9th Week, Thursday, Jun 4th

2 Timothy 2:8-15 / Mark 12:28-34 
They can chain me: But they can’t chain God’s Word.

Marjorie Lawrence was one of the great operatic stars of our time. At the height of her career, she was struck down with polio. It left her a helpless invalid, unable to walk or to stand. Up to this point in her life, neither she nor her husband was religious. Nevertheless, they began to read the Bible together for strength. For the first time in their lives, they discovered the power of God’s Word. Marjorie said, “There were parts of the Scriptures that seemed to have been written just for me.”

Do we have a list of favorite Bible passages that we can turn to for comfort and help in times of crisis? “Lord ... you are good to me, your servant. . Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:65,105
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) was a learned man and a great theologian. He was the author of that great work "Summa Theologica" (Latin: "Summary of Theology" or "Highest Theology"). But towards the end of his life, he stopped his academic work after he had a mystical experience of God, and he said: all that I have written seems like straw to me. In certain aspects, what St. Thomas Aquinas echoed what St. Paul said in the 1st reading that life is not a wrangling about words.

St. Paul urged Timothy to be brave and to stand before God as a man who has come through his trials and has no cause to be ashamed of his life's work. St. Paul himself had faced hostility and persecution and imprisonment and shipwreck. So he did not just talked the talk; he had already walked the walk.

The walk we have to make is in the path of the commandment that Jesus gave in the gospel. To love God and to love neighbour is all that is necessary and the most fundamental. If we not doing this, then all we are doing is like straw.
Thursday June 4

Thursday of 9th Week of Ordinary Time


Our text is a profession of faith and a liturgical hymn. The profession of faith is made because Gnosticism was creeping in.
Gospel. As there were so many rules of the Law to observe, it is easy to understand the desire of scribes to ask which was the key commandment. Twice a day pious Jews professed the “Hear, Israel,” with the love of God unique and very important. Jesus attaches to it love of neighbor too, as a total commitment that he will practice on the cross.

Opening Prayer
God our Father,
you want your heart to be
the measure of our love,
but you are always greater than our heart.
In this Eucharist, let your Son give us
a heart of flesh in which burns
a fire of love that cannot be extinguished,
and that prompts us to follow him all the way
to you and to all you have entrusted to us.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord.

The word of God is not chained, although its proponents often are. Paul today speaks of his suffering for the gospel and sees it as a definite gain. To be baptized is to die with Christ only to be brought to new life in the Spirit. To persevere with him is to reign with him eternally. To deny Christ brings about a voluntary alienation, but, even though we should be unfaithful, he remains ever faithful.
The epistle urges us to put worthless discussion behind us and to keep our spiritual priorities before our eyes. Our preaching is to be the unvarnished truth; it is after all the gospel of salvation.
It is the gospel of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was raised from the dead. It is the same Jesus Christ who with his resurrection from the dead was constituted Son of God in power. It is he who gave his life for our salvation and who, as today’s Gospel indicates, asks for an unqualified and total love of God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
In a world so marked by selfishness and lack of concern for the interest of God and others, we are called to a completely different set of values. This is the gospel that has been preached to us and in which we stand. It is the path to life, truly the “good news” of God.

Points to Ponder
The heart of the gospel message
The cost of discipleship
Gospel values and worldly values.

– That the Church for which Christ died may grow into a universal community of love, which makes God’s unconditional love visible to all people, we pray:
– That Christians everywhere may not be people of legalisms and outward observances but people with a heart, who do what they have to do and more because they are God’s children, we pray:
– That our anemic and dried-up love may become rich and spontaneous, like a fresh breath of life and joy, brightening the lives of those around us and a wordless song of praise to God, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Loving God,
in this Eucharist, we celebrate
the memory of the sacrifice
of Jesus who showed us
the full extent of his love.
Let him make our love
as deep and as wide as his,
even if it will upset our settled ways.
May this be the sacrifice we offer you
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
to be open to you and to your call,
to enter into the world of people
who are wounded by life
by other persons and by us too,
to hear their cries and to welcome all,
where will all this lead us?
By the strength of this Eucharist,
help us to encounter our neighbors,
to share their bread, their joys and miseries
and to kindle new hope in their hearts.
May this be our response to your love
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Indeed, to love one’s neighbor as oneself often demands sacrifices, and is therefore, worth more than ritual sacrifices. May God inspire such a commitment and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.