighbors.  The commandments are also a way of examining our own
conscience before the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation.  In
Hebrew they are not called commandments; rather they are the “Ten Words of
God” to  us that were first given to Moses on Mount Sinai.  The ones listed
in Mark are important for they again deal with the stuff of relationships
with friends, neighbors, and all others who are made in the image and
likeness of God.  This is important if we are to restore love of God, of
neighbor and of self when we are in need of mending those relational
dimensions of our life.  The Psalm consoles us: “Happy (blessed) is he/she
whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered.” Amen.

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