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Mar 25th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Friday, the 13th of February, 2009, Gospel Mark 7:31-37
Friday, the 13th of February, 2009, Gospel Mark 7:31-37 PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 21:36
He makes it clear to all of us that there is no offense too great to be forgiven.  I think we need to remember that because even today there are people who, like Judas, are oppressed by the weight of their guilt and take their own lives.
Genesis 3:1-8
Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

Mark 7:31-37 - Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decap'olis. (32) And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him. (33) And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; (34) and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened." (35) And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. (36) And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. (37) And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."
Meditation by Tom Bannantine, S.J.

As I reflect on today's readings I am somewhat uncomfortable because in the first reading I am confronted with the question of guilt.  All of us unfortunately experience guilt.  That feeling of responsibility or remorse for an offense we have committed.  We are familiar with the feeling of shame that comes when we offend someone.  Our shame is heightened when we offend someone that we love.  We know too the feeling of guilt that accompanies sin, an offense against almighty God.  The unwelcome feeling that comes when we succumb to temptation and commit a sin.  


Supplementary Reading: Yes. Wait. No.


Devotions taken from the
"Power for Life Daily Devotional."

Many who plan to seek God at the 11th hour, die at 10:30    -Unknown

"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer." - Psalm 17:6
Sometimes we pray and immediately see God's hand move in a positive response to our prayers.and we know that he is alive and cares about us.

But then there are times when what we ask for doesn't come, and we don't understand why God isn't giving us what we believe is so critically important. In his wisdom, God knows that we need to grow and that we're not prepared to receive what we're asking for.

Sometimes God answers our prayers by saying no. I can't tell you why he says no. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair. But then, we can't see things from his vantage point so we have to release our own desires. When we do, his peace floods our soul.

When you pray, give God control of your life-it's the most important thing you can do.

* * *
Make three columns on a sheet of paper. Label the sheet, "How God Answered My Prayers." Label each column of your sheet with one of these labels: Yes, Wait, No. Then fill in the columns drawing from your own experience of answered prayer. Can you thank God for ALL of his answers to your prayers?
* * *

From the Book of Genesis we learn today that Adam and Eve also experienced guilt.  Since at that time Adam and Eve were the only human beings that God had created, theirs is the very first sin, original sin.  Immediately after they had sinned by disobeying God, Adam and Eve felt the same guilt that we feel when we sin.  And they felt something else, fear.  We know that fear usually accompanies guilt.  We fear retribution or punishment from the one offended.  Adam and Eve had that fear.  They hid from God in the trees and bushes of the garden.  They hid because they were fearful of God's punishment.  They had an acute realization of having offended God and they were fearful of what would happen to them as a result of their sin.  In the rest of the account of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis we learn that their lives changed very much.  The idyllic life that they had enjoyed in  the Garden of Eden came to an end.  In addition to feeling the need for clothes, they began to experience the very disagreeable feelings of pain and sorrow and fatigue.  And their original sin affected all humans who came after them.  Even today we are all born with the stain of original sin on our soul.  

And so I ask myself.  How can I go from the negative feeling of guilt to the positive feeling of joy and hope?  And of course Christ gives the answer.  He begs us not only to have remorse and sorrow for our sins, but also to come to him and ask for forgiveness.  He welcomes us and readily forgives us.  He is waiting always to receive us and forgive us.  But what about the fear that often accompanies guilt?  Sometimes it can hinder us from seeking the forgiveness of God.  The longer we wait the harder it is to seek forgiveness.  It is important to seek forgiveness as soon as we experience guilt and sorrow for our sin.  Another hindrance to seeking forgiveness is a feeling that my sin is just too terrible.  That God can't forgive me.  The story of Judas comes to mind here.  We don't know the mind of Judas, but his actions seem to indicate that he felt that God could not forgive him.  The words of Jesus contradict such a feeling.  He makes it clear to all of us that there is no offense too great to be forgiven.  I think we need to remember that because even today there are people who, like Judas, are oppressed by the weight of their guilt and take their own lives.  When we I feel guilt, I need to get rid of it quickly.  I need to go to Jesus and seek forgiveness.  And I feel the need to pray that all my family and friends and those I come into contact with in any  way may also hear the words of Jesus and quickly seek his forgiveness when they have sinned. 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2009 09:47

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