Daily Archives: January 27, 2020

28 January, Tuesday – Obedience to God

28 January – Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was the son of the Count of Aquino. He was born in the family castle in Lombardy near Naples, Italy. He was educated by Benedictine monks at Monte Cassino, and at the University of Naples. He secretly joined the mendicant Dominican friars in 1244. His family kidnapped and imprisoned him for a year to keep him out of sight and deprogram him, but they failed to sway him,and he rejoined his order in 1245.

He studied in Paris, France, from 1245-1248 under St. Albert the Great, then accompanied Albertus to Cologne, Germany. He was ordained in 1250, then returned to Paris to teach. He taught theology at the University of Paris. He wrote defenses of the mendicant orders, commentaries on Aristotle and Lombard’s Sentences, and some bible-related works, usually by dictating to secretaries. He won his doctorate, and taught at several Italian cities. He was recalled by the king and the University of Paris in 1269, then recalled to Naples in 1272 where he was appointed regent of studies while working on the Summa Theologica.

On 6 December 1273, he experienced a divine revelation which so enraptured him that he abandoned the Summa, saying that it and his other writing were so much straw in the wind compared to the reality of the divine glory. He died four months later while en route to the Council of Lyons, overweight and with his health broken by overwork.

His works have been seminal to the thinking of the Church ever since. They systematized her great thoughts and teaching, and combined Greek wisdom and scholarship methods with the truth of Christianity. Pope Leo VIII commanded that his teachings be studied by all theology students. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1567.

-Patron Saint Index

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2 Samuel 6:12-15,17-19

David went and brought the ark of God up from Obed-edom’s house to the Citadel of David with great rejoicing. When the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fat sheep. And David danced whirling round before the Lord with all his might, wearing a linen loincloth round him. Thus David and all the House of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with acclaim and the sound of the horn. They brought the ark of the Lord in and put it in position inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered holocausts before the Lord, and communion sacrifices. And when David had finished offering holocausts and communion sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts. He then distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israelites, men and women, a roll of bread to each, a portion of dates, and a raisin cake. Then they all went away, each to his own house.

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Mark 3:31-35

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

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Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

Discerning the will of God is a very difficult task to do. I do not think it is because God is not calling but rather I am not listening. I believe it is because I am too distracted by the daily noise of the world which prevents me from discovering what God’s plan is for me. The use of mobile phones, the daily struggles at home and at work and also the challenges in trying to make ends meet means there is often very little time for God. Jesus reminds us in the Gospel of today that it is in the doing of the will of God that we are considered his sibling.

Why is it difficult for us to listen to the will of God? I have found that it is because it requires me to continue in a route which is not what I desire for myself. It is something which tugs me in the opposite direction and which forces me to renounce the ways of the world. It certainly is difficult to give up my own challenges but with daily prayer, it helps me to be focused on the crucified Christ. It is in the emptying of myself where I discover what it means to listen to God’s word.

As we continue with our journey in life, we will always face different challenges. What we can choose to do is to allow God to work within us to enable us to accept our own failings and trust in Him to use these weaknesses within us to glorify his name.

(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender my will to you. Let me trust in you.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who have given up their possessions in life for God’s service.

27 January, Monday – Source of Power

27 January 2020

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2 Samuel 5:1-7,10

All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron. ‘Look’ they said ‘we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, “You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. He reigned in Hebron over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.

David and his men marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites living there. These said to David, ‘You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.’ (That is to say: David will never get in here.) But David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the Citadel of David.

David grew greater and greater, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with him.

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Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.

  ‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

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David grew greater and greater, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with him

Today’s readings are a thought provoking one because it points out where the source of power comes from as a form of legitimacy. King David obtained power because the people approached him to be king of both the Northern and Southern kingdom. Indeed, most of us are familiar with this type of power which is the general public selecting a group of people to enact decisions on their behalf.

However, the nature of power is such that it tends to corrupt the person holding it. I guess the idea of being able to lord over others does change others as the person can now be the master of the fate of others. This is where Jesus reminds us that the power of His ministry comes from God. It does not come from the legitimacy of men but from a divine source. Sometimes I see some question the decisions that office holders in church make and this does trouble me because it seems that there is a sense that there is a comparison of the positions.

The ways of the world have sometimes subtly entered the church in terms of organisation and structure. As we begin a new week, I ask that we pray and reflect upon the role which Jesus has called us to do and how can we do it in a manner which serves the people around us and not seek to advance our own interests.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray for the strength to let you work through me.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for the love you have shown me.