Readings 20150213

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com

ANSWER THE FALL

“The woman answered the serpent.” —Genesis 3:2
We read today’s first reading and we want to shout: “Oh, Eve! Flee from the serpent! Don’t give him the time of day. Oh, Adam! Don’t eat it! Throw the fruit away!”

Through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, we have inherited a world polluted with sin and death (Rm 5:12). It’s so tempting to want to put all the blame on Adam and Eve: “Now look what you’ve done. You messed up the whole world and now we have to live in your mess. It’s all your fault.” Yet that is exactly what Adam did: he shifted the blame from himself to Eve (Gn 3:12). Eve took her cue from Adam and shifted the blame to the serpent (Gn 3:13).

We have inherited a fallen nature from our first human parents, Adam and Eve. It’s in our spiritual genes, and we can’t help it. We are programmed to sin, and then to blame others for the consequences. But God is rich in mercy: He sent His only Son, Jesus, into the world to conquer sin and death. Jesus came to redeem us from our sins. Through His obedience, all of us can become just (Rm 5:19). We rejoice with the words of the Easter Vigil liturgy: “O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

Adam and Eve shifted the blame onto others. We have done the same. God, however, has shifted the weight of our sins onto Jesus. Give your fallen nature to Jesus, and receive His risen life.

Prayer: “I confess my faults to the Lord” (Ps 32:5). “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13). Promise: “Their amazement went beyond all bounds: ‘He has done everything well! He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!’ ” —Mk 7:37 Praise: Jesus healed Laura of a tumor in her neck. (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching, order our tape, Effects of Sin, on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
How do you expect the Lord to treat you when you ask for his help? Do you approach with fear and doubt, or with faith and confidence? Jesus never turned anyone aside who approached him with sincerity and trust. And whatever Jesus did, he did well. He demonstrated both the beauty and goodness of God in his actions. When Jesus approaches a man who is both deaf and a stutterer, Jesus shows his considerateness for this man’s predicament. Jesus takes him aside privately, not doubt to remove him from embarrassment with a noisy crowd of gawkers. Jesus then puts his fingers into the deaf man’s ears and he touches the man’s tongue with his own spittle to physically identify with this man’s infirmity and to awaken faith in him. With a word of command the poor man’s ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
What is the significance of Jesus putting his fingers into the man’s ears? Gregory the Great, a church father from the 6th century, comments on this miracle: “The Spirit is called the finger of God. When the Lord puts his fingers into the ears of the deaf mute, he was opening the soul of man to faith through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The people’s response to this miracle testifies to Jesus’ great care for others: He has done all things well. No problem or burden was too much for Jesus’ careful consideration. The Lord treats each of us with kindness and compassion and he calls us to treat one another in like manner. The Holy Spirit who dwells within us enables us to love as Jesus loves. Do you show kindness and compassion to your neighbors and do you treat them with considerateness as Jesus did?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and inflame my heart with love and compassion. Make me attentive to the needs of others that I may show them kindness and care. Make me an instrument of your mercy and peace that I may help others find healing and wholeness in you.”

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