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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 07.06.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 07.06.2023

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TOBIT 3: 1 – 11a, 16 – 17a

In those days: in my grief I wept, and I prayed in anguish, saying, “Righteous are you, O Lord; all your deeds are just and all your ways are mercy and truth, and you render true and righteous judgement for ever. And now, O Lord, remember me and look favourably upon me; do not punish me for my sins and for my unwitting offences and those which my fathers committed before you. For we disobeyed your commandments, and you gave us over to plunder, captivity, and death; you made us the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach in all the nations among which you have dispersed us. And now your many judgements are true in exacting penalty from me for my sins and those of my fathers, because we did not keep your commandments. For we did not walk in truth before you. And now deal with me according to your pleasure; command my spirit to be taken up, that I may be released from the face of the earth and become dust. For it is better for me to die than to live, because I have heard false reproaches, and great is the sorrow within me. Command that I now be released from my distress; release me to go to the eternal abode; and do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me. For it is better for me to die than to see so much distress in my life and to listen to such insults.” On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it also happened that Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was reproached by her father’s maids, because she had been given to seven husbands, and the evil demon Asmodeus had slain each of them before he had been with her as his wife. So the maids said to her, “You are the one who kills your husbands! See, you already have had seven and have had no benefit from any of them. Why do you beat us? Because your husbands are dead? Go with them! May we never see a son or daughter of yours!” On that day she was deeply grieved in spirit and wept. When she had gone up to her father’s upper room, she intended to hang herself. But she thought it over and said, “Never shall they reproach my father, saying to him, ‘You only had one beloved daughter but she hanged herself because of her distress.’ And I shall bring his old age down in sorrow to the grave. It is better for me not to hang myself, but to pray the Lord that I may die and not listen to these reproaches any more.” At that same time, with hands outstretched towards the window, she prayed and said, “Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God, and blessed is your holy and honoured name.” At that very moment, the prayer of both was heard in the presence of the glory of the great God. And Raphael was sent to heal the two of them.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 25: 2 – 3, 4 – 5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8 – 9 (R.) 1

R/. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

In you, O my God, I have trusted;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Let none who hope in you be put to shame;
but shamed are those who wantonly break faith. R/.

O Lord, make me know your ways.
Teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth, and teach me;
for you are the God of my salvation. R/.

Remember your compassion, O Lord,
and your merciful love,
for they are from of old.
In your merciful love remember me,
because of your goodness, O Lord. R/.

Good and upright is the Lord;
he shows the way to sinners.
He guides the humble in right judgement;
to the humble he teaches his way. R/.

ALLELUIA
John 11: 25a, 26

Alleluia.
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; he who believes in me shall never die.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
MARK 12: 18 – 27

At that time: Sadducees came to Jesus, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Wisdom of God

June 7, 2023

Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers…” (Mark 12:18–20)

And these Sadducees then go on to present to Jesus a long and unlikely hypothetical scenario in which this woman eventually married all seven brothers after each one died. And at the conclusion of their hypothetical situation, the Sadducees ask Jesus, “At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?” Of course, Jesus offers them the correct answer and then also states something interesting. He tells the Sadducees that they “are greatly misled.” Just prior to this conversation with the Sadducees, the Pharisees had presented their own question to Jesus in an attempt to trap Him. The difference seems to be that the Sadducees had more sincerity in their pursuit of the truth whereas the Pharisees were more obsessed with their own authority and power.

The Sadducees were considered the more traditional of the religious leaders, in that they accepted only the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, as authentically revealed. They also did not accept the afterlife or the resurrection of the dead because they believed that the Torah did not explicitly teach those things. The Pharisees not only accepted the Torah but also the rest of what is contained in the Old Testament. The Pharisees also accepted what was referred to as the “tradition of the elders,” which meant that they paid much attention to the scrupulous multiplication of laws and regulations that other Pharisees devised, and they sought to impose those man-made laws upon the people.

In this Gospel passage, the problem with the Sadducees seems to be scrupulosity and rigidity in their approach to the faith. They clearly relied upon human reason, and they applied their human reason to the Torah. And though human reason and logical deduction are helpful and necessary in life, they attempted to solve every matter of faith by their own effort by narrowly and rigidly interpreting the Torah. They did not allow themselves to be open to the deeper wisdom of God that floods one’s human reason when one is attentive to divine inspiration and revelation. Instead, they were black and white in all of their deductions and practices. This rigidity left them “greatly misled.”

In our own lives, we can also become greatly misled when we use the gift of our human reason in a rigid and narrow way. We must never overly simplify the faith, and we must never think that we will easily be able to arrive at all the answers by our own effort. Our constant goal must be to allow our minds to become fully immersed in the deepest wisdom of God and all that He has revealed. The teachings of the Church will guide us, keeping us on the straight path, but it will be the voice of God, speaking to our minds in a real and personal way, that will help us to understand the depth and breadth of God’s Will, His Truth, and Wisdom.

Reflect, today, upon any tendency you have to be like these Sadducees. Are you rigid? Or narrow minded? Do you allow yourself to be misled into thinking you have all the answers? If so, seek humility. Humble yourself before the awesome mysteries of Heaven. Use your mind to probe the truths that God has revealed and be ready to be drawn deeper and deeper into the life of God Himself.

PRAYER:
My Lord of infinite wisdom, You are Truth Itself, and You continually reveal Yourself to us. Give me the humility I need to always be open to all divine Truth in my life so that I will come to know You and Your holy will as You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.

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