12 September, Tuesday – A fallen community

Sep 12 – Holy Name of Mary

This feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3); both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters. The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513 and in 1671 was extended to all of Spain and the Kingdom of Naples. In 1683, John Sobieski, king of Poland, brought an army to the outskirts of Vienna to stop the advance of Muslim armies loyal to Mohammed IV in Constantinople. After Sobieski entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he and his soldiers thoroughly defeated the Muslims. Pope Innocent XI extended this feast to the entire Church.

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Colossians 2:6-15

You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received – Jesus the Lord; you must be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.

Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some second-hand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.

In his body lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every Sovereignty and Power.

In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision not performed by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your body of flesh. This is circumcision according to Christ. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.

He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross; and so he got rid of the Sovereignties and the Powers, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.


Luke 6:12-19

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.
He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.


[A]nd he spent the whole night in prayer to God

Circumcision is a physical mark and indicator for Jews and Muslims that they adhere to the respective faiths which they belong to. It is like the setting aside of this group of people for God’s glory. St Paul reminds us that this physical act is not what Christians are called to do but instead we are called for a deeper conversion – a conversion of our lives of sin.

Sin prevents us from experiencing the love of God in a way which we cannot fully comprehend. By being separated from God, we risk losing focus on what our goal as Christian should be – which is to love and serve God. As Christians, we are called to love and support the community which we belong to in Church or any ministry found within the Church which allows us to radiate God’s love to the people around us.

The apostles were a group of men who came from diverse backgrounds but each one of them were brought together in Faith and Love. Yet Judas chose not to abandon his previous way of life and ultimately succumbed to sin. We do not know enough of his background to get a clear understanding behind why he chose to betray Jesus. What we can infer is that the community which Judas lived in was not a choir of saints but rather men who had to be corrected and shown what is the way to live in union with God’s love.

Being open to correction is the first step towards staying in touch with Christ. We will need to continue to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and correct us so that we are reminded to remove the flesh of sin and put on the spirit of love in our lives.

(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Lord, we pray that you show guidance to all who are seeking meaning in their life.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all counsellors who take time to listen to their client’s needs.

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