Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time - 7th June 2017
Reading 1, Tobit 3:1-11, 16
1 Then, sad at heart, I sighed and wept, and began this prayer of lamentation:
2 You are just, O Lord, and just are all your works. All your ways are grace and truth, and you are the Judge of the world.
3 Therefore, Lord, remember me, look on me. Do not punish me for my sins or for my needless faults or those of my ancestors.
4 For we have sinned against you and broken your commandments; and you have given us over to be plundered, to captivity and death, to be the talk, the laughing-stock and scorn of all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.
5 And now all your decrees are true when you deal with me as my faults deserve, and those of my ancestors. For we have neither kept your commandments nor walked in truth before you.
6 So now, do with me as you will; be pleased to take my life from me; so that I may be delivered from earth and become earth again. Better death than life for me, for I have endured groundless insult and am in deepest sorrow. Lord, be pleased to deliver me from this affliction. Let me go away to my everlasting home; do not turn your face from me, O Lord. Better death for me than life prolonged in the face of unrelenting misery: I can no longer bear to listen to insults.
7 It chanced on the same day that Sarah the daughter of Raguel, who lived in Media at Ecbatana, also heard insults from one of her father's maids.
8 For she had been given in marriage seven times, and Asmodeus, the worst of demons, had killed her bridegrooms one after another before ever they had slept with her as man with wife. The servant-girl said, 'Yes, you kill your bridegrooms yourself. That makes seven already to whom you have been given, and you have not once been in luck yet.
9 Just because your bridegrooms have died, that is no reason for punishing us. Go and join them, and may we be spared the sight of any child of yours!'
10 That day, she grieved, she sobbed, and she went up to her father's room intending to hang herself. But then she thought, 'Suppose they were to blame my father! They would say, "You had an only daughter whom you loved, and now she has hanged herself for grief." I cannot cause my father a sorrow which would bring down his old age to the dwelling of the dead. I should do better not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to let my die and not live to hear any more insults.'
11 And at this, by the window, with outstretched arms she said this prayer: You are blessed, O God of mercy! May your name be blessed for ever, and may all things you have made bless you everlastingly.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 25:2-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
2 to you, my God. BUT in my trust in you do not put me to shame, let not my enemies gloat over me.
3 CALLING to you, none shall ever be put to shame, but shame is theirs who groundlessly break faith.
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.
6 GOODNESS and faithful love have been yours for ever, Yahweh, do not forget them.
7 HOLD not my youthful sins against me, but remember me as your faithful love dictates.
8 INTEGRITY and generosity are marks of Yahweh for he brings sinners back to the path.
9 JUDICIOUSLY he guides the humble, instructing the poor in his way.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Mark 12:18-27
"You know neither the scriptures nor the power of God"
18 Then some Sadducees -- who deny that there is a resurrection -- came to him and they put this question to him,
20 Now there were seven brothers; the first married a wife and then died leaving no children.
21 The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same,
23 Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?'
24 Jesus said to them, 'Surely the reason why you are wrong is that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
25 For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven.
26 Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?
27 He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: The Holy Spirit reveals to us the eternal truths of God's unending love and the life he desires to share with us for all eternity. Paul the Apostle, quoting from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4; 65:17) states:“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). The promise of paradise - heavenly bliss and unending life with an all-loving God - is beyond human reckoning. We have only begun to taste the first-fruits! Do you believe the Scriptures and do you know the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and who gives us the assurance of everlasting life as well?
Prayer: "May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart’s vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages." Amen
Jesus offers proof to immortality - life without end.